An Exclusive Interview with Norwegian's
With keyboard player Odd-Roar Bakken and guitarist Terje Flessen.
is a progressive rock band from Norway who are currently working on their
third album. A review of the band’s second album “Beacon Of Light” (on
Progress Records) can be found elsewhere at Universal Wheels. Here, the
band’s founders and main writers give some history of the band, as well as
discuss their previous two albums, as well as provide some details on their
is based mainly around yourself and Terje Flessen, and you've had a musical
partnership for over 20 years. Can
you give me a bit of background as to how the 2 of you joined up and how
Adventure has came to be over the years?
and Terje have known each other since the 80’s, and have similar musical
began to play together in the early 90’s, in the band that was the beginning
of Adventure. The band was myself, Terje, Nils Larsen (bass) and Torkel
Aune(drums). We tried out several vocalists, but we never found the right
person. In the mid 90’s the band split up, but me and Terje continued our
musical companionship and composed new music.
‘96 we got in touch with the singer Vebjoern Moen and at last we could start
recording music. Terje suggested the name Adventure and then the journey
was started because I wanted to take our music to the next level, out of the
cellar and to reach a wider audience. I knew we always could write great music
and that music deserved to be properly played and recorded.
been playing since the '70s. What can you tell me about some of your own
musical influences and favorite artists, albums [err, can you guys give me a
fave Top 10 list?], etc. in your early years?
musical journey really started in ‘72 when my friend, Nils Larsen,
introduced me to Uriah Heep and the album “The Magicians birthday”. It
just blew me away totally! David’s vocals, Hensley’s hammond and composing
skills, Box’ solos, Thain’s unique bass-playing and Kerslake’s steady
drumming was something new and it sounded fantastic to my teenage ears.
came bands such as Camel, Kansas, Jethro Tull, Queen etc. After
that musical experience I knew that music would be a part of my life
began playing the guitar and me and Nils started a band when he bought a
the 70’s I discovered new and fantastic prog-rock and hard-rock almost every
decade is the most inspirational years for me in music. And the 70’s still
top 10 list from the 70’s is:
Heep, Camel, Kansas, Jethro Tull, Queen, ELP, Ruphus [Norwegian band], Høst
[Norwegian band] and Aunt
Mary [Norwegian band].
such as Genesis, Gentle Giant and Yes are not on the list. I began listening
to those bands in the 80’s.They are indeed great bands and mean a lot for me
bands from those days also mean a lot to me musically, bands such as Deep
Purple, Rainbow and Black Sabbath. I
also have some favorite “new” bands: The Flower Kings, Transatlantic,
Dream Theater and Arena.
have basically the same influences. As a guitarist I may add the people
I have been influenced by - Uli
Jon Roth Is my all-time favorite player and a huge inspiration because of his
groundbreaking guitar-playing and composing, and for his unique blend of
classical music and classic rock..very symphonic!
also have to add Ritchie Blackmore for the same reasons.
first Adventure album was released in 2000.
How well was that album received at home in Norway and abroad? And
what's happened in the years between that a follow-up album took some 8 years?
first album “Adventure”, was released in 2000. We recorded it at Skansen
Lyd studio in our hometown of Trondheim between -96 and 2000. It took us four
years due to the fact that me and Terje had to take in all the costs related
to the recording, mixing, mastering and the 500 copies of the album.
began to send the album to several music magazines and web-related record
well, a Norwegian fan made an Adventure home page. The
internet really helped us being heard all over the world in those days.
Adventure got some good reviews in magazines and we sent copies to fans in
Russian label, Mals, made 500 copies and sold them in Russia. Adventure
also gained a good reputation among the prog-fans in Norway. But
the band had a challenge…what about live performances? In
2001 Alexander Salgado (drums) joined and Nils Larsen(bass) came back to the
band again. We
were asked to play a gig in Trondheim in June 2002 as a support band to The
Flower Kings, but the band had no singer at the time. Vebjoern Moen was not
a few weeks before the gig we asked singer Petter Selliseth to join us and he
said yes. The
gig went well and the people attending liked our music. In
the time to come Adventure rehearsed new music and the goal was a new album
and more gigs. In
2004 the band split up due to musical differences. In 2006 me and Terje
started working together again with new music that ended up on the album
“Beacon of Light” in 2009.
we recorded at Skansen Lyd studio. Myself and Terje covered all the costs
again, so it took some time.
