A Talk With
Trygve Borelli Lund (Guitar)
Questionnaire by Sloof
I started my review with this quote: ‘This one is a hard nut to crack’. But in the end, my score ended with 80/100 and if I would have to review this album nowadays, I guess that the new score would top it all. This album has been growing and growing, the songs finally revealed their beauty, but it took a long time to discover the magic and to fathom willfulness. A perfect time to have a chat with this new Danish prodigy, the Black Book Lodge!
Q: I guess that many people react a bit strange when they hear your band for the first time. It’s not possible to put a stamp on the music of Black Book Lodge, but perhaps, you can give it a try. What is your band all about? What is the musical direction?
A: I don’t think we even know. And that may why we are still having fun with it. Our first album was heavy and stoner-ish, but the second album has a different sound and is created with the soundscape in mind we had when we were a wacky trio. Now we are two guitar players and the third album will probably be more lush and orchestrated.
So to answer your question: our musical direction is whatever we feel like when we take on a project that is creating an album.
Q: Was it hard to find the right members to start Black Book Lodge? I’m sure that a lot of musicians will refuse because of the high level, the complexity and the unusual approach.
A: Yeah it is a very exclusive club. You need to good looking while being a musical genius. Seriously, I’d imagine it would be difficult for your run-of-the-mill rock dude to fit in. Jakob, Ronny and I are very particular about what we want to hear and what attitude you bring to the table. We were very lucky when we managed to bring Steven into the band recently.
He is a very smart bass player - and I don’t mean flashy or anything like that. But you need serious musical awareness in order to roll with the punches and so on.
Q: There is a 70’ies feeling in the songs but with a contemporary sound. It’s like the European answer to Rival Sons. Do you agree, or is it far too short-sighted?
A: I don’t necessarily agree with that. I am not that familiar with their music, but they seem to do that retro thing. You know...vintage gear, Deep Purple-ish vibe and they even dress like they stepped out of a time machine.
We use classic ingredients but we want to take things to another level - or at least approach things from a somewhat “fresh” angle. At least that is what we strive to do. That may sound arrogant, but if I didn’t believe in that, it would be a waste of time to me. We dig old stuff too - but not really the super cock-rock thing. More like weird stuff like King Crimson. I mean - I love Thin Lizzy, but I don’t want to sound like them.
Q: The voice has distortion in every track, and I guess it’s because it evokes the perfect atmosphere to the songs. Are there other reasons why the vocals were adjusted?
A: We have effects on the guitars, bass...and even the drums, I guess. So why not the vocals? Also, Ronny’s voice has built-in distortion...from all the cigarettes and...ehr...Nescafé.
Q: It took only one year in between the debut album and the new release. That’s really fast, so I wonder does ‘Entering Another Measure’ contains songs that where already written when the first album ‘Tundra’ was recorded?
A: Yeah absolutely. The Martyr has been a mainstay in our setlist, since we started touring in support of Tundra. And we still have lots of songs that may end up on our next album. Probably because we spent a few years dicking around before Tundra was released.
Q: Some might think that EAM contains some leftovers…
A: We recorded a song that did not end up on the album. Not because it was bad, but it just felt awkward in there somehow. Actually, it’s one of my favorite songs from the session, so we might make it available at some point.
Q: The style on the new album is different compared with the songs on the debut. How comes that the band evolved that much in such a short time?
A: Because we are fed up with the heavy metal thing. Tundra was basically a bunch of non-metal dudes wanting to make a big rock album with interesting melodies. As a way of saying: here is how it’s done. Enjoy!
I can only speak for myself. But I just want to get rid of that “metal tag”. It’s just a weird scene and I can’t comprehend the notion of preferring a certain kind of music because it an abundance of distorted guitars. Also, because that sound is super played out and doesn’t even sound dangerous anymore. It’s just bland.
We want to create noises in a different way and we just wanted to make that statement fast with our second album.
We might still appeal to people who also happen to enjoy some heavy music. But I don’t think we want to cater to the average “metal fan”. We are not playing that game. I want to make that clear.
Q: Is this one of the liabilities for the band. Bringing new challenges in the songs, adding a different point of view, so the band and music keeps on sounding fresh and renewing?
A: I wouldn’t say it’s a liability. It’s something that keeps us inspired - the thought of wiping the slate clean for each release. Everyday is a new day, right? I love the idea of that.
Q: The Black Book Lodge is the name of the band. So, I wonder, what is defined with ‘the lodge’ and what can you tell about the ‘black book’?
A: There is no interesting story, to tell the truth. I think Ronny nicked the name from a song that was featured on The Social Network soundtrack.
I just know that I like the fact that the word “book” is a part of our band name. Books are not very rock’n roll and neither are we. So it goes perfectly together.
There is not really any significance to our name - and it’s impossible for drunk people to pronounce.
Q: It reflects a mystical vibe, an unknown factor for people in general? Do you want to create a dark and undefined atmosphere around the band?
A: We do like a bit of mystique. We don’t want to reveal too much about the band. We say no to offers and so on. Being over-exposed is an ugly thing. Nobody is so interesting that people should hear about you all the fucking time.
