WILDNITE – interview
RIPPIN’ IT UP – AN INTERVIEW WITH NORWEGIAN SLEAZER ROCKERS WILDNITE
The kick-ass outfit named Wildnite is undoubtedly one of the most interesting and captivating hard rock bands to have emerged on Norwegian soil lately. To put it this way, if memorable and testosterone-driven music with huge balls to it appeals to you then these guys are the answer. There can be no doubt about that. The band’s self-titled debut offering caught the ears of yours truly and turned out to be a most pleasant surprise. Loaded with great hooks, wicked riffs, and awesome vocals, there is very little not to like about Wildnite’s take on wild, reckless, and raunchy music. Following a string of great performances and gigs as well as the release of the aforementioned album, Eternal Terror Live simply had to have a chat with these young dudes to learn some more about what exactly it is that makes Wildnite tick. Needless to say, you need to check the record out as soon as you are done reading this little piece.
First of all, I want to say thanks for agreeing to do this interview. I figured that since some of our readers may not be that familiar with the reckless musical force that is Wildnite, perhaps you could briefly outline your band history for us and tell us a bit about your self-titled debut album?
Sigurd/Baron Sobye: We are a hard rock/sleaze metal band from Norway. We have played together for about five years and throughout that time we have played a lot of gigs including winning competitions from Metal Hammer and Emergenza. Now is the time for our debut album. Our debut album is a straight out hard rock record consisting of heavy guitars and sing-along vocals/choruses. The sound of the record is a little bit like if Led Zeppelin, Dokken, Firehouse and Extreme had a gangbang, and that baby is Wildnite.
Where did you guys all meet and has the line-up remained intact since the very beginning? Do you hang out in your spare time away from Wildnite or is the band pretty much where you meet and what you all have in common?
Michael/Magic Mick: Our vocalist, rhythm guitarist and bass player met in school when they were in their very early teenage years. Our lead guitar player and drummer joined us later on. The only changes we’ve had is a new drummer and an extra guitar player.
Sigurd/Baron Sobye: We hang out very much! Mostly for band-related things, but often just for fun too. The band is like a brotherhood and we share practically everything, even girlfriends sometimes.
What was the initial motivation for bringing the band to life and did you know from the very beginning exactly what kind of style of music you wanted to play?
Glenn/Eric Rotz: Well, we’ve all been listening to tons of music throughout our lives, but bands like Led Zeppelin, Motley Crue, Ratt ect. were the ones that appealed to us the most. So we figured out pretty early on that this was the style of music we wanted to make, even though our style of music has changed a lot since the beginning of the band. Since none of us really are qualified to do anything else apart from playing music, we figured that we just had to go for it. We actually started out as a blues rock band and over time we have changed more and more towards the 80s hard rock scene. And we have gotten a little bit more heavy.
Where did you record the self-titled album and how involved were you in the mixing of it and so on?
Sigurd/Baron Sobye: We recorded the album at a studio called, Killer Studio. A really talented guy (Nicolai Ryen Christiansen from Oceans Of Time) who works there helped us a lot during the production of the album and he kinda worked as a producer for us.
The cover artwork looks pretty over-the-top. I love it! It takes me back to the 80s when a lot of hard rock music was entertaining and riveting, which is cool. I am guessing that was intentional on your part, but is there a story or a specific idea behind the album cover?
Michael/Magic Mick: Actually, we did not want to have a cover photo that was a picture of us. The picture was only supposed to be used for promotion, but as we liked it so much it ended up being the cover photo. We think the picture describes the sound of the band pretty neatly. It’s really simple, you’re supposed to have fun when you are listening to music.
Have any of you been involved in other bands previously or are some of you currently involved in any side projects?
Karl Fredrik/Kailey D’Ville: Everyone’s main priority now is Wildnite. Before Wildnite our drummer played in a groove metal band and our vocalist have played in many different bands including a KISS cover band and some punk bands.
Do you remember how, why, and when you became addicted to classic rock, hard rock and heavy metal? Was it one or more specific releases that changed your perspective on music, or was it something else entirely? Tell us a bit about your musical upbringing and background. What was the first classic rock/hard rock/metal album you ever bought?
