DATE OF INTERVIEW:
3rd April 2013
METAL DISCOVERY: For those people out there who still haven’t heard of Audrey Horne, can you give us a brief history of the band?
TOSCHIE: We started out in 2002, as a 6 piece, with me, Toschie, Ice Dale, Thomas, Tom Cato and Herbrand. Tom (Bass) and Herbrand (Keys) left the band after our first album ‘No Hay Banda’, and we proceeded with various guys on bass and keys until 2010, when Espen joined the band on bass, and we are now on our 4th album a happy family of five, as we now do not use keyboards live.
(Toschie on actress Sherilyn Fenn)
"...she was hot as hell, but I’m not sure what she looks like these days. Probably still hot, so yeah, we would love to work with her."
Interview by Rick Tilley
Official Audrey Horne Facebook:
AUDREY HORNE DISCOGRAPHY
No Hay Banda (2005)
Featuring guitarists from Enslaved and Sahg, namely Ice Dale and Thomas Tofthagen, Lynchian monikered Norwegians Audrey Horne released their fourth album at the start of the year, 'Youngblood'. Further distancing themselves from their alt-rock/alt-metal roots, this bunch of Nordic musicians have unashamedly propelled themselves into classic rock/metal territory with a series of compositions fuelled by a melodically driven energy that harks back to the glory days of the eighties. The band's vocalist, Toschie, explains this change of direction to Metal Discovery...
Audrey Horne - promo shot
Photograph copyright © 2012 Tommy Naess
Official Audrey Horne Website:
Le Fol (2007)
Thanks to Andy Turner for arranging the interview.
Audrey Horne (2010)
MD: Congratulations on your new album, ‘Youngblood’. How proud are you all that it has pretty much been universally welcomed with so many fantastic reviews and chart entries?
TOSCHIE: Thank you, we are extremely happy and proud of the receiving it has been given. It has been almost too much, but it makes us work even harder when we see how much people appreciate it.
MD: Your previous releases are all great albums but ‘Youngblood’ is easily the strongest so far. What reasons prompted the much more ‘classic rock’ feel this time around?
TOSCHIE: To be honest, we never sat down and decided to make an album that was more in the lines of the classic hard rock. What we did, however, was to write every song together while playing in our rehearsal studio. Earlier, Thomas and Ice Dale have mostly written our material on their own at home, and then I come in and make all melody lines and harmonies, and lyrics. So we sort of build it up layer by layer. This time around, all music was created through jamming. And this approach automatically made our music more energetic and more "classic".
MD: Audrey Horne seem to be a band that evolves a lot between releases but you still retain a core recognisable sound. Has this been a conscious decision and do you worry that you may alienate some of your fans with a general change of style?
TOSCHIE: It has never been conscious, we have always just made the kind of music that we want, and never thought about what is expected from us. This is the only way to make an honest and whole hearted album. But we have been together for 11 years now, and have grown both as musicians and as people, so of course our music evolves with us.
MD: Even though you have had a fairly regular media presence over the last few years, you finally seem to be getting some much deserved recognition. Is this now going to change priorities for some members of the band or are you still essentially going to be seen as a side project?
TOSCHIE: The more attention we get, the more work we have to do, so as long as we are able to do several things, we will keep on doing it, but if we get to a point where we have to choose, everyone in this band would without questions devote themselves to Audrey Horne 100%. This is where our heart lies, both musically and as a band.
MD: Although perhaps not quite as much with this album, your music tends to be pretty dark musically and lyrically. It very much suits the name Audrey Horne so can you explain your reasons behind naming the band as you did after the character from David Lynch’s ‘Twin Peaks’?
TOSCHIE: We decided to go for this name after having put many suggestions on the table. It started with the others who liked the name of my former band, Sylvia Wane, which was a made up female name, and they wanted a name like that for this band as well, but I think it was Herbrand, who at the time was watching ‘Twin Peaks’, who suggested Audrey Horne, and we thought, like you said, it fitted the atmosphere in our music.
MD: I’ve always thought it would be fantastic if Sherilyn Fenn was to appear in one of your videos. If you had the opportunity to work with her would you jump at the chance?
TOSCHIE: Yeah, I guess so, she was hot as hell, but I’m not sure what she looks like these days. Probably still hot, so yeah, we would love to work with her.
