DATE OF INTERVIEW:
22nd June 2011
METAL DISCOVERY: There’s been just over a three year gap since ‘Payment of Existence’ when this new album comes out next month. Were you ever worried that, with such a long gap between albums, some of the momentum would be lost and people could potentially lose a bit of interest in Communic?
ODDLEIF: Yeah, there is the possibility that can happen and that’s also why the record label wants to have the album out two and a half or two years in a row. I can’t actually do anything about it. You know, after the ‘Payment of Existence’ album, there was a kind of slow period where we were hoping to get a tour going but that failed. Then this stuff happened in my life and I needed to take a step back, and then time flowed and there was a year and a half or something without doing anything. But we are ready now and we couldn’t take any more time because then it would’ve been another reunion or whatever! [laughs] But we are still the same lineup; we are still the same three guys in the band. That is actually an achievement on its own, I think, in these days, because a lot of bands would see some guy having a problem on a personal level and say, “hey, we’ll find a new guitar player”, and the band continues. So I’m really proud that we’ve actually stuck together.
(Oddleif Stensland on Communic's primary motivation for making music)
"...if we were out to sell a lot of albums, or be rock stars, or be a massive band, I think we probably would have played a different kind of music. We do this, actually, for ourselves; for the joy of playing in a band, being together, and making some interesting music that I’d actually like to go and buy myself."
Communic - uncredited promo shot
Interview by Mark Holmes
Communic Official Website:
Conspiracy In Mind (2005)
Thanks to Florian Milz at Nuclear Blast for arranging the interview
Waves of Visual Decay (2006)
Payment of Existence (2008)
Communic Official MySpace:
The Bottom Deep (2011)
MD: Definitely, and it wouldn’t be Communic otherwise because with the three of you, you each bring something unique to the band. I think anybody would be hard to replace in Communic. So you have a European tour in August/September with Forbidden, is that right?
MD: But I noticed there are no UK shows!
ODDLEIF: I know. There was a plan for a London show, I think, but I don’t know why it was dropped because the second day of the tour or whatever, there was a planned London gig. I don’t know if it was working permission for the Forbidden guys or whatever else; I actually don’t know.
MD: So it could’ve just been a paperwork kind of thing.
ODDLEIF: Yeah, I wonder if they’re coming from the States to play in the UK if there’s too much paperwork. I don’t know if that’s the reason but there was a London show and then it was dropped.
MD: Ahhh, that’s a shame. Last time you played over here was at Bloodstock in 2008.
ODDLEIF: Yes. We’ve only had two gigs in the UK and that was ProgPower and Bloodstock.
MD: Of course, yeah, I remember seeing you at ProgPower in 2007. And you had to play earlier in the day than scheduled because Haggard were delayed.
ODDLEIF: We are too nice to say no! [laughs] I know people missed our show because it wasn’t announced but, hey, you know. We are easy guys and it was an easy thing for us but, of course, I know a lot of other bands wouldn’t have done that and changed their position. But, for us, it was a normal thing to do.
MD: Yeah, that’s really cool. Out of sheer curiosity as well, I remember when you played at ProgPower over in Holland in 2006, and I remember you were on tour with Scar Symmetry at the time and had this shabby looking, old, battered tour bus parked outside the venue…
MD: … where the hell did you find that bus?! And did it get you around Europe?!
ODDLEIF: Yeah, er…[laughs]… I don’t know if I want to talk about it! [laughs] The tour was arranged by our management at the time and we were expecting a Nightliner to take us around on tour and, “hey, we have this beautiful bus”… but it was horrible. There were actually not enough beds for everybody aboard. It was horrible! In my bed, there was a leak from the ceiling so when it was raining there was water coming in my bed! [laughs] And the last date, everybody on the bus became sick because of the moisture. But we got through it and everybody was friends in the end… [laughs]
MD: So do you look back on that as a happy memory now?
ODDLEIF: Yeah, it’s funny, of course, and going on tour should be fun but I like to have a dry bed!
MD: That’s one of the basics!
ODDLEIF: I’d like to have a bed!
MD: It looked like some battered old vehicle out of World War II that wouldn’t make it to the end of the road, let alone the next country!
ODDLEIF: [laughs] I can tell you that the toilet was just a hose in the wall! [laughs]
MD: Really?! Not nice! I have to ask as well, you cut off your very long hair three or so years ago and you seem to be growing it back now from the recent promo shots I’ve seen. So why did you temporarily ditch the hair?!
ODDLEIF: [laughs] I don’t think that I will grow my hair really long again but I actually don’t know… I was really tired of it and needed to do something else.
MD: So you just woke up one day and thought, yeah, get a haircut kind of thing.
ODDLEIF: [laughs] Yeah, but I actually feel better with a little bit longer hair.
MD: The final thing I was going to ask – if you could sum up Communic and ‘The Bottom Deep’ in a few words so that people who will be reading this rush out next month and buy ten copies each of the album, how would you recommend it?
ODDLEIF: Well, it’s a deep album… [laughs] There are a lot of bands out there these days and it’s difficult to get noticed and get people to check out your band but I don’t think you will find many bands out there sounding like this. It’s a really unique album that I hope people will pay some attention to. It’s hard to actually tell people to get into this album because, for me, this is something that I had to do and, if people want to check it out, then I’m honoured. It’s a cool album and I’m really proud of it.
MD: I hope it does very well for you because it’s an amazing album.
ODDLEIF: You know, if we were out to sell a lot of albums, or be rock stars, or be a massive band… [laughs]… I think we probably would have played a different kind of music. We do this, actually, for ourselves; for the joy of playing in a band, being together, and making some interesting music that I’d actually like to go and buy myself. There are not that many bands out there that do it this way. We are just honoured and lucky to have a record company that believes in us and wants to release the stuff.
MD: Definitely, and one of the world’s best record labels as well.
ODDLEIF: [laughs] We still have a few albums left and I don’t think it will be three years again!
MD: That’s good to hear!
MD: And a nice, shiny, happy album next!
ODDLEIF: Yeah, Vikings and beer drinking and… [laughs]
MD: Okay, thank you so much for your time. It was very interesting chatting with you.
ODDLEIF: Yeah, thank you very much.