– Hello and first of all, thanks for taking the time. To start, please explain us what are BLOOD TSUNAMI currently up to.
Hey, my pleasure! We are up to quite a lot. Our new album just came out and we’re getting ready for some concerts around Norway. We recently made a low budget video and soon we will make a new one. We’re also planning an European tour.
– We could say you have taken a relatively short break due to your commitments with MONGO NINJA, is that band your main priority?
Mongo Ninja is dead and buried. It was only intented to be some holiday fun. Back in 2009 we were kinda fed up with dealing with our label and we felt a massive lack of support. I started up Mongo Ninja just to have some fun and quickly both Dor and Faust from Blood Tsunami joined that band. We were almost the same band, just with another agenda, another bass player and another lead singer. We had a good time and released three albums during 12 months and toured a lot in Norway. After a while, during 2012, the desire to play with Blood Tsunami came back and we then decided to ditch Mongo Ninja in order to start up the old «mothership»…
– Anyway now BLOOD TSUNAMI is back with a brand new album entitled «For Faen!». What or your expectations on this new release?
Well, I hope people will like it as much as we do. We feel we have created a damn good thrash album and it feels like we finally have hit the nail on the head. Our first album had a lousy production and lacked the speed and intensity we wanted. The second album was much better and turned out as we wanted it. Massive, epic and grandious! This time around we wanted something hard, vicious and mean. We wanted to make Thrash metal with a distinctive punk attitude. I think we have accomplished that. Third time’s the charm, right? So far the response have been very positive so it seems like we have been doing something right.
– And has this «break» given your more energy? As it totally seems to by listening to this new opus.
Yes, you can say that. The way I wrote songs for Mongo Ninja has rubbed off on Blood Tsunami. Shorter, harder, faster, more punk and less details.
– As I said, this new record is entitled «For Faen!», which means something like «For Fuck’s Sake». I find it a pretty suitable title for an album of this kind. Maybe that’s why you chose it?
Yes, it’s a striking title. Well, at least in Norway, but I guess it triggers the curiosity to metalheads around the globe. «For Faen» can be translated into two things: «For The Devil» and «For Fuck’s Sake»… so, in my humble opinion, it’s a rather clever title.
– I would dare say on this new album you’ve gone for a more straight-forward and aggressive approach, blending Thrash and Punk, giving the whole effort a really Punk/Rock N’ Roll atitude. Was this «violent» approach something you were looking for or did it jut come out naturally? Is this the path the band will take from now on?
It just happened. Heavy Metal, thrash and punk is where I come from. It is in my blood. I never sit down and try to write something that I don’t already have in my head. When I sit down with my guitar the riffs immediately start to flow. I constantly have a billion riffs and melodies buzzing around in my head and when I pick up the guitar they come like an avalanche. I don’t think much about what I am playing but when I hear something I like I instantly memorize it. I then keep it in my memory and will later try to arrange it with other riffs that I already have piled up in my mental «vault». I know it’s a strange way to work, but that’s how I do it. I very seldom record my ideas. I just play and memorize.
– It stands out that aggressiveness specially, also that is your most honest, passionate and filthier album you have released to date so, is each album you release a mirror of a certain period in your life?
Lyrical wise I guess the previous album «Grand Feast For Vultures» painted a much clearer picture of myself than any other album I have ever participated on. Music wise as well as it had a lot of melancholic melodies and harmonies. I’m a sucker for sad and depressive music and I listen a lot to bands like Slowdive and guys like Nick Drake. But anyway, this time around we wanted to dress upour music in spikes and bullets and just go apeshit. I reckon that is how we feel at the moment too. We wanna thrash and wreck something. It is also important to mention that I am a much more content and happy guy now than I ever was in the past. I guess that’s one of the reasons it also felt natural to write lyrics about other guys and events. I would have been lame to release an album where I sang about how fucking happy I am, right? Haha.
– The aforementioned affects the fact on this album there are more songs than on the previous ones but the lengthy is the same. Maybe this way it will be easier to grab attention? As I personally think your previous albums have gone unfairly unnoticed.
Unfortunately, our first album, which we are not satisfied with, sold much more than «Grand Feast For Vultures». That’s too bad, but that’s how thing’s go. There’s no point in sitting here being grumpy about that. The only thing we can do is to carry on and release better albums. I think «For Faen» is a much easier album to get a «kick» out of as it is much more straight forward compared to «Grand Feast For Vultures». It instantly grabs you by the throat and holds you there in an iron grip until the last tone fades from the speakers. You’re not getting any chance to let your mind wander during this album. It is a relentless sonic beating.
– As I said, the whole album is sprinkled by a strong Punk attitude, and I think we can notice the same in MONGO NINJA. How of an influence is Punk for you guys? Both in spirit and music.
