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Interview - Toschie (Audrey Horne)

Interview with Toschie from Audrey Horne
by Charlotte Wittingham at 12 November 2014, 9:37 AM

AUDREY HORNE is  a hard rock band from Bergen, Norway. AS they so eloquently put it, thy thefted the identity of a character from the cult series Twin Peaks. At least we know they have a sense of humor, which is never a bad thing. Our owned beloved Charlotte Wittingham has been granted the opportunity to speak with the band about identity theft of a fictional character, their influences, their favorite Muppets, and plenty of other interesting things. 

Hello Toschie thank you for talking to Metal Temple; first question I’d like to ask you, I researched the name Audrey Horne to find it’s the name of a Twin Peaks character. Was that the influence for the band name?

Yes it is we stole her name; it’s called identity theft isn’t it? We didn’t have her social security number so we didn’t get much out of her (laughs) We stole it from Twin Peaks basically, there isn’t much more to it than that. The thing is I used to be in a band called Sylvia Wayne before we started Audrey Horne and Sylvia Wayne was a made up fictional woman’s name. So when we started this band the other guys talked about it and that they liked the idea of having a woman’s name as the band name; someone was watching Twin Peaks and they thought it was a good name for a band.

I’ve had a listen to Pure Heavy, your latest album; it sounds like it comes from a band that’s been around for a couple of decades when I know that isn’t the case. Who are your musical influences?

We’re influenced by so many different things, but the most noticeable in the music is the music we grew up listening to which is the bands from the decades you talked about from Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, KISS, Van Halen and Motely Crue. This was the music we listened to as we grew up. I would say those were main influences but we are influenced by a lot of other stuff for instance a lot of newer bands such as Mastodon, Rival Sons and a lot of hardcore bands, country bands etc. Of course our two guitarists are influenced by the classic rock guitarists.

The guitar work was a particular highlight on the album, I caught hints of Saxon and Manowar as I listened to it.

(laughs) Well we haven’t listened to much of Manowar but Saxon definitely had some sort of influence as far as I can remember hearing.

I have noticed over the past few years there are bands bringing back old school heavy metal back, would you say that’s what Audrey Horne are trying to do?

We’re not trying to bring it back but we play that music because I think a lot of people look back on that music. Not just people who grew up listening to that but kids who weren’t even born when these bands started out. Of course everything changes so fast basically you don’t get to follow a band anymore. Kids will see that these sorts of bands have a huge number of followers because they’ve been around for so long and popular for a long time, they’ve also had their ups and downs but they keep going. A lot of bands nowadays have success for over a year and then the kids move on to another artist; it’s like when the audience disappears the band are like “Ahhh fuck it let’s do something else” and I think a lot of people can relate to that passion and dedication.

One of the biggest changes in the music industry has been the Internet, particularly Twitter that didn’t exist ten years ago. I’ve seen on your website you have got a #pureheavy campaign going on, explain that to me.

It’s a way for our fans to have more access to us as a band, with this whole internet thing it changed the music industry so profoundly and I think in many ways it was a crap thing because people stopped buying albums, they grow up and think “I don’t need to pay for this, why should I pay for this”. So that has made it so much harder for a lot of bands to survive since you make albums but you don’t necessarily make money from those albums. The good thing is however it has given democracy to the music business in many ways because everyone has a good chance of promoting their music and gets their music out there, you can record rehearsals and put them on YouTube. That way someone from the other side of the globe can watch it, even when you’re not a big band at all. In many ways it’s a really good thing and it’s taking away the power a lot of the major labels had which they became too comfortable having. So when Gene Simmons goes out and says “Rock has died”, well his rock and roll is dead but no rock and roll is very much alive. I don’t think Gene Simmons has gone to see an underground band since he wasn’t actually underground himself, in my opinion it’s a good thing and a bad thing, but the bad thing is that albums sell so poorly because of this, we have to hashtag everything, get stuff liked on Facebook and include goodies within the album so people will want to purchase it. It seems that’s the only way someone will buy the album is if you include goodies. It’s just one of those things where the world changes and we have to change with it; we can’t just sit there and say “Oh boo hoo my album isn’t selling as well” you have to change with the world. Our management team are always coming up with new ideas on how we can change our way of marketing for instance a sticker competition, you have to do this you have to do that. If it’s going to help you get your music out there then that’s what we’ll do!

Going back to the Gene Simmons comment, surely all that matters is that the fans support your music…

Yes of course. I mean if a band like you’ve mentioned Jettblack; if they complain it’s more understandable but when Gene Simmons complains it’s like ‘C’mon man, you have money, you have everything why are you complaining?’ when Jettblack are not complaining.

Also talking of new marketing strategies for the band’s music is crowd funding, is this something you would consider for the next album?

I think it’s a good idea because that way the bands seem less like slaves to their record label and any contract they might have. Today a lot of contracts that are handed out to new bands are absolutely horrific because like I’ve said the albums don’t sell much nowadays so these days a label will give a new band something called a three sixty contract where basically the record label will take part of your earnings from album sales and live show profits. I have been approached by newer bands that tell me they’ve got a deal and want my advice as I’ve been in this business for a while, personally I wouldn’t sign anything like that. You can tell the record label that you won’t sign anything but then they would send you on your way and sign someone else who is more willing to sign a contract. What I will tell newer bands is that they can either swallow their pride and sign, or they can resort to crowd funding where you can release your album all by yourself and you will also find people who will promote your album. That’s a good thing about the Internet because you don’t necessarily need a huge promotion label to do anything for you. These days you just need someone who is good at using the Internet and has the time and imagination to promote the album just as well as a promotion label.

Let’s talk about your brand new video for “Out Of The City”, how did you get Johan Hegg (Amon Amarth) to guest star in the video?

We know a lot of stuff about him that he didn’t want leaked to the press so we basically just blackmailed him; we said to him “We know you don’t want to do this but if you don’t there will be some really ugly photos of you up on the Internet”. No seriously, we’ve known him for years; he’s an amazing guy and we met him at festivals all over Europe several times. I actually got in touch with him through his wife, as she is a huge fan of our music and we got to know both of them. One of the guitarists from Audrey Horne plays in a band called Enslaved who toured with Amon Amarth so we got to know Johan through a different channel. We came up with the idea of the puppets interacting with humans; we figured it has to be something like The Muppet Show, as it gets interesting when humans interact with puppets. The reason we came up with this idea is because we use theme song from The Muppet Show as an intro tune for our live shows for the last year and a half, it’s a brilliant kick-starter at any show. We also thought we could make it more like The Muppet Show by having a famous guest appear in the video, we thought it would be a good idea to have someone no-one would expect to appear in something like that. Johan was one of the people we mentioned and we figured that he would be great because he’s so big and very Viking like. So what we basically did was ask him and because he’s a perfectly brilliant man he said yes sure.

Taking that you’re huge fans of The Muppet Show, who are you favourite Muppets?

My favourites are the two old guys, I also like the bass player in the Muppet band because he looks like he belongs in Fleetwood Mac or something, he looks very hippyish and cool.

As a vocalist, what’s your opinion on auto-tuning?

I can see if you’re working in the studio and there are some things that are slightly out of tune but personally I would keep it like that because it gives it an edge. If they want it to be one hundred percent perfect; you sing it like twenty five times then you use it as an effect. Cher did it on one song then everybody did it. My opinion is that you shouldn’t need it because I don’t sing perfectly in tune all the time but it’s close enough to make it work and that’s the whole point of music it’s supposed to be human in a way and not perfect.

Thank you very much Toschie for taking some time out this evening to talk to Metal Temple.

It was my pleasure.


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