Bad Sounds favorites Haust are one of the more prominent bands in Oslo these days.
They just finished their first Spanish tour to support their latest album NO with a great homecoming gig in the Revolver basement. Bad Sounds sat down with Haust (via the wide world web) and spoke with Pål Bredrup (synth) and Vebjørn Guttormsgaard Møllberg (vocals).
You just finished a tour of Spain and a showcase in London. How did it go?
Any good stories from the road?
Vebjørn: The tour was a filthy rollercoaster ride through trashy halloween decorations. In Santander they even made a wallpainting with a pumpkinhead riding a Harley Davidson. At the same venue, there was a spanish version of the “vaktmester” character made famous by Trond Viggo Torgersen. He showed up on stage with a stepladder while the macho spanish hardcoreband that played support was rocking out on stage and asked the bass player to move so he could check if there was any sound in the speaker hanging over him. He was both the sound engineer and the bartender that night and served us top notch Calimocho! A big challenge for me was to find a place to sleep without traces of dogs and cats, since I’m super allergic to dogs; I very often ended up sleeping in the car. But overall it was really fun and we met lots of nice people. Even though it’s not so smart money-wise to tour in Spain, everyone is really happy to see foreign underground bands and people opened up their homes for us, and you could really sense a well functioning d.i.y community. We even got a decent vegan meal every day!
Pål: Yes, Spain is special. Everyone is bringing their A game so that memories of having to sleep among heroin junkies and barking dogs in England slowly fades away. Ride the Calimocho, I say.
The look and sound of Haust has changed a bit since Påls tendonitis injury.
Pål, which 70s rockstar are you channeling onstage?
Well, the glasses are there because then I can`t see anyone or anything around me and I don’t have to show my wine red weed eyes. 70s rockstar? Fuck that. There is no retro about Haust.
Vebjørn, where do you go mentally while on stage?
Hm.. Being onstage for me is very similar to the feeling of throwing up. It feels really good and really bad at the same time.
How has the introduction of several keyboards changed the sound on the upcoming record? Has it changed the way you write songs? Are the new members involved in songwriting as well?
Pål: Not really, it just brings some new spices to the table. I was never a guitar player anyways, I just used it to make songs.
Vebjørn: The new members are totally involved in the songwriting, but me and Pål made the ground structures during wet smoke filled afternoons in our black hole of a rehearsing room.
Are you planning on going back to a more guitar based sound when Pål is healthy or are you staying a 6 piece?
Vebjørn: I think the sound we are developing now is the future Haust sound. Our upcoming record will be something totally different from earlier Haust records, and it will be the best synth based punk recording since the demos of The Screamers.
Pål: But not better than The Spits of course; and we are a five piece.
But you have been playing as six piece for a while, no?
Vebjørn: We’ve played some concerts as a 6-piece but normally we are 5.
We were five on tour in Spain, but Jørn Tore Egseth joined us on extra synth in Oslo and London. Jørn is not a permanent member of the band, but he mixed the NO album and has collaborated on some synth stuff before Pål started playing synth; so that’s why we have played with him a few times. He usually plays in the band Phaedra, but they are on a little break right now.
Lets get real deep for a second. What are the ideological theories behind Haust?
How would you define the sound, art and vision of Haust?
Vebjørn: We want to play ugly music in a hypnotizing way. My lyrics are more about being submissive and self destructive, than the usual rock god cliches . We don’t want to conquer the world like vikings or to see the audience bow down before us. We want the misfits and perverts of the world to feel a sense of belonging in our music.
Oslo is not exactly known for being a flourishing punk and noise rock town.
(It’s not easy to get a paying gig it seems, and the scene is rather divided and small) Being an outsider from Notodden, is Oslo really that fucking ugly?
How can Oslo become a better place to play and develop as a band?
Vebjørn: I currently live in Copenhagen, and I find the scene here much more interesting. People back each other up, and the underground is much more sustainable. Oslo is full of bands shamelessly copying classic bands and try to make a profit out of it. People strive to gain something so hard that they forget what they are striving for while doing it. Art and rocknroll should not be about a career, it should be about fucking shit up and doing something totally different. Or at least something personal that you could die for.
What are in your opinion the most interesting Norwegian bands and how does the scene differ from outside the border in your experience?
Vebjørn: Noxagt is still the best norwegian band in my opinion. Our friends in Dark Times and Urbanoia will both probably make really good albums in the future. I think the generation of noisy music that we are representing together with Årabrot, Okkultokrati and some other bands has a way of interpreting black metal in an artsy punk context that is not very common outside of Norway.
Pål: I had one mind blowing experience this year and that was seeing Thomas Takes No Shit and Daniel Jerome playing Revolver. That was something special. Besides from that I am looking forward to hear the upcoming Dark Times LP and the guitar solo`s of AK.
What are Haust plans for the future?
To record the new album and to tour as much as possible.
WORDS BY TOMB