"They’re at their weirdest and best." -- The Wire
"Take(s) Årabrot forward into a new era... As dynamic and unpredictable as ever." -- The Quietus
"Noise rock gone strange." -- Metal Injection
"Dark and heavy yet almost startlingly accessible. There's really nobody who does this kind of thing the way Årabrot does." -- Brooklyn Vegan
Norwegian Grammy Award winning band Årabrot have granted gearheads a rare opportunity to view the bandleaders' Kjetil Nernes and Karin Park's unique guitar and keyboard setups, as well as the magnificent, secluded old Church in which they live and create music. Premier Guitar Magazine today shares a very special walkthrough with Nernes of his equipment and their wild stories HERE.
Brooklyn Vegan also recently hosted a Rig Rundown video with Park showcasing her church organ and bass synths, along with a behind-the-scenes interview/tour with both of them HERE.
The band's epic 2xLP album Norwegian Gothic, is out now on Pelagic Records and finds the historically caustic band expanding melodically with evermore catchy hooks. Hear and share Norwegian Gothic HERE.
Clash Music previously premiered part one of two videos, "Kinks Of The Heart" HERE. (Direct YouTube.) Metal Injection followed with part two, "Hailstones For Rain / The Moon Is Dead" video HERE and YouTube HERE.
Årabrot's 9th full-length album Norwegian Gothic (its title a play on the Grant Wood painting American Gothic) sees the band collaborate with Lars Horntveth (Jaga Jazzist), cellist Jo Quail, Tomas Järmyr (Motorpsycho), Anders Møller (Turbonegro, Ulver) and Massimo Pupillo (Zu). A stellar production by Jaime Gomez Arellano (Black Eyed Peas, Paradise Lost, Hexvessel, Oranssi Pazusu) makes this the quintessential Årabrot record, as guitarist and vocalist Kjetil Nernes confirms:
"Norwegian Gothic is the culmination of everything Årabrot has done musically the past 10 years. It is not only the climax of the band so far, but also a good indication of what to come. It is basically anamalgamation of all of our influences here in the church where we live. Musically it is inspired by all the albums of our record collection and thematically by the books we have in our shelves. More specifically it is our special brand of rock'n'roll music mixed with fin-de-siecle decadence, surrealism and even a pinch of old German philosophy to boot.”
While the 20-year history of the band is a story of change and correlation, it would be too simple to break this creative duality down to the stereotypical dichotomy of the yin and the yang... and if one attempted to do so, it would turn out to be quite difficult to determine which of these forces would be represented by which individual.
A chubby child from a christian family, growing up in a small Swedish village and years spent in a Missionary school in Japan made Karin Park desperate to break away from narrow thinking. And she used her only advantages to do so; her unique voice and personality. By the age 15 she had moved away from home to find her place in music after studying at Stockholm Music Conservatory, a Norwegian poet took her to Norway where she started her pop career, this was followed by a move to London to write songs, and working as a model.
After five albums, a few Grammys, writing a Eurovision entry for Norway and hits for other artists and performances with Lana Del Rey and David Bowie, Karin returned to the village of her youth and bought the church where she first sang in front of an audience as a child. She turned the church into iswhere they rehearse and record, surrounded by pianos, organs and hundreds of old bibles that the church left behind when the congregation stopped. The clerical environment has proven to be an excellent creative tapestry for a band whose lyrical focus orbits around sex, death and defiance.
Kjetil Nernes was diagnosed with malignant throat cancer in 2014, in the middle of a tour. Instead of heading in for surgery right away, the band finished a full European tour first, "Every night of that tour was like the last show ever“, Nernes comments, "It was really strange. When a doctor calls and says,'you're terribly sick', it's surreal. You go into this phase where life is more vivid and more real, in a weird way. We've done so many shows through the years and sometimes it’s a little like going to the factory to do a job. But with an axe hanging over your head you perceive the world differently.“
But the axe did not fall, and after successfully recovering from cancer, Årabrot are now stronger than ever. The band has collaborated with procuders like Billy Anderson and Steve Albini, and musicians like Ted Parsons (Killing Joke/Swans), Sunn O))))'s Stephen O’Malley, and Kvelertak's Erlend Hjelvik. They have composed music for silent movies like “Die Niebelungen” and “Doctor Caligari”, and have teamed up with The Quietus founder John Doran on his spoken word tour. Their album The Gospel was named “Album of the Year” by The Quietus.
Norwegian Gothic is available on 2xLP, CD and digital, released on April 9th, 2021 via Pelagic Records. Orders are available HERE.
Album: Norwegian Gothic
Record label: Pelagic Records
Release date: April 9, 2021
01. Carnival of Love
02. The Rule of Silence
03. Feel It On
04. The Lie
05. The Crows
06. Kinks Of The Heart
07. Hailstones For Rain
08. The Voice
09. (This Is) The Night
10. Hard Love
11. Impact Heavily Onto The Concrete
12. Hounds Of Heaven
14. The Moon Is Dead
15. You’re Not That Special
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