(By our Norwegian correspondent Jan Ronald Stange / Photos by Tom Lund) After the release of Zeromancer’s previous album, ‘Bye-Bye Borderline’, eight years would pass before the launch of ‘Orchestra of Knives’ on Trisol today.
The years in between passed with other projects, such as Seigmen, Ljungblut and Red7 releases and concerts, and of course the last year and a half with corona restrictions also had a delaying impact. As mentioned in several previous 2021 interviews the album has actually been in the works for several years, and what finally has been released was really worth the wait. The album shows a matured and revitalized band, delivering some of their best music to date, partly due to having extra time in working on the material and putting more effort in the production.
We got more into details about the album with keyboardist Lorry Kristiansen and the new guitarist Per-Olav Wiik.
Side-Line: The album has been in production a long time – what differs from previous albums regarding the process?
Lorry: You are spot on with the production time. It has been a long time. And that’s also one of the reasons the album differs from previous albums. It started «normally», with Kim having lots of ideas, or skeletons of songs. And I think he also had the vision for the end product, like normal. But then other things happened. Other projects, Dan leaving the band. So we were lucky to have a new guitar player living in Tønsberg.
Per: Difficult for me to say, but what I do know is that when I joined in late 2018, most demos for the album were done. Only ‘Orchestra’ came during the preprod sessions I think, but still tons of work remained before these demos ended up on the album, which I was so lucky to be part of. The timing of Covid suited our schedule actually, since the plan was to work on the album anyway. It has taken a lot more time than planned of course, fitting the new guitar player into the band, and dealing with different health issues, also takes time.
So all the delays and postponed dates gave us the chance not to rush things in rehearsals, and work a bit more than normal on the songs before recording, and at the same time try to sort out the songs live. We didn’t need to rush in the studio either, so with the basic guitars recorded, we also had time to be creative and experiment. Just to get that little extra, finding the sound/noise or whatever, trusting your gut feeling, recording and move on, not being able to recreate that sound 100%. I really liked that way of working, glad we had the time to do it that way.
Both Kim and Alex are quite into details, not settling for anything but perfection… They put me as a guitar player to the test, but I’m a patient guy. A lot of details in this band, everything very thought through. That’s typical ZMR, and why I’ve always loved the band.
S-L: Musically – what do you feel differs from previous albums?
Lorry: Per-Olav has influenced the new album heavily. Very inspiring. So the new album includes a new way of thinking guitar.
Furthermore, I feel that the new album shows even more of the hybrid of Kim’s writing, Alex’s programming and production, making the Zeromancer signature stand out even more than previous albums. I also must say that lyrically it’s so rewarding.
Per: I find it fresh and uplifting, but still dark of course. More mature, perhaps more wise, especially with the lyrics.
So I agree with Lorry here. The album has all the ingredients you would want to find on a ZMR album. It really stands out, brings something new to the ZMR catalogue. You will not be disappointed. And I’m so proud to be a part of it.
S-L: What’s next up for Zeromancer?
Per: Nothing this year, Seigmen is up first in December with their three pre-Xmas concerts. Only a few dates confirmed next year, but more will come😊 I’m so looking forward to getting back on stage. And also to try out the new songs live.
Lorry: Fingers crossed, we are soon able to play live again. The last two years has not been easy for anyone. Playing live is really Zeromancer as it should be. Let’s get out of the tunnel!
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