What influenced the new Kvelertak album?

Kvelertak band promotional photo

The classic rock influence on this album is undeniable, isn’t it?

Vidar: “It’s there a bit more on this record, for sure. We reject stuff all the time. We have a lot of freedom with our sound, but it’s more that if something isn’t good enough then it gets thrown away, but if it’s a good song it doesn’t matter if it’s a punk rock song, a black metal song or a classic rock song.”
Erlend: “Sometimes you might have some cool riffs but you just can’t turn them into anything. Some of the stuff on this album are things we worked on before we made the second album, I guess.”
Vidar: “The last song on the album, Nekrodamus, that riff has been around for ages. We’ve never managed to use it until now.”
Erlend: “Yeah, we had that riff before we put out the first album!”

How did you achieve that enormous, raw sound?

Erlend: “We worked with Nick Terry. He did the last Turbonegro album and he’s worked with The Libertines and that kind of stuff. He lives in Oslo. He’s a great sound engineer.”

Can we safely assume that you’ve been influenced by Turbonegro too?

Vidar: “You can definitely hear Turbonegro on this record. You can always hear them in some of our songs! On a song like Bronsegud, for instance, that’s definitely our Scandi-rock song on this album. Nattesferd too, I think.”
Erlend: “Yeah, it’s Scandinavian rock, but it’s not just Turbonegro, it’s stuff like The Hellacopters too. We’re all still into that.”

What’s the secret to mixing all these influences and not ending up with an incoherent mess?

Vidar: “BJ has been the main songwriter for the first two records, and he’s a great songwriter. Not everyone has that, you know? I don’t know how else to describe it. Some people just write great songs and can get different genres to work together in one song. Some bands just sound eclectic and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. Is that a good answer? I don’t know. Ha ha!”

Is it strange to still be an underground band to some degree, but to also be having a significant impact on the mainstream, especially in Norway?

Erlend: “We’re above the ground now! We’re one of the biggest heavy bands in Norway. I think we’re at least the same size as Turbonegro in Norway, so we can’t complain about that.”
Vidar: “I don’t know how big we are in Norway! When we release an album it goes to the top of the charts and we play in the biggest club venues. I don’t know who we can compare ourselves too.”

Are you aware of any mini-Kvelertaks emerging as a result of your influence?

Vidar: “Yeah, we do hear bands and we have ever since we put out the first album. We’ve definitely had an impact.”
Erlend: “I wouldn’t say we started a new genre, but there are a lot of young bands like us in Norway these days, or at least people try to do what we’re doing. Not everyone gets it right! But there are some good bands.”

Kvelertak’s new album Nattesferd is out May 13, via Roadrunner Records

Album Review: Kvelertak – Nattesferd

Dom Lawson

Dom Lawson has been writing for Metal Hammer and Prog for over 14 years and is extremely fond of heavy metal, progressive rock, coffee and snooker. He also contributes to The Guardian, Classic Rock, Bravewords and Blabbermouth and has previously written for Kerrang! magazine in the mid-2000s.