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Interview: Relentless Aggression
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What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
- Music has always been a big part of my life. I remember when I was a little boy and listened to my mother’s double Beatles lp, the red album. She told me that I tried to sing along to the songs even though I didn’t understand a word of English. After that my musical taste steadily grew towards harder and harder music. Music is the spice of life and I can’t see my life without music one way or the other.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
- When I’m not playing music, I usually listen to music, hehe. Or I go to go concerts (when that was an option). I also enjoy being with friends, maybe have a beer or six, going for walks, reading and watching movies and tv series. I have music constantly in my head, and my creativity also get triggered by things happening around me.
How long has your band been around?
- We started up in 1986 and kept going to 1990. Yngve and me «restarted» the band again in 2018.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
- We’re based in Bergen, Norway. I wouldn’t say we’re influenced so much by music from our hometown. Bergen is mostly known for black metal, even if there’s also bands in most genres here. We’re more influenced by the bands that we grew up with. In the mid 80s bands like Exodus, Slayer, Metallica, Dark Angel and Vio-Lence released some awesome albums.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you.
- Our music is aggressive and energetic so we needed a name that reflects that. We had a list of suggestions for a band name but the one we chose was a combination of Yngve’s idea and mine (Finn).
Tell me about the best and worst shows you have played.
- At the moment we’re only a studio project, it’s impossible to play concerts anyway. We will consider putting together a live line-up when concerts starts happening again.
Tell me about your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you haven't already?
- We’ve only played one show with Relentless Aggression, but I have played with several other bands at various venues. As long as the atmosphere and sound is good, and the band is treated in an ok way, it doesn’t really matter to me where I play.
If you could play any show with any lineup who would be on the ticket?
- There’s so many good bands to chose from so I would go with some thrash bands I have never seen live so far. Criminal, Grip Inc. and Vio-Lence. That would be awesome!
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band?
- I could write a book about my own experiences when it comes to being in a band, mostly about what not to do, so I think I’ll just say have fun and don’t act like an asshole if your band is starting to get some attention.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
- If people in the band don’t pull their load of the weight, get rid of them. Not only do they stop the band from progressing, they will also take away your own drive for the band.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
- Epitome of Resentment was the first «new» song I wrote, so that is a very important song to me. I hadn’t written thrash metal songs in almost 30 years, so I was unsure if I could still do it. But when I got started, the song pretty much wrote itself, and I knew that we were on our way to making a great debut album.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
- I’m pretty happy with the main riff on The Art of Self Destruction. The most requested song is definitely End of Religion. We have gotten a lot of positive feedback about that song. It’s a song that we made in the 80s, but we have upgraded it a lot when we recorded it in 2019. We’ve removed a lot of boring parts, added new riffs, and the lyrics is completely changed. Yngve’s lyrics is so much better now. The song is about organised religion and what that can do to people and societies.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
- The most common way a new song is «born», is when I sit on my couch, watching some crappy tv show while playing my guitar. When I start to play something I find interesting, I record it on my mobile phone or 16 track recorder. After a while I’ll listen to what I recorded, and if I still think it sounds good, I’ll keep working on it. When I have the outline for the song ready, I’ll book time in Iver’s studio and then I’ll start with recording the rhythm guitar. Iver will then add the drums and after that I’ll record the bass guitar. Iver will send the song to Yngve, and he will start working on the lyrics and vocal lines. When he’s done with that, we will book the studio again and record the vocals. We will add melody guitar, solos or other things we think that the song need, and then Iver and me mix the song.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
- That music is the spice of life, gives you energy, and is a strong force that unites people.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
- Not really any disagreements so far. I make the music, and Yngve writes the lyrics and vocal lines. We have also divided the practical tasks you have to do in a band.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that's coming up?
- We’re almost done with a new song that will be released on a compilation vinyl album together with other Norwegian bands.
The song is about the chaos in the US regarding the election. We will also release it as a single just before or just after summer.
More new songs are also in the process of being finished. We’re also still heavily promoting our debut album «A Shadow of All Things Broken», and have recently released a video with a song from that album, «End of Religion».