Communic | Interview with Tor Andersen

Nuclear Blast’s artist Communic might hail from the world capital of Black Metal, but their songs don’t dwell in those too-very-often mundane subjects like walks in the woods and the Devil worship. Quite the opposite, in fact, as Scratch the Surface have discovered from drummer TOR ATLE ANDERSEN, when we’ve recently sent him a few questions regarding the upcoming third album “Payment of Existence”. Find out more…

Communic is a Heavy/Power Metal trio from Norway, a country renowned for being the world capital of Black Metal, whose elitist posture showcased throughout the years a zero tolerance towards other genres of music.
What is it like being a Heavy Metal act from Norway, the birthplace of legendary Black Metal bands like Mayhem, Darkthrone, Arcturus, Dimmu Borgir, etc?

“Actually it is very good to be a metal band from Norway, it’s a good metal scene here even though it’s mostly extreme metal bands here. I think that Norway is ready for some other metal bands besides all the extreme ones, and by that you can see that there are more and more metal bands here that is experimenting with other styles of music and trying to get their own sound. I think that it’s a positive thing that we have bands like Dimmu Borgir here to show us that you really can leave a mark in the music industry, even if you play heavy metal like we do..."

Have you faced some type of adversities when you started out due to the fact that Communic have ventured into a style of music not exactly popular in Norway?

“Not exactly, I think that the metal scene in Norway was ready for some fresh bands besides all the extreme ones. The media here in Norway has always been good to Communic due to the fact that we are not an extreme band. And it seems like the metal scene here now is ready for some bands that is taking it all to the next level, and proving that there are no boundaries in the way of producing good quality metal.”

Indeed, the Norwegians have established themselves as one of the most exceptional and promising bands circling within the Heavy and Power Metal fields and their first two releases “Conspiracy In Mind” and “Waves Of Visual Decay” were extremely well received by the press and the metal community.
Meanwhile, Communic are about to release their highly anticipated third full-length work entitled “Payment of Existence” that hopefully will cement their position in the music scene even further. What kind of expectations do you have for the new album?

“I have really high expectations for this album, I think that everyone in the band has drawn themselves further as musicians and proved that we have no limits in the way that we make our music. Personally I think that this is the best album we have made so far and the variations in the songs are very clear, this is the Communic way of making music so hopefully this will bring the band to the next level.”

In your opinion what are the main differences between “Payment of Existence” and its predecessor “Waves Of Visual Decay”?

“I think there are more “easy” listening parts on this album with all the melodic stuff and less of the progressive parts. This time there are more melody lines in the songs that make it easier to get an impression of the whole song instead of just mark out some single themes. The production of the album is also a contributing cause to lifting the band to higher level as well as there is a higher quality in all of the songs.”

“Payment of Existence” was like previous works produced by Jacob Hansen at Hansen Studios in Denmark, what was it like working with the Danish producer once again and did he add anything new to the table for this record?

“Jacob Hansen is amazing to work with, even though I had to record all my drums in another studio here in Norway (due to my private work situation) he managed to create the sound that’s perfect for Communic. This time we had a Danish musician to put on some keyboard that was recommended by Jacob, they were both very professional and very relaxing to work with. Jacob didn’t add anything to the music, but when it comes to the sound production he just rules...
We are very satisfied with the work Jacob has done on this album.”

The cover of “Payment of Existence” drawn by Jan Yrlund depicts a red-haired woman sitting in a couch in the middle of a city reduced to ashes, a ground zero environment so to speak. Did you give the artist some kind of concept to work with?

“The only thing that Jan Yrlund got from us was the lyrics for the album.
He then started working with the cover based on what his impression of the lyrics is. Yrlund completes it all with making a cover for us that surely fits the theme and the atmosphere of this album perfect. This is definitively the best artwork Communic has had so far, and we are very satisfied with his work.”

Judging by the album title and the decayed scenario its cover portrays, would it be legitimate to assume there’s a lyrically concept behind “Payment of Existence” that deals with the price mankind is paying for its development?

“All the lyrics are written by Oddleif so this it would be wrong of me to go into the depth of the lyrics. I know that the lyrics are very personal for him so I think that it has to be up to the listener to try to find a connection between the world today and the lyrics on this album.”

Nevertheless, I’ve once read that the band is influenced by daily life and things that are broadcasted through television, which as we all know sometimes can be deceiving. It’s a powerful media tool that can manipulate public opinion, camouflage certain aspects of reality and denunciate others like the oppressions lived in Zimbabwe and Union of Myanmar. What’s your opinion on the matter and in what ways is the band influenced by the strange occurrences and calamities happening in the world?

“Well as I have mentioned earlier Oddleif is writing all the lyrics for the band, but I mean that every man born on this earth is entitled to have their own meanings and the right to speak freely regardless to their government and their rules…
As you already mentioned television is a powerful media and you can’t believe everything that is sent through here, then it’s even more important for everyone to have their own meanings and independence. This is a thing that we are engaged by and most probably it’s here the band gets that influence…”

Following the release of “Payment of Existence” what are the plans of the band?

“Well, hopefully there will be a tour to support the release and maybe some more festivals during the summer. But right now we are just focusing on promoting the album even further than the two previous albums, so hopefully this album will take band up to a higher level within the metal scene…"

"Payment of Existence" is already available through Nuclear Blast Records.

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