Norway’s Orkan releases “Element” on October 5 via Dark Essence Records (which we review here).
We recently had a chance to catch up with vocalist Rune:
Did you approach this record differently from your previous releases?
Yes and no. We recorded the same way as we did on Livlaus. The main parts were recorded live in the studio, and vocals were recorded on top of that. The difference this time was that we allowed ourselves to record more overdubs…. more guitar layers, percussion and even some keyboards. This was something we intentionally avoided on Livlaus, but this time, I think the songs called for it.The lyrics were mainly written after the main part of the recordings was done.
When it comes to the composing, Gjermund made most of the music. Sindre, the bass player also had some that riffs we used this time. The song ”Iskald” consist of even contributions of Gjermund and Sindre´s riffs. The lyrics are, like on all of our albums, written by me.
In Orkan we have a mutual respect that allows us to play on each other’s ideas and come with suggestions for changes and different ideas. Everyone have a say in the composing, performances and recordings.
The lyrics are about the environment and the earth on this record, what was your inspiration for this lyrical content?
The inspiration mainly comes to me when I’m hiking in the forest at home. I don’t write about the forests all the time, of course, but to spend time there puts me in the right state of mind to start writing. The lyrics for ”Element” are a combination of nature descriptions and some of my views on life. I write partly fiction and partly about real feelings and events in my life. Often, all of these elements are combined within one song, and this melts down to what becomes the finished product.
Can you tell us a bit about Stord and what its like living there as how as how Stord played a role in the creation of this record?
Stord is an island south of Bergen with about 20,000 inhabitants. It is a quiet place to live, and it has lots of very nice places to spend time in the nature. I like to spend time in the forest and by the seashore. We also have good hiking areas in the mountains as well, if that´s what you’re looking for. On the other hand, Stord has a dark, industrial vibe to it when it comes to the city center and the big industrial companies here.
I have lived here all my life, and of course for me Stord is home. In the song ”Heim,” the last track on Element. I try to describe what the nature of Stord means to me. ”Heim” means home in Norwegian, by the way.
In terms Orkan’s lyrical content, Stord has a central place. But for the music, I don´t think it means as much. Gjermund´s riffs and song ideas, I think, come from many inspirational sources, but I can´t say too much about that, as I don´t know for sure. Also, we are not thinking about these things when we are arranging and recording our music. It is something that is the foundation to some of my lyrics.
You have some upcoming shows with Taake, which songs are you looking most forward to playing?
We are very exited about playing our new material, of course. But we also have to play some songs of Livlaus. The set list on this tour is based around Element, and the songs I think will make a powerful impact from the stage is ”I Flammar Skal Du Eldast” and ”Avmakt”. We did these songs on our last gig in Bergen, and the audience reacted very well to these in particular. ”I Flammar…” is very diverse and catchy, so I think that is a favorite for me at this point. Also ”Uforgjengeleg” from Livlaus is a great live song, and we always do this one at our gigs. I think we have a strong set for the upcoming tour!
It’s also very exiting to try new songs on the stage, and see how the audience reacts to them. Being a band of our (small) size, most of the people coming to concerts probably never heard us before. So it’s very interesting to see how they react to our shows.
Can you tell us in North America about the Bergen metal scene? What is happening there so that so many incredible bands are making some intense music?
The Bergen music scene is quite spectacular. It has so many great bands, and many of the bands are friends or acquainted to each other. It’s impressive to have so many creative souls within a small community of musicians. I’m not the right person to give all of the answers to this question, since I don’t live in Bergen, but I spend some time there, and know many people in the music scene in and around the city. It’s quite extraordinary in my opinion, and I hope the music scene in Bergen continues to produce such great music.
The reasons for this? I don’t know for sure… Probably that a lot of people from around the west coast of Norway come to Bergen for different reasons, and that makes it a melting pot –or maybe it has something to do with all the rain pouring down nearly every day???
Element releases October 5 and can ordered here.