Photo by Carl-Eek-Torgersen
"Superlynx is a three piece band from Oslo, Norway, formed in 2013. The band exceeds genres with their distinct sound and melts doom, psych, meditative atmospheres, heaviness and droning metal together. The third album from Oslo-based Doom/Psych trio Superlynx is both a continuation of what they’ve been doing before and a further development into moods not previously explored. The tragic death of a close family member has also made a deep mark on the album."
You new album "Electric Temple" is coming out for release on April 16th Can you tell us about it?
Yes, we have spent a lot of 2020 working on new music and writing our third album. Musically it really feels like a natural evolvement from our two first albums, like this is where we´ve been headed. There is definitely a thread to follow, but also some different paths. We don´t want to say too much at this point and rather let people hear for themselves, but I guess you can say that our expression feels more open and even less attached to specific genres than before, at least to us. As always our music is deeply personal and coloured by what we go through in life. But this time we have focused a little more towards celebrating life, music, inspiration and nature.
Your earliest music influences, did local music also play at part in your music?
I grew up with parents who listened a lot to music, especially bands like the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix etc plus jazz, blues and classical music. As a young teenager I listened a lot to Nirvana, Sonic Youth, Alice in Chains, Juliana Hatfield, PJ Harvey and mixtapes from my older sister´s boyfriend, full of more alternative bands, before I discovered heavier music a little later on. Hearing Nirvana for the first time instantly made me want to quit playing the piano and pick up the guitar. The local scene was definitely an influence as well. I grew up in a small town called Moss, who has the oldest Rock club venue in Norway. When I was a teenager there were so many bands in the area. A lot of garage rock, punk and grunge bands at the time (nineties) and some heavier and noisier stuff. There were gigs every weekend, even all ages shows, so I got the chance to see a lot of great underground bands live from a quite early age. I definitely think this inspired me a lot when I started making my own music and playing in bands around the age of 15. During senior high I also listened to bands like Type O Negative and Sisters of Mercy and discovered stoner rock.
I have been inspired and influenced by a lot of music and bands from many places and times. Early on I got a thrill from listening to Grieg, Little Richard, and I was a huge Sex Pistols fan. I had my hair like Sid and wore a chain with lock around my neck. One time as I was walking around the neighborhood at night, I was probably around 11 years old. I was invited to some older kids party. They didn’t get me drunk or make fun or shit like that, but was being cool and the guy showed me some records that I could borrow. Welcome to hell, and At war with Satan by Venom, and Rigor Mortis´self-titled album. That was really hitting the nail. I also dug and still do Dead Kennedys, Sepultura, Death, Metallica, Obituary, (early) Amorphis, Hypocrisy, Entombed. Entombed is a big deal. Nickes drumming is essential. To me it is Nicke Andersson, Gene Krupa, Frost, Mitch Mitchell. Those four drummers are my biggest influence as a drummer and later I learned to appreciate Dave Lombardos drumming aswell. I dont play like them or try to play like they do, it's just that they have this way of making the drums fit the music, not just being a beat in the background. They play very musical drums I think.
Growing up in the eighties and nineties in Tønsberg was good for music. There were a lot of bands and the hardcore scene was really vibrant. I loved that and thrash and death metal was the thing around my part of town, so there was a lot of cool stuff happening and we shared our discoveries among each other. I got into black metal in my early teens, and that was a bit out of the mainstream so I had to get to Sweden and Oslo to dig deeper into the underground. I remember going to Strømstad in Sweden and finding Dissections Somberlain, (that was in their hometown actually). Wow! And there were a couple of record stores in Oslo that had some black metal.
As a kid I got to see Seigmen at local youth centers and such before they got the huge success and Kort Prosess made a real impact on my young mind. Still one of the best hardcore bands I know, and No Place to Hide was also kind of metal heroes from the hometown.
Tartaros and Souls Domain was also local music I used to dig, and still do. Limbonic Art is also from around where I grew up. Across the fjord there were a couple of bands called Equinox and Cadaver, and in Oslo a band called Life… but how to live it? was a big influence on me. And of course Mayhem, Satyricon and Darkthrone. I was 15 when I got to see Darkthrone together with Dissection and Satyricon in Oslo. That was a big deal. Later I would see a lot of gigs with Emperor, Gehenna, Dimmu Borgir, Minas Tirith, and other kind of local bands from around Oslo. Tønsberg is 100 km south of Oslo. It was a great time for music. To experience this scene back then was very influential at the time. The creativity was such an important part of the sound back then. Arcturus, 3rd and the mortal, Burzum, Immortal, Ulver.. They were all very different but to me they had that feeling. I was totally focused on that energy in my teens.
