– Hello, lots of thanks for answering our interview. How is everything going into the KHONSU’s camp right now?
A: Hello! This is Arnt Obsidian C. Gronbech. My brother and main man of Khonsu, Steinar Gronbech, doesn’t want any media attention so we have agreed that I, as a manager and live guitarist of the band, answers the interviews. Everything Is good in the Khonsu camp thanks! We have received lots of very good reviews for the album, and that’s cool.
– First off, as you are a young band, could you please make some history of KHONSU? How and when was it born?
A: Me and my brother Steinar was working on some songs many years ago, but It ended up that I used some of them on Keep Of Kalessin’s Reclaim album, back in 2003, and my brother went on to focus on his psychology studies. His studies took most of his time, but he continued to make all kinds of music in his spare time. Over several years a lot of riffs accumulated on his computer, but he didn’t get his head around to put it all together into songs. I actually pushed him and said that he needed to get his music out, and finally he sat down and arranged everything, putting riffs together. I guess you could say that Khonsu was born when he had all of the songs for Anomalia.
– And why did you pick such name? If I’m not mistaken Khonsu is the Egyptian falcon headed moon god.
A: Its true that Khonsu is the Egyptian falcon headed moon god. The bands name was actually Merah for several years, but earlier this year there was a shooting in France by a terrorist named Mohammed Merah. We all thought it would be inappropriate to call the band Merah after that, especially since the record company is French, and so my brother decided on Khonsu. I actually think it’s a cooler name than Merah. I guess he picked it because it sound cool and have some cool associations. The name also means “traveller”, and that is actually also the name of the intro on the reclaim album, made by Steinar.
– You will soon release your first full-length album. What are your expectations for this record?
A: the album is just released. We are not sure how it will go, but so far the reviews have been great. So we’ll just have to wait and see. It seems that most people like it so far.
– After giving the album some spins, I’d dare say you have a Black Metal musical basis still adding electronic (Industrial specially) and Rock nuances as well so, what are the main musical influences for KHONSU?
A: My brother Steinar Gronbech is influenced by a lot of different music and genres, from classical music, to movies scores, rock music, metal, and last but not least, different sorts of electronic music. I know he loves ambient, down tempo, electronica, chillout, house, trance, etc. I don’t think he has any limitations whatsoever, and I know he doesn’t care about classifying his music at all.
– On the band you also got KEEP OF KALESSIN’s singer Thebon. Why did you think he was a fitting vocalist for the band? And why did you choose Shandy Mckay and Kenneth Kapstad as your live members?
A: My brother knows Thebon through me, and I guess he chose him partly because he has a great voice and is a fantastic vocalist, and partly because it was practical. It’s easier to record stuff when you personally know eachother and are from the same city. Steinar asked me if I could do guitars live, and I agreed to that. We then went looking for great musicians on bass and drums, and we thought that Shandy Mckay from Absu and Kenneth Kapstad from Motorpsycho was perfect.
– Your debut album is entitled “Anomalia”, a quite intriguing album title; how should we interpret it?
A: Anomalia is latin for Anomaly, which means something strange, abnormal, or deviant in some way. We think that is perfect for the album for two reason. First, the music is quite unique, and different from anything else we have heard. Second, the main theme on the album is about strange, deviating, and eerie experiences and perceptions.
– And does it have a link with the lyrical themes? What’s the main concept behind this release?
A: As I said, yes it have a link with the lyrical themes. The main concept about this release is existential horror and dread. Feeling on the outside and isolated from existence. Uncertainty about what is real, etc. That sort of stuff. My brother has been inspired a lot by the writer H. P. Lovecraft, which wrote in a genre called “cosmic horror of the unknown”. I guess that has been a main theme on Anomalia. Steinar also works as a clinical psychologist, and is interested in psychiatric disorders, especially psychosis and schizophrenia. I know he wrote his master thesis on that theme.
– Your songwriting and structures are quite complex, full of changes and twists. Due to this I would like to know how did you work on the songwriting process.
A: Personally, I think the structures and compositions on Anomalia is sheer genius., Nothing less. And I think its very bold of my brother to put so many different elements together. I mean, a lot of musicians in the metal industry keep repeating themselves, and it seems that people maybe somewhat afraid to step outside the box. Well, my brother doesn’t just step outside the box, he completely demolishes the box, in my opinion. I think that is fucking awesome and deserves respect. To listen to Anomalia people need and open mind. I think its intelligent and creative music, for intelligent and creative people! When it comes to songwriting process, I actually have no idea. You have to ask Steinar about that, hehe..
– And with such elaborated compositions you’ve managed to create a really eclectic final product. Is this diversity something important for KHONSU?
A: Anomalia is in my opinion the definition of eclectic. I don’t know if the diversity is something conscious for my brother, and something he nescessarily strives for. I think it just happened to become that way since he is influenced by so many different things, and is very open minded. He just put together riffs that he thought could be cool together, so as to create a coherent whole. I think Steinar think the songs on Anomalia fit nicely together, even though they can sound pretty different. I think the common factor is the atmospheres and mood. Anomalia is a mix of anger, hate, anxiety and dread, contempt, feeling cut off, isolated, alone, and horrified.
– This being said; does KHONSU have any limitation?
A: Good question! I don’t know. I think my brother always will have metal and rock as a main foundation for Khonsu, incorporated with a lot of electronics. He also have mentioned that the next album, if there is any, will be darker overall, with less “normal” or “bright” moments.
– I think music goes a step further and steps out of what it’s simply music, each song is a different world. The whole album it’s like a journey filled with different emotions so, what does your music mean to you? Is it an art form? A way to channel your feelings and thoughts?
A: Good point. Yes, I think music is and art form to my Steinar Gronbech, and I think it means a lot to him. I definitely think it’s a way for him to channel feelings. He sits down with his guitar, keyboard, and computer, and enters another world. He just leaves this place, and with Khonsu he goes to a very dark place it seems.
– On “Anomalia» you have produced and engineered all electric guitars at you Morningstar studio. Are you satisfied with the result obtained? And, does working with your brother make things easier?
A: Its true that I produced and engineered all electric guitars in Morningstar Studio. Everything else is recorded and produced by Steinar himself, in his own studio. I know my brother was very satisfied with the recording of the electric guitars. I guess its easier working together when we are in family and are from the same city.
– All this about “Anomalia” being said; how could you describe it in just 3 words?
A: I would describe it as atmospheric, creative, and diverse.
– You have released this record with well-known French label Season of Mist. How did you hook up with SOM and how is everything going with them so far?
A: It actually was me who contacted Season of Mist and sent them the music. They liked it and wanted to sign Khonsu. Everything is going very well, they are a very profession company, which takes really good care of their artists. So we are very happy with that.
– You have already played some shows but, for all those who haven’t had the chance of seeing you on stage yet, how are your shows like? It seems like your live performances are really special.
A: Yes, we like to do something really special for the live performances. Make it not just a musical experience for the crowd, but also a great visual experience. We want to create profound atmospheres live. Themes live will be strangeness, futuristic horror, etc.
– And finally, what are the near-future plans for the band?
A: Actually, we don’t have any concrete plans. My brother is very busy with work, and I actually don’t know if there will be another album. When it comes to live performances, there may be some next year. I don’t think we will go on tour, but a couple of festivals here and there would be cool. I think Khonsu needs a pretty big stage, so as to have the live show that is necessary.
– That has been everything from my side, thanks once more for taking your time. If you now want to add some final words; feel free to do it.
A: Thank you yourself! Hope you liked the album, and that the readers do as well. Hopefully we will see you live next year!