Saturday, June 15, 2019

MINDTRIPPER by MAGMAKAMMER is UNREAL heavy psych AND band interview

Mindtripper by Magmakammer
Mindtripper by Magmakammer
I love heavy psych and MINDTRIPPER by MAGMAKAMMER is simply one of the best. It is hard to find another album which matches the tone and content of the lyrics with the sound and rhythm of the music as well as Mindtripper does. It was released last year so in case you missed it, here is your chance to listen:

Things start right off with the keys to set the psych tone, and it's in short order before the rhythm section kicks in to deliver the heavy. It takes some time before the vocals start up so that we get into the dreamy mood. The vocals pick up the dream state and run with it too. It's not just the lyrics that match the sound with the tale of a drug trip gone awry, but the singing is like out of dream -- or maybe a nightmare depending on your interpretation. And on it goes for 40 minutes. To me, this album will be considered a classic of heavy psych, and that will happen sooner rather than later.

Magmakammer is based out of Oslo, Norway with U.H. Jacobsen as the voice, guitar & keys, Stian Solberg as the low-end, and Lasse Røed beating on the cosmic drums.

Be sure to check out the new EP from Magmakammer too -- it is BLOODY DIAMOND.

I reached out to Magmakammer to find out more -- and they were kind enough to take the time to answer a few questions:

Who is in the band? How did the band come together?
Magmakammer is Ulrik on vocals and guitar, Stian on bass and Lasse playing the drums. We grew up together listening to the same music and Lasse and I (Ulrik) used to play in the same bands as teenagers. All of us are from Kolbotn, a small town on the outskirts of Oslo. Kolbotn is famous for its black metal and is home to legends like Mayhem and Darkthrone. I guess the inspiration for the dark sound and themes in Magmakammer has roots from back then. I love dark and evil sounding music!
Tell us about the name "Magmakammer" and why you chose it.
The name was Stian's idea. He had just seen a documentary about volcanoes when he heard the term "magmakammer" which is Norwegian and means ‘chamber of magma’. He told us about it and we all thought it sounded pretty doom, although a bit cliché. We decided on the name then, thinking we might change it later, but that never happened. Now it's just a name. There are some days that I really like it, and days that I don't. The music is what's important, and not the name. Also, our fans seem to love the name, so that's cool. [Fuzzy loves it too!!]
Every listener has their own ideas when they hear an album. To me, I am hearing a few themes such as psychosis and dream states.
The album revolves around the themes of drugs, psychosis and paranoia. The three are often interlinked, and not in a very pleasant way. The album is sort of a comment on the use of drugs, in contrast to most doom and stoner albums out there, whom write songs that speak of drugs like it’s something holy. Drugs, alcohol, etc, its all the same - pick your poison. I'm not here to judge. The album and the ideas it explores are based on my own observations and experiences.
Was the idea in the beginning to create an album with a theme in common amongst the songs?
In the beginning, all the songs were just random pieces of music, and there was no overall plan to link them all together. But after a while we figured that we wanted stuff to be more coherent. So, we rearranged some of the songs and I rewrote a lot of the lyrics, in order for it all to fit better together. The lyrics were already in the same ballpark theme wise, they just needed a little nudge. A lot of the riffs and instrumentation was changed drastically from what they sounded like in the beginning.
When I read the comments your fans write about your music, it is clear they are making a connection with your music. What are some bands that Magmakammer connects with?
We connect with a lot of bands and artists. Who or what we draw inspiration from is never-ending and always changing. Electric Wizard, Tame Impala, Night Beats and Demon Head, just to mention a few, has had a lot of influence on the band. But the one that stands out the most for us is certainly Uncle Acid. You could almost go as far as calling Magmakammer a tribute to Kevin Starrs and his deadbeats. The stuff that he writes is everything I want in music. It's pure genius.
Another important band to me, that I've recently revisited after a long break are the White Stripes. Specifically, their first album. To me it sounds like a garage rock/punk version of Led Zep, only with a shit drummer. It's fucking glorious. I’ve also had a real crush on early-Bowie lately. That man knew how to write good music.
I have read that Magmakammer records and mixes all of their music themselves. Is that to create the music exactly as you want it to be, or what is the reason?
Yes, we do the whole processes from start to finish ourselves, and honestly the reason is that I just really enjoy recording and mixing. I started doing my own recordings as a teenager and it quickly became a hobby on the same level as the actual playing and creating music. I’m obviously not a professional, considering our sound is quite lo-fi. But that is part of the Magmakammer sound. I firmly believe that by scaling the down on expensive music productions and going DIY you can get a much more interesting result which has the ability to surprise and be something different. It’s also convenient for poor musicians. So, unless I get tired of the sound that we can achieve on our own, Magmakammer will always be recorded DIY, and with a minimalist approach.
Shout out some other bands from Oslo and Norway we should be listening to?
There are a bunch of really good bands coming out of Norway these days. The first three that comes to mind are Dunbarrow out of Haugesund, and from Oslo, Saint Karloff and Sunface. I actually just saw Dunbarrow play support for Uncle Acid in Oslo. It might be because I've seen the Brits perform several times now, but I honestly enjoyed Dunbarrow the most this time.
Where are the best places for your fans to follow Magmakammer and keep up to date with your music and news?
In order to keep up to date on what's stirring in the Magma-camp follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Bandcamp and Spotify.