Interview with Ida Haukland, Triosphere (May 12th 2007)

First album from this young new and exciting band from Norway has just been released; we have asked them a few questions…

'Onwards' is your first full-length album, maybe you could start off and tell us a bit about the background for Triosphere?

Triosphere - Sure! It all started back in early 2004 in Trondheim, Norway. Marcus Silver and Obsidian C. from Keep of Kalessin were working on a thrash metal project and wanted a hard rock-singer on one of their tunes. Vyl from Keep of Kalessin knew me and suggested they try me out. After that both Marcus and me were convinced that we had to keep working together and form a band of our own :) We started looking for a suitable drummer which took some time since we wanted to be sure we had found the absolute right one, and we ultimately chose a drummer from my hometown whom I’d played with for ages before moving down to Trondheim. In October ’04 Orjan Jorgensen joined us on drums, and after only a brief week of rehearsing we entered the studio and recorded our first demo! This one laid the foundation of our future record deal with the Norwegian label Face Front, and during the summer of ’06 we entered Top Room Studio in Norway to record our debut album “Onwards”. The mixing took place in the excellent Studio Fredman in Gothenburg, Sweden, the following month. Marcus also worked out a deal with the Japanese label Spiritual Beast for the Asian marked, and finally this may the album will also be released in the USA through Candlelight Records.

How have the reception been so far - have you been overwhelmed and surprised?

Triosphere - We are extremely excited about the reception, that’s for sure! Even though you feel that you have delivered a very good product which you have put all you heart and soul into, there is no guarantee that those who listen to it will feel the same. Receiving so many great reviews has been a great motivation to keep going, and to make the next album even stronger!

If you should choose one song, which represents the essence of Triosphere on the album, which one would that be and why? I would pick the second part of the title track, because I think captures your style in one song pretty good.

Triosphere - Haha, yeah I could definitely agree on that one! Part II really does sum up our style, balancing between the melodic and aggressive, the technical and “in-your-face” attitude! All of us in Triosphere have very different basic influences in addition to all those we have in common, and we feel that one of the strengths in this band is the ability to combine all those different influences into our own thing. I would also mention “Onwards Part III” as a song on the album which really represent both the essence of Triosphere by the same reasons as Part II, and as a song that reflects what might come on the next album as well ;)

The title track divided into 4 parts takes up more than half of the album, but has been placed in the beginning and at the end, why? And is there a concept behind this song?

Triosphere - Well, as you say they are the title tracks, and we wanted them to kick off the beginning of the album and then close it as the end of the “story”. In that context I should say that “Onwards” is not a concept-album but there is a theme which is reflected in the album title and that binds all the lyrics and their stories together. The title tracks reflect the very core of this theme,- betrayal, lies, fighting and moving onwards,- while the songs in between the beginning and end concerns more the specific states of mind; the ability to always search and see the silver lining in the horizon even though you experience a lamented soul, drained for inspiration, emotions or strength. Part IV is arranged by Marcus and cleverly binds the different themes and melodies from all the songs on the album together, sums it all up, and then puts a closure to it :)

How important is the lyrically side of Triosphere - and what has inspired you on 'Onwards'?

Triosphere - Since it’s me who write the lyrics they are of course quite important, but perhaps more to me personally and not as a specific message ;) The inspiration to the “Onwards”-lyrics came from what we all experienced in our lives while the album was written, and it was not the easiest of times. In some ways it could seem like fate really was putting as all to the test concerning if this album was something we really wanted to do as we individually had ongoing “battles” personally and musically. It’s not a groundbreaking theme, but a highly relevant one that kept reminding us of not giving up, something especially musicians need to remember along the rocky road of progress and art ;) The importance of the lyrics to me is as an outlet for frustration or gratitude. They are important, but more as an addition to the nerve in the music and not the other way around :)

If you had to describe your music to a complete musical ignorant - what would you tell him?

Triosphere - Haha! You know what,- I’ve been in that situation several times and I never seem to find an explanation that works ;) Since we’re Norwegian they start out thinking that it’s “that black metal that burn churches”, but when I try to say “no no, it’s not like that at all, it’s more melodic and we don’t have those kind of vocals”, they say “oh, is it like Britney Spears then?”, haha. But to be serious, I would say that it is a complex type of music that you need to listen to several times before you can hear and understand the whole picture of it. You will find melodies disguised under aggression, and aggression disguised under great harmonics. The best way of all to get them to understand would be to let them listen to the acoustic Part IV where all the themes and melodies are fully accessible for the ignorant ear, and then let them hear the themes and melodies in their true, metal environment ;)

Tell us a bit about the album art work.

