Chrome Shift er et af den progressive metalscenes nyeste og mest kompetente skud på stammen... og for engang skyld af den danske slags! Bassist Jens Christian fortæller, hvordan og hvorledes m.m.
heavymetal.dk (HM): Fortæl kort om Chrome Shifts baggrund. Hvad var den oprindelige hovedidť med bandet og hvad inspirerede jer til at spille den genre i spiller?
Jens Christian (JC): Chrome Shift blev grundlagt af Otto og jeg selv efter vores hidtige band "Shane" var blevet opløst i 1998, tror jeg. Vi havde lyst til at fortsætte med at spille sammen, fordi vi kunne lide at spille sammen. Så simpelt var det! Otto og jeg skrev musik der var en blanding af metal og rock og vi blev enige om, at vi egentligt bare skulle fortsætte med at skrive en eller anden form for musik, ikke nødvendigvis metal eller rock.
HM: C.S. er et både aldersmæssigt og geografisk meget spredt band? Har dette nogensinde givet anledning til problemer? Hvilke fordele og ulemper har det?
JC: Da vi bor langt fra hinanden, så øver vi ikke een gang eller to gange om ugen, men kun en gang om måneden i stedet, sommetider mere, hvis vi skal spille live. Det betyder at vi skal fokusere på sammenspillet i bandet og på komposition når vi mødes og ikke de individuelle tekniske ting. Det lykkes faktisk ganske godt. Men der er ikke tvivl om, at vi kunne spille endnu bedre, hvis vi kunne øve ťn gang om ugen. Aldersmæssigt, så er der jo stor forskel på os. Otto bliver 52 i år og jeg bliver 30. Det betyder dog ingenting. Vi har alle samme musiksmag og er inspireret af de samme bands, og det er det der forener os. Derudover kan vi jo lide at spille sammen, og så betyder alder jo ikke noget.
HM: Jeres debutalbum overraskede mig virkelig positivt. Hvordan er I ellers blevet modtaget rundt omkring? Er i selv tilfredse med resultatet og reaktionerne?
JC: Vi har fået nogle fantastiske anmeldelser, som alle kan læse på vores hjemmeside, i det omfang jeg husker at lægge dem derpå. Det er selvfølgelig en dejlig ting. Folk virker også vældigt begejstrede når vi er ude at spille, det er jo også dejligt! Hvad selve pladen angår, så er vi også glade. Lyden er fed, takket være Jacob Hansen. Der er dog ingen tvivl om, at hvis vi havde haft flere penge at gå i studiet for, samt mere tid, så ville vi have fået de sidste detaljer på plads, som vi ikke nåede, men det spiller nu ikke nogen større rolle. Vi har fået en fed plade og en fed oplevelse ud af at indspille den.
HM: Hvordan endte i på DVS og er i tilfredse med selskabet?
JC: Vi kom i kontakt med DVS igennem vores manager Claus Jensen fra Intromental Management. Efter vi havde indspillet pladen, sendte Jacob Hansen et par numre til Claus, som Otto og jeg før har arbejdet sammen med. Claus gik helt amok over musikken og kontaktede os hurtigt i ønsket om, at Claus kunne blive vores manager. Det sagde vi ja til. Claus tog lynhurtigt kontakt til DVS i Holland, fordi han vidste de måske kunne være interesserede og det var de jo så! Ja, vi er tilfredse med selskabet. De er vældigt søde og rare mennesker. De arbejder virkeligt hårdt for os, ligesom Intromental gør, både på promotionsiden og koncertsiden af vores aftale.
HM: Hvordan bliver en typisk C.S. sang til?
JC: En typisk C.S. sang? Hmmmmmm... findes der en sådan? Ha-ha-ha! Det varierer meget. Jeg kan fortælle hvordan vi gjorde med musikken til pladen. På pladen har Otto og jeg skrevet det meste af musikken. Nogle gange kom Otto med et enkelte groove som vi skulle spille, som han så optog for at arbejde videre derhjemme, og næste gang vi sås, så havde han næsten skrevet et færdigt nummer. Andre gange kom jeg med et 100% færdigt nummer, som bandet kunne høre en optagelse af, som jeg havde lavet på min PC. Så besluttede bandet så, om det var noget de havde lyst til at spille. Sommetider kom jeg også bare med musikken, for så at lade Otto sørge for teksten. Andre numre har vi skrevet i fællesskab over længere tid. Det er meget forskelligt. I øjeblikket er det Otto og Jakob og til dels Rasmus der er de drivende kræfter, rent kompositiorisk. Jeg er selv mere beskæftiget med jazz-fusion for tiden.
