Frontman, songwriter, vocal powerhouse and all-round top bloke Toschie of Audrey Horne takes time out to chat with Dewie of ThisIsNotAScene about their belter of a new album “Youngblood”, as well as musical influences, touring and manufactured pop stars.

Congratulations on a stunning new album. How does it feel to be Top Ten in your home country?

Thank you so much. We are of course very pleased with the feedback this album has received, and to enter at number 10 is not a bad thing either.

With so much manufactured pop music and “instant” stars appearing from reality TV shows, it must be satisfying to find relentless touring and crafting quality songs still pays off these days?

Yes it does, even though most of these stars get more attention than we do, I still think we will outlast each and every one of them. They rise fast as hell, but 6 months down the line most of them entertain at shopping malls before they leap into oblivion. But this is the way things works these days – the general public doesn’t care for quality, they want the stars to be everyday people, because they can relate to it in a “it-could-have-been-me” way. But those who take interest in music will always search out proper bands and artists.

Your earlier albums felt like they had some grunge and prog tones to them but Youngblood seems unashamedly classic rock. Was it a conscious decision to shift the mood or did you just decide to write whatever you felt and not limit yourselves?

We always write whatever we feel like writing, and never limit ourselves in any way, except that it has to feel right. Usually when we write music, Ice Dale or Thomas write the music at home, then they hand it over to me to write melody lines, harmonies and lyrics. But this time we decided to write everything together in our rehearsal studio, in order to get more energy, and a “live” feeling. By doing so, things just naturally took a turn towards a more classic hard rock. After all, this is the kind of music we grew up with, and has always been a huge influence on our lives.

I hear hints of Maiden, Lizzy, Kiss and even Boston/Van Halen in places. Is it a compliment to be compared with classic bands like that or do you worry about people trying to pigeon-hole your sound?

No, not at all, as long as we know that we have made music that has an honest and unmistakably Audrey Horne DNA, then we see no shame in wearing our influences on our sleeves. After all, all music has been written by now, so we can only find a new and personal way of walking in our forefathers footsteps. If people uses these influences to try to give others a picture of our sound, then we are OK with that.

We’re lucky to be getting Sahg hitting the UK on the Long Distance Calling tour, but sadly that means no Audrey Horne (you guys are supporting on the rest of the European leg). Aside from your one-off London show on February 27th, are there plans to tour here this year?

Yes, we are planning a UK tour in late April as we speak. Nothing has been confirmed yet, but things are looking good. We were very sad that we couldn’t make that part of the tour, so we were determined to put up a new one as soon as possible. We love playing over there, and it has been too long now.

I see you’re hitting a few European festivals this summer. Do you enjoy that opportunity to turn new people on to your music or is it still more satisfying to play to a crowd at your own show?

Of course, we do enjoy playing for a crowd at our own show the most, but festivals are great for turning new people on to our stuff, and we always get to meet old friends in other bands, and make new friends as well. So if it is an option I would say: Thanks, I’ll take both please.

Any other bands you’re hoping to check out on the festival circuit if you get time to watch?

We are doing a couple of festivals where Kiss are playing, so I will try to catch them, but also Rush, ZZ Top, and a bunch of others.

Norway has a celebrated history of black metal and of course Ice Dale is part of that heritage (as was Tom Visnes) but there seems to be a steady stream of hard rock bands breaking out there now. Any acts we should be keeping an eye out for?

Yeah, there are some really good ones coming out of Norway these days : Kvelertak, (as you already know), Blood Command, Purified in Blood, Ribozyme and El Caco.

What’s been getting heavy play on your iPod/CD player lately?

Some old Fleetwood Mac albums, the new Deftones, Graveyard “Lights Out”, new singles from Kvelertak “Bruane Brenn” and Alice in Chains “Hollow”, and classics like “Long Live Rock and Roll” by Rainbow and “Black Rose” by Thin Lizzy.

Finally, is there an upcoming album you’re looking forward to more than any other this year?

Got really high hopes for the new album by both Alice in Chains and Kvelertak.

Thanks for taking the time to speak with ThisIsNotAScene and I look forward to seeing you at a show soon.

You too, take care ! Toschie

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