Triosphere - The art work was done by a good friend of mine called Sigbjorn Galaaen. We wanted the cover to capture the essence of the album, the atmosphere of it and around the making of it, and reflect the theme in the lyrics. Based on this we eventually ended up with the idea of this individual who is locked into the stone-wall of a dark and forgotten cave. This is the manifestation of the mental state you’ll find yourself in when you’ve lost everything that matters to you, when all hope seems lost, in vain and you loose the ability to move onwards with you life and dreams. Even though you’ll try to move, you’re held back in the dark by your own disbelief and hopelessness. The album is titled “Onwards” and so this individual is beginning to come alive, breaking free of all that is holding him back, whether it’s mental chains or straight physical restraints. He is reaching out towards the silver lining in the horizon that shatters the stone-shell on his skin, and he finds strength, focus and inspiration to break free and move onwards into life, hope, dreams, whatever values one has in ones life.

What do you consider to be the biggest accomplishment for you and Triosphere, not necessarily sales wise? What are the strengths and where can Triosphere improve?

Triosphere - The biggest accomplishment for us, I think, is that we have put the pedal to the metal from day one and never looked back! We have been decisive, focused and given whatever it took to keep developing and achieving our day-by-day goals. I see that as an accomplishment. This is also what I consider as the strength of Triosphere, but also that we are very conscious about exactly what strengths each one of us holds. In that way we know who best will manage the different things and get the best result, being administrative or musically. One thing we unfortunately aren’t too good at is answering interviews on time, hehe, so we could definitely improve there!

How did you get the name Triosphere, and is there a story behind it?

Triosphere -The idea behind the name Triosphere was presented by Marcus, and I loved it straight away! It’s based on the same principles as the “third eye” as a gateway to a higher mental perception, but still on a more individual and creative level. The Triosphere is a place within your heart, mind or soul where you find yourself when you get strength, inspiration, and creativity takes control. You can’t provoke it, it is simply a place/state of mind where you are the best that you can be, and this band is our own Triosphere ;)

Do you have any touring plans for 2007? Any chance we might catch up with you guys at some stage during the festival season here in Europe?

Triosphere - Yeah, we just finished a major European tour two days ago. We started out doing some shows with Kotipelto (Stratovarius) and Chris Caffery, then we did a show with Jorn (ex-Masterplan), we did Sweden with Kamelot, and then finally we did a week with W.A.S.P!

This summer we have like three or four festivals in Norway, and we’re currently working on some other European ones.

I was wondering - could you name an album, person or event that has had a huge influence on your life - and why?

Triosphere - You know, I really have to answer all the excellent musicians and bands I have had the privilege of playing with throughout the years! No one has inspired me more, influenced me more, pleased me and pissed me off than these people, and they’ve triggered creativity, faith and determination. They and their talents have all played an important part in my development as a musician until I found my home in Triosphere and my most important co-musician and inspiration of all time,- Marcus.

Which five albums would you bring on your iPod to a deserted island?

Triosphere - Crimson Glory “Transcendence”, TNT “Tell No Tales”, Ozzy Osborne “No More Tears”, Ayreon “Into The Electric Castle” and Children of Bodom “Hate Crew Death roll”.

Which album(s) have put a big smile on you face and has made you bang your head in 2006/7?

Triosphere - That’s got to be In Flames “Come Clarity”! Great album that also made me re-discover the old albums :D I know there are more albums that should be mentioned, but 2006/2007 has mainly evolved around recording and performing with my own band so I really have not managed to check out all I wanted.

Is it possible to get by as a musician in Norway? Do you all have day-time jobs besides Triosphere?

Triosphere - As a metal-musician in Norway you’re in for a pretty hard time if you’re not going to have any other income on the side. Of course there are bands who do manage, but it takes a lot of time and work so all the members of Triosphere still have day-jobs. It really is a so-called necessary evil because running a band, promoting it, booking jobs and in general trying to make it really is a full-time job as well! So when we’re at work we generally spend more time online working on band stuff than what we’re actually there to do, hehe ;)

I thank you very much for participating in this interview and sharing this information and your thoughts with us - these last lines are entirely for you. Any final words you would like to round off with?

Triosphere - First of all, on behalf of Triosphere, I want to thank YOU for taking interest in us and presenting this interview! As for last words; I truly hope that all who read this will check out the album! We believe that no matter what kind of metal you’re into, you will find something you like with “Onwards”, and if you’re not convinced,- come to our gigs! We promise a full blown metal-show packed with energy and great atmosphere! No breaks!


Interviewed by Kenn.

Triosphere - Onwards

Album available on FaceFront.

For more info on Triosphere - click on the album cover.