HM: Er teksten til åbningsnummeret "Nightmachine" en direkte oversættelse af Michael Strunges digt eller blot inspireret heraf? Hvad var baggrunden for at bruge dette digt?
JC: Det er jeg faktisk ikke helt klar over. Det ved Otto. Jeg tror han bare har ladet sig inspirere heraf. Otto må være bandets læsehest. Han valgte at bruge digtet, efter i nogen tid at have prøvet på at skrive en anden tekst til "Nightmachine". Jeg ved dog ikke hvorfor det lige skulle være dette digt. Otto har også brugt dele af et digt af Merete Pryds Helle til "Through".
HM: Rasmus Baks vokal er ret unik inden for metalscenen. Er det bevidst at jeres valg faldt på en sanger der skilte sig ud fra det typiske, og hvilke fordele og ulemper ser du herved?
JC: Da vi søgte efter en sanger, søgte vi efter en sød og rar fyr vi kunne arbejde sammen med, der kunne synge rent og hvis klang vi alle synes om. Vi havde ikke nogen ideer om, at han skulle synge ligesom James Labrie eller en anden prog. sanger. Det skulle være en person vi synes om, både menneskeligt og klangmæssigt. Vi har ikke tænkt på, at vores sanger skulle skille sig ud fra mængden. Jeg ved ikke rigtigt med fordele og ulemper? Hmmmm... vi er og var jo egentligt ligeglade med, om andre folk end bandet synes om Rasmusís stemme. Det må de jo om. Fordelen kan være, at folk husker "det der band med den særlige sanger", men det kan jo også skræmme andre væk.
HM: Jeg ved at I allerede har en del nyt materiale klar. Hvordan adskiller dette sig fra materialet på debuten? Nogen konkrete planer mht. næste album?
JC: Man kan vel sige at stilen holdes på den måde, at vi fortsætter med at lave forskelligtartede numre, lige fra en slags ballader til mere metal-agtigte numre. Otto har gravet to gamle Shane numre op, som vi har tilpassset Chrome Shift. Jakob har skrevet mindst ťt nyt instrumentalt nummer. Rasmus har også skrevet et nummer og er i gang med flere. En god arbejdstitel til pladen kunne være "Mosaik", fordi det bliver en del forskellige numre der alligevel kan samles under Chrome Shift begrebet. Jeg ved ikke hvornår vi optager vores næste plade. Det er ikke noget vi tænker på. Vi fokuserer bare på at skrive musik vi kan lide.
HM: Hvordan ser det ud mht. at komme ud at spille live?
JC: Det ser godt ud. Vi skal spille to kanon-fede jobs, nemlig "Sweden Rock Festival" i SŲlvesborg og "Prog Power Festival" i Baarlo i Holland. Det glæder vi os meget til. Derudover formoder jeg, at vi også kommer ud at spille forskellige steder i Danmark, deriblandt i Nygadehuset i Aabenraa. Mon ikke Aurora har lyst til at spille samme aften? Det kunne være hyggeligt. Vi har ikke hørt noget fra nogle af de større festivaller i Danmark endnu.
HM: Hvem ser du som tidens stærkeste bands på prog. metal scenen? Hvad mener du at C.S. har at tilføje scenen?
JC: Jeg mener at det pt. stærkeste band er Pain Of Salvation. De er simpelthen fantastiske! Jeg vil super-gerne møde dem. De kan skabe en ny slags musik fra plade til plade, en egenskab som kun meget få bands har. De flytter virkelig grænser. Så er der jo Dream Theater, som også er fede. Men de har noget de skal gøre godt igen pga. pladen "Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulense", som kun var interessant få steder. Og så er der jo et band der hedder Chrome Shift... hæ-hæ! Der er selvfølgeligt mange flere. Det Chrome Shift har, som ikke mange bands har, er mod til ikke kun at skrive oplagte metal-hits som måske kunne gøre sig på et japansk marked. Vi skriver den musik vi har lyst til at skrive uden at tage hensyn til salgstal og stil. Vi skriver musik vi holder af!
