Here I am, talking with two great Metallers from Norway: Thor-Axel Eriksen, the founder, songwriter, guitarist of Progressive Metal band Mindtech, and his colleague and soulmate, long term drummer of Mindtech, Ole Devold.
Great to see you, guys, in Metal On Loud Magazine! I have become your fan since was introduced to your music in METALHEADS FOREVER community, when you were starring in On Stage In MHF contest!
TA: Thank you. We appreciate beeing recognised by communities like MHF that is for the fans, and by the fans.
How do you usually gain your fans? At live concerts, via internet or radio?
TA: It is a combo of all of them: live gigs and via internet and internet radio. The last few months we’ve been doing some touring, supporting Triosphere in Norway. Hopefully we've gained a few more fans, but we are really starting at square one now, with a new singer, and as a more active live band too.
Norway is the 'motherland' of Extreme Metal, so why have you chosen Progressive Metal as your music style?
TA: I don’t think it was a choice we made at any point. This is the music we create. None of us have really been part of the Black Metal scene, and we are probably coloured by our own influences and bands we listened to a lot when growing up.
OD: I think you can sum it up in three words: "Images and Words". I think that for a lot of musicians of our generation that were into the harder side of Rock/Metal, that album was a bit of an eye opener and a huge inspiration. Of course, a lot (and I mean a lot) has happened since then but at least to me that was what defined the term Progressive Heavy Metal.
What brings you satisfaction as to musicians? Fan love? Commercial success? Your own music or...? Choose or add an uttrykksikonet smile [A Norwegian emoticon]! And why?
TA: To me, hearing the finished result of a song we have been working on for years, and of course feedback from fans that like our music.
OD: To write and record music that we dig to play and listen to. Another element is of course the times when we can touch another person with our music; that our music gives something (hopefully positive) to other people. The commercial success would be a nice bonus, but it's not why we're doing this.
What are your best memories during Mindtech's existence?
TA: Holding the physical copy of our debut album after six years in the making, and supporting Volbeat two nights in a packed club in Oslo. This was before Volbeat really took off, but a cool thing to have experienced, and we have had some good times this winter on tour with Triosphere.
Your new EP Edge Of The World sounds awesome! Would you care to tell our readers more about this release; what is behind the idea of the EP, what songs are your favorite and why, etc...
TA: Well, when we finally landed our new singer, we were eager to release some music that was up to date, for promotion and to have new songs to play live too. The direction on these songs is a step forward since the debut. Instead of taking even more time [months] to complete an album, we did the digital EP with the songs that were ready and we are well on the way with more new songs for a next release, should it be another EP or a full album.
I wrote a lot of the music during some darker times in my life, as some sort of therapy, and you could hear that in the few lyrics that I wrote too, but luckily there has been some other contributors as well and that has added some cool flavours and melodies. I think my favorite track right now is "Misery", just because it turned out so much better than I had imagined... but I also like "Black Heart" a lot, and Mathias sings so god damn good on it...
Give short characteristics to each band member; what are they appreciated for in the band?
TA: Hehe, we are five really different individuals. I’ve been playing with Ole since 1995, in Tritonus and Mindtech. He is the guy that always pulls me back down when I get a bit too eager, and I appreciate that. He is steady as a rock, and the drumming always gives the songs a cool twist. Marius brings the new metal to the band, being the younger guitar player. He and I have some different musical inspirations, but together it fits pretty well.
Ola, the bass-man (and beer-dog) is adding his own touch to the songs live. Due to scheduling conflicts, he has not recorded the bass for the EP, and joined after the debut. But will have plenty of room on the next one. He is also a very positive person, and brings a lot of good vibes... and finally we have Mathias. Our latest addition to the line up. A really awesome and great singer, and he has a lot of experience, even though he is a young guy. He was the last missing piece, and brings the band and the songs a few great steps up.
OD: ... and Thor-Axel is the driving force in the band; he writes a lot of the stuff and makes things happen. One thing you've got to know is that until the release of the new EP, Mindtech was more of a one-man project than a band. Thor-Axel made it all happen.
What metal musicians inspired you to play and have influenced your work?
TA: I really like great riff players, like Jeff Loomis and John Petrucci, but those guys really know how to play tasty solos too. We have a few of those here in Norway too, Mats Haugen of Circus Maximus and Jørn Viggo Løfstad of Pagan’s Mind. There is so many great ones out there, and I do appreciate good songwriters in metal.
What plans/challenges are in front of Mindtech in 2016?
TA: We will continue to do more live gigs. Throughout the whole year. And write music for the next release. Hopefully a full album this time. Hope to do one more video from the EP too, and maybe release some cool bonus tracks along the way. There are a few of the songs from our debut album that deserve to be released with the vocals of Mathias.
OD: World Domination ...?
We wish you realization of all your plans, friends, and crowds of fans and a lot of inspiration! Thank you for the interview and great music!
TA: Thank you so much for your time and support. Hope all the readers will check us out, and help spread the word.
OD: Thank you!