There was always a lot of music when I grew up. Either on the radio or on records. My parents also made mixtapes for roadtrips, and we had a lot of those. My dad took me to my first gig when I was 8. It was with a band called Vazelina Bilopphøggers. I became a fan, and still am today. I guess I grew up on classic rock and pop, a lot of folk songs and random classical music. Around age 10-11 I discovered The Cure and Depeche Mode. Of the two I think The Cure is still a heavy influence. A local band that had a large impact was Creambabes. It was the first rock gig I went to alone when I was 12. It was loud old school fast rock’n roll, and it made me want to play in a band.
True, we have been playing most around Norway, except some gigs in Germany, UK and Bulgaria.We really want to play a lot more outside Norway. We don´t have a booking agency so we have been doing most of the booking ourselves, and our contacts is mostly here. But we really hope to get the chance to play a lot more around Europe and of course other continents as well when the pandemic calms down and traveling is safe again. Feel free to hook us up! We miss playing live and experiencing concerts, and hope that live music will exist again before too long.
In writing new music can you share with us the process? What comes 1st the hook or riff, the lyrics and who does what in it?
It is a very organic process to us. The first spark of a song can come from a feeling, a sound, a jam, a conversation, a lyrical idea or a riff that just appears out of nowhere. We all write music and riffs separately and then bring it to the rehearsal space, but many songs have also come into existence by jamming together. We are all equally involved in arranging the songs no matter who wrote them, and we have an open attitude to what each person is inspired to do with their own instruments to contribute to the atmosphere of the songs. We always process the songs together by trying out different ways of playing or tweaking them. For this album we also had some sessions where we wrote together more directly. Pia and Ole are writing the lyrics.
What instruments and set-ups do each of you use? Do you differ between creating, rehearsing, and touring with what you use?
Most of the time I use my Fender jazz bass both at rehearsal, gigs and in the studio. I also have a handmade German bass, by Albert Ulrich which is quite special and sounds super warm and full, and is also super solid for downtuning. I used it for the two first albums, but haven´t travelled a lot with it as it is totally irreplaceable. I write on the Fender at rehearsals or backstages, but when I am writing at home by myself I usually do it on an old acoustic guitar which I´ve had since I was 13 and wrote my first songs on. It just feels so natural. My rig is simple, I use a Big Muff bass pedal for fuzz and a bass sans amp for extra power, but I am currently planning to look more into pedal options and variations. Amp and cabwise I have to admit I am not super particular. As long as it has enough power and bass I am fine. For the new album I used an Acoustic 220 amp which sounded awesome. I have a Warwick Quad VI amp and a Markbass cabinet at the rehearsal space. Live I usually use the venue´s backline as long as it is decent. The sans amps gives a lot of boost, which makes that safer. I was very skeptical before I tried it, but it really makes it easier to get good bass sound under varied circumstances.
I use three different five piece kits, one vintage Gretsch, a vintage Pearl Export and a Premier Cabria, plus one 8 inch tim which I sometimes pick and choose from. I find it interesting to experiment in different set ups and tuning. But for recording I base my kit on the Gretsch five piece. Sometimes I add another kick and the tim. For the new album I have also added a 14 inch floor tom instead of a 13 inch rack tom. On the New Moon recording I added an early Pearl export kick drum which has the same dimensions as the Gretsch kick, 22x14, made of luan. When I bought it I took off the finish, sanded it down and it ended up sounding killer. For rehearsal I go as small as possible as I am trying to save space, and I like the challenge of getting a lot out of little. So I only use two crashes, a hihat, ride and sometimes only four drums at rehearsal. In the studio I may go the other way and put up shitloads of cymbals and bells. For the new album I actually used two hihats, three rides, one crash, two splashes and a flanger bell.
I differ, mostly because of space and efficiency. I also like the idea of making interesting music with limited equipment. So I actually change my setup a lot. I like the challenge, both live and at rehearsal. When recording I sum up all my experience from experimenting and choose very carefully every aspect of my setup from the kind of drumstick, drumheads, cymbals and sort of drums I want to use.
I also switch between three different types of drum sticks. I use the lighter vic firth 8d and the signature Steve Gadd which is a light and short stick with a barrel tip and I also use a longer and heavier signature Dave Weckl stick which is longer and heavier with a barrel tip. It all depends on my mood.
