NORSE might give you ideas of Norwegian black metal warriors ruinning around in the mountains but this band is as far away from Norwegians as you can come. Anders Ekdahl ©2013
Is there any particluar reason for the choice of band name? No fears of you being wrongly labeled for being something that you are not?
Treelo: The band name was chosen back when we were still teenagers. In all honesty, we just chose it because we thought it sounded appealing. We aren’t really worried about people’s reactions to the name; after all, it’s just a name. If you are going to label us, or dislike us based on that, then I guess that’s your prerogative.
Could you please explain the reasons for NORSE to exist?
T: We exist to create music. The bi-product is live performance and recorded medium, but we ultimately thrive on our desire for composition.
Frog: It’s the desire to create and compose that lies at the heart of Norse.
What has been the greatest experience so far being in NORSE? What does it give to you that you can’t find anywhere else?
T: Recording the latest album was a great experience. We felt we got to do exactly what we wanted and in turn, loved the results. This was the first thing we did as a duo, and we feel it vastly over-shadowed any of our previous work, both compositionally and in performance.
How tough is it to come up with a sound that hasn’t been heard of before? Do you even bother with such things?
T: I wouldn’t be able to tell you, as I’ve not heard everything in order to make such a comparison. But I feel that in composing something ‘original’ you need to be honest with yourself. If you think a song requires a heavy beat or breakdown because you know it’s the common thing to do, then you probably aren’t testing your true merits. In my opinion, originality in music stems from the ability to stand behind your ideas without compromise.
F: You may alienate fans who enjoyed previous albums but staying true to ourselves is more important…
What kind of lyrical topics do you deal with in NORSE?
T: We often reflect our interpretations of society and sometimes personal relationships. Generally something that inspires strong emotion. Whether it is positive or negative, it is up for you to decide. We believe notions of ‘good’ and ‘evil’ are merely subjective points of view.
F: All is Mist and Fog was based on a lyrical concept, but as we progressed we broadened our scope. A lot of concept albums tend to be a bit contrived.
Do you follow any specific thematic ideology when it comes to art work and lay out? How important is it that it looks the part too?
F: We didn’t follow any specific ideology. While the music, being quite chaotic, unpredictable, and unsettling in parts, it is juxtaposed against the quiet, oppressive and somber album cover.
How easy is it to get an idea for art work down on paper, for it to be visually realized?
F: All is Mist and Fog avoided going down the standard black/death metal path, and all the standard ‘rules’ they encompass: heavily distorted instruments, edited drums and overproduced albums. The same rules were applied to the artwork. No pictures of zombies in gas masks were used, or black clad demon covered album art. It’s just not what we are interested in. Following trends is not an option and we’d prefer to try and go against the grain.
All the photos are from where we live. The forest on the back cover is directly behind my house, and the inlay pic is a basement of a huge old decaying shed not far from where I live. The idea of all the music and artwork stemming from the Southern Highlands was important to us. If we lived in the city, there would be too many distractions for us to excel at our instruments and our vision.
How important is DIY in today’s record releasing world?
T: In this day and age, to be technically able in the recording industry is in all aspects, beneficial. A lot of All is Mist and Fog was recorded and mixed through home studios and as a result saved us a lot of time and money.
F: Because record companies cannot afford to hand out large sums to bands anymore, a lot of good studios are just way out of budget for us. So DIY is the only option a lot of the time. We enjoy doing it this way as it gives you complete control and more of a connection with the music.
Has the rules for releasing albums changed with digital downloading? What are your feelings on this downloading business?
T: The digital age has definitely changed the way bands have to run their businesses. Online distribution allows for bands to spread their music on a global stage with greater ease than ever before. We welcome the new age with open arms.
We aren’t worried by illegal downloads. Sure, it happens, but we are happy people want our music. We still get sales and other lucrative business streams are always available. It isn’t like audio piracy is a brand new thing.
What plans for the future do you have?
T: We are currently in pre-production for our upcoming, and as of yet, untitled EP. The music will once again step away from our previous work. All is Mist and Fog has been done, and we intend on drifting into whatever musical realms we feel appeal to us.
F: We want to try and make the process as enjoyable as possible, so we are planning on tracking as much as we can outside in the forests.