IN PRINT INTERVIEW by Metal Express in Norway.
Jens Christian Nielsen (Chrome Shift)
by: ZOLTŃN KONCSOK - March 2003
Metal Express, (ME): Your debut album was a nice surprise to me, as Iíve never heard of Chrome Shift before. Can you just tell me the most important things about the band?
Jens Christian Nielsen (JC): Yeah, sure. The band consists of 5 members Rasmus, Jakob, Poul, Otto and me. Iíve played with Otto for some years before we started Chrome Shift actually. We played in a band called Shane and when that band stopped we tried to make a new band. Then we found Poul on drums and Jakob on keyboards and after playing together for half a year we decided to go to the studio, but we didnít have a singer. In the last second we found Rasmus and we recorded the demo in early 2000 with three songs on. And weíre playing together ever since.
ME: What did the other members do prior joining Chrome Shift?
JC: I was involved in quite a few bands, but nothing really professional in any way. I played in Torben Enevoldsenís band. Heís a very very good guitar player from Denmark. Iíve got in contact with him and I played with him for maybe half a year. At that time I lived in another part of Denmark and I had to move to Copenhagen and I had to decide whether or not to continue to play in Torbenís band or to continue in Chrome Shift. Also the other members of Chrome Shift played in many bands, but not on a pro level. But we are quite good semi pro musicians.
ME: How did you end up calling the band Chrome Shift?
JC: Haha. Chrome Shift was actually some title that Otto once got an idea of. Otto has a thing with finding exciting names for new songs. If he finds some good song titles he just writes them down. I wrote the music for a song that eventually became a song called Chrome Shift and we played this song quite so many times in the band. We didnít really have a band name in the beginning, so when we had to find a name the only name that we actually could agree on was Chrome Shift.
ME: Was it easy to find a good management and a record label?
JC: Yeah, actually it was. Haha. We already had a contact with Claus (Claus Jensen - Intromenmtal Management) from the past, but we actually didnít speak to him for quite a few years, because we didnít have a real band going. But as soon as weíve been in the studio the engineer Jacob Hansen sent a few songs to Claus and Claus called us almost immediately. He said that he wanted to be our manager and we were like "Okay, letís give it a try". And shortly after that he hooked us up with DVS Records, so it went quite fast actually. I think we finished recordings in May and by the end of July we have signed our record deal with DVS.
ME: Are you satisfied with both companies?
JC: Yes, weíre very satisfied. Theyíre really really nice people. Itís great to deal with people that really like our music. We can find some common ground. Theyíre really cool.
ME: Do you have any leftovers from the recording sessions?
JC: Well, we recorded a few songs besides those that are on the album and we sent it all to DVS Records. They actually picked the songs that we thought they would pick, because some of the songs were very pop rock tunes. So, they didnít make it on the album.
ME: Whatís gonna happen with those songs?
JC: Well, we donít know actually. Right now theyíre not published. They might be bonus tracks on some records. Maybe bonus tracks in Japan if we ever get a record out in Japan. Haha. I donít think so, but letís see.
ME: Why donít you just put them on the website as MP3s?
JC: I donít think that the other guys in the band would agree on that. And I wouldnít either I think. I donít think we want to publish whole songs on the Internet. Maybe fractions or samples, but not whole songs. We havenít decided what to do with those. Anything can happen.
ME: How did you end up playing this style of music? Did you also play other kind of styles when you started...?
JC: Well, actually Otto and I, weíve played in kind of hard rock-like metal bands together and every project weíve had going was always some kind of metal-like music. So, it was easy for us to continue in that direction. It was actually a thing that happened naturally. We just started writing songs and this is what happened. But I myself play a lot of styles. I also play in a jazz funk fusion band, so Iím a very instrumental musician.
ME: So what are your biggest influences?
JC: Well, letís see. Some of the metal bands I can mention are Dream Theater of course, Faith No More... I like Mr.Big a lot, Megadeth and of course I listen to other kinds of music as well. I listen to a lot of jazz-fusion like Chick Corea, Allan Holdsworth and a lot more.
ME: How about Pat Metheny?
JC: Oh yeah! I have a few records with him as well. He makes so cool music. Heís a brilliant composer and a brilliant guitar player as well. Also I really like Weather Report.
ME: How would you describe the music of Chrome Shift briefly?
