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TJUSA: When was the decision made to get turbonegro back together and cut another record? And what were the contributing factors?
HT: We kept getting offers all along from labels, plus a lot of nagging from the people at the Quart festival during the last two years. The main reason was however that we never wanted to stop playing in the first place, but felt that we had no choice but to quit, back in '98, and that we now had a possibility to go for it again. It's not like we decided to try to become "legendary" or anything like that. We did however indeed become much bigger after we quit though, and so many people never got the chance to see us play, especially among the younger T-jugend. The labels were all over us, and that's cool, one of the main reasons we quit back in the day was that we were in a totally impossible contract with Boomba, who eventually agreed to try to sell our contract to White Jazz - who were ready to move - but that didn't work out due to sabotage from a bunch of REAL homos and scared crybabies . Post-mortem Bitzcore later on bought the contract and have been a major force in getting us back together again.
TJUSA: For some reason I was thinking you were involved w/ Boomba besides being on the label. This is not true?
HT: No, we wern't involved at all. We had a terrible deal.
TJUSA: You mention the 'younger T-jugend'. Would you credit them for AD surfacing in the top 40 charts?
HT: Yepp, pretty much.
TJUSA: How did the Re-Erection tour go?
HT: It was totally insane, all the people, very very magic for all of us. Those wild, immense crowds.
TJUSA: Any interesting stories?
HT: A lot of funny stuff happened, but the main kick was to meet all the crazy fans, pretty intense. We like it really loud on stage, but for instance at Quart there was so much screaming that we actually had problems hearing ourselves, the crowd was way louder than the monitors.
TJUSA: It was a real treat seeing Pal playing guitar at Quart. Will that continue?
HT: Yepp! He's going to be playing more guitar in the future, both on record and live. He has a pretty unique style which has been a big inspiration for amongst others Euroboy.
TJUSA: Speaking of guitars I noticed Rune playing what appeared to be a 57 Black Beauty Re-Issue. Is that what gives him the energy to do those 'rock star' jumps or are you guys sponsored?
HT: Haha! No, actually we don't have equipment endorsements. We're not very preoccupied with gear either. I mean, Knut recorded Apocalypse Dudes on a 150 dollar Les Paul imitation.
TJUSA: That's fuckin' awesome! I too have a LP copy. A Harmony, complete with super-glued frets. But with a tone so dangerous my Standard is yet to see the light of day. I just love hearing shit like that!
Ok, what brought on the switch from Bitzcore to BHR?
HT: There was no switch, actually, as the contract that Bitzcore bought has been fulfilled. They are really glad we're together and are working closely with BHR. BHR and Epitaph are re-issuing Ass Cobra and Apocalypse Dudes on CD, with some bonus video stuff, while Bitzcore will continue to be our headquarters for vinyl, shirts, jackets, etc. We got some pretty insane offers from majors, but BHR gave us everything we wanted and then some, pluss it feels good not having to suck corporate cock.
TJUSA: Although, you might of had to wait in line behind The Hives to suck that cock. Could you elaborate on 'insane offers'?
HT: A lot of money. Re: The Hives, it seems like the fellatio was going the opposite direction, with the band in the receiving end. I think what has happened to them is truly great. They were at all our Swedish shows back in the day when nobody cared, I met Howlin' Pelle in Stockholm recently and he told me about all the times we played tiny shitholes for 11 people out in the woods, 5 of those people were always The Hives.
TJUSA: I saw them like a year ago here in Phoenix and they mentioned something about seeing you guys quite a bit.
Will BHR just be releasing the one album?
HT: We signed a deal for two albums.
TJUSA: The Apocalypse Dudes album received reviews that some bands would pay top dollar for. Do you feel any pressure to surpass the 'holy grail' status granted by many to Apocalypse Dudes?
HT: Of course, Especially granted the fact how nostalgia unfortunately still seems to be strong force in rock. After all, we are Turbonegro, we cannot let ourselves be restrained by our own greatness, etc etc etc. What I like to hear is the whining about how we can't follow up A-Dudes, because they're right! However, it's all in the spirit of doing EVERYTHING wrong. The worst thing I see is "punk" bands sitting around discussing "media strategies" and "careers". FUCK that.