I started out with metal in the early 80’s with Kiss, Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Motörhead, Saxon and so on. Then Thrash came and literally changed my life. Bands like Sodom, Metallica, Slayer, Kreator… you know. They totally changed my view on music, on the world, on myself and on life in general. Then, as the 80’s came to an end and the 90’s kicked in, Death Metal had left its mark on me, but it didn’t leave quite as deep scars as thrash metal had done five years earlier. When the guys around in Norway went all black, started wearing corpsepaint and ran around in the woods with swords and burned churches, I had gotten into punk. It had started many years earlier with «Never Mind The Bollocks» by Sex Pistols. An album I heard for the first time in 82, but at the end of the 80’s I started digging into Dead Kennedy’s, Misfits, Black Flack, Minor Threat, Ramones, Dead Boys and so on. Also a lot of Norwegian punk like Stengte Dører, So Much Hate, Life But How To Live It? I was also very into the early stuff by Turbonegro and Anal Babes. I stayed there in my world of thrash metal and punk, but I also listened to Black Metal and straight rock ‘n roll like The Rolling Stones, The Who, Rose Tattoo and so on. I use all those influences when I create music and it is all a big part of my life.
– The cover artwork is quite oustanding, I think it reflects this more straight-foward/dirty/old school sound on the album. Was this something you wanted to reflect on it?
Yes, we wanted something that reflected the music. We have had the colourful, glossy album covers in the past. This time we wanted something dark, hard and wicked. Just like the music. I designed the cover and booklet with my friend Martina Šperková from Bratislava. The actual skull and daggers are drawn by Christian Sloan Hall. We developed it together and he came up with a lot of sketches. After a few changes we ended up with the final skull. Christian Sloan Hall is a kick ass American that has done stuff and posters for plenty of metal bands. I designed the new Blood Tsunami logo that was more «punkish» compared to the old one. It was all tailor made to fit the musical content of the album. Hard and dark, vicious and evil.
– I personally find «For Faen!» your best album to date. Is such a solid final outcome a reason to stay like this or is there always room for growth and fruther evolution?
This is what came naturally now. It feels right and that is all that matters. What sort of metal I will write in the future is difficult to predict, but I will be shocked if it’s not hard, fast and evil. Hehe. Anyway, I always welcome growth and evolution. The only important thing is to always stay in touch with your roots and stay true to your feelings and emotions. If you do that you can develop as much as you like but still maintain your own personal touch and «trademark». The day you neglect yourself you have passed a line that most definitely will make your music sound shallow and fake. Well, that is actually a good tip for everything in life. Stay true to yourself and if something doesn’t feel right, well, then you shouldn’t be doing it. Simple as that.
– Lyrics on the album deal, so to speak, with the darkest side of the human nature: serial killers, torture methods, murder, etc. Who’s the main responsible for lyrics and where do you draw inspiration from?
Now we are dealing with a lot of «true crime» topics. The first album had fictional lyrics about death, hell and pain. I grew tired of that fictional stuff. What’s the point of creating fiction when there’s so much real shit going on in the world? The second album was much more personal and some of the songs dealt with my inner demons, depressions and problems with alcohol abuse. During the time in Mongo Ninja I started writing songs about unfortunate guys like Ota Benga, Konerak Sintasomophone and James Vance. With Blood Tsunami I have now focused more on the brutality and madness of war, serial killers and torture. Fiction will never ever be as scary as reality.
– All this about «For Faen!» being said; how could you describe it in just 3 words?
Hell on Earth!
– This is your third album and Indie Recordings the third label you have worked with. After cooperating with different labels, how is everything going with Indie so far? Has been easy to find the right label for each release you have done?
Actually we have only been on one label prior to Indie Recordings and that was Candlelight in the UK.The reason for the misunderstanding is because we were originally signed by Nocturnal Art Productions but that label is nothing but a sub label of Candlelight. During our hiatus, when we were out rocking our nuts off and partying our brains out as Mongo Ninja, Candlelight quietly dropped Blood Tsunami. It didn’t bother us much. It was actually a blessing in disguise. We weren’t very happy with them so when they dropped us it was like «Hey, finally!». Indie Recordings had already signed Mongo Ninja and when they heard the demo we did with Blood Tsunami in 2012 they wanted to sign us as well. Things have been smooth since then.
– You have already done a video for «Metal Fang». Would you mind to elaborate a bit on how did the whole process go?
That was quite funny. A friend of ours named Kjell Ivar Lund, a very good photographer, wanted to do an experiment. He wanted to make a music video by only using his iPhone. We said, -«whatta hell», and «why not» and showed up. We ran around in the snow at some church ruins out in the country side. It was in the middle of the night, cold as fuck and we were drunk. Must have been quite a sight as we ran around there with axes and acted like complete morons. Then we went back to Kjell Ivar’s place and played the song in his rehearsal space down in the basement. It took just two or three hours to make the whole video. We didn’t do much except for showing up and have a ball. Kjell Ivar did the rest. He spent some more time on the project of course, as he had to edit the shit, but it was done quickly and it didn’t cost us a penny. He’s a good guy!
– And finally, what are your near-future plans?
Play as much as possible. Get out in the world. Write more music, release a new damn good album in the near future. Have fun and look after my children, friends and loved ones. Guess that’s it!
– That has been everyting from my side, thank you once more for taking your time. If you now want to add any last words; feel free to do it.
Thanks for getting in touch. I really appreciate it. Thanks for the support! Hopefully we will be able to visit your beautiful country and play some concerts down there soon. That would’ve been a blast! A big cheers to you and all of your readers.