JC: Well, itís semi progressive metal rock. Sometimes weíre more rock oriented and other times we have songs that sound more like a metal band. But itís usually a mixture of the two styles.
ME: But being progressive is important, right?
JC: Not necessarily. But it seems like every time you write a new song it sounds a bit progressive. Haha. That something that just happens. Itís not a goal itself, but we like to play progressive stuff, because usually itís difficult to play. But itís just something that happens.
ME: Who is the creative mind behind the bandís music?
JC: On this record it was me and Otto. We wrote most of the music, but recently Rasmus our lead singer and Jakob the keyboard player contributed with a lot of new music. Actually I think right now itís Otto and Jakob writing songs together. I havenít really written new stuff for Chrome Shift in quite a while. I have concentrated on the jazz-fusion side, but soon Iíll write for Chrome Shift as well.
ME: BTW how does the songwriting process go in Chrome Shift?
JC: Well, itís different. Let me tell you how itís been for Otto and me on this album. Usually I show up with a complete song, maybe except the lyrics. And I say, "Hey, this is the song. Do you want to play it?". Haha. And then I make a computer version of it played a bit of guitar myself and of course I played the bass and then I present it to the band and then we try to rehearse it. Of course they add their own elements to the music. With some songs the guys say, "Well, I have an idea for this part" and then we develop the song and in the end we have the final song. Otto enjoys taking a part - maybe a new riff - to the rehearsal room and then he plays it for us and tells how he imagines the drum groove to the song and tries to describe it and then I do some bass on top of that and then we play the groove. Otto records it and takes it home then works on it and when we meet the next time he develops the songs. So, we work like that.
ME: And who comes up with the lyrics?
JC: That must be Otto. As an example hereís Nightmachine. I wrote the music actually and I took it into the rehearsal room. Otto wanted to try to write some lyrics to it and it was fine with me, so he ended up writing the lyrics. But recently I have written the lyrics myself and Otto writes the lyrics for his songs.
ME: What the songs are about?
JC: Well, they are separate songs except for the Ripples in Time thing. Thatís the only thing that is built together and the rest of it are separate songs. Well, letís see. Thereís a song called Shadowsong and the next song Through actually stick together, because Shadowsong serves as an intro for Through. Our lyrics are about anything. Haha. Through and Nightmachine are poem-like songs, Ripples in Time is a science fiction adventure and I My Own Dream is also like a vision, a poem.
ME: How did the epic title track come together?
JC: Actually I wrote the instrumental part of Ripples in Time Part I and then I didnít actually write a lot of new stuff for a while and I suddenly came up with the idea that the instrumental part was broken. It was like fractions of time and then I got the idea for the title "Ripples in Time". And then I thought that maybe I have a story here. So, I imagined a story and by doing that I also wrote Part II. I didnít know exactly what it was supposed to be about, but I felt that Part II should be after the instrumental part. Then I wrote the rest of the story just as text and then I wrote Part III and then I finished it with the Grand Finale.
ME: The 6th track has a strange Danish title "Kosmonauten Er Død". How come?
JC: Haha. It means, "The Cosmonaut Has Died". Otto reads a lot of books and he found something with this title and he thought it would be a cool title for a song. Haha.
ME: The 7th song has a French title...
JC: Yeah. Le Temp Des Assassins. It means "The Season Of The Assassin" as far as I can remember. Itís also something that Otto made up. I think he had written all the music except the lyrics and we rehearsed that for a while and I think it has something to do with 9/11 the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. But Iím not sure...
ME: So can we expect Hungarian or even Greenlandic titles next time?
JC: Haha. Perhaps. None of us reads Hungarian, but well anything is open. Maybe we should take a course in Hungarian just to make some titles. Haha.
ME: Which song you like the most on the album?
JC: Thatís a tough question. Haha. It might be Through I think. It has a very very special atmosphere that no other song on the album has. Itís a very special tune and so beautiful.
ME: You recorded the CD with the guidance of Jacob Hansen. How was working with him?
JC: It was cool as always. Heís a very fun guy and heís really great in his work. He really takes his time to make the band sound as good as they can. He also of course listens to how they wanna sound and all those things. Heís a very nice person. Since we tried Jacob on our demos and we knew that heís a great guy we wanted to make sure that heís going to record our album. We really satisfied with the albumís sound. I know that Jacob has just built his own studio and itís a very cool place I was told. I have to visit him in April to see what itís all about and meet him again.
