Ever wanted to find out what inspired a particular song?
Was it based on personal experience or simply passive observation?
What happened in the recording studio or on stage to make one song sound different from the rest?
These are just some of the question bands and musicians attempt to answer in Line 'em Up - the newest page of The Power Of Metal.Dk.
This is where your favourite bands comment on their albums, track by track, because as someone once said, “Ideas are the building blocks of ideas”.
Here’s a chance for you to tell our readers about your new album “Soliloquy”.
Soliloquy is our second album, and it is a way heavier album than our first one. The debut-album was a 70’s inspired rock-album, while this one is a Heavy metal album, with a twist. The main reason for the change in sound is that Knut Lysklætt, the founder of the band, wanted to make a heavier album, with a sound that lifted the band into the 21st century. The fact that three members of the previous line-up left the band has also resulted in a harder sound.
Enter the Harøy clan, with (Christer), his brother Rayner (both from Divided Multiude) and their cousin Terje, a metal-approach to writing and arranging songs was brought to bear. Together with Knut’s inspiration from classical music, middle-eastern folk-music, musicals and heavy rock, we ended up with our own distinct sound, which is both traditional and modern at the same time.
But could you please start off by introducing the readers to Teodor Tuff?
We are a Norwegian band, based in Bjugn, on the Fosen peninsula, across the fjord from Trondheim, Norway’s third largest city. It’s a community of 5.000 inhabitants, rich in music and culture. Our long term objective is to develop our own recognizable style of metal, and to bring our music to an ever increasing group of fans around the world.
And now onto “Soliloquy”… track-by-track, what inspired you, what topics are you dealing with, what do what to express with this song etc.
Back in the 6th century, a warrior made a runic inscription at Valsfjord (se Valsfjord Inscription). Valsfjord is very close to where we all grew up. The warriors professed loyalty to a local warlord named Godagar. I imagined that passing seafarers and warriors held pagan feasts there around summer solstice, and that the fare was oysters and fly-agaric, to put you in the right kind of mood… I wanted this to be a bombastic number, worthy of an opening number, with somewhat weird melody-lines, using a choir to get the right mood. Parts of the soprano melody line are almost impossible to sing, and this was intentional. Maybe this was the way they sang 1400 years ago….?
02. The Last Supper
This is a commentary on the arbitrariness of the death penalty, and the fact that people with mental disorders are being executed. The verse is actually in 3/4 beat, but it’s hard to tell, as we sometimes split and extends the beats. In the first verse the guitar follows the vocals, a technique we use in many songs. See if you can identify the song-sample before the guitar solo. It is very apt in terms of topic….. There is also a reference to Martin Luther King – see if you can find it!
A song really inspired by different “Jorn-bands”; like Masterplan. I wanted it to have a straight forward structure to it, like riff, verse, bridge, chorus. Still the verses are differently arranged, and the second verse I sung by the fantastic Ida Haukland.
Lyrically it’s a song about fighting your addiction of a substance; a substance that brings out the darker side of your personality.
04. Mountain Rose
This song is a tribute to Bibi Aisha, the Afghan girl who had her nose cut off (by her own family…. sic.), when she ran away from a violent husband. I wanted the local music to be present in the song, but not too prevalently. On this song too, we had fun with sampling – the “imam” appearing prior to the guitar solo is parts of a reversed Norwegian 70’s blockbuster… Giggles.
05. Hymn (For an Embattled Mind)
This song handles a very dark topic, namely suicide. It starts out somewhat Whitesnakeish, but the verse can be deceiving as we move into a very heavy chorus. Then it gets even heavier during the guitar solo. We hope this song provides some consolation to those who have experienced suicide in their midst.
06. Delusions of Grandeur
I wanted an up-tempo song for the album, and had the riff in the back of my head for some time. But, when writing the verse and the bridge, I felt it was working really well with some heavy grooves. Still, I wanted to keep the chorus up-tempo. And the song got a long guitar-solo. I thought about making it shorter, but didn’t have the heart to kill my darlings......,hahahaha.
Lyrically it’s a song about using all means to be successful. Everything for 5 seconds of fame, and have no second thoughts on pushing other people in the dirt.
07. Heavenly Manna
This is a commentary on the perennial Palestinian-Israeli conflict, both sides claiming divine intervention and support. Again, we use the technique of having the vocals follow the guitar in the beginning. Then all hell breaks loose in the second verse. To add spice to this number, we again enlisted the services of Ida Haukland of Triosphere. What a great effort, helping to lift the whole album! I wanted a certain tonality from the region, and there are many biblical and historical references in the lyrics. This is a very long song, with many different themes, but it came together as an epic performance, not least thanks to the efforts of the fantastic guest guitar-players Buss, Waters and Eklundh.
08. Deng's Dictum
This is a song about the rise (and fall?) of communist China. It starts out with a quick guitar riff, with an easily recognizable vocal line/theme on top. It then moves into the chorus with a few surreal chord progressions. Tonje Harøy sings backup during the chorus, and this adds a nice touch to the song. Here’s the trivia: why is it called Deng’s Dictum?
This is basically a Lullaby for my kids, and a celebration of life. It’s about getting some rest to face a new day, and seize all the good things life have to offer; a real carpe diem song.
10. Mind over Matter
Well, this one is a complete mix of different styles of hard rock. Got some kind of Three Days Grace feeling on the riff, and the solo got a Iron Maiden feel to it. What I wanted to do on this track, was to make a really heavy riff, and a heavy groove on the chorus, but still keep it really melodic.
The lyrics, is about life, not becoming as planned, and the disappointment related to that, but still have the desire to try to change it for the better.
11. Tower of Power
This is a song about abuse in the Catholic church (in particular), although it could be about any person or institution that abuses its power. I wanted this song to start out with a slow bluesy riff, and we really got that. It’s very recognisable as well. The chorus veers off in a different direction, tonality-wise, and that was never planned – it just happened when I was “forced” to write it, the night before we were going to rehearse it….. hehehe. Deep down inside, I think a subconscious inspiration has been Solveig’s Song by Grieg (a tinge), but the Nordic folk-music inspiration is definitely there.
Any last words you want to round this interview off with?
Hope as many as possible will pick up a copy and give it a listen; an album with a variety of influences, creating an album sounding traditional, yet still fresh.........I guess that was pretty confusing.......hahahaha. Check out the album “Soliloquy”, and we hope you like it J
Kenn Jensen, January 2012