Norwegian Dunderbeist released their newest album "Hyklare" a few weeks ago. The five-piece from Hamar put ten songs on the album that are a great mix of different styles - all in Norwegian. Furthemore the band has planned already some shows in Norway and it was great to get some new inisghts from guitarist Ronny Flissundet:
Markus' Heavy Music Blog: Hej Ronny, you guys have released your new album "Hyklere" a few eeks ago. What have been the first reactions?
Ronny Flissundet: The feedback so far has been great, both among our fans and from the media.
Almost all of the „Hyklere“ tunes have already found their way into our live set, and we are getting a massive response on the new stuff while performing, which is the best feeling in the world actually.
Album reviews have been really good both here in Norway and abroad, so we can’t complain, really. Seems like we did at least something right.
MHMB: It is already your sixth full-length album. How would you describe it and what are the main differences to "Songs of the buried"?
Ronny: Ever since our beginning we have released an album every year, and been overly wreckless, energetic and creative. In 2012 we did 2 album releases, and after finishing “Songs of the buried” (an album the band feel as a bit too stressed), we decided that on our next record we would be spending a lot more time in the creative phase. So we did. We lowered our shoulders, didn’t have to work against a deadline, and let the creativity flow. And spent shitloads of hours, days and weeks in our little stinking hole of a combined studio and rehearsal space. Good times!
Anyhow, we wanted to make this album a bit different. More personal and without any restraints or concepts or anything that would limit the outcome. The result, as you can hear on “Hyklere”, is a lot more diverse, emotional and progressive, in many ways. And a bit more stripped down in the whole sound. Ah, it sucks trying to describe this. You get so stuck in your own work after a two-year (or so) period of focusing only on the songs, the musicians and all the details, so one gets a bit blind, I guess. Maybe you will experience the album different than this, and that’s cool. We feel we ended up with something we can stand proud of. A legacy. At least to this point.
Another thing that differs between the previous and the new album is of course the language. “Hyklere” is in many ways the sequel to our 2011 self-titled album in our native tongue of Norwegian. That colors the expression and the feel of the songs a whole lot as well.
MHMB: How was the songwriting for the new album? Are you all involved to the song writing?
Ronny: A couple of the songs were written in an early stage. „Spaan“ and „Groms“ were written before „Songs of the buried“, I think. That is something I think may be heard comparing the albums too. These songs have a more Dunderbeist 2011/12 feel to them than the rest of the „Hyklere“ tracks.
And a lot of the songs and ideas from the album, Torgrim (singer) wrote at home in his small toilet actually, due to tight family space (and great tile acoustics!)
But all of us write the music and bring the ideas. And as a group, we work with one another’s sketches, pulling them painfully apart and putting the pieces back together, recording numerous preproduction versions and rehearsing the new versions live. This way, all of us get their saying, in this democratic entity of Dunderbeist.
MHMB: The new album sounds very diverse. How would you describe your style?
Ronny: I wouldn’t. I’ve tried a zillion times, but it is too damn hard to come up with any fitting description really. It is hard rock. With elements of metal, but also pop music and progressive rock. And a whole bunch more. Our inspirations go wide, and we try making something that all of us find exciting and different, something we ourselves would want to check out and listen to.
MHMB: Where do you guys take your inspiration from? I guess you call a lot of quite different bands to your favorites looking on the unique mix of style in your sound.
Ronny: Well, we are five different guys that all puts bits of ourselves into the music, so the inspirations come from all kinds of directions. Some bands appeal to all of us and have of course inspired a lot. Like Mastodon, Faith No More, Witchcraft, Doomriders, Motorpsycho, Deep Purple, Thin Lizzy, and the list goes on through rock history.
I personally these days get inspired by bands like Cult of Luna, Elder, Kollwitz, Russian Circles, Latitudes and Neurosis.
But other band members also get stuff from all kinds of other stuff from Feist to Alt J to Darkthrone to Toto (!).
MHMB: The new album is kept in Norwegian? What was the reason to keep it to your native language?
Ronny: In 2010 we recorded and released an EP called „Rovmord“. None of us had at the time ever done anything in Norwegian before, and feeling that pulling that off went well, we followed up by our first full album in Norwegian ( „Dunderbeist“ – 2011).
That album is in retrospect the album we as a band feel are the best one we ever did (before „Hyklere“, that is..). When sung in Norwegian, the whole sound changes. I don’t know why and how, but in that process you start writing the songs different as well. There’s a special feel to our own language, and that makes us better as a band in some weird way. We wanted to continue that project, and decided this new album should be in Norwegian, and we haven’t regretted that for a second.
MHMB: What are the songs about and where do you guys take the inspiration from for the lyrics?
Ronny: The songs on the new album are mostly of personal matters. The darker aspects of ones inner sufferings and self-despite and struggles. A dead honest description of one’s first thoughts on matters, without any filters. You know, the way one always limit and adapt oneself, knowing that someone will read/listen to what you have to say and judging you for it afterwards. That kind of hypocrisy is some of what we’re trying to describe with the thematics of „Hyklere“ ( meaning „hypocrites“ in english).
Torgrim (singer) writes all the lyrics, well 98 percent or so, till I have gotten through with my inputs and suggestions. We play ball a lot on the lyrics and vocal stuff in the preproduction phases of the songwriting.
But the inspiration for the words and lyrics are all somewhere back in Torgrim and his artsy mind.
MHMB: Will we see you guys on tour pretty soon? You're playing some shows in Norway, but how is it with the rest of Europe? Are there any plans?
Ronny: We haven’t booked anything outside of Norway yet, since we will be focusing on our home territory in the first part of the „Hyklere“ tour. We did book some German shows in April, though, but they had to be cancelled (before they ever were announced) since we got this other opportunity of supporting one of Norway’s greatest 90s bands (MHMB: Seigmen) on their reunion tour in the same period. Sometimes you have to make these awfully hard choices. But we will return to Europe (I say this like Norway isn’t a part of Europe, but you know what I mean, sitting here on the North tip of the continent on a frosty iceberg writing this in runes on cave walls). The fall/winter seems like a good period for this, so make sure you learn Norwegian while waiting, and you can all sing along on the „Hyklere“-tunes, and come have a chat with us. We’re nice people and we don’t bite. At least not before midnight.
MHMB: Ronny, thanks for all the insights and I hope to see you with
Dunderbeist in the rest of Europe pretty soon.