According to a recent press release: “On the seventh day, God rested, but on the seventh album, TROLLFEST does no such thing. Delivering one Helluva concept album, the mad scientists have conjured up a veritable feast for your ears with a line-up including, but certainly not limited to, a full brass section, an old Norwegian jazz lady legend, synths, bouzoukis, vibraslaps, farm animals and absolutely no bag pipes. Of course this is all in addition to the seven multi-instrumentalists that make up TROLLFEST, and they have employed all these sounds and their skills to tell the tale of an expedition deep into the center of the earth, seeking the giant mother troll Helluva. Introducing new characters like “Steel Sarah,” “Professor Otto,” “Camouflage Clair” and “Hen of Hades,” Helluva will take you on an audio adventure like no other.” We get guitarist Dr. Leif Kjønnsfleis to our 10 Quick Ones…
1. Tell us a little about your latest release. What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through? Are there any hidden nuggets the band put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?
Our latest release is “Helluva”! It is filled to the brim with curious tidbits and details, so I will tell you a few of them. We have, for the first time, a female choir doing most of the group backing vocals. There is a tuba again! I love tuba. And we have several funky guests, most prominently Karin Krog, who is singing on “La Grande Finale”.
2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?
My Dad got me into music. He was always blasting different stuff, especially on Friday afternoons. I would come home from school, he’d be there already, making pizza and humming along to Frank Zappa, Neil Young or Paul Simon. Really loudly J I loved it. I rummaged through his vinyl collection, ripping all the heavy shit on to cassettes so that I could listen to them on my Walkman (retro, hah!). My favs from his collection were Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Frank Zappa, Jimi Hendrix, The Doors and The Beatles. Actually, the list is a lot longer, but you get the idea. My Dad also had a guitar lying around, and I jammed on it as often as I could. My Mom also sang some, and played the piano. So music was always present! But the big break for me was when I first saw “Enter Sandman” on MTV. It’s such a cliché, but it’s the truth! In between Vanilla Ice and Whitney Houston, BAM! Suddenly skulls! Angry faces! Beards! Darkness! Jesus tap dancing Christ, that’s when I realized what I wanted to do with my life and that was to make HEAVY music!
3. Who would be your main five musical influences?
It is so hard to pick only five, and since my metal influences are pretty obvious, I will stick to non-metal.
- Paul Simon
- Frank Zappa
- Neil Young
- Pink Floyd
- Muddy Waters
4. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be?
Still alive: Paul Simon.
Dead: Peter Steele.
5. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before?
Extreme khaotic Balkan metal with screams and brutality, but also dynamics and catchy hooks. I would tell them to check out all our stuff, because it varies a lot.
6. What’s the best thing about being a musician?
Playing live. Pure and simple. The creative process from idea through demos to actual physical album is great, too. But nothing beats playing live.
7. When the band are all hanging out together, who cooks; who gets the drinks in; and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?
Trollbank cooks, Mr. Seidel and Drekka Dag would be the first to crack a bottle. We have never picked up the acoustic guitar for a singalong. I can’t speak for the other guys, but I certainly never will.
8. If you weren’t a musician, what would be your dream job?
Movie director. I directed “Professor Otto”, you know: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UuYCS1jm2hg
9. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over”?
I can think of many things that I would have wanted to change back then, but no. The past is the past and I wanna exist right now. It is human and quite normal to make mistakes and/or bad decisions, but fortunately we learn from them.
10. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?
Metallica – Master Of Puppets. There is absolutely no footage from those sessions, or any other Metallica record prior to the Black Album for that matter, and I would have loved to be a fly on the wall. It makes me so god damn curious thinking about how stuff was done back then, how those guys communicated back then, how the analog equipment worked and all that.
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