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RAM-ZET (ZET)

HI! HOW ARE YOU? WHERE ARE YOU? Hello, I’m pretty fine thanks, sitting in my apartment in Hamar, my hometown, about 130 kilometers north of Oslo. AFTER THREE LONG YEARS THE NEW RELEASE „INTRA“ IS OUT AND VERY IMPRESSIVE. ARE YOU CONTENT WITH EVERYTHING? HOW ARE YOUR FEELINGS NOW AFTER WORK IS DONE? First of all, thank you very much. Always nice to hear that people like what we do of course. I have to say that I’m probably as satisfied as I can expect to be. I think we’ve developed our sound, and our musical skills, as well as I’m very happy with my writing this time. It took a long long time though, and also because of that, it feels very good when we’re so pleased with the result. WHAT TAKE YOU SO LONG TO FINISH THIS CREATION? WHICH PROBLEMS DID YOU HAVE TO OVERCOME? The one and only problem has really been my songwriting.. That means: I’ve thrown away something like 35 songs, more or less completed for this album. I laid a lot of pressure on myself, because i wasn’t quite happy with all the songs on our last album“ escape“, and this time I wanted to know that I’d done my best. So it was kind of a frustrating period, from time to time, but it had to be this way I think. YOU CHANGED FROM SPIKEFARM TO TABU RECORDINGS. ANY PARTICULAR REASON BEHIND THAT? DO YOU FEEL MORE COMFORTABLE NOW BEING ON A „HOME-BASED“ LABEL? Our deal with spikefarm was a regular two album contract, and I think both we and them agreed that it was time to move on. I have nothing bad to say about those guys though, and I think they’ve done their best with us, but I think we maybe don’t fit quite in with their other bands. In some ways, it’s comfortable to be at a „home-based“ label, but we’ll have to wait and see, how it works out after a while. I know the TUBA/ TABU guys as really hard working, serious, and dedicated persons, so I’m really optimistic about our future there. COULD YOU PLEASE INTRODUCE US TO THE CURRENT LINE-UP, IS IT SO FAR THE BEST YOU EVER HAD? WHICH OTHER MUSICAL BACKGROUNDS DO THE MUSICIANS HAVE? Zet : vocals – guitars – writing all the music, and writes the lyrics together with Sfinx. Played in various bands of different genres, and runs Space Valley Studio, which, besides RAM-ZET has recorded albums with: MORTAL LOVE, MADDER MORTEM, CRITERION, VIDSYN, RETURN, LOWDOWN and several different acts. Sfinx: Lead female vocals. Writes the lyrics together with Zet. Been a singer almost all her life, in different choirs, but also as a lead singer. Background from both pop, rock and jazz, but converted to metal when she was hooked up with RAM-ZET. Sings on an EPOXY album, which is a Norwegian kind of chili-out band. And sings on the debut album of Finnish act FOR MY PAIN. Sareeta: Violins and additional female vocals. Also various musical background from all sorts of styles. Sings and plays violin in ÅSMEGIN, and also participates in the new SOLEFALD album. She also kind of converted to metal, when RAM-ZET showed her the way to go.. :-) Küth: Drums, and a tiny bit of back vocals.. has been a drummer in various local bands, and also works as a session drummer with THE KOVENANT. Leads the local rock-club in Hamar, and has done that for about 94 years… Jon: Young, very skillful bass player, with some experience with various local acts. Joined RAM-ZET early last year, and managed to replace Solem in a magnificent way. Johs Baumann: Very young keyboard player, which barely has played in bands before, but is remarkably talented. During to Magnus departure right before the album was released, he works as a session keyboardist for Ram-Zet at this point. I really don’t spend much time, comparing the different line ups, but what I can say is that the one we have today, works extremely well, and I hope that we don’t have to change again for a while. RAM-ZET is in many ways, a complex band to get into, and so I think both Jon, and Johs, has done extremely well, fitting in to our concept! THE COVER IS VERY INTERESTING AND OF COURSE DARK- (AND EARTH-) COLOURED – WHICH IS THE MESSAGE? IS IT RELATED WITH THE TEXT CONCEPT AND DID YOU HAVE ANY INFLUENCE ON THE DESIGN? We still write about these two persons belonging in a mental institution, and the cover maintains pictures of these two. A lot of the lyrical concept, draws a thin line between reality, and fantasy, and we try to symbolize that with the almost equal front and back page. I’ve been consulted all the time, while the cover has been created, but the honor, should anyhow be given to the very skillful man who’s been making it. WHICH LYRICAL CONCEPT STANDS BEHIND “INTRA”? (WHAT DOES THE TERM REFER TO ANYWAY?) INTRA is Latin, and means „within“ and it’s because the basic of this story, (all stories kind of..) is what happens inside peoples minds. As written, there are two people in a mental institution, him, a patient, and her, a nurse. However, it turns out that they both have serious disturbed minds, and their fighting with life, and each other, doesn’t seem to end. COULD YOU TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT THE PRODUCTION PROCESS? HOW WAS WORK WITH DANIEL BERGSTRAND LIKE? DOES THE SOUND FIT YOUR EXPECTATIONS? Well. As told before, the whole album was recorded in Space Valley Studio with the band and me as engineers. When it come to the mixing process, I have to say, Daniel was my biggest wish, because of the splendid work he’s done with acts like MESHUGGAH, IN FLAMES and STRAPPING YOUNG LADS, amongst others. And we’re really pleased with the result. I think