TJUSA: Are songs/parts/ideas worked out prior to entering the studio or are they born there?
HT: We have a bunch of tunes we've been working on for a long time . Knut and I hang around in the studio, see what happens, give tapes to the other guys, see what they wanna add or develop, etc.
TJUSA: Euroboy played an important role developing the Dudes album (a fact widely known and yet he took no credit. odd). Will he play an equally vital role in the this next release?
HT: Yes, of course. We will be recording in his studio, a brand new studio with some awesome analogue stuff .
TJUSA: Whatever happened to Christian A. Calmeyer?
HT: He's working at a publishing house, I meet him about once a year, I heard he moved into town after spending his whole life in suburbia.
TJUSA: If Hank was never to have gotten sick (thus eliminating the thought of disbandment,) do you see any difference in what the Dudes follow up would have been back then as opposed to now?
HT: It's hard to say, however "artistic development" is not my cup of tea. It would be Deathpunk no matter what. "Artistic development" is for shitty bands that don't have a good formula. Shit, we've got Deathpunk, we've got Denim, we're the new fucking RAMONES, man.
Are there tour plans in support of the new release? If so will you be keeping a short leash on Hans?
HT: He manages to keep a pretty good leash on himself these days, luckily. Yes, we will be touring, we have gotten several very cool offers to tour with some very cool bands, as well as from some big-ass (as opposed to mid-ass) booking agencies.
TJUSA: What's this I keep hearing about Metallica and Turbonegro are you guys buddy-buddy now or what?
HT: Not that I know of, we only heard that they were wearing Turbo shirts and that somehow evolved into a rumour that we are the best of friends. Lars Ulrich is from Denmark - close to Norway - but that's where it stops. Maybe it's because we both put out records with black covers and a snake motif, and then that created a special kind of bond?
TJUSA: Is there a subliminal admission in there somewhere?
TJUSA: What else does a strong blonde handsome sailor like yourself do to kill time when not with the boys?
HT: After four years of 14 hour days doing market analysis I took a year off as I was offered a very nice job writing tv-comedy stuff for the two best comedians in Norway, and that evolved into writing stuff for a local version of The Onion. It's not as good as the original but it let's me vent my extreme hatred for the Norwegian cultural "elite", among other things.
TJUSA: What's in your tape deck/CD player right now?
HT: The Negative Approach comp, Fleetwood Mac, The Langley Schools Music Project, a li'l Don Henley, the new Satyricon album.
TJUSA: Are you talking about the NA 'Total Recall'?
HT: Yepp. I heard that there's a new NA compilation out soon too with even more live stuff. A buddy is sending me some Easy Action stuff, John Brannon's most recent band, looking forward to hearing it.
TJUSA: I recently watched a documentary on the Langley Schools deal that climaxed with a reunion of all the now grown kids singing joyfully the song that brought them so little fame. I strongly suggest you look into this piece of film if you have not already.
HT: Wow, I haven't heard about a film, sounds very cool.
TJUSA: What's the story behind the song 'Fantastic Voyage'?
HT: Hehe, that was just some bullshit I made up for an interview prior to the Quart festival, that we had written a minute long musical journey about our own career". It was funny to see that some press actually wrote in reviews that we had played that song, as it does not exist.
TJUSA: Along with nifty new song titles like 'Good Hand' and 'Self Destruct Or Bust'.
There was some photos in MANN of a 'different' H-Tom than what most have come to love and enjoy. Are these alter egos? - Albanian Crime Lord and Aryan Cop
HT: These two alter ego's where designed to reflect my two personalities: the cop and the criminal. (so that means I'm a very normal dull person, as the two extremes sort of zero out in the equation)
TJUSA: I noticed Norway seem to have more statues than in any other place I've been. Do you think someday turbo will be immortalized in such a way?
