Interview with Kjetil Nordhus, Trail Of Tears (March 9, 2005)

First, congratulations with your new album, " Free Fall into Fear". Are you satisfied with it?
Kjetil - Thanx a lot, I am delighted with it, to be honest:) It was a very demanding process recording it, but in the end it turned out to be the best Trail Of Tears album of all times, I think. Also, the reception from the fans and the press have been nothing else than overwhelming, so it’s no room for complaining…

Sometimes your music is labelled as Gotich metal, sometimes as Black Metal, and even Deth Metal. But, how would you describe your music for an outsider?
Kjetil - First of all as good music. Trail Of Tears have always been flirting with several different styles of music, and we have certainly done that on the new album as well. Generally I think it’s a mixture between different types of extreme music, but we also have a melodic edge and some ambient stuff in there as well. It’s a lot of dark emotions in there, and it’s the kind of music you just want to play as loud as possible ... hehe.  

If the music of Trail Of Tears was an emotion, which one would it be?
Kjetil - Only one? I think there are more! But I’d go for fear.

How would you compare the songs on "Free Fall into Fear" with the ones on "A New Dimension Of Might"?
Kjetil - I don’t think the actual songs are that different, and I think the ones having heard Trail Of Tears before, will recognise the band quite quickly on the new album. But the structure of the songs might be a bit easier to get into on “Free Fall Into Fear” than on “A New Dimension Of Might”. Even so – they have kept the progressive edge that Trail Of Tears have always had. So – to cut it short – I think the sound has developed more than the actual songs, though the songs might sound a bit different because of the sound. Does that make sense, hehe??

Was "Free Fall into Fear" a difficult album to record? It took almost a year, right?
Kjetil - Yeah. To be fair, it wasn’t musically very difficult, but it was the computers in the studio, which seemed to live their own lifes, doing the opposite of what they were supposed to do. And when putting in so much effort that we did, only to lose what we had done, was really getting on our nerves. Personally I was on the brink of giving up on the entire thing lots of times, but we dug in and had a great desire of putting it right in the end. And we succeded. I think you could find some of our extra aggression, when listening to the record ... and that’s kind of nice ... hehe.

What is your favorite song of "Free Fall Into Fear", and why?
Kjetil - Right now it must be "Carrier Of The Scars Of Life", because of the groove and all the music put into one song. It’s also a live favourite, perfect for a headbanging audience. That was actually one of the songs, that changed the most from the preproduction to the finished material, only for the better. It’s a real blast!

Who did the cover artwork?
Kjetil - We did try out some different things first, but when we recieved the first things from German artist Katja Piolka we were never in doubt, who was to do the cover. She seemed to think exactly the same as we did, and ended up toing what I think is the best cover-art we’ve ever had.

Do you have plans to support "Free Fall Into Fear"?
Kjetil - We are very eager to go back on tour again, and we’re currently working alot with getting gigs all over the world. The summer will probably see us returning to South America, plus hopefully play on some big summer festivals in Europe, and following up with a big European tour again this autumn. So hopefully it will be busy times.

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 new bands?
Kjetil - I think is’s very important! Because of the delays in the studio, and going directly on tour after the recording, we have also been delayed in the making of a new web-page for the band, which was supposed to be online on the day we released the album. But it’s in progress, and will have lots of interesting and neccesary information for old and new fans. If the web-page is done the right way, I think it could be a great way of promoting a band. It’s a lot of work to keep it interesting, but I think in most cases it’s worth it.

Which music do you personally listen to at home?
Kjetil - That’s really a lot, more different things than most, I guess. First of all I find much satisfaction in listening to new and unknown bands, and have discovered alot of great stuff by checking out all demos and debut records I can find, in all styles really. I have myself been dealing a lot with different kinds of metal, but also with jazz and classical stuff, so I am really an open-minded person when it comes to genres. I think all genres, and I mean all, have something good within them, if done the right way, with genuine people. I think that’s a good way into new stuff.

I wonder, if you might make a all-time albums Top 5 to finish things off?
Kjetil -

1.    The Beatles – Magical Mystey Tour
2.    Sepultura – Beneath The Remains
3.    Tom Waits – Swordfishtrombones
4.    Anathema – Alternative 4
5.    Faith No More – The Real Thing

Thanks for your time, and good luck in the future!

Thank YOU for your support, for your nice words and for your interest in the band. Hope to see you once, on tour! Cheers, and take care!

/Kjetil Nordhus

Trail Of Tears - Free Fall Into Fear

Album out on Napalm Records.

Click on the album cover to see more info on Trail Of Tears.