In the studio I always use a Ludwig Supraphonic snare but for rehearsal and live I usually go with the old Pearl Export.
My set up is constantly evolving, but what I use now is a Fender Jazzmaster on a Blues Jr and a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe. On my pedal board I have a Hudson Broadcast, a Keeley D&M drive, Cry Bayby wah, Mad Professor Tiny Orange phaser, Boss chorus, Keelay Caverns, Electro Harmonix tremolo and a Electro Harmonix Pitch Fork. I also have a Palmer guitar d.i. to split the signal so most of the pedals go into one amp, and the other is only affected by the gain stages. It also has a phase reverse which makes all the difference using two amps. If I can bring my own stuff to a gig, I will. But if there is logistic issues, I use whatever backline is available.
Your last release "New Moon" carried a great vibe to it, something unique to your band that people are looking for. Is "Electric Temple" along the lines of New Moon?
Thanks! Yes and no. The new album is definitely a continuation of what we have been doing but also a further development. I think the listeners will definitely feel it is a Superlynx album and recognize our sound. But we have delved deeper into some moods we have explored before, and others less. A free expression has always been important to us, even more this time.
Superlynx's influences are "nature, life, death, music, art" Would you say that this is the core you as songwriters and artist hold close in the creative process?
I guess you could say that these are constant influences. When you think about what all of them include, it is pretty much “everything”, but yeah, processes in life, what we go through, nature, the connection between our deepest inner selves and the endlessness of the universe are something that we are deeply connected with and are not done processing creatively. We feel that our music is both very personal but also universal in a way. We are also inspired by love, energies and connections, and of course the magic world of music.
Photo by Car-Eek-Torgersen
In listening to Superlynx live (on my must do list asap) there is emotion simmering to the surface of the music, 3 people who are grooving to their artistic output and love to do it for others. How did you find each other to make this connection?
Ole and I met in 2007, at a Dødheimsgard concert in Oslo, and have pretty much been an item ever since. We started playing together not long after, in a band called Loveplanet, which lasted until around 2012. When this came to an end we wanted to keep playing together and started Superlynx in 2013, planning to stay a duo with bass, drums and vocals. Not long after we met Daniel by accident on the street after a rehearsal. We knew of him through common friends, but we didn´t know each other. But we stopped and said hi, and he told us he had been to a Loveplanet gig and loved it. We mentioned our new project, and a few days later he came for a jam at our rehearsal space, and it was just obvious that he belonged in the band. A perfect match creatively and personally, and the band became instantly became a trio.
Having a band with one superb vocalist in it,superb,yet Superlynx has 2 and even all three of you at times.Are the lyrics and music written specifically that way, this process sounds fascinating?
It is not really planned, but is something that happens more in the moment when we jam or rehearse and Ole gets the inspiration to sing or comes up with lyrics that he feels like singing himself. Then we work it into the arrangements. Daniel sometimes sings at rehearsal too, but we´ve never had three vocals live. Maybe we will at some point.
Your debut release in 2016 "LVX" was simply a mind blower, so very much atmospheric/harmonic doom laden but all your own. Pia's great bass line and epic and seducing vocals, Ole just beat after beat of excellence on the kit, and Daniel making it seem like Acid guitar was his invention, riff after riff it really opened peoples eyes and ears to you. Was this music you had before the band, were you at all (fill in your word and answer) like surprised, on a mission to write New Moon immediately?
Thanks! We were all always inspired by a lot of different music before starting the band, but the sound or musical expression of Superlynx came very naturally. We wrote and rehearsed LVX in only a few months, very intensely, and then recorded it in 24 hours. So it was a very quick process. And yes, we started writing New Moon pretty much right after LVX was done. It felt like a lot more music was on it´s way, like boiling inside of us. We were not really surprised, it just felt really good. But with New Moon we took more time processing the songs and trying out different versions, and had more time in the studio.
Pia, tell us about your graphics work and where it takes you in your songwriting.
I would say the music impacts the graphic work a lot. It is not so much the other way around.
But I do have some abstract visuals in my mind when working on the music. We are also talking about ideas for the cover as we are working on the music, which I definitely keep in mind in the design process. But I have to hear the finished album as a whole to really get an idea of how to make the visuals convey the atmosphere of the music and the lyrical content of the album, which to me is the most important.
Links to the band's music and media