MD: Apart from the musical influences that can be heard on ‘Youngblood’ (Thin Lizzy, Deep Purple, UFO & Motorhead etc) what other bands and genres of music do you listen to that might prove an inspiration?
TOSCHIE: Basically, all kinds of stuff, but to name a few : Kvelertak, Hellacopters, Van Halen, Kiss, Mastodon, Journey, Tom Waits, David Bowie etc. As long as it is good music we will in one way or the other be influenced by it.
MD: There are many bands recently that seem to be re-discovering the classic metal and rock sound, which I actually think is a breath of fresh air. Do you view the current scene as healthy in this respect with the resurgence in retro styles?
TOSCHIE: Absolutely. Music, and everything else we are exposed to these days, is being perfected to an unnatural point, and I think as humans we are not perfect and, therefore, we relate to things that are not flawless. This music is being played by people who pour their heart and soul into it, and we do not smooth out all the edges, and we live a rawness there that gives it an edge, that I hope makes it more human and real.
MD: You played a showcase gig at The Garage in London earlier this year, on February 27th, to kick start your European tour. How was the show?
TOSCHIE: It was really good, we had a lot of fun doing it, and judging by the response from the crowd and the reviews, the audience had a great time too, and we are really looking forward to the upcoming UK tour.
MD: This has been the only UK date so far in 2013 and mainland Europe seems to be your focus. Do you have plans to return to the UK for a longer tour as either a headline or support act?
TOSCHIE: It was really good, we had a lot of fun doing it, and judging by the response from the crowd and the reviews, the audience had a great time too, and we are really looking forward to the upcoming UK tour. We are doing a headline tour in the UK starting on the 27th of April, and we bring Ancient VVisdom and Sahg along for the ride.
MD: Do you also have plans to travel further afield, such as the USA, and how difficult is it to commit to Audrey Horne tours considering the obligations some members have to other bands?
TOSCHIE: We are, as of now, focusing on Europe, and will do so for a while. As you say, we have to plan properly as some of us have responsibilities in other bands as well, but as long as we do so, we are able to do it. But with all of this going on, we have not yet done much outside of Europe. But there are a lot of venues and a big enough audience here in Europe to keep us busy throughout the year.
MD: Is it possible you could explain the album artwork of ‘Youngblood’? I actually thought, and said so in my review, that compared to the quality of the music this was a little bit of a let-down. I would like to know if I have missed something?
TOSCHIE: Ha ha, I don`t think there is something to miss. It is pretty straight forward. And it is a picture that speaks about the unity that exists within a band, and of the energy in the music. I guess you either like it or not.
MD: You are now signed to Napalm Records who seem to do a very good job of looking after and promoting their roster of bands. Other than that, what were your main reasons for signing with a label that has a general reputation for much heavier music?
TOSCHIE: They do so, and they are also changing their rooster towards a more hard rock style by signing bands like The Answer, The Sword and Monster Magnet, and we wanted to be on board for this, as it is more likely that we are being a priority in this way. They also contacted us on an early stage and expressed a strong wish to work with us, and it is always best to work with people who want to work with you, rather than someone who feels it is smart to do so. And they offered us a good deal.
MD: In terms of the internet and social media, how do you balance the fact that you can get your music heard by so many more people these days against the realisation that a good proportion of those people might illegally download the albums?
TOSCHIE: Well it is what it is, and there is nothing you can do about it, so you have to use it for your best benefit. Most people these days actually pay for their music through buying the actual album, buy it through iTunes and such, or pay to stream it through Spotify etc. Some download them for free but, like I said, there is not much we can do about that. So you have to use it as the incredible promo source that it is.
MD: Is it too early to ask what direction Audrey Horne might be taking in the future and has the subject of a live album or DVD been discussed?
TOSCHIE: We have not started thinking about the next album yet, but we will do so soon, so I have no idea what it will be like, but I guess we will continue the road we are on now, and write and record as live as possible. We have, however, started to talk about making a live DVD, but no details as of yet on how and where.
MD: Before we wrap up, is there anything else you would like to add for the readers at Metal Discovery?
TOSCHIE: Yeah, hope to see you all on our upcoming UK tour, it is going to be a blast. Stay classy people!
MD: Thank you very much for your time and I wish you continued success with the album and tour.
TOSCHIE: Thank you so much!