HT: Hopefully, yes. There was already a photo of Hank, Pål and Euro at the National Gallery.
TJUSA: Had the name turbonegro caused you any problems back in the 90ies while touring the US?
HT: No, not at all, actually. We even played a show in the ghetto in Norfolk VA for a predominately black crowd, and they bought a lot of shirts instead of beating us up. We never really had that much trouble because of our name. Also, a couple of the guys in D12, Eminems sidekicks, have been observed wearing both Turbo shirts and Turbo sailor caps, they probably like the name.
TJUSA: If you eventually tour the US in support of the new release do you think you might now that the band is more popular?
HT: Yes, of course we hope to.
TJUSA: How did 'Get It On' end up in a beer commercial?
HT: The brewery asked this band that is really big over here, Kaizers Orkestra, they asked for X amounts of kroner, the brewery declined and asked us instead, we asked for four times the amount that Kaizers asked for and got it!
TJUSA: And what do you say to those calling it 'selling out'?
HT: This was for Ringnes, our favorite beer, we don't mind getting money from them , we SHOULD after all the money we've given them over the years. Selling out? Sell your body to the night, Roxanne! We've had Levi's cock up our ass for YEARS! Come on.
TJUSA: There's rumors floating around about a possible tour w/ the Foo Fighters. Is there any truth to this, if so wouldn't that be sort of ironic considering the prediction made of Nirvanas fate in the song Grungewhore?
HT: Yes, very. There's not much hold to those rumours, however.
TJUSA: I saw those Foo Fighters once and was pleasently surprised when the pulled 'Steak Knife' by the Angry Samoans and the super-classic 'House Of Suffering' by Bad Brains out of their gym bag. I found this very cool indeed.
HT: I like that band alot! Grohl's drumming on the new Queens album is AWESOME!
TJUSA: Did NP really ask you to write an album for them?
HT: No no no, not a full album, only one song. Haha.
TJUSA: How come it never materialized?
HT: We never got around to it. However we were contacted by Triple X Records to write two songs for a Cherie Currie comeback album they were planning but never materialized due to her old contractual obligations. Those songs were cool, we might include them on the next record.
TJUSA: I noticed a few things while at Quart that will probably seem a bit anal and redundant:
- a. Hank was not sporting his daring iron cross. Why was that?
HT: I don't know. He had an all-new outfit, none of that old stuff was saved. We had the cape made as a gift for his 30th birthday, by the way.
- b. The ass rocket stunt that turbo shows are so widely known for was very, very short. Is Hank or the band for that matter getting tired of this or was it an unplanned thing?
HT: It was always that short! And, yeah, it's kind of dated now, but the kids love it. We CAN NOT STOP the Ass Rocket!
- c. How do you go about choosing songs for a live set, particulary these last 3?
HT: We have so many songs to choose from, thats also why we never play any cover versions. We just play whatever we want to.
- d. The set didn't contain any material older than the Cobra album, why?
HT: Chris and Knut don't even know any songs from those records.
- e. So you sort of divorced yourselves from the earlier stuff in favor for the songs that have gotten the band more recognition? A 'playing the hits' if you will...
HT: Well, there were some hits from back in the day too. But yes,
TJUSA: What are some of the new song titles and subjects?
HT: Darkness, Darkness and Darkness.
TJUSA: That second one sounds pretty cool...
One thing I've been surprised to see is the lack of turbo bootlegs. Why do you think that is?
HT: I don't know. Maybe we're not that popular AFTER ALL!!??
TJUSA: That's one way to look at it, but I highly doubt that's it.
And how do you feel about bootlegs?
HT: If the recording is good, I don't mind. If it's bad, I DO mind.
TJUSA: Where do you see turbonegro a year from now?
HT: On the road.
TJUSA: 5 years from now?
HT: In the distance.
TJUSA: 10 years from now?
TJUSA: Any words of wisdom to the throngs of turbojugend around the world?
HT: Darkness is just around the next corner.
TJUSA: We will be waiting...