An Exclusive Interview with Norwegian's "Adventure"

An Interview With keyboard player Odd-Roar Bakken and guitarist Terje Flessen.

Adventure 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 upcoming release.
For more on Adventure check out :  &




Adventure 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?  


Myself and Terje have known each other since the 80’s, and have similar musical inspirations.
We 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.
In ‘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 started.


Adventure 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.

You've 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?  


My 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. 

Then 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 forever.  I began playing the guitar and me and Nils started a band when he bought a bass-guitar.  Through the 70’s I discovered new and fantastic prog-rock and hard-rock almost every day.   That decade is the most inspirational years for me in music. And the 70’s still inspires me.

My top 10 list from the 70’s is:   Uriah Heep, Camel, Kansas, Jethro Tull, Queen, ELP, Ruphus [Norwegian band], Høst [Norwegian band] and Aunt Mary [Norwegian band].

Bands 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 today.   Hard-rock 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.


We 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!

I also have to add Ritchie Blackmore for the same reasons.

The 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? :-) 


Our 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.

We began to send the album to several music magazines and web-related record shops.   As 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 many countries.

The 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 available.  

Just 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.

Again we recorded at Skansen Lyd studio. Myself and Terje covered all the costs again, so it took some time.

Vebjoern 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.

When 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.


The 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.

You've 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.. ? 


The 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 folk music.  

“Beacon of Light” is more powerful and a bit heavier, but the melancholy and folky touch are present on this album, too.  

Many of the songs for Beacon Of Light were written years ago, correct? 


All the songs on “Beacon” are composed by myself and Terje. The music was composed between 2002 and 2008.

Vebjorn 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 [!?] 


The 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 some tracks.   At the end part of “Beacon..”,  we invited some of her female friends in on the choir to do some vocals. 

Vebjoern 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.

He joined us on a gig in 2008 when we played support for The Flower Kings in Trondheim.  And 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.

What do you guys draw from for lyrical ideas? 


The 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.

Some 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.

Can 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 !? 


“The 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.

The mid-part, where Vebjoern sings, were composed by myself and Terje, the rest by me.  “Fragile Frame” is a ballad that I wrote sitting in my favorite chair with my acoustic guitar.  The lyrics are about how fragile a relationship between two people are these days.  I 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.

Emilie's 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.


“Something 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).

The 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 2005. 

“A 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.


The 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 Pinnacle”.

And we wanted Magnus really play it out in the drums as the part progressed.  And I composed the end part on my piano one evening I was in the classical mood  I feel that this song is an example of how symphonic progressive epos should sound.

Your 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? 


As to the keyboard sounds.  I mostly used a Korg C3 hammond in the studio with a Leslie and a Moog Voyager.  An Ensnoique keyboard was also used on some tracks.  I use these keyboards live, too.

Some other sounds are recorded using midi and plug-ins that gave us the proper 70’s sound.

Does 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? 

Adventure live performances:

           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)

You 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 Light]? 


We 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!!  

The 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 computer!!  Some 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 album.  “Empty 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.

“Simple 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 rehearsals.

We 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 work  left!!

Do you guys have other bands and / or recordings on the go, aside from Adventure? 

Odd-Roar is also a member of a band called MORILD.

He 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.

You can read more on the bands websites:  &


Interview: © 2012 Kevin J. Julie
March / April 2012 Universal Wheels

Special thanks to Ron Mann for editing, web-site managing and posting.