Saturday, June 18, 2016

interview: Fear Theories

Fear Theories is a modern heavy metal band from Norway. Their debut album from 2016 is called The Predator. The band is relatively new, in the sense that their debut EP is from 2013, and the band started in 2010. The band is: Ole Sønstabø on lead guitars, Andreas Tjøsvoll on guitars and vocals, with Brage Nygaard handling the drums, and Joakim Antonsen taking care of business on the bass. Here is an interview to learn more about them.
Hey, you got some cool tunes. What’s up in Norway with your band?
Thank you! Life is great, we’re all working our heads off at work so we can afford to keep doing this. As you know, being in a band is not cheap these days, especially if you’re passionate about what you do. Metal life in Norway is pretty good. Norway is in the top 3 countries in Europe with the most metal bands per capita so we’re fitting in nicely. Only difference is that we play a little more oldschool metal/thrash instead of black metal and heavier genres more associated with our country.
What is the history of your band? Who is answering this interview?
The band consists of Andreas Tjøsvoll, Brage Nygaard, Joakim Antonsen and Ole Sønstabø. Brage and Ole has the pleasure of answering these questions! We started playing together in 2010 and released our first EP in 2013, playing our first festival Karmøygeddon Metal Festival that very same year. After going on tour in Eastern Europe, we released our album “The Predator” on February 26th, 2016. This summer we will play at Norway Rock Festival where bands like Five Finger Death Punch, Within Temptation and Avatar is also playing.
What can you tell us about your recordings and what should we expect from your music?
We have 2 releases out at the moment. Our EP “So It Begins” (2013) and full-length album “The Predator” (2016). Both are on Spotify, amazon, iTunes, etc. for your listening pleasure. “The Predator” was recorded in Studio Borealis which is run by Einherjer frontman Frode Glesnes. You can expect an old school approach with a modern sound to it. Bits and pieces of thrash lying around here and there.
What is your interpretation of metal music?
It started out as old school metal, but on The Predator, some thrash metal made its way in. The stuff we’re writing now has a lot more elements in it. A lot of folk inspired, very melodic themes as well as a lot of inspiration from classical music. One of our new songs has some Asian folk music in it which sounds epic with the metal treatment. Our interpretation of metal is that the heaviness takes a lot of aggression out of the listener, as well as it takes some understanding of music to really appreciate it. Which is why we feel many metalheads are very nice and smart people.
How did you become a musician?
Ole: The thing that inspired me to start playing guitar had a lot to do with my family being very musical. My father and both my sisters played instruments and I thought it was very interesting and cool to be able to play music yourself. As with many others it was Metallica that caught my attention and made me really interested in the electric guitar.
Brage: Making metal music came natural, as I’ve always liked the genre. The main reason I started playing instruments though probably came from my hours spent playing Guitar Hero and Rock Band. I played those games a lot. My friends would come over to my house and the second they opened the front door they would hear me banging away on plastic drums, or strum like a maniac on a plastic guitar. I guess that’s where it all started. Once I got tired of games I pretty much just transitioned to real instruments starting with the guitar and then got my first drum set shortly after.
Finding the right people were difficult at first but when we found the right place and environment it was pretty easy. We were lucky enough to be part of something called Torvastad Youth Club which is a place were a lot of young musicians got together and formed bands. That was where all of us met!
What can people do to support your music? Do you plan to tour?
People can listen to our music as much as possible, buy the album if you like it, like us on Facebook and spread the word! We love it when people talk to us and express their opinions. Be it constructive criticism or praise, we will always appreciate it and try to always get better at what we do. There’s no tour planned yet, but we have a lot of gigs around Norway planned so stay tuned! Nothing international just yet as it takes a lot of money and planning to pull that of. Especially if you don’t have a manager or label.
Do you think that it is possible that one day you can make a living from music?
There’s no money in any music if you’re a fresh band with no recognition. Of course, metal can be a little bit more difficult when it comes to reaching a wide audience. We hope to one day make a living out of our music but we would be fine with just getting to do what we do. Our definition of success would be to be able to go out on the road, experience new places and meet more awesome passionate metalheads for as long as we’d like. I guess you could sum it up this in one sentence. We basically love playing live.
Are there specific topics that you cover in your lyrics?
Brage: We don’t want to limit ourselves to any specific themes lyric wise. Writing lyrics is a creative process and what’s going on in our lives play a big part in what’s going down on the paper. For this album I remember having hoarded some lyrics that ended up becoming Heroes of Today and Atonement. After that there was a lot of brainstorming back and forth with mostly me and Andreas. Fitting to our name Fear Theories a lot of the lyrics have a dark theme like “The Predator”, “My Own Worst Enemy” and “Fear Theories”, but you also have songs like Metal Lives Forever and Heroes of Today taking more of a straight forward old school metal approach lyric wise. Personally I feel we have some pretty good sets of lyrics that I’m happy with, but always room for improvement naturally. Currently we have a few songs missing lyrics, but a new release is still quite a long time from now so it’s hard to say what direction the lyrics will go. Though I have been thinking about trying to make a concept album.
In what ways are your lyrics affected by your life experiences?
Brage: My personal beliefs and experiences most certainly affect the lyrics I write, and I do think you should be able to address controversial themes. Be it through lyrics in a song, a chronicle in a newspaper, a movie or any platform really. It’s important to talk about things people generally don’t want to talk about. Without the freedom to express your opinions society will eventually accept all sorts of things they’re told by the people who rule them, and there’s plenty of horrible examples throughout history of what can happen then.
Do you use any special equipment for your sound?
Ole: We’re a little mixed when it comes to gear. I use an ENGL Powerball amp and a Skervesen Raptor guitar which is absolutely stunning in every way. Andreas is a little more oldschool with his Marshall JCM900 amp and Gibson guitars. It creates a nice blend of old school and modern. We both use Bare Knuckle pickups. Joakim uses his ESP/Ltd F-series 5-string, which sounds huge through his Fender Rumble 100. Last, but not least Brage plays a 5-piece DW design series acrylic set. Going to sound amazing once we sometime in the future get back into the studio. For cymbals he uses a mix of Sabian AAX and HHX’s and some Zildjian cymbals as well. Drums are all real! Recording is about capturing a great performance so we always use real instruments in our recordings.
What other news do you have?
For now, we’re writing new material as we speak. We have some gigs here in Norway ready waiting to be announced, and we have an announcement regarding a festival gig next year coming up in June!

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