ASHES TO ASHES
TARTAREAN DESIRE WEBZINE
This interview with Michael Stenberg from the Norwegian metal band Ashes To Ashes was done through e-mail in June 2002.
Hello, how are you doing?
MS: I'm doing great, thanks.
Ashes To Ashes is still not very known, could you please give us a
history of the band?
MS: Well, Ashes to Ashes has existed since 1992 but the first years was
of getting the bandchemistry right, experimenting with music and
arrangements and of course learning to play our instruments. Bjorn and
just been noodling around on bass and guitar for a couple of years
decided to form a band.
In 1998 we felt that we had songs that really captured the sound we
Then we went on to plan and later record our debut album, Shapes of
in '99. This album was intended as a promo only for the press, record
companies etc. But we started selling it as a regular release after a
'cause we received a lot of e-mails and letters from all the over the
who wanted to buy the CD.
Maybe I should advice your readers to head over to www.atoa.net and
Would you mind introducing the band members and telling us a little
their past musical experiences?
Kenneth Brastad (voc), Bjorn Luna (bass), Ronny Kaasa (drums) and
has no past musical history worth mentioning really. We've recently
finally) found a permanent keyboardplayer/backing singer. Zilla has
a member of Paradigma and Hagalaz Runedance who some might have heard
Your second album "Cardinal VII" has just been released by the Dutch
Records, are you happy with the result?
MS: Yes, we are satisfied. There will always be things that you want to
and so on, but we worked hard and I'm damn proud of it.
What does the album title mean? What are the lyrics about?
MS: Lyrically, the album is based around the seven deadly sins.
You (or possibly the label) have chosen to call your unique sound
"Gregorian metal", what does this mean to you?
MS: Nothing :) But I do understand that people might like to know what
of music this bands play when they haven't heard it. We do have a
feel in some of our music and the way we've used choirs and so on, so
tag is not out of context. You say we have a unique sound and it's not
to put us into any genre of metal.
You have recorded one album prior to this one called "Shape Of
did you release that one on your own?
MS: We released it on our own and that was a nice experience too.
Are you happy with the support from your label so far?
MS: Can you ask me in 6 months ? :) The album has just hit the streets
countries and we are still waiting to sort out distribution in others
It's a little early for me to answer this but so far things look OK.
Are you at all familiar with the other bands on the label?
MS: I've heard Into Eternity which is good. I haven't heard so much of
What do you think of the current state of the Norwegian metal
you feel that it has been all about black metal for too long?
MS: The record companies and the media has pushed Norway as the black
country # 1. If people want BM then
let them have it. There are only a handful of good BM bands and a
from other genres so...
What are your top five albums ever?
MS: Impossible to answer. I can't limit it down to five. The '70s and
'80s were the prime decades but the last 10 years
hasn't offered much of interest for me, except Dream Theater (first 2
albums), Shadow Gallery, Symphony X and a few others.
What made you play metal in the first place and not any other type
MS: Because metal and hardrock always contained a lot of everything.
and the most heartfelt one (I like to think of it as such anyway..)
classical music. I've
always been a metal head so I wanted to make the ultimate metal music.
What plans or goals do you have for the nearest future?
MS: We are going to get more live experience and we'll play wherever
wants us. We always
have tried to put up visual show to go with the music in the past.
something we will still try
to do but it's something that's easier when it comes to one-off gigs
financally, than a tour.
We also talk about recording a video, most likely for "Behind closed
But we are not going to release
som crappy stuff that a lot of bands are doing now. Quality or nothing.
There's a lot of things going on and a lot in the air but the main
us right now
is to spread the word about the band where ever we can.
Now to my own and brand new right or wrong section. You are just going to tell us whether you think the following acts would be right or wrong:
Ashes To Ashes
a) If someone killed Hitler prior to his mass murder campaigns.
b) To burn down a church because it's "evil".
c) To burn down a church because it represents oppression.
Eh... (W)RIGHT ? :-)
e) Death penalty.
f) To lie if it will be of benefit to yourself.
Any final words for the readers to enjoy?
MS: Check us out at www.atoa.net and keep supporting honest music.
Links of interest: