– Hello and first, of all, thank you so much for answering to our questions. How has everything been lately into the CONDOR’s camp? How does it feel being close to unleashing your sophomore effort?
Hi, the Condor camp is very quiet at the moment, as I (Maggressor, guitars), am currently living in Australia. After recording the album in February 2016, we haven’t really done much. We played a few gig in February this year, but not much other than that. I am very excited about the new album, and it has taken some time to get it released. It took some time for the mix to be finalized, but as soon as we were satisfied with it, everything else went pretty quickly.
– What caught my attention the most off this album is that it’s almost pure Thrash Metal, with less Black Metal touches. Was this a conscious path you wanted to take?
Thats good to hear, because that is what we went for. I guess we just got a bit tired of the black thrash sound, as there are so many bands playing like that these days. Personally, I have listened way more to thrash metal that black thrash in the past few years, so it felt natural to change the sound a bit. We were all listening to a lot of Destruction and other german bands when writing the songs, so I think that had a big impact on the sound of the album.
– What prompted this? Have your influences changed since your debut album came out? What have you been listening to lately?
I guess I pretty much covered this in the previous question, but yeah, Destruction has definitely been out main inspiration for this album. Personally, I have been listening to a lot of CCR, Hellbringer and Sadistic Intent lately.
– For instance «FTFW» was a mix of several different styles, while «Speedwagon» was similar to your debut album but with less Thrash I think, and your first full-length was a good mix between Thrash and Black Metal with some Punk elements. And now you are going almost completely Thrash still keeping different elements. So is evolution for CONDOR a constant process?
I think our sound depends a lot of which bands we listen to while writing the songs. For instance, when we wrote the songs for Speedwagon, we were all listening to a lot of punk, and therefore we ended up writing a lot of d-beat riffs. For the first demo we simply used all the riffs we thought sounded cool, no matter what genre they were. This is something I have missed, as we got a little to caught up in trying to sound a specific way when we made our first album. We forgot to mix things up, which made the album sound a bit boring compared to our previous stuff. This is something we avoided on the new record. We made riffs, and we used whichever ones sounded good, whether it fitted in with our previous sound of not.
– In fact each of your albums has its very own identity so, what word would define each of them?
FTFW is kind of naïve, young, energetic and spontaneous. I think it has a very distinct and youthful sound to it, which I like. Thrash metal is supposed to sound young and aggressive in my opinion.
Speedwagon is pretty similar, just a little more «professional» and thought through. The songs have more of a similar sound to one another, and it sounds more like an album or EP than a demo, which was what we were going for obviously.
Condor is more similar to Speedwagon than the demo, but it is not as energetic. It was not as inspired as Speedwagon, and unfortunately we rushed everything a bit with this recording. We did not take our time to get the production good, we simply wanted to get the record finished.
Unstoppable Power can be summed up in its title I think. It is fast and relentless. Way less static than our previous record.
– Anyway each new release is more mature, and «Unstoppable Power» is like the climax so far in that sense, with fast paces, aggressiveness, an almost strident sound and a subtle feeling of chaos, but with structures and compositions with a lot of logic and well-thought tempos and changes. Has the songwriting process been different or could you say you have found a method that works the best for you?
The process is very much the same, with the exception that we put more work into the structure of the songs. We still write riffs at home and bring them to rehearsals to put them together. As previous releases has just been riff after riff, I feel like we have focused more on using similar types of riffs in the same songs, and made sure to vary the build up for the different songs.
– In fact I guess a debut album might be kind like a self-knowing process so, could you say you are now closer to your actual sound?
Absolutely, we were stuck in a ditch with the first album, where we wanted it to sound the same way as Speedwagon, without much luck. I think the sound of Unstoppable Power is more of a distinct sound which does not sound too similar to anything else (except for a few Destruction-riffs hehe).
– One of you guys moved to Australia some years back, I guess with the Internet it isn’t that much of a struggle anymore but how did you work on the songwriting process for this record?
