Audrey Horne Interview
with Vocalist Toschie
By Mark Ashby
Having just released their fourth studio album, ‘Youngblood’, Audrey Horne are about to hit the UK and Ireland for a series of headline shows, with The Mercy House and Sahg in support. On the eve of the tour, we caught up with vocalist Toschie for a few insights into the band, the new album and the possibility of a mega-bill made up of all the bands from which the line-up is drawn.
Thanks for taking the time to talk to Metal-Rules, and congratulations on the new album: it’s been out for a few weeks now – are you pleased with the reception it has got, both critically and, more importantly, from the fans?
Thank you, yeah, we are of course extremely happy with this.
The feedback from both press and fans has been amazing, so things could not be better.
Audrey Horne’s sound is very different from that for which a number of the band members (who include Enslaved/Ov Hell guitarist Arve ‘Ice Dale’ Isdal and Thomas Tofthagen of Sahg) are known: how would you describe the band’s sound and how important is it to you, collectively, to play a style of music so different from that of the other bands to whom you are connected?
I guess we play hard rock, and we focus on good melody lines and interesting playing. We have always played music that comes from our heart, and have never really sat down to try to analyze it. It is the result of the five of us making music together, so whether it is close, or far away from what people do in their other bands have never really been an issue. This is what we want to do, and it is in Audrey Horne we do most of the writing. [Besides] Ice Dale does not write very much for Enslaved.
Do you view Youngblood as a progression of the sound on your first three albums, or a consolidation of what has gone before?
I would say a bit of both. We have slowly been going in this direction for many years now, but I guess on this album we were more influenced by music that came before we started this band. We have honestly always written music to please ourselves, so this album is a result of what we wanted to do at this point.
How do you approach the writing process: do you have an end result in mind or does it just happen organically?
Earlier, Thomas and Ice Dale wrote everything and recorded sketches that gave an idea of the final result, then I came in and wrote melody lines, harmonies and lyrics. We then “mixed” it to get a better idea of the result, before going into studio to make the album. On our last album, ‘Audrey Horne’, we started to loosen up a bit more. So, on this album we wrote everything live in our rehearsal studio, and did not bother too much with pre production. We then went into studio and recorded the songs as live as possible. I guess this is the main reason that both the songs and the sound changed towards a more classic and energetic style. So this album is definitely a result of an organically process.
Which comes first: the music or the lyrics, or is it a combination of both?
Lyrics are always the last thing. I always write the melody lines using sketches, usually made out of black talk, (just singing whatever comes to mind, and not caring whether it makes sense or not), as you can hear on the demo versions that comes with the limited edition.
You’re heading out on tour at the end of April: what can we expect from the show?
A good time! We always enjoy playing live, and we like to shear this feeling with the crowd. I always get down into the crowd and rock out with them. It is important to have them go home feeling like they were a part of a great show.
This tour also includes your first ever visits to both parts of the island of Ireland: are you looking forward to reaching out to new audiences here?
Absolutely. We have wanted to go there for years, so we are glad it is finally happening. You guys gave us Thin Lizzy for Christ’s sake! We owe it to you.
Sahg are opening the bill for the European tour: is this just a coincidence or are they a deliberate choice?
Very much deliberate. They are good friends, and an amazing band, so as long as Thomas does not mind doing two gigs a night (which he really doesn`t) we thought of it as a perfect match.
Would you ever see an occasion when all the bands in which the various members play would appear on the same tour bill? And, if so, who would headline?
That would be cool – but it would not be this year, so hopefully we will have grown enough to top the bill, he he!
What’s next after this tour: will you be hitting the summer festival circuit?
Yeah, we are doing festivals all over Europe: Hellfest in France, Rock Hard, and Rock Harz in Germany, Sweden Rock, Masters of Rock in the Czech Republic, Fortarock in The Netherlands, Open Air Granichen in Switzerland and some more. So it is going to be a fun summer.
Thank you for your time and I look forward to meeting up with you in Belfast…
You too. Stay classy !