The 20th anniversary has ended though, we’ve not got another old materials online yet, (autographed) answers for questionnaire and autographed messages from S-ROCK and other related issues. we’ll get them online when we find the artists/bands are alright about it.
(Questions were sent to the band early January 2021)
S-ROCK: Welcome back, boys! Your fans in Japan probably still call you guys by stage names because it’s easier for us to pronounce 🙂
(S-ROCK: We call the band members by their real name in our questions, thinking about their favorite way to be called by real name or stage name and the way they call themselves now. Sporty wants fans to call him “Sporty”, and Flash says “I suppose it’s easier for the Japanese to relate to our stage names, so you should use Flash 🙂 ” )
S-ROCK: Just listened to NEVER SAY DIE album and the first impression of it is that this is a very excellent gig-friendly album, I can imagine how next gigs will be like with these new tracks and WIG WAM have ever done amazing gigs. Did you guys think about forthcoming gigs obviously when you worked for the album?
Øystein Greaker-Andersen/Sporty: I am always thinking of upcoming gigs! What I do love the most is playing live! Sitting behind my drums, looking at all those people having a good time digging our music, thinking, I do really love this 😉 And of course, Never Say Die will be an excellent live track! 🙂 When I do drum sessions in studio I often think of what will be cool live also 😉
Bernt Jansen/Flash: I’m glad you see the album that way. When you write and record songs I’m always imagining how the song will sound like on a massive stage set. You picture yourself how the crowd goes mad and how the light and pyros will be 😊 But we’re always aiming for the best result for the album. Often these things goes hand in hand in our music.
Åge Sten Nilsen/Glam: I think whenever we write music for a rock band, our mindset have some focus on performing it live, in front of our fans you know. That’s a major part of the motivation anyway.
Trond Holter/Teeny: Thank you. Yes it’s gig friendly because we are a live band from our roots! That’s where we get our energy, with the connection from the audience!
Bernt, “Silver Lining” is what you wrote, with quite a different taste from a heavy tune like “Call Of The Wild” you sing on the album. What brought you the idea of the track?
Bernt/Flash: “Silver Lining” is a song I have had in the drawer for more than 10 years. Sometimes you write music regardless of genre. When I occasionally listen back to my demos it’s easier to hear the difference between the crap from the gems. I’ve always thought it was a song that deserved to see the light of day. And when we have a singer like Åge(Glam) I thought this is the moment to make it happen. And I must say It came out in a way I couldn’t dream of. The singing and the guitar solo at the end is tremendous. And the drumming and bass of course 😊.
Trond, there are 2 instrumental tracks on this album, I guess you composed them (I’ve not seen the booklet of the album as it’s not out yet). The second departure of WIG WAM is like “The Second Crusade”? Or “Northbound”?
Trond/Teeny: The second crusade is written by Lasse Finbraaten from CIRCUS MAXIMUS because we wanted the atmosphere from his strings. This is WIG WAM’s second crusade and we are building a new chapter of history together. Wherever we are in the world, when a tour is over, we are always Northbound to get back home 🙂
S-ROCK: Åge talked about a plan of an streaming gig around the release date of NEVE R SAY DIE album, is that possible to watch it from Japan? And we can’t use Vipps here, if you guys have a PayPal account, maybe some Japanese fans will send you some money besides a ticket 🙂 The only problem is the time difference between Japan and Norway.
Bernt/Flash: I’m sure we will do what it takes to make our Japanese fans watch a streaming live gig. It looks like it will be a delay since the COVID-19 has made everything go in a lockdown right now. But as soon it’s over we’ll let you know 😊
Åge/Glam: There will be a live stream event during the release weekend. We are working on setting up our new stage, lights and all, to perform some songs and to do a live stream Q & A, free of charge and available to everyone across the globe. It will be a celebration of our comeback album and everyone is invited to join the party.
On the 22nd of January 2021.
Trond, Bernt and Øystein, Åge talked about what had happened to you guys before/after the band broke up from his point of view in the interviews of BURRN! magazine, many Japanese fans got so shocked and felt sad when they read. How about your each story from your point of view?
