New Rockstar Supernova video
Check out the new video for Rockstar Supernova’s single Headspin below:
Jorn Lande’s thoughts about Masterplan with Mike DiMeo
Jorn Lande Interview from Metal Express Radio:
You just had two releases out on Frontiers at the same time. How did you end up compiling the songs for those albums?
My debut album Starfire was more like a demo release to me. It had some cover tunes and some Jorn originals. It had some really good songs, but the whole production of that album wasn’t the best. Also there was a big gap between the style of the covers and my own songs on that album. Nothing is wrong with that. It’s just that some of those songs didn’t come out the way they should have sounded. I felt that, for example, “Abyss of Evil” and “Gate of Tears” had the quality of a classic Hard Rock/Metal song. I personally think that they are really cool songs, but didn’t sound too good. And this album is out of print now and the discussion was to reissue the first two albums Starfire and Worldchanger and continue from there, but I wanted to improve some of the songs. I needed a second chance. There are so many people that enjoy my newer albums, but didn’t know what I did in the past. Now they’ll be able to see my earlier songs too. I wanted to give some of the songs a facelift to improve them and make some of them sound big and massive. You can’t compare of how these songs sounded back then and how they sound now. It sounds a whole lot better. I love these songs. It’s the same with “Something Real” that is the opening track of The Gathering. It sounded more progressive … again, I don’t like the word “progressive,” but everybody’s talking about that today. Artistic, experimental, those are better words to describe it. It was the same with “One Day We’ll Put Out The Sun,” and both these songs were on Out To Every Nation. I had the same feeling about two songs after we recorded. They were cool and experimental and still good, but something about these songs could have been simplified to make them more to the point and make them more solid Hard Rock songs. That’s the vision I had when I listened back to the recordings. Just make it a more straightforward song and don’t overdo it with all these little details. And that’s what I did with that song and I think that it’s really better and more interesting this way. I also think the verses on “Something Real” are much better because before there were a lot of details in the playing all over the place. It’s different on the new version because it’s more simple. I like to use the words “less is more.” And, of course, I always get the urge to improve some of the songs that didn’t come out the way I wanted.
Did you re-record every song on The Gathering?
Some songs were re-recorded while other songs were just remixed. Except for putting Mr.Lofstad (Jørn Viggo Lofstad) onto the songs that he was not involved with before. Now, they are together with my other guitarist Tore, but before they played on different records and they didn’t even know each other. (Laughs) Now I got both of them like a Dream Team. They are such great guitarists and together they create this massive, incredible sound. Loftsad is a more clean player, a perfectionist in a way, very structured as a player, and Tore is more a Rock ’n’ Roller, to the bones guitarist. (Laughs) More rough and brutal in his expression, but with a great attitude. Together they are just great and I wanted them to be together on some of these older songs. And, it was just a natural thing to do, because some of the songs were re-recorded and some of them were remixed. They were just opened up and they were ready to put these guitars on top of everything in the end. We also recorded “Gonna Find the Sun.” That is a song that I originally wrote together with Micky Moody of Whitesnake and we released that song at the end of nineties.
With The Snakes?
Yeah, yeah! When I had the idea for that song I was originally thinking about having a more powerful Heavy Metal-sounding edgy guitar rather than the more old-fashioned half-dry Rock sound (laughs) … which is great when Micky plays that. That’s his style and his trademark and I love it. It’s just that I had this idea of making that sound heavier, and I’ve been thinking about that for a while. I think that song is much stronger than it was before. Before it sounded more like a filler on that The Snakes album. Now it’s a strong standout song.
Speaking of The Snakes … how is your relationship with Bernie these days?
Oh, I haven’t spoken to him for many years now. I have nothing against Bernie today. We had our differences, but it’s not just me. It was more people in that band. We had disagreements about the progress of the band at the time when we worked together. It’s no big deal. Bernie, Micky, and Don (Don Airey), they all did this before. If you go back ten years in time, I was younger still had some things to do. If I was to continue in that band and really build my future there then I would expect some investment to be made, like getting the right stage performance, accepting to play as a support band for a bigger, established band in the USA. I mean we got that offer a couple of times with massive American bands. We should have gone out and done some touring in order to establish us as a new band or something that is delivering the old Whitesnake-ish quality again. The band was really great-sounding, but when Whitesnake already existed and for us to come out there and play to break the barrier and not just be a Whitesnake cover band, some changes had to be made and investment had to be made, and the whole band had to be willing to put some hard work into it … and this wasn’t really possible at the time. And that’s the difference with the older generations. The “been there done that” attitude. Me and the drummer were hungry in that band. We really wanted to move forward and make things happen. That’s why we continued with our own stuff and left the band.
