May 25, 2024

Seigmen celebrates ‘Resonans’ album with a full evening of signing session, Q&A and quiz

Out on May 3rd was the seventh Seigmen album “Resonans”, highly anticipated after the nine years wait since “Enola” in 2015. The release was celebrated by an evening of fun at the Apollon Platebar in Tønsberg, full house and all of the tickets gone already at the opening that day.

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(By our Norwegian correspondent Jan Ronald Stange / Indie Recordings press release. Photos by Bjørn Opsahl, Frank Hiis and Jan Ronald Stange) Out on May 3rd was the seventh Seigmen album “Resonans”, highly anticipated after the nine years wait since “Enola” in 2015. The release was celebrated by an evening of fun at the Apollon Platebar (record shop & pub/bar in one – excellent place!) in Tønsberg, full house and all of the tickets gone already at the opening that day.

The event started off with a signing session. As there’s three different vinyl versions in addition to CD and cassette versions – and many bought all versions! – they went through a bunch of marker pens in a busy hour. Then the whole album was played, followed by a move upstairs for the ticket holders. Arvid Skancke-Knutsen held both a challenging quiz and an entertaining and informational Q&A session. He was definitely the right person for the job, knowing and supporting Seigmen throughout their whole career, and also the first journalist to review the debut CD in a major publication.

The Seigmen album

“Resonans” is Seigmen’s latest album, echoing the essence of a longstanding friendship. A strong bond among five guys who found each other through music, learned to play instruments, and expressed themselves together. They solidified their friendship through muddy and sour tones from the rehearsal room on the old submarine quay, down into a basement in the city center, out to a barn outside the city, up on the heights near the old library, down into the mountain beneath the same hill, and back to a rehearsal container at the old shipyard. Always tied to their hometown, Tønsberg in Norway.

“Resonans” is the reverberation of endless evening rehearsals, weekends with “lefse” and freshly ground coffee in thermoses, and syncopations. Smiles, conversations, and gossip. The hard, precise, and long-term work. Love and art. Resonans is guts and integrity, demonstrating the uncompromising nature that Seigmen has always represented.

Singles and songs

The singles “Berlin,” “Kollaps,” and “Elskhat” have already been out there. Listen to “Melanchthon”, approaching two minutes, and the endless solo that ends with no more frets on the guitar neck. Listen to “Blasfem”, raw nerve for almost eleven minutes. Listen to the space created in “Eksplodere i det stille”, the transition to a single chorus after five and a half minutes. There are many layers here. The depth is buried in the details. The ones you hear when you play the song for the third or sixth time.

Resonans is the result you get when five focused individuals return to the studio where they recorded “Total” in 1994. Carrying the same curiosity, the same hunger and the eternal urge to create. Incidentally, this year marks exactly 30 years since the release of “Total”. Recently, the book about the album was published in the series “Norske albumklassikere”, skillfully written by Even Smith Wergeland. The reference is track number two on “Total”, “Ohm”, which might be the song that best defines the band. Ohm means resistance.

“Resonans” is also the echo of the time it took to complete this album. The resistance along the way, in the form of a pandemic and, most notably, serious and prolonged illness. Of course, one should also acknowledge the frugality and thoroughness these years have allowed. Time to work in silence. No concerts for four years have provided ample time in the “space.” Even more lefse. Even more cups of freshly brewed coffee.

“Resonans” is vibrations. Listen to the last phrases of “Når alle skjermer går i svart” (When all screens go black). The desperation in the voice of vocalist Alex is palpable, you can hear the resistance. Seigmen has always believed that it is they are at their best when there’s resistance. Listen to the first line of the lyrics in “Berlin.” All hope is lost, but never say die — it doesn’t get much clearer than that.