Øystein/Sporty: It’s a simple answer to this; We had done too much of everything, too many years in a row… We were tired and fed-up. Personally, I do not look back in time so much… I’m positive thinking and looking forward to what to come in 2021 also 🙂
Bernt/Flash: When you are in a band like we were, it’s inevitable that there will be some resentment from time to time. We were gigging more than we should in periods and some of us were really tired. When we finally decided we should have a break, Glam made his Queen show idea happen. It really became a success. And then Teeny began to work on his DRACULA project and he and I started BABY SNAKES and there was less time for WIG WAM. We somehow found it fulfilling to work with other musicians and new inputs. All these side projects we had drove the band further apart. And when Teeny and myself joined the JORN in 2012 WIG WAM became the side project. All our energy went into all these bands and we finally decided to call it quits in 2013.
Trond/Teeny: A band is like a marriage. When you stop to communicate with each other, you are in trouble. That’s what we did. We didn’t talk to each other about anything, just kinda walked around like zombies. We sought out of the band and were tired of it all. Now, we have a close relationship again like we did at the start and having a great time together these days.
Åge composed “Faith Bloody Faith” for Jørn Lande who will participate in Melodi Grand Prix 2021 (Lykke til!) , and Trond and Bernt worked together with him for JORN, any interesting story about him?
Bernt/Flash: Jørn is a great guy! He talks a lot and has a lot of views 😊He is among the top 3 best singers in his genre in my view. An Incredible voice. He always brings his favourite pajamas on the tour bus 😊 The rest you will have to read about in his autobiography ha ha…
Åge/Glam: JORN is a very interesting person to be around. He’s a motormouth and can talk for hours if you don’t stop him. I remember meeting him in a public toilet years ago, before I knew about this, and while we were urinating we started to talk. The conversation, his monologue, turned into views on the Viking story, and I was literally trapped inside the toilet for almost 30 minutes, because I couldn’t find a gap in his stories to end the conversation and get out of there ha ha But he’s cute. We’ve become very close these past months.
Trond and Bernt, any updates on BABY SNAKES?
Bernt/Flash: BABY SNAKES have recorded a brand new album and made a video. The release will be coordinated among whatever else happening, but sometime after the summer is the plan. We are really excited about that album. There will be some eyebrowse raised I’m sure 😊
Trond/Teeny: Yes, the album is ready and we are planing our next step for after the WIG WAM period.
Åge, NORDIC BEAST will be still a sleeping BEAST? *S* And when can we expect next AMMUNITION album, Erik Mårtensson is extremely busy as well though?
Åge/Glam: NORDIC BEAST is still a sleeping beast. When John Norum and Mikkey Dee started this unit back in 2015, I think it was a necessary move for Mikkey to have a touring unit when Lemmy started to slow down his MOTÖRHEAD touring. Lemmy wasn’t feeling too well, and Mikkey loves to live on the road. For John I think it felt good to have something outside the comfortable EUROPE zone too. We even started to work on some original materials but once Mikkey got the SCORPIONS gig he became more busy than ever. We haven’t officially broken up the band, so who knows. The collaboration between John and me has continued though, which led me to record some songs for his forthcoming solo album. We’re even talking about going out on tour together, focusing on his back catalog as a solo artist.
Øystein, I heard you had a health problem, are you alright now? After WIG WAM broke up what did you do? Any music activities?
Øystein/Sporty: Let’s make that clear, I’M FINE, do not have any health problems. At least not more than other “normal” people 😉 I’m healthy, doing workouts 4 days a week. Feeling really good actually 🙂
I have done a lot of music activities after WIG WAM (2012-2020) 🙂
I have done a lot of gigs with my old band in Stockholm, Sweden “SHA-BOOM”. This is more in the pop-genre-music-type 🙂 Check it out on Spotify 🙂 R.O.C.K. was a really big hit in Scandinavia in the eighties 😉 I have also used a lot of time producing music. I’m working with two artists mainly; MELIx, which is a Norwegian female pop singer. I have produced 5 tracks with her in 2019 and 2020. RED STEEL is a Norwegian rock band which I really like. I did produce their first single in 2020. Check out both MELIx “Det Er Sommer” and also RED STEEL “Unreal”. I do really think that you’ll like this track 😉 You are welcome to contact me concerning these two artists if you like to know more 😉 (S-ROCK: The guitar player of RED STEEL is Sporty’s yougest son)
Your messages to your Japanese fans who visit S-ROCK site. Tusen takk! Hope we’ll see your gigs in Japan later, hope not too late due to COVID-19!