Have you seen Whitesnake play live last year?
Yeah, I saw them at Sweden Rock, but it wasn’t last year. I played myself at Sweden Rock with Masterplan that year. It was right after they decided to come back. It was one of their first festivals. It’s always great to see a band that is part of Rock ’n’ Roll history and something that inspired me when I grew up. David Coverdale was obviously a strong influence on me. But he’s not the only one … Ronnie James Dio is a name to mention. Paul Rodgers from Free was also very important to me. I listen to many singers, but I think those Classic Hard Tock singers are the best. I was asked how I take being compared to these great singers, and I just consider it to be a big compliment. They are the best and you don’t have many of these qualities on earth (laughs). I was lucky to be influenced by the best when I grew up and thanks to my father, I guess, who brought all these great albums to the house in the seventies. Of course, I listen to many other bands and you can hear their influence on my albums. I listen to Kansas a lot and you can hear their influence even in my songwriting. If you listen to some Masterplan songs, such as “Falling Sparrow,” you can hear that. I’ve tried a lot of directions with my voice, but I always stayed true in a way to hard Rock and Metal.
You mentioned about the two guitarists on The Gathering and there are also a lot of drummers taking part, but there’s no Hellhammer amongst them …
Hellhammer was very busy with his other bands and projects. Sometimes it is necessary to make some changes. We’re good friends. We don’t see each other too often, but he’s a good guy and a great drummer. You could also notice that the drummer from Out To Every Nation, Stian, only did a couple of songs on The Duke as my live drummer Willy “Wild” Bendiksen is more suitable for the Classic Hard Rock songs and the direction I’ve taken with The Duke. Personally, I feel that I have a strong line-up with these two guitarists and Willy on drums. I just feel that with The Duke I set the standard for how I should sound and how my concept should be. I think The Duke is one of the best albums I ever did. Might not be an experimental or a revolutionary album, but shows how strong the line-up is, how simple and straight-to-the-point the songwriting is. I think we had a solid hard-rocking album that really has everything and is easy to understand. I was always experimenting with musical landscapes to find my own way of doing this. I think I don’t have to do it anymore as I found my way of expressing as a singer and I think my Classic Hard Rock roots are my best performances. That’s when I’m sounding really good and that’s when I have good control. I can sing with power and still have intensity and feeling and heart and I can really be good live as well. Touring a lot over the last couple of years I performed a lot of songs where I had to change the singing style many times and people thought I was doing it great. They said I’m a versatile singer. Still, I don’t feel like doing that anymore. I prefer the regular Hard Rock type singing.
You seem to enjoy doing cover songs a lot …
Yeah, I have a lot of favorite songs that I would still like to do. I like to write my own stuff as well. Some of these cover songs are important to me because they influenced me as I grew up. Some of these songs I played many times live and I always felt that it would be great to release some of them. I think I could make it from Volume 1 to Volume 10 if I wanted to record all my favorites (laughs), which I actually have been thinking about! I’ve been thinking about how to do it without spending all my energy and all my time doing it, because I want to spend my time on writing my own stuff. I’m creative all the time, I have a lot of ideas that I have to write down and work on. Working on cover songs is good too, but doing it too much destroys the ability for being creative and I don’t want that to happen.
Is there any Norwegian band that you would cover?
If I would cover a Norwegian artist? That’s very difficult. There aren’t many Norwegian artists that I would like to cover. There was one band that my father used to play in. The band was based around a keyboardist that was from Hungary named Eddy Zoltán and the band’s name was EZ Group. They released a nice double album in the early seventies. It was really good quality with Norwegian lyrics and the songwriting was incredible. Some of these songs were on the charts in Norway at the time. My father who was the singer there left the music industry really early. He was about 27-28 when he decided to work more on a hobby basis. But, that album they did together had some really good songs to cover. Maybe it’s personal because it meant a lot to me as I’ve heard it as a kid. But, even today I hear how strong the melodies and the lyrics are on that album. It’s almost impossible to find that record today. You could say it’s kind of like in the family (laughs). Of course, there are many great Norwegian artists, but most of the ones I like are dead. They are lyricists and composers.
Edvard Grieg for one …
Yeah, yeah. Guys like him. There are so many great artists from the old days that wrote great songs with such powerful and touching lyrics and poems.
