Interview with Oddleif Stensland of
Oddleif, rumors say that you have started working on a new album. Anything you can tell us about that in this early stadium?
Hello Metal Fields! Yes, you are right. We are working on our 5th album at the moment. We will do some pre-production this winter 2013/14 and looking for a release sometime in 2014. We have to see how it goes, and how long time it takes.
Two years since your last album isn't a very long time. But it seems much longer cause we didn't hear a lot of news about Communic since that. What happened in the past two years ?
Well, what happened... We did a great tour through Europe together with Rage. That was awesome. Other than that we have had some quiet time with family. Especially me personally, needed to take time with my family, as I have relatively small kids that I wanted to spend time with, so focus has been more home related you can say. But we have done some concerts, playing live, and taking it slow. We also have our daytime jobs that takes up some times.
„Conspiracy in Mind“ was an unexpected surprise, „Waves of Visual Decay“ a kind of breakthrough, „Payment of Existence“ your musical masterpiece. Continuing this row how would you describe „The Bottom Deep“ if you look back ?
TBD, is to me the most personal record, and will always be special to me. That’s also why it was produced by myself, and not by anybody else. The first 3 albums was produced by Jacob Hansen and are all smashing sounding, but TBD needed something different, something darker. The songs on that album are coming from the bottom of my soul. Now, when we are preparing a new album again, i want it to be something different, maybe more back to the core of where we started out with Conspiracy In Mind. Cant say that Jacob will produce it yet, because we don’t have that planned yet, but I want someone else to produce and mix this time around.
As a band you have two very important characteristics: From your birth til today you belong to the family of Nuclear Blast and secondly you have never changed members. You are more a family than a simple band, right?
I like the fact that we have managed to stay together as a band without changing members. It’s a healthy sign. We have had some time where we needed to take it slow, because some members needed time of, or time to take it slow (me, hehe), but then again we get stronger in the end by that. Its for sure a friendship that sticks deep, and I think that if one of us had to drop out for good, it would be the end of the band as we know it today. Anyway, me and Erik has played together for almost 20 years, and there is a connection in our playing that just work.
Apart from some bis prog metal bands as an affect to your sound, I can find moments from Lethal, especially when they played heavier in their EP "Your Favorite God". Am I right in this? And by the way, which bands from the US metal could you present as affects to Communic?
I haven’t listen much to Lethal at all so there is no influences from them. Personal influence is coming from early thrash like Overkill, Megadeth, Testament mixed with Fates Warning, Queensryche, Crimsom Glory, and more classics like Black Sabbath, Dio, Accept and so on...
As a musician do you have any music visions different from what you do with Communic, which you would like make it real one day through Communic or through another project?
I write a lot of music that don’t directly fit into Communic. One day there might be a solo album or other projects where I can use these ideas. I also done some guest stuff, did vocal on the Epysode album, playing guitar and co/written a song and singing some parts on an upcoming album with Exxile. Also having a side project where we get together an play mostly for fun.
By the way....on your last tour in germany, your bass player Erik gave me a promo of his side project he was working on. Such a more brutal thing....is he still doin' this aside Communic ?
Yes, he is still doing that.
On that tour I could hear the enormous power that you generate on stage. Even though that Communic is only a three-piece. Did you never think about a fourth bandmember. I mean....you do vocals and guitars and you do it excellent. But maybe sometimes it is getting to much and you have to compromise in stage acting...
We have thought of it many times, and tried it out several times. We have tried keyboards, and guitar players, but so far it did not work that well. We have come to a conclusion that as long as it works, don’t try to fix it. We have a really powerful sound, and don’t have any plans on changing from a trio.
Sure, a new album will have your priorities. But are there already some plans for an upcoming tour ?
We are always looking for new tours and possibilities, but we don’t have any plans yet. When the album is more into the planning we will look deeper into this and see what other bands would fit to team up with.
Have you ever thought of tasting a new horizon? Be more experimental in your sound?
We are always experimenting, but we don’t feel like we need to re-invent our sound. There is so many different bands out there, that sticking to your sound is the best idea. I actually believe we have swayed a bit to much on our journey, but the music and the sound has to develop as the band grow.
I think songwriting is not the easiest process in creating a new Communic album. How is work shared in the band ? And is there a masterplan you have before entering the studios ?
I am the sole songwriter in Communic so far. The other guys can come with songs and lyrics but they never do. We always have a plan before entering the studio. Before we go into studio we record a pre-production of the songs, finding the right tempos and so on, then when we go into studio, we know what has to be done. There is not much creative work left to be done in the studio with the final tracking of the songs.
Norway is still the land known for their famous black metal bands. How is it with Communic in Norway ? Do the people support you a lot in your home country or is it much better in other countries ?
It’s getting better, but we haven’t played much here in Norway. We played ProgPower festival in Oslo last year and that was really cool. Europe is a better place for us, but we will do more shows in Norway in the future.
As I am right you have to celebrate a 10 years anniversary this year. But I couldn't find anything about a celebration. Aren't you interested in such things ? I mean....lots of bands are promoting their career with those anniversaries...
You are right our birth as a band started slowly in 2003, but I think that 2014 will be counted as the anniversary year, as 2004 was the demo recording and when we signed the deal, or maybe we celebrate 2015 as the anniversary of the release of our first album, lets see, well we dont brag to much about it, at least not yet. We have some plans that we want to discuss, stuff that would be cool to do. And I agree, ist a good way of marketing so we probably do something extra to give something special back to our fans.
Metal operas are very successful in these days. When do you compose your first one ? No, just a joke...but what do you think about those projects
Some of these are cool. I like the Ayreon stuff. I’m more into concept albums than the opera stuff. I started to write on a concept album for around 15 years ago. Maybe one day I will complete it.
As told before you are doing vocals and guitars in Communic. What is more important for you, vocals or guitar playing ? And what is your secret in practice, that both things are sounding that amazing on studio products and also on stage ?
I don’t know. I’m not a technically skilled guitar player, i don’t like to practice theory or scales or stuff like that. I use the guitar as my tool of creating songs. In the later years I have been become more fond of singing as well, and I don’t hate to listen to myself singing anymore, as I did in the beginning when I first started to sing. Singing and playing guitar at the same time is stuff that I have to practice to get it. I have to kinda separate the brain in two. One part takes care of the guitar, and the other one the singing and remembering the lyrics. This trick is to find some spots in your guitar riff that you can hang your words and the melody on, hard to explain.
Last question: What comes in mind if you think about germany ? And don't tell „beer“ now, ha ha...
I like Germany. We have many loyal fans there, our record company headquarter is there. Played some of the finest shows and festivals there like Wacken, summerbreeze, Bang Your Head, Rock Hard festival... I don’t drink much while touring so the German beer is normally in someones elses belly even before I get of the stage to try it.... haha.
Thanx Oddleif for doin the interview with us.
(Interview by Kerbinator)
Conspiracy in Mind (2005)
Waves of Visual Decay (2006)
Payment of Existence (2008)
The Bottom Deep (2011)
HTML Comment Box is loading comments...