XS ROCK: Tell me about the latest band news? Any new projects coming out, live shows, or announcements?
Marius: We released a new album in the fall of last year. We are promoting this album now. We’ve had to take a break from touring because our drummer had to undergo surgery, but we will be back on stage in April. We are also working on some new music. The wait for new music won’t be as long as it usually is.
XS ROCK: So how long has the band been together?
Marius: Torgeir and I started the band in 2007. We quickly recruited Bjørn Tore on drums, we had played with him previously and he nailed his audition. We did a three-song demo as a three-piece, and after trying out guitarists for a long time, we finally found Morten in 2009.
XS ROCK: What was your main motivation for originally starting or being in a band?
Marius: Just loving music so much that I wanted to be able to play it myself.
XS ROCK: What is your music background?
Marius: I tried to play keyboards for a short while when I was about 9 years old. That didn’t last long. But when I was 11, I got into Metallica and bought my first guitar. Got guitar lessons from a friend of my parents, and then later went to a music school and also studied music in high school. I had to learn all the metal on my own, though.
XS ROCK: What image do you think your music conveys?
Marius: It seems like to some people it conveys Norwegian Vikings in the forests of Norway.
XS ROCK: What are your current music career goals?
Marius: Trying to grow our audience and get our music out to more people.
XS ROCK: Which do you prefer? Writing new songs and recording or playing for a live audience?
Marius: Both are great in their own way, but right now I’m very excited to get out and play more live shows.
XS ROCK: What are your songs’ lyrics about? (What specific themes do they cover?)
Marius: The main thing is to try to find positivity in difficult situations. Even in the darkest of times, there can still be some hope. We do concept albums where stuff has gone horribly wrong, but we always find some light in there. Standing up for what you believe in is also a common theme.
XS ROCK: What is the single most important thing to you as a musician?
Marius: Being able to play music. If I lost my arms or something, that would be awful. Or my hearing. It’s such a big part of my life and a huge part of who I am.
XS ROCK: Do you have any outrageous tour stories from the road? If so, please fill us in.
Marius: One time in Belgium we bought Speedos to go swimming, it was quite a sight to behold!
XS ROCK: What’s the strangest request that you’ve ever received from one of your fans?
Marius: We’ve had some people wanting to move to Norway. Which I guess is a compliment. I think they will be disappointed that there are no polar bears, and people don’t walk around in corpse paint.
XS ROCK: Are your friends and family supportive of your choice to play in a rock band?
Marius: Yes, they’ve always been very supportive. Which is very nice!
XS ROCK: What advice do you have for new bands trying to get started?
Marius: Keep your expectations in check, work hard, and be active on social media and on the live scene. And be nice to other people in the industry. If word gets around that you’re a total asshole, you may miss out on cool stuff that you could’ve done.
XS ROCK: What are your favorite tracks to play live?
Marius: Reality Unfolds from our second album is always great to play. And I love playing the new songs because they’re still so fresh. The Beckoning Spire is my favorite to play from the new album. From our debut album, I think my favorite is Rising From the Shadows. Check those songs out on Spotify!
XS ROCK: Which band or artist inspired you to perform? Why?
Marius: Metallica. Their music is so powerful, and it means so much to do many people. I saw the live Seattle and San Diego live from the Live Shit box when I was maybe 11 or 12, and I saw them live for real in 1996, and it blew my mind. I wanted to do that.
XS ROCK: If you could design a dream tour for your band, who would be on the bill?
Marius: So it would be us, Gojira, Machine Head, and a Strapping Young Lad reunion with the original members. That would be sick!
XS ROCK: What do you consider your greatest accomplishment so far?
Marius: I think it’s the quality of our music. Releasing three really fantastic albums. Other than that, I think touring with Decapitated was amazing.
XS ROCK: If you weren’t performing in a band what kind of career do you think you would have?
Marius: Maybe make video games, or be a guitar builder.
XS ROCK: What type of equipment do you use for live shows?
Marius: I use a Skervesen seven-string Raptor guitar with Bare-knuckle Aftermath pickups and an Agile eight-string Intrepid 830 guitar with DiMarzio D activator pickups. I use an ax-fx II that I run straight to the pa, and we use in-ear monitors for our monitoring. For vocals, I use a Telefunken M81 mic.
XS ROCK: What do you think of the current music scene?
Marius: I think it’s really good. There’s a lot of great new music out there, so many great bands. But there’s just so much that you miss out on a lot of it. There’s literally not enough time to listen to everything. I think with the way things are now, people are very down to earth. There’s not a lot of money, and from what we’ve encountered there’s very little ego or rock star bullshit. People help each other out and are in it together.
XS ROCK: For anyone that doesn’t know you, what would they be surprised to know about you?
Marius: We were on a kids’ show on national TV in Norway. We played a song and had a small part. Some kids tricked our drummer to sit on a fart cushion. It was really cool. I think it’s on YouTube somewhere.
XS ROCK: Is there anything that you’d like to promote or say to your fans out there?
Marius: I hope you take the time to check out our new album The Embers of Eternity on Spotify or Bandcamp, and hit us up on social media and let us know what you think! To all the fans, thank you so much for the support! It really means so much!
XS ROCK: Thanks again for taking the time to talk with us at XS ROCK!
Marius: It was my pleasure, thanks for having me!