Ahead of the release of Einherjer’s new album Av Oss, For Oss, we caught up with drummer Gerhard for a chat. Find out what we asked below.
Can you introduce yourself and tell me a little about the band?
Hi there, and thanks a lot for your support. My name is Gerhard. I’m the drummer, and along with Frode, the founding member of Einherjer. Aksel is the final member of the trio. We’re a Norse Hard Rock band from the west coast of Norway, and we’ve been active since 1993.
You’re currently getting ready to release your sixth full length album Av Oss, For Oss. Can you describe the writing and recording process of it?
Yes, our new album will be available October 27th, and we will also release a new video of one of the songs October 13th. I guess the writing process is the same as always for us. We never have a plan or a manifest for how things are going to be, and how our next album should sound like. We just record ideas at home, and throw them back and forth until we have something we think is awesome. As long as it’s great, and fits within an Einherjer framework, we can use it. It’s more fun that way, instead of following a recipe. And it helps to get our new stuff a different aura than our other albums.
Av Oss, For Oss is recorded in Frode’s Studio Borealis, same as last time. We all have jobs, families and other obligations besides the band, so obviously the recording process takes a long time for us to finalize. We’re so used to having our own studio now, I don’t think we could do it any other way. We were also very happy with the mix of our last album Norrøn, so Matt Hyde also mixed Av Oss, For Oss.
Was there anything you did differently, compared with how you approached your past releases?
No, not really. As I said, our music evolves and gets “assembled” over time, and during the course of time we magically have a complete album on our hands. For me personally, a song begins just with a small seed. Then I grind over and over on that in my head, trying to elaborate it further. I usually don’t start recording anything until I feel there is something substantial to base a song on.
Which song on the album would you say you’re most proud of?
Difficult to say really. Even though it’s great to finally get the finished mix, I’m also a bit tired of listening to the songs. We’ve gotten an overdose the last couple of months. Right now the album represents a lot of hard work towards deadlines. But that always happens in the aftermath of a release. I’t safe to say I’m proud of all songs on the album. We would never release anything we’re not completely happy with. And from experience, favorite songs change constantly. One song this week, and another the next.
Were there any that were more of a challenge to perfect?
I think the answer lies in the question. It’s never and should never be easy to perfect anything, even it’s making muffins we’re talking about. I’ll take a perfect muffin anytime. You never know when you have a perfect product. At some point you have to stop and be happy. In retrospect, there are things I’d like to do in a different way on all our previous albums. And I assume it will be the case with this one as well. But right now I’m satisfied.
What can fans expect from Av Oss, For Oss?
The unexpected. And that’s true. Even though I think it fits perfectly within the Einherjer realm, it is also different from everything else we’ve done. We like to surprise. Obviously, Av Oss, For Oss is more related to Norrøn than any of our other albums. It’s not a good idea, and we would never try to recreate something we did 15 years ago bacause people liked it. It’s impossible. So we want to evolve at all times, and introduce new elements to our music. We’re three people, inspired by a variety of different music, and we’re all involved in the writing process. So it’s only natural the result is colored by a lot of styles. Rock, blues, country folk and symphony. But still, pretty fucking grim.
Moving onto live shows, what would you say the best show you’ve ever played has been?
We’ve been fortunate to play many great gigs and festivals the recent years. Before Norrøn, we would never be eligible to play shows like Wacken or Summer Breeze for example. To play main stage at Wacken was a pretty absurd experience to be honest. Fantastic, but absurd. I can also mention a gig we had in our hometown Haugesund as one of my favorites. A pretty big production for us with an orchestra, choir and grand piano. It was just extremely rewarding to pull it off, after all that work it took to put it together.
And perhaps the weirdest or strangest?
Well, not all places have European standards in terms of equipment when things just go smooth. Canada could be one of those places. One of the places we played there, and I’m not even sure it’s on the map, didn’t have any ecuipment AT ALL in fact. Just a couple of lightbulbs in the ceiling. Pretty strange feeling to travel all the way from Norway to that. It turns out the owner of the place had been ditched by the people who we’re supposed to deliver the equipment, so he just went out and bought everything. I have no idea where all that money came from. It was certainly not from the ticket sales.
Is there anywhere you’d like to play that you haven’t already played?
We’ve played a lot in Germany and around there, and that’s great. But there’s still many places we haven’t visited yet. South America and Asia for example. It’s not like we’ve covered Europe though. Still many festivals to go.