Month: April 2016

Unfulfilled dreams….and unrealeased tracks!

 

We all have them….dreams and goals that never happened, or to stay on the positive side, dreams that hasn’t happened…..yet!

Procrastination-Doodle

 

Today I was going through some of my backup-disks to find some old tracks from Keep Of Kalessin because there’s been a glitch at the Official Webshop so some people haven’t recieved the download links when bying MP3’s.

So to fix this problem I need to upload some files again and I started looking for them on my backup disks. But when I did so, I found so many other files….so much music that is just sitting there….on my disk, unfinished, unreleased.

I have wanted to release many of these tracks for years and some are even decades old songs that I still think deserves to see the light of day. For someone like me it’s really frustrating to feel that I never really tap into the full potential and I guess some of you guys could relate to this!

I know a lot of musicians who are the same way and who end up extremely frustrated because they have hundreds or even thousands of songs on their computer. There’s just one problem. Most of these songs lack something, some piece to fall into place, to be done! Like 100% done!

For me, some songs lack a proper mix, but I don’t feel comfortable in doing the mix myself so I’ve just stalled the process. Many songs lack vocals, some are missing an ending or a middle part. So basically these are all great ideas, but they’re never really finished. Why? Because in most creative work 90% of the song/art is just 10% of the actual work! And the last 10%…..you know the last riff, the ending, the one lyric that you’re not satisfied with or the middle part that is not sitting right, all this, even though it’s just a small thing to fix is normally 90% of the work! Because the first 90% doesn’t even feel like work. But when you’re about to finalize the product it becomes work…..and it’s down right boring! So it’s suddenly easier to move on to the next project or song and do the “fun” work, the creative process of beginning something new!

I often see this in creative work, but also amongst businessmen. The risk though, is that you’re jumping from one project to another, without really finishing the project and maximizing the potential of it.

In recent years I’ve had to become painfully aware of this and also started saying no to many projects. Even though I’m this kinda guy who would like to be part of “everything” and do “everything”. But if you’re going to get something done, you need to focus! And you know what? I really suck at it! I suck so much at keeping focus that I need to have someone hit me over the head with a hammer to remind me once in a while!

Anyway, so today I went through my disk and I found so many songs, ideas and projects that I would really like to finish, but haven’t done so just because I haven’t been focused enough to say “ok, this month I will finish THIS project. Next month THAT project.” and then set aside time and a plan to actually do it. Much of this is also because sometimes, there’s an obstacle, something that just gets in the way.  And when you can’t find an immediate solution to overcome that obstacle you move on to something else instead of figuring out how to bash through that wall!

I have a goal of becoming better at going through those walls!

Procrastination is the enemy of all success and it is a demon that needs fighting on a daily basis!

I even procrastinated before posting this blog because I wasn’t sure how much I wanted to share with you guys, but I decided to post some unreleased material here.

So here you go, some unreleased tracks that for some minor reasons never (or not yet) saw the light of day!

Headspin – Draw

Headspin – Self Deciever

Headspin – To the top

Arnt Gronbech idea, feat. Geir Mikael Reijners – symphonic song
– I wrote this song, but got help from my friend Geir Mikael to produce the orchestra. It has great potential, but never really finished it.

Alteration – The Beast Among Us
– I’ve had this dream about an electronic project for decades, but I never focused enough to find producers to help me with the sound and production as I’m not skilled enough to produce this kinda music. Even though I feel the ideas are good.

Alteration – unnamed song
– Electro-pop that I have great ideas for vocals on. Just never gotten around to finding that singer and producing this idea in a professional manner.

Arnt Gronbech – acoustic idea
– This is also a great idea, but I also have ideas on how to add vocals so I never got around doing that.

Arnt Gronbech – acoustic ballad
– Same as the “excuses” above.

Arnt Gronbech – piano ballad

Arnt Gronbech – guitar rock ballad

Arnt Gronbech – bonjovi-style
– I had this idea about a Bon Jovi type of song and went to get help from my good frien Jorn Viggo from the band Pagan’s Mind. Idea is great, but lacking vocals and minor adjustments that we never got around to finish.

In addition to all these ideas I have several disks full of symphonic music, acoustic music, electronic music as well as rock and metal.

