Interview | Torgeir Waldemar

By Kieran Webber

Torgeir Waldemar took the Norwegian people and music press by surprise with his eponymous debut album in 2014. Now, two years down the line Torgeir has announced his sophomore album ‘No Offending Borders’ which is set for release March 17th via Jansen Plateproduksjon.

After hearing the single ‘Summer In Toulouse’ we were eager to chat with the man behind the sound.

CLUNK: I want to extend a huge thank-you for taking the time to answer our questions! We hope you’re well and have had a good holidays?

TW: Hi there. Yes, it`s been a great holiday with family and friends. I`ve mostly enjoyed the quiet surroundings in Oslo with concerts with local bands. 

CLUNK: At what age did you start creating music and why?

TW: I started to play music at the age of six, but didn’t start to make anything before I was about 25, when I first began to play in a band. Pretty late blooming going on there.

CLUNK: What sort of music did you listen to growing up and what stands out as an influence on your own music?

TW: I started to play an instrument at six, but that was the violin. And naturally, the music that I played was mostly classical and norwegian folk music. But I listened to a lot of eighties rock, with AC/DC as the dominant band. Classic rock like Skynyrd and Creedence, Dire Straits, Springsteen, Dylan and further on. I didn’t discover Neil Young until later, but he has of course had a lot to do with the way my music has turned out.

CLUNK: Is it surreal to have people asking you questions about your music and hearing it on the airwaves/on the web?

TW: I enjoy it very much. A bit surreal of course, but I am very happy that it seems like people like it. 

CLUNK: Did you ever expect your music to take off in the way that it has?

TW: When I first started out as a solo act I wasn’t sure what to expect. But during the years of playing live I’ve been quite confident in what I do, and that I have something to bring to the table. Funny thing is that I always had this feeling that I’m gonna play music until the day I fall over, no matter how the circumstances are. Almost like a calling.

CLUNK: Your debut release from 2014 has a shift in sound to your most recent releases, what bought on the change?

TW: I have played electric from when I first started to play guitar. So for me it was just a matter of time, and be assured that it was done properly, not just like any other band around. That was a bit easier with the acoustic way of playing, it’s more transparent so everything is clearer. 

“When I first started out as a solo act I wasn’t sure what to expect. But during the years of playing live I’ve been quite confident in what I do”

CLUNK: Your new single ‘Summer In Toulouse’ has a very classic rock sound, I’m interested in knowing what the influence behind the new single is and the new album?

TW: It was just a matter of time. But the specific reason is mainly Neil Young. The song Sylvia (Southern People) is strongly related to Southern Man, both the music and the lyrics. And the idea was to say that we are dealing with the same issues now, that he described so many years ago. 

CLUNK: Did you have a different recording process for ‘No Offending Borders’ or was it similar, explain it to us?

TW: It was a complete different process. The first album is almost like a concept album, every song was ready to be recorded when we started. Everything recorded in that church, all acoustic, and I had most of the ideas for how the songs would turn out before we started to record it. Now it was more like a normal studio process, building song by song together with Anders Moeller, my producer. We did most of the recordings just the two of us, and brought in musicians as we wanted during the process.


‘No Offending Borders’ Cover Art

CLUNK: Across all the venues and countries you have played in what is one that stands out and why?

TW: I think that must be this fantastic festival up north in Norway way out in the sea called the Træna Festival. The whole atmosphere up there is really special, totally magic. If you ever have the opportunity, just go!

CLUNK: Lastly, apart from the album what can we expect from you in 2017?

TW: It’s gonna be a lot of touring. Both clubs and festivals. Mostly in Norway, but I hopefully around Europe as well. See you!

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