Moen joined as our main singer on the album and Henning Mjoen sings on a
couple of ballads. We asked the great drummers Magnus Forsberg and Kristian
Resell, to join us on the album. Kristian is still a member of Adventure.
the recording was finished the search for a record deal began. Terje was the
one who really worked on that
matter and at last we got a record deal with the Swedish label Progress
Records. We went over May 1 in 2009 and signed the deal and at the same time
the album was Remastered. Progress
released the album in June 2009.
first album became an “underground” favorite and sold quite well for an
independent release. The song “Into The Dream” received quite a bit of
airplay in the prog community.
used some different players and singers on Beacon Of Light. How does the new
album compare to the debut in your approach, sound, songwriting ideas..
music on the album “Adventure” is more light and folky than
“Beacon…” , and the production is not as “big” as “Beacon…”
Most of the songs on the album are composed by myself and Terje. The
longer track “Motherland” was mainly composed by Nils Larsen, some parts
were composed by Terje. You can hear that the song is inspired by Norwegian
of Light” is more powerful and a bit heavier, but the melancholy and folky
touch are present on this album, too.
of the songs for Beacon Of Light were written years ago, correct?
the songs on “Beacon” are composed by myself and Terje. The music was
composed between 2002 and 2008.
Moen is the band's main singer, what can you tell me about him? As well you
used a couple of other singers [lead & backing] presumably to fit
different songs and/or for timing or committment reasons [!?]
reason why we used two singers on the album is because Vebjoern has a powerful
and strong voice that suits the heavier parts in our songs, but also on the
easier parts. Henning
has got more of a ballad voice so we asked him to sing the main vocals on
“The Swan” and “Fragile Frame”. Our
flutist, Mari, is also member of a local choir. She sings backing vocals on
the end part of “Beacon..”, we
invited some of her female friends in on the choir to do some vocals.
Moen is a very experienced singer. I
heard him the first time in ’95, singing in a Rolling Stones tribute band,
together with his sons. His
powerful voice impressed me and after the gig I asked him if he wanted to be
the join us in the studio and sing the vocals on “Into the dream”. It went
very well so we asked him to sing on the album, too, and he said yes. Vebjoern
is a very busy man so he could not be a full time member of the band.
joined us on a gig in 2008 when we played support for The Flower Kings in
luckily he said yes to sing on our new album. As
we mentioned before we choosed Vebjoern to sing most tracks because of his
powerful voice. Henning’s voice come to it’s best on quieter songs.
do you guys draw from for lyrical ideas?
main ideas for the “Beacon Of Light” album were something I have had in my
head for many years. I wanted to make statements about the insanity of
racism...the power of religion, and later - what we are doing to our planet.
These are BIG subject, so I wanted it to be a massive sounding record - over
the top and symphonic. The music had to match the themes, the lyrics.
people in the prog community didn’t appreciate the album. But like the first
- others loved it. I
personally think it is a much better, more mature album, with better
musicianship and production -- more like an ALBUM than the first one. There
were lots of bits and pieces tried out for this album, but no other finished
songs were recorded.
you tell me about some of the songs, such as "The Swan" [a standout
- love the build up, the Heepy-type harmonies and the piano solo], as well as
"Something To Believe In" [the intro reminds me of a certain
Zeppelin song, and i love the 2nd movement which really rocks out], and the
title track - in 4 parts !?
Swan” was based on the fact that thousands of bird died of the bird-flu in
2007 and it just tells us how the evolution affects the nature in a bad way.
Is the evolution out of control and can human get it in the right direction
again? Are we destroying what our ancestors have built up? It is a very dark
and melancholy song and I wanted it to be very symphonic. Henning’s voice
suits this song well.
mid-part, where Vebjoern sings, were composed by myself and Terje, the rest by
“Fragile Frame” is a
ballad that I wrote sitting in my favorite chair with my acoustic guitar.
lyrics are about how fragile a relationship between two people are these
wanted the end part to be quiet and melancholy, but at the same time a bit
complex when it comes to the chord changes. It’s not a easy part to play
live. It demands a tight playing band.
Piece” is composed for my daughter, Emilie, who was about 6 years when
I wrote it. When
she heard it the first time she asked: “ where are the lyrics?”…but she
liked the music.
