GREEN CARNATION - INTERVIEW WITH TCHORT - 3-31-05

Rebel Extravaganza: Congratulations on the new album! How do you see The Quiet Offspring when compared to Green Carnation's past work?

Tchort: Well, like always, it's a little bit different for each album. I think it's a natural progression from Blessing In Disguise, but there are still some links and similarities to Light Of Day, Day Of Darkness. I really think that this album is more of an extension of the sound we started to develop during and after Blessing In Disguise, because before that we hadn't really played as a live band, or done alot of shows at all. I've been asked before why there was such a major change between Light Of Day, Day Of Darkness and the past two albums, and I think that both with both albums, the sound grew out of our becoming a live band as well, and not just a studio creation.

RX: After two albums following a definite musical and lyrical idea, how much of a concept is The Quiet Offspring?

Tchort:
There's not one. The Quiet Offspring doesn't really have any sort of conceptual realization at all. The only thing that I could say - and should say - is that The Quiet Offspring is very much a "band" album. In the past, you had Light Of Day..., which was entirely written by me, then we started to branch out with ideas of everyone in the band with Blessing.... This one has songs that I had nothing to do with the writing of, and I think it's our most truly band-oriented album.

RX: Do you think that Green Carnation is really as "groundbreaking" as the press have been saying for the past years, or is the band more an extension of the bands you listened to in your formative years, like Pink Floyd and Deep Purple?

Tchort: I can see where it would sound like that, but I'm going to let the truth out now. The fact is that I don't listen to what you'd call "classic rock" at all. The only time I ever remember listening to it was when I lived with my father, between the ages of twelve and fifteen. He was into bands like, you know, Nazareth and Deep Purple, so I heard quite alot of it around the house, of course. Once I started finding my own music, though, I really jumped right into the heavier things like Death, and Iron Maiden, and alot of death metal. I still mostly listen to death and black metal, and the other guys in the band are in or have been in other bands as well, so I think that Green Carnation is our chance to stretch ourselves a bit.

RX: You've been involved on and off with Green Carnation since the beginning when you formed the band back in 1990. Was there ever a time when you thought there might not be another Green Carnation album, and what kept the idea going through the years, even during your involvement in Emperor?

Tchort: Yeah, Green Carnation started up in 1990, by the time I had left the band in 1992 to do Emperor, we (Green Carnation) had only done one demo previously. When we came back together in late '98, we started putting together ideas for our first full-length, which was recorded in 1999, and released ten years after our birth. Green Carnation has always been important to everyone in the band, and that's why we decided to reform. This was the first band for all of us. We all learned to play, and write, and use our instruments with Green Carnation. What happened was, we had five guys, and thought it would be cool to start a band together. We'd been friends since before we decided to form a band, but we hadn't played instruments before, so it really was like "Ok, you play drums, I'll play guitar, you sing.". I think that just knowing each other for that long, and being with each other when we went through all the different stages of learning our instruments, and layouts, and how to put songs together makes Green Carnation a very personal band for all of us. Even though we move to other areas sometimes - like me with Blood Red Throne and Carpathian Forest - we keep coming back to Green Carnation because of what it represents to us.

RX: You're also very active in Carpathian Forest. How important do you think it is for a musician to explore all the different avenues of creativity? Could you ever be in just one band?

Tchort: (Laughter) Yeah, I know! Some people ask me if i have multiple personalities, but I have to say that I am a Gemini, so maybe that's got something to do with it. Most people I know have their share of work with one band, and they can't imagine how to have three bands, which I have. For me, what happened is that I started in music when I was really young, I had a big interest in music, then it disappeared for a long time - close to ten years - due to being in jail, plus losing my daughter. Maybe it's like I'm trying to catch up for the time I lost, and I have to try different things all at the same time. I'm not sure why I have three bands playing three very different styles, but I think part of it, too, is that it keeps me interested in what I'm doing. With three bands, I have to learn to master different techniques in music, learn other ways of doing layouts, and different ways of
approaching the audience. I'm 30 now, and getting up and going to the rehearsal room just isn't that fun, like it was back when I was 16 or 17. It's like that for alot of people, so I'm not alone in this. I'd rather at this point stay at home and write music there. Not that playing live isn't fun, because it is. Your priorities just shift when you get older. And I'm happier when I have something different musically to focus on. (Laughter) I'd go crazy if I were in Megadeth, and wrote the same album every year, and never had any other outlet.

