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Frantic Bleep - To Bleep or Not to Bleep?

Discussion in 'Metal Interviews' started by Hopkins-WitchfinderGeneral, Jan 13, 2006.

  1. Hopkins-WitchfinderGeneral

    Hopkins-WitchfinderGeneral we are children of god

    Dec 2, 2002
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    Chained to this rock of a Brave New World
    [imgleft][/imgleft]By Sam Brokenshaw

    Frantic Bleep are a band of unquantifiable elements, you just can't be sure what goes into the making of this kind of music. Original, epic, bonkers and endearing are a few words that sum up the things I feel in relation to the Frantics. You may or may not already be familiar with this excellent band, regardless, you should read on and find out more! I spoke to guitarist/bassist/literary addict Eywin Sundstrom to get the latest info...

    Hey there Eywin, whats happening?

    Not much happening with the band right now actually. We’re working on the follow-up to The Sense Apparatus, but it’s going slow as usual. We’re also working on some other projects as well.

    It's been quite a while since the release of "The Sense Apparatus" earlier in the year, it's definitely been one of my albums of the year, and how has the general response been in the media and amongst fans?

    The response in general has been great both from fans, press and other musicians. We have received a lot of killer reviews for the album, and musicians and fans have given us very positive feedback. Everyone from our peers to high profiles like Jason Newsted have given the album praise. It’s not an album for everyone so I didn’t expect it to be as well liked as it is. But the album is very much ancient history to us now, even if we’re very proud of it and we’re glad people enjoy it.

    "The Sense Apparatus" is often quite lyrically and musically abstract, wildly veering from subject to subject, theme to theme... is this a conscious effort or does it just come naturally? Also, I understand the theme of the album comes from Christian Ruud's artwork? Was it difficult to write it in that way?

    We just wrote the material that felt natural at the time and we never plan things out beforehand. I don’t think it would’ve worked out as well as it did, if we had planed out everything, it would probably have been very frustrating to write that way. We base the songs around guitar riffs just like every other metal band, so I don’t think we use any different techniques than other bands. The difference is that we listen to a lot of different types of music, so our riffs will end up more colourful then most other bands’ material. We came up with the theme of the album when Christian Ruud showed us his ideas for the cover, so we never wrote any material with his ideas in mind. We sent him a pre-production of the songs and told him to create a cover to it, and he then came up with the concept of the album.

    Some of your riffs do strange things to my brain, like in "The Expulsion" and "...but a Memory". How do you guys think up these crazy things?! You often stated in other interviews that you're a guitar-centered band, could you expand a bit on the writing process? Also, how much is the writing a group effort?

    Those riffs were written on guitar just like most of the other riffs we work with. We have tried to write with computers as well, but all the riffs on TSA were written on guitar. Some stuff on our demo “Fluctuadmisson” was written with computers and I like that approach as well since you can hear the riff before you learn it, and you can make changes as you go along. We pretty much write songs like every other rock/metal band. Someone will come up with some riffs and we’ll put them together during rehearsals. We record the arrangements as we go along, and make changes when necessary. To say that the writing for TSA was a group effort wouldn’t be quite right, but I wish it could be more of a group effort than it has been so far in the future.


    What's your opinion on the current musical climate, both in Norway and worldwide? Any new bands you think are great? How you think the current musical period compares to the "Golden Eras" of the past decades, like 60's Rock, 70's Prog, 80's Metal etc?

    The general attitude in the industry (in the mainstream at least) seems to be like the one we had back in the 80’s. Stripper look-alikes shaking their asses in every video on MTV and stuff like that. Very materialistic attitudes and the music seem to be secondary. I guess you have to look into more underground stuff if you want quality, even if I do enjoy some mainstream stuff as well nowadays, like the new Kate Bush album. It seems to be more of a melting-pot nowadays and not just one or two trends going strong, like in the past. The labels are basically looking for cash cows that will make them a lot of money overnight, they don’t plan ahead and don’t create careers but one-hit wonders. The attitude seems to be same among indie-labels as well, not just the majors. It was easier to become well known back in the day since it wasn’t as many labels and bands to compete with, and labels planed ahead for a longer career and not just one-offs. Nowadays everyone has his own label and every metal fan on the planet is in a band. The overexposure is enormous and it’s almost impossible to make it nowadays because of this. The climate in Norway is a bit different, but we still have a lot of “over hyped” artists with no quality whatsoever, both in the mainstream and metal scene.

    As our readers are probably aware, sadly Elitist Records (Former European home for Frantic Bleep) recently decided to close its doors. It was kind of a debacle in the end with bands not ever being sure if they'd been dropped by Earache or not. What's your take on this?

    Well, I think it is well known in the metal world that Earache don’t have a very good reputation for treating their bands very well. Just look at the bands they used to have back in the days, and what do they have now? I wonder why almost every band who have left the label are complaining about being treated like crap? Elitist was never a label of its own and all the bands signed to Elitist had to sign the Earache contract. I guess this was a good thing for Lee Barrett since he didn’t want to deal with the business side of things, but in my opinion this was never a very good solution for the bands since the Earache standard contract is 40 pages of pure slavery, and we all had to deal with Earache and not just Lee. Even if Lee wanted to help the bands out, it didn’t matter when he didn’t get any help from the people upstairs. The Elitist bands were never a very big priority and I think they hoped for Lee to find another Opeth or Emperor that they could make some serious cash on. We turned their offer down since it was laughable at best, and we didn’t want to negotiate with them for the next 6 months or so. We only had a license deal with them (they also succeeded to spit on that too) and we never intended on releasing another album through them at all. I also think that the way Earache handled the situation confirms their general attitude. They didn’t even release a statement saying that their collaboration with Lee/Elitist was over. They just deleted the Elitist link from their homepage and dropped most of the bands without saying anything.

    I understand you're quite the reader! What kind of literature are you into? Any favourite authors/styles you wish to recommend?

    Yeah I tend to read a lot. Lately I’ve read at least one novel a week since I’ve had a lot of free time to kill. I am a worshipper of the outsiders, antiheroes, the dark and mysterious so my book choices tend to drift towards those themes. Lately I’ve read a lot of Kafka, short stories and his novels, more philosophic books like Sartre’s nausea and Dostoevsky’s Notes from underground. I just finished The Plague by Albert Camus. I also like more contemporary stuff like Bret Easton Ellis and Michel Houellebecq, I also like fantasy books like lord of the rings and weirder books like William S. Burroughs’ Naked Lunch, I like material that will make me think basically. Other favourites includes Knut Hamsun’s Hunger, Bjørneboes’ Little boy blue, Camus’ the Stranger, Ellis’ American Psycho, Bukowski’s Ham on Rye, Patrick Suskind’s Perfume and more.

    Any famous last words for us?

    We have some very cool stuff coming up for everyone. The homepage ( aren’t updated very often and I don’t really have any influence over it right now, so I recommend everyone to check out our Myspace page ( for the latest news. It looks like we’ll do a jump into the multimedia field in not too long as well, more info on that later on, so we have some cool stuff going on.

    Thanks for your time, all the best with Frantic!


    Frantic Bleep's Official Website
    The End Records Official Website

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