And for now, my goal is to reach a level of success in business so that I can have my “dream home” with a studio where I can get all this shit done and every day try to better myself in regards of procrastinating!

Anyone else feel the same way as I’m explaining in this blog?

Hating the haters….

Today a friend of mine posted a comment on facebook. It was in norwegian, but I’ll translate it here:stock-vector-words-haters-never-win-269217320.jpg

“To be a fan of a band in the old days meant to really care about the music, defend the band at all times and really enjoy their existence…play air drums and air guitar every time your favourite song was being played…yeah, you name it.

Today it seems like everything has been turned around…that it’s more important to find errors, criticize and rather find excuses to stay at home instead of going to a concert when the “heroes” are playing right down the street. “We’ll catch them another time” you say. What happened with enjoying new albums and be happy that the artist still excist instead of analyzing, thinking and concluding that “it’s not good enough this time either”. I almost daily hear people that there is no good music anymore…WRONG! There is too much great music being released. So much that we are actually spoiled.”

I really agree with my friend here. I’ve been thinking about this for a long time and sometimes I’ve been almost expecting to see the entire metal scene implode in on itself.

Because, there’s more fans that use their time and energy on hating and talking shit about the bands they don’t like, instead of using that energy to positively support the bands that they DO like!

I’ve heard many artists feel the same way and some have even quit the bands or stopped touring because of it.

introspection

See beyond the boundaries, break your confinement, open up your dogmatic mind. Man over board, a lifetime reward. A life lived in hate will just seal your own fate! – KEEP OF KALESSIN – Introspection 2011

Yeah, yeah. I get it. We play in a genre where lyrics often revolve around darkness, aggression, hate and those negative feelings, but music is a creative force and now I’m just speaking from my own point of view that Keep Of Kalessin’s music has never been about feeding the darkness, depression or negative emotions. It has actually always been about empowering the listener with our music. Our lyrics also mention the fact that you should break free of dogmatic thinking and that you should be your own master. And this is liberation for us.

I guess all the hatemongering from the bands really started to affect the listeners for real and I think it’s time we re-evaluate this.

Let’s liberate the scene together. Imagine how much further we would come if we supported the bands that we love! Imagine how much more could be created if we stopped holding everyone back. If the fear of someone “destroying the metalscene” just went away. A better fellowship with everyone and a more positive attitude towards the things we know nothing about. Because there are a lot of people (including me) that have said too much negative things about music that they really didn’t even give a chance.

And let’s face it, it’s not Darkthrone with their new black ‘n roll album or Keep Of Kalessin entering in the Eurovision Song Contest that is ruining the scene. It is the norms of confinement! The unwritten laws of what’s acceptable and not! It is all the hating and judgemental minds! For every word or negative comment you write, it takes 100 positive to give back the energy that you just stole from that artist.

So I hope that we can all start to think more and look inwards to limit the time and energy we spend on talking down someone and instead start using that same energy on positively supporting the artists that we love!

And here I am….hating the haters. Time to shut my mouth and do something productive!

I’ll start by giving my support to one band that I truly LOVE everything about, but because they’re very different they have gotten way too much shit in their careers. And that band is Bal-Sagoth! I wish they would come back with a new album and a show! I would travel across the globe to see them!

Who’s your underdog band that you truly love?

10 things you might not know about ARMADA!

armadaOur ARMADA album was released on April 3rd 2006 and even though you hear the expression “times flies” a lot, I must admit that realizing that it’s already 10 years since we released this album makes me both happy and scared at the same time!

I’m happy that this album stood the test of time and we still hear from fans that this album really made an impact on their lives, their musical taste and on the metal scene worldwide. People from other bands that we look up to often talk about this album as an inspiring piece of music.

On the other hand, it makes me a bit scared that time flies by so fast and sometimes you feel that you haven’t really moved an inch before you really start to think about all the single moments that you’ve experienced throughout those years! Which of course is plenty!

But let’s bring nostalgia to the table and let me share with you some of the things you might not know about this album and the process of producing it.