ME: The album cover is really great. How did you hook up with Mattias Norťn?
JC: It was done through DVS Records. They asked us if itís okay for us to use Mattias and we were like "Yeah, sure". Haha. Actually we didnít know the guy, but Claus said that he was a really cool artist and we checked out his homepage and it was really cool. But we havenít met him yet. Weíve only emailed a bit with him also through our manager, but we invited him to any concert. Haha. He lives in Sweden and weíre playing on the Sweden Rock, so perhaps heíll show up there. Itíd be nice to meet him at last.
ME: Was it Mattias who came up with the cover concept?
JC: It was Mattiasí idea, but of course we have imagined something about time in some aspect, but he made the rest.
ME: So, how could you explain the cover?
JC: Thatís green. Haha. The front cover is very green and thereís a woman sitting on a large sun watch and thereís a ladder up on the very large sun watch and sheís sitting up there and itís raining. A bit depressing. Haha. And everything is green. I donít know why, but it is. Haha. Itís greenish. And itís cool. And he made a cool logo as well.
ME: How about playing live? Have you played many shows so far?
JC: Well, we havenít played a lot of shows. I think three or four live shows together as Chrome Shift, because it a while before we actually had music to play on concerts. As far as the future thereís Sweden Rock Festival in June and ProgPower Festival in the Netherlands in October. And weíre planning a tour around the ProgPower Festival. A week after and a week before that, but weíre not sure, because we have to be sure to book some places to play and itís a very risky business. But Iím sure weíll play at least in Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium, but I havenít got any dates or places.
1) Where is the band from and how long have you been around?
C.S. is a band from Denmark that started out around 1999 and was founded by Otto Schütt on guitar and me on bass.
2) What inspired the name?
The name Chrome Shift is from a title of a Nielsen/Schütt song. Once trying to name the song, Otto Schütt remembered a strange title ("The Chrome Shift") he once wrote down on a piece of paper. Somehow it was the only name we could all agree on, he-he.
3) How did you hook up with D.V.S records?
Through our management Intromental Mangament (www.intromental.com). They send the songs from our record to DVS Records (www.dvsrecords.com). No long after, DVS contacted the management to sign us. Lucky us!
4) Who are your influences?
We have a lot of influences. I would say you can hear Dream Theater, Pain Of Salvation (POS) and Kings X in our music. There are also a lot of other not so obvious influences. My favorite prog. metal band is POS. I also have other influences from jazz, jazz-fusion etc. Otto likes Planet X and King's X a lot (any band that has a X in their name - ha-ha!).
5) 'RIPPLES IN TIME' is one of the most impressive albums I've heard. Where you all pleased with the record?
Thank you. Yes, we where very pleased. We where very proud when we had record all our songs. We could have used more time in the studio though. There are a few places we could have played better, so we need a full month for our next album including mixing and mastering.
6) I love it because you have unashamedly stuck to many of the classic 'prog metal' formulas-epic songs, moody piano peices, instrumentals etc.Was this a deliberate attempt on your part or just how it came out?
It was just how it came out. We love many different kinds of music including some pop material as well, and you can hear it on our record. This is how we make music, and how we want to make music in the future. We are not a typical metal band, we are way to "soft" for that and way too diverse. Perhaps you can call our music light-metal?
7) When can we expect album No 2?
Hmm, cant say for sure, because we still need to finish a couple of songs. My guess is late this year. We have enough material for the next album that we need to play 200 times till the material is "a part of us". Then we will go to the studio.
8) The 4 part title track-what is that song about?
He-he, it is a space adventure. I wrote it (sorry!). The story is, that the planet suddenly suffers from a kind of time-distortions - "ripples in time", and mankind has to find a way to fix it. The songs are inspired by sci-fi, Star Wars, Star Trek etc. I love sci-fi!! The songs a very different.
9) What do you think of all the prog-metalbands flooding on the scene currently. Any ones to look out for?
I am not really into what is going on. I mainly listen to Pain Of Salvation, Planet X or Dream Theater when it comes to progressive metal. Also Queensryche and The Who (Quadrophenia) reaches my "progressive ear".
10) The album has got great press. Will you play live?
Yeah, press was brilliant! Amazing really. We have played a bit last year and this year, but not a lot. I suppose we will not take a lot of live-jobs untill we feel the second record is ready, unless the venue pays us a lot - hehe. We need to focus on the music.