What is your favorite song from Unlocking the Past?
Not sure I can pick a favorite song. We played both “Perfect Strangers” and “Cold Sweat” live several times. “Cold Sweat” is a very simple Rock song that is fun to play live. Every time we play that on stage we feel very good and the band is kicking ass and really rocking. With that song you deliver something that is the essence of Rock ’n’ Roll. It might not be as interesting on the record as it is live. It’s just the magic that happens to the band and the crowd during that song live.
Does this cover album cover all the cover songs you did?
(laughs) There’s always some songs that never get released. For this album, I’ve taken some of the songs that have never been released before and some of the other songs, and remixed the way we did with The Gathering. I don’t think there are more secret songs. The thing with the unreleased songs is that for some reason I wasn’t satisfied with them or didn’t approve them before, that’s why they were never released. Many of the songs were considered as leftovers or potential bonus tracks for certain territories. But, then as years go by you listen to these songs again and say, “Oh that song is great, we never finished that, did we?” And, you suddenly start to discover that these songs are part of your history and they actually don’t sound that bad. The acceptance level changes as years go by as well, and you change as a person. Also, I think the perfectionist in me is different now. I listen more objectively and neutral these days. The most important thing is to give everything when you do it. These songs are basically songs from the treasure chest. It’s also something the record label suggested. They didn’t like the idea of a double CD box. The original idea was to do The Gathering as a double CD, including some of these cover songs. I think in the end it was a good thing to separate these covers from the Jorn originals and put them out as separate releases.
Mentioning the label, both albums are on Frontiers Records. Are you back with them or still with AFM?
Well, Frontiers released some of my earlier work and they also released Millenium and the Allen/Lande album The Battle. By the way, we just finished another album, me and Russell Allen. That is being mixed as we speak and hopefully the album will be out in the spring. The title for that record is Revenge. But, back to the labels … Frontiers always worked with me throughout the years and released some of my stuff and some of the bands I worked with. So, you can say that our relationship goes back many years now. So, the release of these albums doesn’t automatically mean a change of labels. I will probably work again with Frontiers in the future and they might release new Jorn material in the future, I don’t know.
So how about this new Jorn material? Is there anything in the works?
There’s nothing apart from the fact that I’m writing some songs. That’s the only thing I can tell about it now. I have most of the material written. Not completely finished, but it’s there. So, the new Jorn album should be done in the next year. As for the musical direction, it’ll be like The Duke or maybe even slightly darker. Some of the songs are almost 100% done and I’m very happy with them. So, I’ll definitely have a new album recorded in 2007.
For your European Tour this spring, what will the set list look like?o:p>
I think the main core will be Jorn songs. You’ll hear a couple of songs from The Duke and also from Worldchanger and Out To Every Nations, definitely. We will also throw in one Beyond Twilight song and also one Masterplan song. We already did “Soulburn” a couple of times live, which has slightly different arrangements compared to the original. It sounds cool. More massive with two guitar players and rougher since we haven’t used that much keyboards. People want to hear things. We talked about The Snakes before, and you always meet people out there who also remember that band. Maybe they came out and saw us live when we toured here or they have the album releases and they would like to hear some stuff, so maybe we’ll throw in a couple of covers as well. We might also do a Whitesnake medley.
What song would you play off the Millenium album? What is your favorite song you did with that band?
That would definitely be “Hourglass.” That’s my favorite song on that album. That’s the strongest and most powerful there. The other songs are great, but they are more average still. They have a strong AOR-ish touch, which is good, nothing wrong with that, but I just feel there are a lot more songs with that kind of songwriting rather than epic songs like “Hourglass.”
Will you also play at least one ARK song?
Oh yeah, I forgot about that. Not sure if we’ll do it, but we’ve already been doing “Noose” from Burn the Sun.
Do you think that album contains one of your best vocal performances?
Yeah, you’re probably right. At least experimental and diverse.
It’s a crazy album.
Yeah, thank you. I agree with you. It’s kind of like over the top or beyond (laughs). We pushed it far when we did that record in all aspects. Both personally when we wrote everything, how deep into we went into the music, and what we spent both time-wise and money-wise to complete that album.
Do you think you should get back together with Tore (Tore Østby) and finish the unreleased third album?