  1. When we were supposed to record the pre-production, Vyl came to the recording sessions so hung over that we only managed to record Winged Watcher and Many are We because he was totally unable to blast or play the double kickdrum. And even those songs didn’t sound very good. We said “oh, well. Let’s get everything else done in the recording sessions”.
  2. The process of recording the album took 8 months (yes, that’s 8 MONTHS!) longer than expected. This was mainly due to the fact that the band didn’t perform up to par and we were struggling to get the instruments recorded. We were, however, getting along with the owners of the studio which resulted in a lot of partying during our real studio time, which again resulted in the fact that we had to use whatever free time they had between other recording sessions because we had used up all our money.
  3. The studio went bankrupt just after we had finished our recording. We hope, and believe, that it wasn’t “only” our fault! 😉
  4. The title ARMADA was taken from the movie “The Chronicles of Riddick” and you can hear a sample from this in the title track where the commander says “Get my armada off the ground”. This movie as well as the movie Alexander were big inspirations for the album.
  5. The ARMADA title was decided on very early in the process and I had a vision of how the title track should sound. But when I was writing songs I always felt that “this is a cool song, but it’s not ARMADA!”. I remember thinking this for Crown of the kings, The Wealth of Darkness and The Black Uncharted. Until one special night at around 11pm, I took one chord and I felt goosebumps all over my body…..because in that moment, I knew that THIS was it. It was happening now! The best song I’ve ever written was about to manifest itself on my guitar! I then spent 8 hours writing the song. Without recording any of it. I just made the entire song in one go, with all the passes and details right there and then. And I remember calling my brother at 7am after I was finished, saying “I’ve done it! ARMADA is written!! And it’s fucking insane!!!”. Haha. I have never been more excited about a song and I remember this as something special because I’ve never written an entire song with all passes and details like that in one long session before or after. It was truly something unique and I also think that this song is something truly unique!
  6. Even though the band was struggling in the studio, some of the extra time used was because we did not have a singer when we entered the studio. It wasn’t until after we had recorded everything that we started looking for a singer. I had a vision about how I wanted it to sound, but when we started testing singers, I really had my doubts that this album would be any good. When we found Thebon, we decided to go with him, but during the recording process, we were struggling a lot. We were testing many different styles and at some point I remember talking with Rune (the producer) and I said that I wanted to release the album as an instrumental because I felt that the vocals were fucking up the atmosphere and not adding to it. I’m glad that we continued to work with Thebon and I also remember when he nailed the first verse on Crown of the Kings. In that moment I felt a huge relief and I now felt confident that we were actually going to get this album done!
  7. Because the studio sessions were really difficult and that we used a lot more time than expected, it was impossible to plan anything in regards to a release and video etc. Because of this we ended up doing a video to Into the Fire, which was not the song I wanted to do a video for, but it was the only song that we managed to finish the vocals on in time. We also hadn’t decided on a concept or title for the song so it was truly rushed and I remember we finished some of the lyrics actually after the video was recorded. The dude doing the video however, ran away with the money so the video was never even finished. Even so, the video was leaked to the internet and it looks damn ridiculous and should’ve never been released! The song I wanted to do a video for was actually Winged Watcher, but like I said….we didn’t have this one finished when the video sessions took place. Didn’t matter in the end though, since there basically was no video that got finished.
  8. When the album was going to be released, Tabu Recordings changed their label manager 3 times in the process of the release. We were struggling like crazy to keep any momentum of the marketing and distribution. We had this great album and we had great response, but none of the record stores had the album the first couple of weeks of release. It wasn’t until later that we managed to start pushing some copies. And remember, this was before Spotify! 😉
  9. The actual BPM on Vengeance Rising is 185, but at the fastest part we’re playing 16th notes in triplets. Which means that the actual kickdrum and guitar is running at 185 x 6. Which is an actual BPM of 1110! No wonder we were struggling with the recordings. :p
  10. When touring for the album, I played two shows a night as we supported Satyricon and I was their live guitarist at the time. I did my show with Keep Of Kalessin, ran back stage and put corpsepaint on, changed my shirt and got back on stage with Satyricon. I played 64 shows in 34 days!

So there you go! 10 things you might not know about the times around Armada.

I’d love to bring this whole era back on stage and I have some great plans on how to do that, but we’ll see what we can do about it in the next few months.

thanks to everyone who’s been supportive of Keep Of Kalessin throughout the years!

all the best,
Arnt Obsidian