»How to play juicy gluten-soaked fusion-prog«
The album by Knekklectric is a very special, unconventional release in the Apollon Records catalogue with a very individual note and kind of Norwegian progressive rock presented here. So let’s ask for more details.
Would you please provide some key information on the band?
Current line-up, discography etc.
Discography: “Demonstrasjon” (EP, 2010), “Ingenting å melde” (LP, 2014), “For mange melodia” (LP, 2017).
Johannes Maaseide (vocals, guitars),
Edvard Brøther (lead guitars, backing vocals),
Hogne Aarflot (synths, Rhodes, Wurlitzer, piano, backing vocals),
Erlend Alm Lerstad (bass, synth, xylophone),
Jon Bolstad (drums).
All our records have been produced by Iver Sandøy in Solslottet studio in Bergen. Most of “For Mange Melodia” was recorded live in Ocean Sound Recordings on Giske, Ålesund, then we headed back to Solslottet to track additional melodies (a lot of them!).
The band is based in beautiful Bergen, Norway.
What does the funny band name mean?
Johannes, Edvard and Hogne´s former band was called MCKNEKK. They played country!
They decided to turn the project electric, changing their guitars into electric guitars, Erlend joined on bass guitar and I later joined in on drums in 2010.
It was just naturally that the band name became KNEKKLECTRIC. But we don´t play country anymore!
Which bands or musicians had most influence on your music?
Anaphero, Michael Angelo Batio, Steely Dan, Michal Urbaniak, Motorpsycho and Jaga Jazzist.
How would you describe your music in just one sentence?
Juicy gluten-soaked fusion-prog.
Is Knekklectric a studio-only project or do you also play live? If yes, any chances to see you live in Germany/Netherlands/Belgium one day?
We play live as much as we can, but we all have fulltime jobs, so mostly we play weekends in Norway. In 2017 we´ve played on both festivals and larger club scenes in Norway. We have a lot of gigs coming up in 2018 as well. The songs tend to become a lot harder and heavier live, and there is also a lot of singalong going on with the crowd. Feels wonderful.
We would absolutely love to play concerts in Germany, Netherlands and Belgium. If any promoters out there would like to help, please feel free to contact us on our Facebook-page!
Is there a well-interconnected Norwegian scene or is it more of a status of lone fighters?
Bergen has a really good music scene. It’s not big and everyone kind of knows who everyone is. Musicians in Bergen tend to be involved in several projects which naturally helps them get better acquainted. And we hang out a lot at a local vinyl store/bar called Apollon, which is also the name of the record company.
Is there a fruitful connection with the Swedish or Finnish prog scene?
For us? Not yet, but we are eager to cross the borders more often. We know for sure we have at least one big fan in Finland, and we are hoping to play a show in his hometown in the not so distant future.
There are so many excellent bands in the current Norwegian prog scene – what do you think are the reasons for this? Any Norwegian-specific aspects that might lead to this?
Yeah, there are some really great bands, especially in our city we think. Shaman Elephant, Seven Impale, Kongle, Trojka. Great stuff! Check out Needlepoint as well.
We have no idea what the reason might be. Perhaps people are getting bored with MIDI-based, auto-tuned radio hooks. The 80s has recently had its revival in pop music, maybe the next step will be prog-bands playing stadiums again, like they did in the 70s. People ought to wear capes more often on stage!
How did you get into contact with Apollon Records?
Sverre Vik from the small label Tik Records contacted us when we were finishing up “For Mange Melodia”. He liked our stuff and wanted to sign us. Later he contacted Apollon Records for a co-op deal with all artist he had signed on Tik.
Both Sverre at Tik and Robin at Apollon have done a massive job for us, getting our music out and about!
Where do you see the band in let’s say five years? Do you think you will still release music on CD or will CD disappear and all your music will only be available through downloads or platforms like Spotify/iTunes? Where do you position vinyl?
We are writing our third album nowadays, so we see ourselves making our 5th studio album in 5 years time. Hopefully we will have evolved both as songwriters and performers. The working title for the record we’re writing at the moment is “Mørke skyer av selvfornøyd fusion” (meaning something like “Threatening clouds of smug fusion”), so our music might end up unbearable given enough time. Let’s pray it takes a lifetime or more.
We will definitely continue to release music on both LP and CD. We have tons of silly cover ideas, so we have no choice but to realize them.