(By our Norwegian correspondent Jan Ronald Stange)
Imagine David Lynch producing an offspring of The Jesus And Mary Chain and Radiohead with a touch of The Sisters Of Mercy – that’s the associations that dropped into my head when first listening to the new two track single ‘The Chaser’ from the Norwegian band The Ghostly Ravens. Jon Martens Holm (formely of Icon of Coil and The Pussyclub) was available for answering some questions on the release day:
Side-Line: How did this project start, and what have the band done so far?
Jon Martens Holm: The Ghostly Ravens started out in 2017 at Black Lodge studio in Fredrikstad, on a request to play the soundtrack to an art exhibition as a part of the installation at Rød Gård in Moss. Emil Nordbæk and me worked together on Emil’s psychedelia project, Marching Forest, and spent much time together in the studio making several instrumental sketches in a Lynch landscape.
Conrad Nilsen was brought into the project on bass, and The Ghostly Ravens was formed. I also play in the electro/post punk band The Sky´s Gone Out, and Emil is the front man in one of the finest psychedelia bands in Norway, Marching Forest.
We use a Roland D-5 as a drummer. Very easy to relate to 😉
A setlist of 12 songs was written in 2 weeks, for the exhibition and made the basis for the forthcoming album.
We started to record the album in December 2017, and have spent almost every day in the studio since then, playing around, trying to bring our influences together and form our own very unique sound. We narrowed the instruments down to an old Roland drum machine, modular synthesizers from my collection and mixed them with Emil’s guitars and vocals 60’s style and ended up somewhere between the 80’s and 90’s. Conrad has also major influences from the 80’s and 90’s.
S-L: Any plans ahead – releases or gigs?
JMH: Our plans for the future are as broad as our musical influences. Wanting to reach more than just the Norwegian underground, and looking towards Europe and the rest of the world. The music has a broad spectre of potential, taken the sound is both synth, 90’s brit pop, post punk, psychedelia and easy to like from a broad range of genres.
We are planning to pitch this to several booking agencies around the world and focus on a few selected major cities with potential crowds. The gigs we have done so far has been overwhelming in positive response, with a noticeable age variance in the audience, ranging from 16 to 70!
This is our first release from the forthcoming album due in September, and we’re very proud to present this quite extraordinary piece of work.
The Ghostly Ravens is part of the Velvet Electra Rec catalogue. A collective of cooperations between local artists, helping each other out in every aspect of production. MC Peko at Focus Studio is the the cover artist and photographer. He is not only featured here, but has made the music videos, done remixes and masters for Jon´s solo project The Sky´s Gone Out, both on the former release and his next.
Photographer and artist Vidar Kollstad also have an occasional role here.
– ‘The Chaser’ c/w ‘1995-1988’, release today
– The full album is due 15th of September
Listen and buy here:
Since you’re here … … we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading Side-Line Magazine than ever but advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. And unlike many news organisations, we haven’t put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as open as we can. So you can see why we need to ask for your help. Side-Line’s independent journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. But we do it because we want to push the artists we like and who are equally fighting to survive. If everyone who reads our reporting, who likes it, helps fund it, our future would be much more secure. For as little as 2 US$, you can support Side-Line Magazine – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. The donations are safely powered by Paypal.