‘Tønsberg’ – the city anthem

Resonans ends with the surprise song “Tønsberg”, nothing less than a magnificent, honest, and personal tribute to the city the band hails from. In the first part of “Tønsberg,” guitarist and opera singer Marius finally unfolds his vocal prowess within the framework of Seigmen, something he has only done once before on a record. Strings tastefully arranged by the “film musician”, Ginge. Then the rest of the band kicks in halfway, and Alex takes the baton to the finish line. Marius is actually retiring as a soloist in the Norwegian national Opera this spring, where they retire early.

Up the mountain, up in the tower. Never a stranger in the streets we walk.” “Tønsberg” might be a bit of an oddity on Resonans, but the song comes straight from the heart.

Mini-interview with Kim Ljung

The day after Kim Ljung had this to say about the event:
– We were real happy with how Friday turned out. It was a near and personal event. Also it’s always nice to see eacother away form rehearsal and studio, have a few drinks together, then meet nice eager people who’s always polite and just seems interested and throughout extremely inspired by what we do. 
Also a sheer pleasure seeing the glow in our fans faces, coming up with the vinyl, CD or a cassette they just bought, signing them and knowing they go home that evening in utter delight. 

I also had to ask about ‘Arkadia ego’, the track starting with “Husk at du skal dø en gang” (“Remember that you must die once”) – was it written before Depeche Mode’s “Memento Mori” were announced? 
– When DM released “Memento Mori” I was a little stressed, since we had the “Arkadia ego” song written long before. However it was all put on hold for several years due to Covid and internal health issues in the band. We started writing material right after we released “Enola” in 2015. Then there is also a part on “Blasfem”, the 11 minute track, that has a guitar line which dates back to the 90’s. 
“Elskhat” was the first track written, however the riff for “Berlin” was there ages before. Just something we never though was of real importance until our manager Øystein heard it and said you have to work on that one. Single potential!

Though “Arkadia ego” was a song that emerged in 2019, the first lyric actually had the line Memento Mori in it, but it sounded a little lame on a demo version, and was taken out. 
So the fear when DM press release came mentioning their title, I was just afraid “Arkadia ego” was in there.

A side note to that: I personally saw their album as a huge dissapointment. I feel with all their history and assets in old synthesizers and their legacy, they should come with better sounding stuff. When Fletch sady passed, I hoped they would bring Alan back in. That would surely made huge differerance to their quality of sound.

The idea of “Arkadia ego” was just me trying to find out a way of using the word Arcadia in a song. Always liked that word. Then I discovered that line. 
Every Seigmen song starts out with a title. That gives me a total picture of how a song should plan out. 

Cheers to Side-Line from Seigmen!

Design background story

If you acquire Resonans in physical format, you will find it tastefully wrapped in peach pink by designer Sigurd N. Kristiansen. Master photographer Bjørn Opsahl is, as always, by Seigmen’s side. A band photo in the same color palette was taken in Kim’s living room. Pink boots under the sofa, a small nod to the band’s very first song. It reveals a band with more humor and spirit than many may think, that sets its own standard and is ready for whatever comes next.

Credits

  • Recorded at Velvet Recording by Christer Krogh
  • Mixed by Mike Hartung in Propeller Music Devision: “Elskhat”, “Arkadia Ego”, “Når alle skjermer går i svart”, “Eksplodere i det stille”, “Melanchthon”, and “Tønsberg”
  • Mixed by Adam Noble: “Kollaps” and “Voltaire!”
  • Mixed by Alex Møklebust in Room 13: “Berlin” and “Blasfem”
  • Words and melody lines: Kim Ljung
  • Music: Seigmen
  • Produced by Alex Møklebust and Kim Ljung
  • Mastered by George Tanderø
  • Artwork by Sigurd N. Kristiansen
  • Photo by Bjørn Opsahl

Listen to the album at these streaming services: https://orcd.co/saveresonans, or buy physical versions right here: https://shop.indierecordings.no/collections/seigmen

author avatar
jrstange
Sometimes - when I'm not cooking, biking, listening to music or attending concerts, I write stuff for Side-Line.com. Mostly about Norwegian bands, but it's been some Swedish, English, American, Danish, German and others too... ;)

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