Interview with Torfinn Sirnes, Pedestrians of Blue (September 12, 2005)

Hi, Torfinn – Pedestrians of Blue is a new band from Norway, which has so far only released 2 promo CD’s and not many might know your background, so if you could fill us in on the history behind it all?
Torfinn -
The band was formed by Johannes Støle (vocals) and me (guitars) a few years back. We are long time friends, but we had never really worked on something cool together. We decided to start a new project and we then wrote and recorded four songs for our first demo called “Circles of Butterflies – The first monologue”. The demo was very well received, but it didn’t land us a record deal we wanted to go for. We then started writing for a full-length album and tried out different musicians to complete the line-up. The last task turned out to be difficult, and we didn’t succeed in finding the right guys until about a year ago. The song writing went well though, and now we have the whole album written and pre-produced. So far we have only recorded five songs properly, three of which are to be found on our new self-released EP called “The second monologue”.

How has your music been received by the media? And what were your expectations?
Torfinn - It’s been great so far. Everyone seems to like it, even people who usually don’t listen to our kind of music. Of course, we hoped people would like it, but this has been a lot better than we could have been hoping for. On the other hand, those who don’t care for it usually keep their mouth shot don’t they, so I guess there are a few of those out there as well ;-)

I know artists don¹t like to put a label on their music - but a spaceship from outer space has just landed in your backyard, and is demanding an answer - so how would you describe your music to an alien from another galaxy?
Torfinn - Hmmm… I think I would have said something like “OOOH8 HHHpoooOO7 OOooOOO7 POB HHOoooo87, HHHHHoooOOO7 77 JJkOOOO!” on the Oooo7Oo language of the HHH8H7’s. I’m pretty sure that would have made our alien friend run to the nearest intergalactic record store asking for the latest CD of Pedestrians of Blue.  He would be disappointed though, finding out it is only for sale on our website and that our otherwise highly effective cyber store doesn’t yet have the capacity to accept the rather unstable HHH8H7 000 currency.

If your music was an emotion, which one would it be?
Torfinn - Another hard question… Out of the six fundamental emotions proposed by leading evolutionary theorists, I have to choose sadness. I can’t link our music to neither happiness, anger, disgust, fear nor surprise.

Who and what inspires you when you write a song? Walk us through the creation of a song?
Torfinn -
It usually starts with a good idea (a guitar riff or a nice melody) and then it just develops from there. I record the idea and then I spend some time with it, trying out different parts and arrangements until they work well together. It’s a mix of instant inspiration and hard work.

Which subjects do your lyrics refer to, and who writes them? And what inspires you when you write your lyrics?
Torfinn -
So far all the lyrics have been written to fit into the lyrical concept of the album that we hope to record and release as soon as possible. It is formed as a monologue by a character that’s going through a difficult period of his life, trying to sort out some problems regarding his family, girlfriend and religion.

Who has produced and mixed the demo, and are you pleased with the end result, and what could have been done better?
Torfinn -
We produced it ourselves, but it was mixed by a Norwegian producer called Geir Luedy. He has a great pair of ears, but is more of a typical pop producer. We like the end result, but there are a few details that we might change when we will be mixing the whole album.

The artwork for “The Second Monologue” is very classy and stylish, who has done this masterpiece and is there a deeper idea behind the concept? And don’t you think it’s important to have a great cover?
Torfinn -
I got the original photo from a very talented Japanese artist called Jin Akiko, and then I added some digital editing, colouring and placed the fonts. I think the cover suits the lyrics as well as the overall feel of the EP. It’s from a garden (”The Garden”), where a single leaf is desperately holding on to tree, relating to the son and father being in the same situation (“Father & Son”). Also the simplicity of it all contradicts the materialistic world we’ve come to live in (“World of Things”). I always enjoyed records that look good, so yes it’s important.

What are the immediate plans for Pedestrians of Blue, can we expect another demo or maybe an album?
Torfinn -
Our first plan is to record the whole album, mix it and release it. According to our new time schedule this should not take forever, but things always seem to take more time than expected. All the music for the album is written already and we have a positive dialogue with both producers and record companies. We’ll see when it happens… Soon I hope!

Do you have any touring plans, or is it only possible to play shows locally?
Torfinn -
There are no touring plans, as of yet. We have to get the album out first. We hope to do some shows locally in the near future though.

Let’s speculate – you have been granted a free slot on a tour of your own choice – who would be your ideal touring partners?
Torfinn -
That would be Queensrÿche, because I just love that band. And I think some of their fans might enjoy our music as well.

What kind of wishes and expectations do you have for a record label and management?
Torfinn -
No high hopes. We just want a decent deal to get our record out and a chance to do another album without too much worrying about legal aspects.

The internet is a very important source for many metal fans – how do you use the internet and how important is it for you and other bands?
Torfinn - We have a website at and we use the Internet for promotion. There are some great websites out there, such as yours. Besides the word on the street, I think it’s the best way to promote a band like ours.  

And how do you feel about the Scandinavian metal scene at the moment?
Torfinn -
I think it’s very good. We also finally see that metal/hard rock is getting back into the awareness of the general public.

Which song do you consider to be the best one you have ever written?
Torfinn -
I think that would be “World of Things”. I’m proud of that one. It’s a good melody in my ears and the arrangement has a nice balance between melodic and more experimental parts.

Which song do you wish you had written and why?
Torfinn - “Rainbow in the Rose” by Winger. Great song and great lyrics by a great, but under-rated band.

Name an album, person or event that has had a huge influence on your life … and why?
Torfinn - “Images & Words” by Dream Theater really knocked me down when I was a kid. It totally changed my perception of music. They really did something different back then.

Which music do you personally listen to at home?
Torfinn -
Queensrÿche, A Perfect Circle , Deep Purple, (Kip) Winger. Alice in Chains, Dream Theater , ARK , Jorn Lande, Whitesnake…

Vinyl has had a small comeback lately – do you still prefer “the old sound” or are you a CD/DVD kind of guy?
Torfinn -
I like the new sound because it’s so clean, but I think we’re also losing some dynamics because of it. Nowadays there’s often a digital feeling to the whole production. That goes for our own EP as well. I would really like to tape drums someday, because they sound better that way than recorded straight to a hard drive.

Last question - do you have any famous last words for our readers?
Torfinn -
Check out our website at and listen to the samples! Then send us an e-mail where you tell us what you think. Thanks!

A huge thanks to Torfinn and Pedestrians of Blue, and all the best of luck in the future to them.

Pedestrians of Blue - The Second Monologue

Click on the album to see more info on PoB.

See my review here.