RX: Back to The Quiet Offspring. What can you tell me about the song 'Purple Door, Pitch Black'?

Tchort: That one's one of Roger's songs, so I can't really speak about the lyrics. I think it's something to do with drugs. Now, Roger's not a drug addict at all, but I think he has friends who might have problems. I really don't know about the real idea behind the words for the song, but I can tell you that 'Purple Door, Pitch Black' is one of the few songs we haven't played live yet. Alot of people have been saying that's their favourite song on The Quiet Offspring, though, so we may have to work that one out.

RX: Are there tour plans in the works?

Tchort: Well, there's lots of things in the process of happening right now. Just today, we got announced for the European
Prog-Power Festival, which is called Headliner. We're also going to Ireland, the UK, and we would like to get over to America of course, since we've never played there.

RX: Never?

Tchort: No, and I've never even been to America, so if we can, it would be an experience for all of us, I'm sure.

RX: Everyone in the US sees festivals like Ozzfest, and watches Headbanger's Ball 2, and thinks that metal is popular again, when really it never died. It does seem, though, that fans in the US are more content to listen to what the media tells them is cool, and that the underground here is more for the fanatical metal fans. It seems that in Europe, fans are more willing to try new bands, and to listen to totally different styles of music, instead of just focusing on one. Do you think that maybe that's why a band like Green Carnation or Tiamat can play shows to thousands over there, but still struggle with recognition in the US?

Tchort: It's hard for me to tell anything since I've never been to the US, but from what I've been told, the underground scene is nonexistant when you compare it to the one in Europe. Dismember said in the early '90s they were selling 120,000 CDs. Of those, 100,000 were in America, and the rest were in Europe. Now it's totally switched around the other way. Now there's Dimmu Borgir and Satyricon who are doing major US tours, and they're only selling around ten to twenty thousand CDs, which tells me that the scene is pretty stale. It's not that we don't want to be in that position, though, of being able to do a major tour like that. It comes down to that our first album was never even released in the US, and if Season Of Mist hadn't totally fucked that up, then we'd be at the same level Satyricon is now in the US, at least we'd have had the opportunity to. Blessing In Disguise was in the stores two months before anyone at Season Of Mist bothered to send out copies for review to the media, or to set up interviews. Obviously, no one wants to review an album that's been out for that long, and the media only even knew the album came out if they happened to be at a record store and see it. We had a really good reaction in the US to Light Of Day, Day Of Darkness, but with Blessing... getting completely ignored, we're starting kind of all over again with The Quiet Offspring.

RX: Maybe a Carpathian Forest/Green Carnation tour! Then you could totally wear yourself out!

Tchort: (Laughter) Oh, no...I don't want to even think about that! Right now, even today, I've had a throat infection for the past five weeks, so I'm lucky to be able to make it through this interview day!

RX: The metal scene, while growing larger here, is moving to embrace genres it once avoided, like hardcore and more radio-oriented styles. Is it the same in Norway, or is the metal community there pretty closed to whatever's going on in the US?

Tchort: The metal scene in Norway has always existed on it's own. I think that's because Norway's always been very good at being at the front of the others when it comes to including new elements in the music. People see Green Carnation as being a strange band to come from Norway because they only think of black metal when they think of Norway, and bands like Emperor, Satyricon, and Immortal. What alot of people don't notice is that there's a new wave of death metal bands in Norway. There are also bands with electronic music influencing their metal, and alot of new power metal bands coming from Norway as well. The good thing is that when these styles get popular again, or whenever people start noticing them again, we'll already have been doing them for a few years here!

RX: Totally! Thank you for your time, and again, thanks very much for the music of Green Carnation.

Tchort: Thank you as well, it was a pleasure, and I hope we can see you all on tour!

www.green-carnation.tk


© Rebel Extravaganza - Rebelx.org
Site designed and maintained by SGraphics