We wrote and recorded everything before I moved. Recording the album was actually the last thing I did before moving down here, we booked the studio for my second to last week in Norway. After that we haven’t done anything as a band, except for the two concert we played while I was back home this winter. This is also the reason why the band is not active for the time being.
– And does this affect your live activity in any way?
For sure, we will not be playing any more live shows. We have been discussing maybe doing a release show when I’m back on holidays this summer, which I kind of doubt will ever happen. But except for that, I think Condors live-days are over unfortunately.
– In fact last January you played in Spain, in Cuenca, along with BALMOG and BARBARIAN. How did everything go? Any nice memories?
Hah, thats right! In February actually. It was a good experience, a lot of die-hard maniacs in Spain. It was a pretty weird show though. We did not get a sound check, and when we though we did, and got on stage, we were suddenly announced and had to start playing. How it actually sounded, I am not sure, probably pretty bad, but we did have a good time! Hail to both bands, great guys!
– Going back to your new album, and to all the music you have released so far for that matter, you bring the listener straight back to the 80’s, with that primitive Thrash Metal with Punk aggresiveness and sometimes really dark songs, with a threatening feeling. What do you think did the 80’s have that lacks into the nowadays scene?
I don’t really think that the scene lacks much these days. We have just as many good bands now as they did back then, its just that we have way more shit bands too! Luckily there are enough bands that knows whats up, and are able to capture the raw sound that they had in the 80’s. To be honest, most bands back then wimped out and changed their style, while it seems like most good bands now won’t make that same mistake.
– After working with Demonhood now «Unstoppable Power» is coming out with High Roller Records. Both are passionate companies dedicated to old school and underground Metal, but High Roller feels like a step further, since they are a slightly bigger company. How is everything going with them thus far? What are your expectations on this new collaboration?
Working with High Roller has been easy as. Great guys who are helpful, fair and easy going. Best experience I’ve had with a label so far. I don’t know what more to say really, we haven’t had any quarrels, and I don’t think we will. I must say that its good being on a label that actually does some promotion work!
– I read you mixed the album yourself with the help of Tom Erik. If I’m not mistaken for your previous record you only mixed yourselves two of the songs and weren’t fully satisfied with the result so, what made you mix this album yourselves? How satisfied are you with the obtained result?
Well, I wouldn’t say that we actually mixed the album ourselves. We had out preferences, and then Tom Erik made it happen. It was more him mixing it with us monitoring and telling him what we wanted it to sound like. We were quite picky with how we wanted it to sound, which is why it took so long for the mix to be finalized, but I am very happy with the result. It turned out to sound aggressive, dirty and powerful.
– The cover artwork was done by none else than ROK (SadEx). How did everything arise? I’ve always thought one of the best things about this mental artist is how distinguishable his art is, and this time also manages to give you an idea about what kind of music you will find on the album.
Thats right! What happened is that my friend and old house mate, Mike, gave me The Magus as a going away present, and we started talking about how cool it would be to get ROK to paint the cover art from the album . I got in touch with him through a friend of mine here in Australia, so I sent him some songs and asked if he wanted to do the artwork for the record. He was very easy to work with, and a month later we had both the frond and the back for a album. Personally I love his style for the same reason as you do, no one draws like him, and its very recognizable.
– When we interviewed you back in 2013 you told us when forming the band your main goal was releasing music and specially to release something in vinyl. Now that you’ve done that a few times, what are your goals with CONDOR?
I think we’ve reached our goals. It would have been cool to play a few more gigs outside of Norway, but oh well, it’s too late now. I hope this new record gets gets some attention, and thats it really.
– All this about «Unstoppable Power» being said; how could you describe it in just 3 words?
Fast, aggressive and powerful.
– And finally, what are now your near-future plans?
No plans really, as I live in Australia, and the other guys having different projects going on, I think this will be the last thing you hear from Condor. Maybe we’ll decide to play a few shows again some time, but to be honest, I highly doubt it.
– That’s all, thank you once more for answering our questions. If you want to add some final words; feel free to do it.
Fuck off Death (DTA).