Interview for Purgatory webzine, UK with J.C. Nielsen, 12th of April 2004.
Q: Firstly, whats the band up to right now?
At the moment we are rehersing the songs for our next album to be recorded this year. We have around 9 new ones ready and need 12 in total.
Q: How would you describe the Chrome Shift sound?
Hmmm....athmospheric and very melodic.
Q: How did you get involved with the band?
I founded C.S. together with Otto in 1998/1999 after the break up of a band we both played in. Actually I have been playing with Otto since around 1991.
Q: Can you remember your first gig (how did it go)?
Our first gig was near the town all of us except Rasmus comes from - "Aabenraa" in Denmark. It went well, people where happy to see us. It was a very small stage. I think we have a recording of it. We played for 45 minutes as I recall. We played songs from the "Ripples In Time" album.
Q: Are you involved in any other projects and if so how do they compare to Chrome Shift?
Yes, I have a few other bands, but they are not as succesfull as C.S. One band is a jazz-fusion project called Epifani and a jazz-trio called Triot....not very metal-like I am afraid. None of the bands are likely to get a record deal, so we will have to finance that whole thing buy ourselves. The future of the bands is somewhat uncertain though. The bands also differs from C.S. because we usually rehearse once a week. We do not do that in C.S.. In C.S. we meet twice a month.
Q: What are your favourite Chrome Shift tracks?
"Through" is my favorite track. I also love "Full Moon" and "Ripples In Time - part II".
Q: What are your favourite all time songs?
Wow, there are so many. I cant pick a single one, impossible. But, one of them is "Voices" from Dream Theaters "Awake" album also "A Change of Seasons" from Dream Theaters album with the same name. "!" and "Used" by Pain Of Salvation are also very cool....actually any P.O.S. song is cool.
Q: What the first record you ever bought?
He-he, I can't remember, but it was not metal at all. It might have been a The Police tape or something like that. Maybe "Ghost In The Machine" of The Police.
Q: Which album was it that got you into metal and can you explain why?
I don't think that any specific album got me into metal. Metal was all around me. My friends where listening to AC/DC, Iron Maiden, Megadeth and Metallica, that was the way I slowly got influenced. At the time I was listening to a lot of different music like jazz, pop, funk - you name it. I also followed Otto in a band he played in at the time. The band played a sort of prog-rock.
Q: Whats the last album you purchased and what did you think of it?
I think it was both White Zombie's "Astro Creep: 2000" and System Of a Down's "Toxicity". I knew the System Of a Down record already and I like it because it has a lot of energy as any punk-metal album has. The White Zombie record is cool in another way. I like the industrial influences on that record. I bought it because I loved the "More Human Than Human" track.
Q: What would be your dream band line-up?
Mike Patton or Daniel GildenlŲw on vocals; Allan Holdsworth and Steve Vai on guitars; Chick Corea or Joe Zawinul on keyboard; Poul Terkildsen, Peter Erskine or Dave Weckl on drums and me on bass...he-he.
Q: If you could do a cover for a tribute album to any band, which song of which band would you pick and why?
Hmm...dont know...perhaps Judas Priest "Breaking the Law", he-he. It is a fun song with a fun video and the song is so far away from Chrome Shifts music. I cant really think of a song I would like to cover. Usually I do not like the tribute idea, because the bands are not playing the songs different than the originals.
Q: What do you think of the position of metal and music in general today?
Metal is underground music again after beeing pop in the 80' and 90'. I do not know if that is good or bad. Metal is still developing slowly, and that is ok. Music is in general seen as a sort of "freeware" that anyone is allowed to steal through peer-to-peer programs, and I think that is very damaging for music and for artists. I hope no one steals the music of Chrome Shift that way.
Q: Which other bands stand out for you at the moment?
As always Pain Of Salvation. They are one of my absolute favorites. Go and buy all their albums! I have not heard "Be" though. I also listen a lot to Mike Pattons projects like Tomahawk and Faith No More. Dream Theater stands out as the biggest disappointment these days, they seem to have lost their sense for writing songs. They are just playing as fast and as many notes as they can. I miss the quality from "Awake". I hope they manage to get it back somehow - they are brilliant musicians.
Q: Do you have any funny stories about the band you can share with us?
