Tuesday, January 5, 2016

interview with Flight (Norway)

Flight is a classic-style, vintage, traditional heavy metal band from Norway. Supporters of the band really like the fact that the band insists on being as honest as possible, sounding like a real live band. Some people call them retro in the sense of late 70s and the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. Maybe people should just call them heavy metal. The band wants to sound like a real band. For instance, they say that they use real drums. They also like guitar solos and real riffs. Their self-titled debut was released in 2015. Let’s find out a bit more about them now.
Hello, friends! Who is Flight?!
We started the band in the fall of 2012, October, probably. We started out with Chris on guitar, Herman on drums and Jonas on bass. After only a month we had 6 out of the 8 songs for the album ready (except Lion’s Den and Devil Woman). Of course the songs changed a bit over time, adding a solo, rearranging the structure etc., but the main framework was there.
In early 2013 we started looking for a singer, without any luck, of course. Heavy metal isn’t a very strong genre in Norway, so there’s not really a culture for people to sing the style we were looking for. In the meantime the instrumental section of the band was completed when guitarist Kribb (guitar/vocals in Purple Hill Witch) joined the band during the summer of 2013. We did a test-gig at Engajam in the fall, and since we didn’t have a vocalist yet Chris decided he could try himself. So he had two weeks of practicing singing before we played live for the first time.
He sounded OK, but he rapidly evolved as a singer during rehearsals and we thought his style of singing was a really good match with our music so he was encouraged to continue singing. Our line-up was now complete, with Chris on guitar and vocals, Kribb on guitar, Jonas on bass and Herman on drums. We think the vocals turned out great on the album, more of a street NWOBHM style vocal, compared to the more operatic vocalist that’s usually associated with the genre. More Brian Ross than Bruce Dickinson.
Our debut album was recorded in KickArse studio in the winter/spring of 2014. Produced by Arild and Kickan from Nekromantheon, and mixed by Arild. We played some gigs in Norway, and supported Amulet in London during the year. Herman quit the band during the winter of 2014/2015, and we got Kickan (who produced the album) on drums in 2015. We’re now working on album number two, and we have about five songs ready right now.
Do you have any news about your band? How is life for your band in Norway?
We’ve got a few different gigs in the works, some small, some bigger, involving Scandinavia and Germany for the most part. We’ll play the mighty Muskelrock in Sweden in 2016, along with heavy weights such as Diamond Head, Sabbat, Mindless Sinner and so on. If you want merch you can hit up our Bandcamp page, or our record labels webshop. Got a few different shirts, patches as well as the full-length album and a 7” single with a cover of Legend’s “Stormers of Heaven” on the B-side.
There isn’t a big scene for traditional heavy metal in Norway, we’re pretty much the only band that does the late ‘70s thing, and then you have Black Magic and Magister Templi which are more rooted in the early to mid ‘80s sound. Sweden is much better off. Loads of good bands and even more dedicated fans. Just look at Iron Maidens concert audience in Sweden compared to Norway, it’s easily thee times bigger.
How would you describe the musical objectives of your band? The sound of your band is very particular. Are the drums that we hear on the album the real drums that your drummer used in the studio? Do you use vintage equipment for the guitar sound?
Of course the drums are real, triggers and heavy metal don’t match. We don’t have a specific goal or anything, we just enjoy the sound of the heavy rock and heavy metal records of the ‘70s, everything from Deep Purple and Rush to Judas Priest and Saxon, and we’ve tried to emulate it a bit. Clear production where all the instruments come through, turn down the distortion on the guitars to get a more Thin Lizzy-ish feel. Actually, that’s an aspect that a lot of the modern heavy metal bands forget, you don’t need to have the gain on 10, and you don’t need an excessive pedal board with tube screamers and all that. Just plug the guitar into the amp and make Gibson and Marshall do their magic.
It seems like the members of Flight are in other bands in Norway, too. What are the names of those bands? How is Flight a different creative outlet?
We’re not particularly keen on mentioning our other bands as we want Flight to stand on its own, but we’re also active in bands such as Gouge, Condor, Nekromantheon, Mion’s Hill, Mabuse and Purple Hill Witch, which are all rooted in the extreme metal of the 80s, except PHW which plays up-tempo doom.
Flight was a necessary output as we came up with all these hooks and catchy riffs which you really can’t use in death metal and stuff like that. And of course heavy metal is the ultimate sound, so it was fun having a band like that, and it’s become the main band for a few of us.

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