Michael/Magic Mick: We were bread into the genre and we all loved it right from the start. My father was the guitarist of the band ‘Suicide Bombers’ and I have learned a lot from him.
Sigurd/Baron Sobye: My father played in a band in his teens and therefore he taught me how to play bass when I was about five years old. He showed me new music every day and I remember especially ”In the Court of the Crimson King” by King Crimson, which blew me away. As I grew up and felt the natural need to find my own way, I took a musical trip through everything from Dimmu Borgir to A-ha before I ended up falling in love with the 80s hard rock scene from the Sunset Strip. My first album was actually a "Best Of" album by KISS; I played it night and day for almost a year before it suddenly disappeared, I’m not sure, but I think my father had something to do with it.
Glenn/Eric Rotz: I’ve always liked hitting shit, so instead of punching people I figured that drums would be a great alternative. The Rev from Avenged Sevenfold is the main reason for why I play drums today. The first album I ever fell in love with was ‘’Nightmare”.
photo by Thomas Fredriksen
When it comes to writing and arranging songs for Wildnite, who exactly does what in the band? Do you each contribute material and then share the songwriting duties, or do you compose and arrange the tunes separately and then present them to each other at rehearsals?
Sigurd/Baron Sobye: It’s mainly me and Michael that write the songs. Usually one of us brings an idea to the table and then the other one starts tearing it apart. That’s how we find out what works and what doesn’t. Michael is really choosy when it comes to the riffs, I believe that about 90% of everything I bring to the table gets shut down by him. Therefore, I wrote the song ‘’Rippin’ It Up”, which consists mainly of riffs that he hates – that’s kind of a "Fuck you!" to him.
Are you intuitive and spontaneous when it comes to composing songs and coming up with ideas and so on, or do you spend a long time working out the details and nuances of each track before finally recording it?
Glenn/Eric Rotz: It’s a long process when we write songs. We try as best as we can to write 80s hard rock for today’s audience. That means that the song has to be interesting more or less all the time. If a song doesn’t grab the listener after the first few seconds, the listener will just skip to the next song. Therefore, we usually release all the horses right away.
Michael/Magic Mick: A song is never finished or good enough; there is always something you can improve on. I believe that’s our most important policy.
Do you experiment and improvise a lot when performing live e.g. extend certain sections and passages and so on? How do you feel about performing live and how does that contrast to working in the studio or jamming in the rehearsal space?
Michael/Magic Mick: What’s the point in watching a band live if it is the exactly same thing as hearing the record? The live show is supposed to be something new.
Sigurd/Baron Sobye: Well, there’s no hiding the fact that we are a live band. The whole point of our music and our genre is to help people let out the beast in them and party their asses off! That’s why our concerts usually are a little bit planned. But of course things can happen, like yesterday at our release party where our guitarist really needed to take a piss, so he ran off stage. Everyone in the band was terrified as hell, so as a solution I made the audience call out his name and the third time we screamed out his name, he came back on stage. People loved it and thought it was planned. If they only knew about the extreme panic that went through our heads as this was happening! Back in the 80s, the bands usually played concerts to promote the album. Today that doesn’t work at all. Now the album promotes the concerts and it is the concerts that keep you afloat financially.
What are you guys currently up to in terms of band activities? Composing and writing new material or rehearsing for future live activities?
Marius/Nikki Starr: We’re actually touring Norway, Sweden and Denmark promoting the band and the new album now. A part of that tour consists of some gigs with us joining the band Ammunition on their European tour. So yeah, a lot is happening, and we are aiming to play as many concerts as possible throughout the year. But of course, we will also try to write new material for the next album.
What are your touring plans for 2018 and will they involve gigs abroad?
Karl Fredrik/Kailey D’Ville: Most of the tour takes place in Norway, but we do also play in Gothenburg and Copenhagen with Ammunition. We are planning to take a real trip abroad later this year, but first we want to establish the Wildnite-brand firmly in Norway.
And last but not least, what bands and albums do you typically listen to when at home? What are some of your all-time favorite albums?
Sigurd/Baron Sobye: I’m a glam metal fan to the bone. When I’m home I only play good old fashioned vinyl records of hard rock bands. My favorites will have to be Firehouse "Firehouse", Ghost "Meliora" and Led Zeppelin "Led Zeppelin IV".