there’s a bit rawer sounding than before, and everything is more organic in a way. REGARDING THE TRACKS ON „INTRA“ IT SEEMS TO ME AS IF YOU HAVE BECOME A LITTLE LESS COMPLEX, BETTER MELTING THE DIFFERENT STYLES INTO ONE FLUID OUTPUT. WAS THIS INTENDED OR PURE COINCIDENCE WHEN YOU ENTERED THE STUDIO? I heard both things actually, so it’s hard to say. But I think you’re right about one thing, and that’s the fact that the passes between the different parts in the songs are smoother now, at least compared to „escape“ And of course I want the songs to be complete songs, which is very important to me. I don’t want to put different parts together, just to create contrasts. As said, I’ve been working very hard on each song, to be satisfied this time, and if the result sounds more complete, and better then before, I guess we’ve succeeded! :-) I ASSUMED IN MY REVIEW THAT YOU SHARED MORE RESPONSIBILITY WITH THE OTHER MEMBERS THAN HE DID BEFORE. CAN „INTRA“ BE CALLED MORE OR LESS A „BAND THING“? Compared with „escape“ this time, the band knew the songs before we started the recording. We’ve been rehearsing, done pre-productions, and most of the stuff was really well rehearsed, when we started the recording this time. So I guess it’s fair to say that this album got more of a band feeling than the first two. SOMETIMES YOUR VOCALS SOUND TO ME LIKE TILO WOLF OF GERMAN AVANTGARDE MUSICIANS LACRIMOSA. DO YOU KNOW/ LIKE THIS ARTIST? Unfortunately I haven’t, but i just checked out some stuff on a fan site, (the MP3 on their own web, did not work..) and that sounded exiting. I didn’t quite recognize the vocals though…ha ha.. AND ARE YOU INTERESTED IN THE MYTHOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF DEATH METALLERS NILE WHO SEEM TO SHARE THE LOVE FOR OLD EGYPT? I’m not to into that stuff, I have to say, but NILE is indeed a great band! DO YOU PLAN TO RELEASE A VIDEO AS YOU ARE A HIGHLY VISIBLE BAND? We absolutely do, but it’s kind of an economical question. I financed our last video „queen“ and I don’t think I’m able to do that this time, so it’s a matter of money, cause we want to do a proper video, and not rushing a cheap one, just to have done it. WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE CURRENT METAL/ GOTH SCENE IN NORWAY? TOO MANY BANDS? TOO MANY COPYCATS? ANY INTERESTING NEW INFLUENCES OR UNDERGROUND BANDS WHICH HAVE TO BE DISCOVERED? I can’t say that I think it’s too many bands, cause that’s only a sign that metal is growing in Norway, which i think is very nice! I don’t know if there are that much underground bands to my knowledge right now, but soon the new MADDER MORTEM album will be released, and that’s a real killer, believe me! You should also check out CRITERION, which is an old Norwegian DM band, with members from Tidfall. They’ve just released their first album, and it kicks some serious ass! HOW DEEP ARE YOU INTO THE NORWEGIAN BLACK METAL SCENE, DO YOU HAVE PRIVATE CONTACT TO THE „GREAT OLD TROOPS OF AGGRESSIVE MUSIC“ LIKE EMPEROR, SATYRICON AND SO ON? No, I can’t say that I do. We’re not that deep into the Norwegian BM scene, except maybe from Sareeta, who has had a bit of contact, mainly because she lives in Oslo I think. WHAT ARE YOUR OTHER INTERESTS BESIDES MUSIC? WHICH BOOKS AND MOVIES CAN YOU RECOMMEND TO OUR READERS? Oooh… Not a nice question, as I hardly read books, ha ha,,, and i go to the movies maybe once a year, even if it’s located in the building next to my apartment…ha ha.. One of the books doing the biggest impression in me was Stephen Kings „Pet Cemetery“ but that really is a lot of years ago. The movie sucked by the way… And when it comes to movies, it’s hard to find a movie matching „The Shining“ I think. I love that movie. Other interests… Nothing particular, but I love animals, especially dogs. Unfortunately, it’s not allowed to have animals in the apartment I live in. And I enjoy playing football, even if I don’t do it too often these days. Our drummer, Küth plays from time to time, and I ask him to call me, so I can join, but he doesn’t have the guts, because he knows my extreme technique I guess! I also enjoy watching sports from time to time, which brings us to your next ugly question.. ;-) DID YOU WATCH THE NORWEGIAN WOMEN’S FOOTBALL TEAM PLAYING THE EM FINALS? :-) Yes, as a matter of fact I did. And even though I’m not really that into women’s football, it was painful enough to make me pretty angry…ha ha.. But clearly, you were the better team though, no doubt this time. WHEN WILL WE SEE YOU LIVE IN GERMANY AND WHAT CAN WE EXPECT? I AM NOT SURE, HAVE YOU EVER PLAYED IN GERMANY AT ALL YET? Yeah, we joined THEATRE OF TRAGEDY on their 2002 European tour, but that’s the only time we went to Germany, and I think that we should do a tour, with some band(s) maybe a little bit closer to ourselves, when it comes to style. Hopefully we will be able to do so, pretty soon. IF YOU COULD CHOOSE FREELY. WHICH ARTISTS (METAL OR NON METAL) WOULD YOU LIKE TO TOUR WITH? KISS, but nearly 30 years ago… That must have some great rock’n’roll experience, and both the show, and the songs were unique, in my opinion! ANY LAST – INTRAVENOUS – WORDS? I hope that every German metal man, and metal lady, checks out INTRA, cause it’s really worth it!! And make us a bit bigger in Germany, so we can come and play for you again! THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR SHARING YOUR TIME AND GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR STRONG EFFORT Thanks to you as well! wbr zet

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