Just lay low now and then and make an announcement when you are DOING something. We’d probably be terrible salesmen but that is also the beauty of it.
Q: The front cover artwork is a painting by Kristian Jon Larsen and it comprises perfectly what this album is all about. All doors lead to another place, perhaps another time. It might refer to the songs, as every song, every door will guide you to another dimension and vibe. I’m sure that you can add something to that, or perhaps there is a whole story to tell!
A: Actually it’s a photograph by Matthias Haker. Kristian Jon Larsen did the other artwork in the booklet.
Yeah it kinda represents something otherworldly. The concept of the album is about losing something close to you and dealing with it. Dealing with the past and so on. So yeah - I like your interpretation. I don’t want to mess with it and tell you the “correct” way of seeing it.
Q: The band mentions Jacob Hansen on the info page, but he wasn’t responsible for the production of the album, so I wonder if he contributed to the songs as well, or is he just a personal friend?
A: He is a good friend of ours. He is one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet and he has done us a lot of favors. Can’t thank Jacob enough!
Q: After a first listen, I had some doubts with the new album. There is so much going on, so I needed a kind of red tread to get ‘deeper into the songs’. One thing was for sure, the musicians of Black Book Lodge do extraordinary things with their instrument, but I couldn’t find the ‘core’ of the album. Can you somehow agree with me, or are you too close with the songs, so it’s hard to take a distance from the material on ‘Entering Another Measure’?
A: Oh man. I don’t know if you should have that discussion with us. But I would say that it is a challenging record. At first, it may not feel like a rewarding listening experience, because it’s sombre and depressing without the cheesy stuff that normally goes with melancholic rock music. You know when it sounds like a bad musical because it’s so melodramatic?
Entering Another Measure is restrained and could be the soundtrack to a clinical depression. That may be why it doesn’t have a core - or to put it differently - it doesn’t take you by the hand and tuck you in. It’s a very cold record.
Q: The six songs on this new album have a pretty long duration each. My personal favorite track is “New Provenance”, at this moment, but that could change next week. Perhaps, that’s the strongest fact on the new album. It all depends on the mood you are in, on the vibe and atmosphere. Is this also applicable for the members of the band. This week you like to play the title track, but next week it might change to the song ’27 years’?
A: Yeah it changes. It’s funny you mention New Provenance. That may be my current favorite, also. Maybe because we rehearsed it a lot during the last month. Initially, I thought it was ludicrous but I’ve grown to like it. And it’s a fantastic song to play live, too. It’s a bit of a rollercoaster ride.
Q: How is the overall reaction from press on the new album? And does it fulfill the expectations so far?
A: It’s been more positive than expected. Maybe because it’s so different from Tundra, but the “right” kind of people seem to get it. And truth be told - it doesn’t break my heart when a Lamb of God fan writes us off. I take that as a good sign.
Q: The album is released worldwide by Mighty Music. I guess that this is a very important step in the career of the band. What is going to happen the upcoming weeks and months?
A: We’re supporting Crowbar here in Denmark in August. Afterwards we have a tour lined up in Germany. About 7 or 8 dates. It’s going to be interesting. We’ve received a lot of positive press from Germany, so I’m looking forward to going there and playing in front of an actual audience.
Q: Is there any chance that the band will go on the road and play their music live, or do you like to focus on ‘working in the studio’?
A: We do both - and like it:-)
Q: If I compare BBL with Opeth, is it a curse or a blessing?
A: I like Opeth better than Rival Sons, that’s for sure. I get it...they have the weird changes and the heavy and quiet parts. But still we sound nothing alike.
Curse or blessing? Part of the game, baby.
Q: If you have the choice to bring your music to some major summer festivals, would you focus on playing Metal festivals, or do prefer the more alternative circuit. For example which one would be the band’ preference: Roskilde, Rock Werchter or Graspop? And why?
A: I’d love to play all those festivals. I don’t mind playing at metal festivals. We’ll be the awkward dudes that the all the introverted guys and girls can look up to. They need rolemodels too.
But to answer your question, I would hate to focus on a particular type of festival. We’ll do them all. Metal, jazz, prog, pop...I don’t give a damn.
Q: How long will it take before entering the studio to start the recordings of the third album?
A: Not too long. We’ve talked about splitting the sessions up. Maybe doing two or three songs...then write some more and record again. Instead of having a longass session where people get fed up with each other. And maybe embrace that approach as a conscious stylistic method. The album will consist of those different sessions. Like those old carved panels that are hinged together called Triptych.
Q: Will the new material contains diversity as well? Is this the main matter for the band, delivering variety, adding new elements, refresh to get an exciting moment?
A: It’s not really a goal in itself but it just happens naturally. So yeah - expect new weird stuff haha.
Q: We know much more about the band, so I would like to know if you want to add a little extra to this chat. This is your chance, your spot:
A: Thanks for giving the album a chance to grow on you - and thanks for featuring us on your website.
Check out our facebook page www.facebook.com/blackbooklodge
Q: Thank you so much for delivering such a great music and passion. Keep up the good work and if there is news to spread, don’t hesitate to get back to us! In Metal!
A: Thank YOU, Patrick. I hope this interview wasn’t Boredom to Infinity;-)