To Believe In” is dealing with
religion and the power it has over people.The different parts have to match
the subject - like the heavy riff, I wrote this around 2003 (I think...but it
changed a bit along the way).
title track, “Beacon Of Light”, again - a very heavy track, with a strong
message, so the story had to be “told” by a powerful voice - like Vebjørn
Moen’s. Parts of this were written around 2003 and then finished around
Crack InThe Ice” was the last song I wrote for this album. I wanted a catchy
prog song, with a strong message, global warming is such a strong message. We
need to wake up before it is too late! It
has become the most popular track from the album, probably because of the
video which covers the story well, I think.
lyrics - The
story of the lyrics “The Swan” I have mentioned earlier. I
wanted the song to be a dark and symphonic anthem. The
intro is in fact inspired by the Heep song “Wonderworld”. I simply
love that. The
verses are taken down together with the phasesound guitar. The
mid part Terje came up with the chords and we wanted it to be powerful. The
instrumental part with the choir are inspired by the Kansas song “The
we wanted Magnus really play it out in the drums as the part progressed.
I composed the end part on my piano one evening I was in the classical
feel that this song is an example of how symphonic progressive epos should
keyboards offer up so many different classic keyboard sounds [synths, moogs,
hammond] - Do you have a vast
array of keyboards [old ones] that you use or do you use new equipment to
obtain many of these sounds?
to the keyboard sounds. I
mostly used a Korg C3 hammond in the studio with a Leslie and a Moog
Ensnoique keyboard was also used on some tracks. I
use these keyboards live, too.
other sounds are recorded using midi and plug-ins that gave us the proper
Adventure do much in the way of live performances? Can you tell me about some
of the bigger shows you guys have done and/or places you've played?
June 2002 at Rosendal,Trondheim,support to The Flower Kings.
February 2007 at Maiden,Oslo.Subtacto festival.
Oktober 2008 Blaest,Trondheim,support to The Flower Kings.
February 2010 at Bergmannskroa, Loekken.
June 2010 at Cafe 3b in Trondheim.
November 2010 at Trondheim Scene.Trondheim Progfest.Together with
Beardfish (Sweden), Arabs in Aspic(Trondheim) and Garden of…(Trondheim)
are currently working on a 3rd Adventure album!? Anything you can tell about
that, such as will include many of the same players, when will it be done, and
any hints as to what it may be like [in sound or comparison to Beacon Of
are currently working on a new album. This time we’re recording most of the
stuff at home; this is possible now because of advanced equipment, like Pro
Tools…and the advanced guitar pod from Fractal called ‘AXE 2’, which I
use for guitars on this record. It is also cheaper this way, and you can
record when it suits you!!
main subject for this record is the internet and the power it has over people
-- like Facebook, many people spend all their spare time in front of the
of the songs are “Fast Train”, a sort of ‘Purple’ish sounding track.
The story is that we are riding the ‘fast train’ into the future;
everything we need we can get online! It was the first song I wrote for this
Minds” deals with pretty much the same; heavy but also has a folky riff. It
was developed at rehearsals by myself and our drummer Kristian.
Man” is partly an old song pre-Adventure. Odd Roar wrote the
music for the first part, I have added new lyrics and the second part of the
music. It deals with a man who likes the simple, but good things in
life...sometimes not good enough for some women! “Solitude”
is another song from Odd Roar. It is a little lighter sounding, very 70’s,
with a beautiful end part. “Caught InThe Web” is a BIG track again,
in 2 parts - dealing with the power of the web -without you knowing it, it has
gotten control over you! It has a heavy main riff, a psychedelic
chorus, a weird intro and a BIG emotional ending...very Uriah Heep inspired!!
I wrote the first part. The music of the second part we came up with at
are also recording a new version of “Into The Dream”, with a new ending. We
all think this version is much better than the one on the “Adventure”
album; this one sounds more ‘70’s styled. There
will be at least one more track...possibly two. We
are trying to sound a little more like that on the whole album. Still a bit of
you guys have other bands and / or recordings on the go, aside from
is also a member of a band called MORILD.
plays guitars and keyboards. Odd-Roar started the band in 2004 together with
earlier Adventure members Nils Larsen and Alexander Salgado. In 2007 vocalist
John Anders Troset joined the band. Other members are Mari Haug Lund (flute,
keyboards, vocals) HansKristoffersen (guitar and vocals). Morild composes
symphonic progressive rock. Jethro Tull, Camel and Uriah Heep are important
Influences. The band released it’s debut album in 2010 “Time to Rest” -
a double, self-produced album. At the time the band is recording a new album
that will be out late 2012.
Interview: © 2012 Kevin J. Julie
March / April 2012 Universal Wheels
Special thanks to Ron Mann
for editing, web-site managing and posting.