We Spoke To The Fiery Oslo-based Norwegian trio Sauropod
By Kieran Webber
Sauropod are a rare gem. There are few bands who like them can generate the same amount of energy then can within their music but also maintain a certain level of tranquility.
They are part of a series of amazing artists that are seeping out of Oslo and are yet another fantastic band on Riot Factory’s roster, of which their debut album is being released by 22nd January.
The band had lots to say in terms of their influence and their recording process, check it out.
Prior to your debut LP you hadn’t actually recorded songs in a studio why was this and what was it like to be in a studio? (did you prefer it or not)
It’s only partly true, we’ve tracked music in studios before, as in a song here and a song there at friends’ places. Good studios and good people, but «production»-wise a bit all over the place cause we couldn’t afford sticking around for too long. Cool tracks for turning on clubs to book us etc, but prior to last spring, we didn’t have anyone to release anything.
On this record we worked with Hasse Rosbach (recently produced Team Me and Turboneger) as our producer, and Riot Factory (the record company) were eager to see a full album released. It went very well, and very quickly, like a good concert usually does! We would have gone on for much longer if we could, and we probably will the next time!
Your music is pretty explosive and can come out of nowhere particularly in ‘Winter Song’ where does this come from and what was the influence?
It’s just how we want it to sound, how we want to play. We enjoy music taking up space. This goes for volume, silence, lyrics, melodies, rhythm, everything. I’d say busking, playing in front of wasted people a lot, and mostly writing music half asleep has really turned us on to the strengths of loud, short & sweet songs. It’s about keeping the music exciting!
If you could explain your music in one sentence what would it be?
Misleading, especially towards young people.
“There’s this saying that there are more concerts each week in Oslo than in Stockholm and Copenhagen put together. The latter are way bigger towns than Oslo”
It is known that you guys bring the thunder to your shows, is there any in particular that stand out that got wild?
As a trio, the actual live playing and singing leaves us kinda busy, and we like to take as short breaks in between songs as we can, so it’s hard to tell exactly what the audience is doing! That said, we know we’ve had mosh-pits, sing-a-long screaming, weeping, laughing, vodka bottles, rock purists shaking their heads and leaving, all kinds…
At what point did you know that you wanted to start a band together and why?
We were in high school together, but the band loosely formed the year after graduation. I had some songs I wanted to play, and figured Jørgen (drums) and Kamilla (bass, vocal) would be cool to play with. Jørgen got to Oslo later on, so it’s only been a regularly playing band for some years.
If you weren’t in a band what would you be doing?
Impossible to say, really.
Why was it you decided to move to Oslo?
Like I said we went to Oslo after high school. Kamilla went to study acting; I took a job as an elementary school assistant. Jørgen joined us, as mentioned, after a few years of studying in other towns. It just seemed to be the most exciting of places to be in Norway, I guess.
Listen to Headphones hear:
It seems Oslo has a really vibrant music scene at the moment is this true? what is your opinion of it ?
There’s definitively a lot going on here musically. There’s this saying that there are more concerts each week in Oslo than in Stockholm and Copenhagen put together. The latter are way bigger towns than Oslo, so if it’s true, it’s a very telling fact. A lot of people get music education, a lot of people work with music in one way or the other, and the general notion has been that scholarships and the culture-slice of the national budget-pie pays a lot of the bill. The cliché of great, evil, speculative music corporations isn’t particularly present in this country, as of yet.
But logically, since there’s so many concerts, the audiences per gig can get quite low, as gentrification blooms and forces club owners to push cover charges ever higher. I think there’s a lot of great players, a lot of rock and jazz clubs etc. generally available (and interesting) to only a certain audience, usually established middle class. Of course there’s also DIY scenes, autonomous places, youth clubs etc. picking a more open fight against the real estate-speculations sky-rocketing the costs of everything social and fun! I tend to appreciate the atmosphere in those places more.
Was there any particular influence to the debut LP?
As mentioned, the recording process was done very quickly. We only really set out to make a few singles to see what it was like to work with Hasse. He’d seen us perform the night before and couldn’t decide which songs to record. So we brought our set-list, Hasse would read us a title into the talkback and hit record. So, in two days, we had recorded the fundament for an album, and completed it in a few overdub sessions the following weeks.
Recording in a studio is something new for you did you enjoy it? Or do you prefer a more DIY approach?
We tried recording demos on our own little stack of equipment in the very beginning. It’s of course empowering as a musician to learn about engineering stuff by doing it yourself, it definitively is an advantage in the face of co-working with actual engineers and producers, for the sake of smooth collaboration. But of course we enjoyed working with a producer and engineer. “The more, the merrier”, right?
“Gentrification blooms and forces club owners to push cover charges ever higher”
Once the LP is released what is the next step ?
We’ll have a release-concert in Oslo on January 30th, and, and tour around in Norway as much as we can in March. Then it remains to be seen how our festival summer turns out, but hopefully we’ll do a fair few.
Lastly, what is in the pipeline for the future?
We have far too much material to not record more, so we’ll be back in the studio as soon as possible. And whomever isn’t entertained by the idea of going abroad…