(laughs) Yeah, you never know what’s gonna happen. I don’t think I’ll return with ARK in a band setting. But, sometimes just to do a record to kind of complete something that was never fulfilled. It could be possible to do that. I’m open to do that, but I’m not sure I would go on tour with the band again. But, just to write and do the record together, that could be possible. That would be a cool thing. But, you’d have to talk to the other guys as well. It was always a democratic thing and everyone has to like it.
Did you consider going back to Masterplan now that Uli (Uli Kusch, drummer) left?
No, not really. We already had disagreements musically of how to approach the future and how to write the third album. We were good friends, it’s just that we couldn’t make a compromise on how to do this together. And I was focused on writing the song material in a different way than before. For the first two albums, we had the music composed first and sometimes Uli and Roland would write a lot of stuff and give me the music on tapes. Then I would hear all these musical compositions and I would start creating melodies and lyrics that would fit the music. But, I wanted to change that because I felt that this wasn’t really natural for me as a singer. Some great songs came out of it and great productions, but some of the songs were really natural for me. Of course, there were some songs where it blended really well and it became magical, but all in all it was important to me to get the music built up more around my vocals. Also, to sit down together with Roland and write good songs based on guitars and vocal melodies. To build everything from the opposite way and try to make more straightforward songs. I didn’t like the fact that we were to continue making intricate, symphonic, big arrangements all the time. I wanted just to have real Rock ’n’ Roll in the band. I’m open for everything, I’m not hard to work with, it’s just that I prefer the more “to the point” songs. I also noticed when we are on stage that we never had the chance to really play as a band. We couldn’t really play much around, because we had all these keyboard things going on, we had these samplers on that added to the music and all these things don’t appeal to me that much anymore. I want to just to go out on stage and have bass, drums, and guitars and have a really rocking show and play good songs with heart and feeling. I want to feel confident on stage and in control. I just felt lately that it became a struggle for me more than a good vibe. But, as I said, I’m not hard to deal with, I just wanted a compromise there. Of course, Masterplan will always be Masterplan and Uli would always play complex drums and Roland would always play his style.
Do you think they’ll succeed with the new singer and drummer?
I think they have a good band now. Mike DiMeo is a really good singer and Mike Terrana is a great drummer. We all go through different line-ups in our bands, it’s just about how interesting you can make it for the market. I’ve heard a couple of tracks from the forthcoming album and they were good songs. It’s difficult to say. I wish them all the best and I hope everyone gets what they deserve and enjoys success. I really hope that they’ll succeed with the new line-up and I’m sure they will, because they already have a good tour with Saxon coming up. It’s a long tour. During this one tour, they will probably play more than I would play in two years. (Laughs)
DORO schedules dates in the United States
Legendary German metal queen DORO has updated her tour itinerary for her upcoming North American and European tour in June-August. Her schedule is now shaping up as follows:
Jun. 04 – Allentown, PA – Crocodile Rock
Jun. 05 – New York, NY – BB King’s
Jun. 06 – Hartford, CT – Webster Theater
Jun. 08 – Poughkeepsie, NY – The Loft
Jun. 09 – Bedford, NH – Mark’s Rock Club
Jun. 10 – West Springfield, VA – Jaxx
Jun. 12 – Montreal, QUE – Fou Founes Elecriques
Jun. 13 – Toronto, ONT – Funhouse
Jun. 14 – Cleveland, OH – Peabody’s
Jun. 15 – Chicago, IL – Pearl Room
Jun. 16 – St.Paul, MN – Station 4
Jun. 17 – Topeka, KS – Static Bar
Jun. 18 – Denver, CO – Larmier Lounge
Jun. 20 – Los Angeles, CA – Whiskey A Go Go
Jun. 21 – Phoenix, AZ – The Clubhouse
Jun. 22 – Alburquerque, NM – TBA
Jun. 23 – San Antonio, TX – Sanctuary
Jun. 24 – Houston, TX – Meridian Red Room
New L.A. Guns Single
The L.A. GUNS version featuring Tracii Guns on guitar, Jeremy Guns on bass, Chad Stewart on drums and Paul Black on vocals has posted its brand new single, “I Do”, at its MySpace page. Also available is a live version of “I Do”, taken from the “The Riff Hits The Fan” CD. Both songs are available for download for 99 cents each at this location.
Paul Black co-wrote L.A. GUNS’ fan favorites and Nickey Alexander played all drum tracks on the band’s classic self-titled debut album for Polygram Records. The group released a CD, titled “The Black List”, last year, which is a collection of previously unreleased recordings of L.A. GUNS standards from 1986 and 1987, and is currently recording new material for release later in 2007.