I cant recall any specific fun story. Not that we are all dull and timid persons, we have fun all the time.
Q: and finally, what do you see in the future for Chrome Shift?
We will finish the current songs we are working on and then hit the studio sometime this year for another great Chrome Shift record.
1) Hi Jens. Was it nearly 2 years ago you were in Virtuosa!
Yes, it is already a long time ago. Time flies.
2) Going back to the start, tell us a bit about where your from and what its like to live there.
I was born and raised in a small city called Aabenraa in Denmark. A beautiful city, surrounded by forests and near the sea. I don't live there anylonger though. I only visit the city every now and then. Now I live in Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark. Not a lot of trees here in Copenhagen. I often miss the trees and the sea. The good thing about Copenhagen is of course, that there are a lot of bands here, and a lot of concerts. I like it here.
3) Were you in many groups before Chromeshift
Not any groups anyone has ever heard of, but yes, I was playing here and there before Chrome Shift came to life.
4) Tell us how Chrome Shift got together
I founded C.S. together with Otto in 1998/1999 after the break up of a band we both played in. Actually I have been playing with Otto since around 1991. We met Jakob Paulsen (keyboard) and Poul Terkildsen (drums) and began playing together. After some time, can't exactly remember when, we got Rasmus Bak as a singer. I think Poul knew Rasmus from somewhere. We rehearsed in Aabenraa the first years.
5) I must admit, of all the hundreds of Prog Metal releases I've got worldwide, theres not many prog metal bands to have come out of Denmark of late. That makes you guys quite unique.
Yes, there are not that many prog-metal bands in Denmark. There are only 5 million people here, so I guess it is limited how many prog bands can be made here. Actually, I can't really think of any other danish prog bands right now. I suppose there are more of those here somewhere. If there are others, then they might not have a record deal.
6) Your debut album for DVS Records, 'Ripples in Time' still sounds good over 2 years on (I dug it out the other day). Do you agree?
Yes, it is still amazing I think. I really like the songs and the sound of the album. I currently have ĒFull MoonĒ and ĒIn My Own DreamĒ on my phone/mp3-player and I enjoy those songs. I love the blend of melodic and heavy elements, the best of both worlds on one album.
7) Did the album give you quite a lot of recognition.
Yes, it did. I think it is safe to say that most prog-heads out there got to know us. We made an album that was a bit different from other albums at the time.
8) I think the reviews of it were all very positive.
Yes, they were amazing. The album was very well recieved. We were absolutely amazed and very proud of course when we read the reviews and the comments people wrote to us. I don't think we could have done much better. It was fantastic.
9) Tell us about the next album and what we can expext.
Well, the next album will hopefully be recorded this summer and released at the end of this year. We don't know if DVS Records [www.dvsrecords.com] wants to release it. We hope they will, we really like DVS Records and would like to stay there. This time we can't pay for the studio time ourselves, we need DVS Records to help us out there.
10) Will the album pick up from where 'Ripples..' left off?
Yes and no. There will definately be songs that sounds like those on ĒRipples In TimeĒ, but there will mostly be a lot of songs that are completely different. Expect the unexpected Ė haha. In some ways it is more extreme. It has melodic songs but also more weird/strange songs that are progressive in another way than normaly.
11) Are there any new and exiting Prog Metal groups that have caught your attention of late?
Not really. I must admit I haven't really been looking. When it comes to prog. metal I listen to Pain Of Salvation and O.S.I. at the moment. P.O.S are the kings in my eyes. Fantastic band. I would love to meet them.
12) I must admit that whilst Italy still maintains a steady stream of exellent releases, the flow has shifted from Germany over to France somewhat.
Probably, I haven't really been following what has been going on.
13) What would you do if you won the lottery tommorow?
Besides partying for a month, I would buy one month of studio time for Chrome Shift, maybe even just buy my own studio, that would be cool. Of course I would also have a few new basses build and would some more amps etc. for my bass. I would definately buy a cool tour-minibus, so C.S. wouldn't have to worry about transportation anymore. I would also travel around the world, not nessesarily in the mini-bus :-). I would got to Tibet, Canada and perhaps even England Ė have been in England 4-5 times already though.
14) So what does the future hold for Chromeshift?
The new album and hopefully some fun live concerts. We haven't played live in a long time. We would like to play more concerts. If possible, we would like to tour Europe for 14 days or so. We haven't really tried touring.