Øystein/Sporty: Hope to see U in Japan on tour: Maybe in 2022 🙂 And I think U should keep on using our artist names:) At least mine 😉
Bernt/Flash: Hi! I will always treasure our trips to Japan, and I sure hope there will be a chance to come back once more. It was an experience I’ll never forget. Your hospitality and your enthusiasm really boosted the band in every way. I’m so happy that we finally are back together and that our new album NEVER SAY DIE will meet your expectation. My son has been to Japan several times and has learned the language. He will be studying in Japan as soon the Covid situation is resolved. I really hope we will do some gigs for you guys in the near future. Until then enjoy the music and see you soon!!
Åge/Glam: It really feels SO good to have put the past behind us and made the wounds heal. We have sorted out all our differences and are just looking forward to playing live again. We are definitely coming over to Japan again on a NEVER SAY DIE tour. Stay safe and get ready to be WIG WAM’ed the way you’ve never been WIG WAM’ed before.
Trond/Teeny: I really hope to get a chance to tour Japan again. I have missed you all and I’m so ready to meet you again! Rock on and stay safe!!!!
Bernt/Flash: ハイ！俺はいつも日本への旅を大事にするよ、そしてもう一度戻れる機会がある事を望んでる。絶対忘れる事がない経験だったんだ。君達のもてなしと熱狂は全ての意味でバンドを鼓舞したのさ。俺達が満を持して復活して、新譜NEVER SAY DIEが君達の期待に応える事が本当に嬉しいよ。俺の息子は何回か日本に行った事があって、日本語を勉強しているよ。コロナ禍が解消されたら彼は日本で勉強する予定なんだ。近い将来君達の為に何回かライヴを演れる事を心から望んでる。それ迄は新譜を楽しんでくれ、すぐ逢おう！
Åge/Glam: 過去の事を水に流して傷を癒して本当にいい気分なんだ。俺達は全ての俺達の相違点を整理したし、今はまたライヴを演る事だけを楽しみにしているのさ。NEVER SAY DIEツアーで絶対に日本へまた行くよ。無事で居て、そして以前は絶対体験出来なかったやり方でWIG WAMの虜になる準備をしておいてくれ。
STONEFLOWER’s latest album “FINALLY” out in May 2020.
S-ROCK: Tom and Svenn, you guys as STONEFLOWER have been “finally” back to the scene with the latest album “FINALLY” out in May 2020. Welcome back, and the album has been “back in stock” again and again at online CD stores in Japan. Any negotiation with Japanese labels to release in Japan?
Svenn: Hi there, yes it’s good to finally be back but you know there’s actually never been a longer off period it’s just that we like to spend our time in the studio.
Well, we have no separate negotiation with Japan cause we want to see how far AOR HEAVEN can push this album.
S-ROCK: For these years since you guys released the 1st album “CRACK A LITTLE SMILE” in 2003 many things have been changed, especially thanks to internet. What is the biggest difference on making an album between early 2000’s and now?
Svenn Huneide (B)
Svenn: The main difference is in the way we work in the studio with new methods due to digital aids. It should be a faster and easier way but we are really old school and like to do it the old way as much as possible.
We try to use copying and moving parts of a song to a minimum and we feel this really helps the songs to be more dynamic.
Tom: The difference in case of distribution of the music now from before, is that its much easier to hit just the right market (people). Our goal is to find the AOR people who are very open to new bands, and still quite hungry for this kind of music.
S-ROCK: “FINALLY” album has full of beautiful melodies with excellent chorus harmonies, and tracks are in genuine AOR style more than previousalbums. John from young generation has brought something fresh, it has given good influence to guys with a long career? Which track(s) is/are your favorite(s)?
Svenn: Yeah, John has really given us old guys a vitamin injection and it’s really funny to write new songs and throw at him. He always surprises us by making every song better sounding than we could imagine.
Tom by the way is the master Chorus guy. The man should really write a book about it. It’s hard to pick a favourite because they’re all so difference.
Tom: I very much agree with Svenn. John came in and really kicked our butts. We had to polish him just a tiny bit from the musical scene, but as you can hear, he’s all over the place. I loved his voice from the first time I heard him.
I can’t pick any favourite song either. Every song has its own place.
Tom Sennerud (G)
S-ROCK: How’s been the situation in Norway during this chaos due to COVID-19? Many people in Japan get used to wear a mask in winter (cold/flu) and spring (pollen) though, you guys there in Norway didn’t have that custom. What did you guys do and think during the restriction time?
Svenn: Well these are strange and dark times indeed. We are not used to wearing masks in Norway and even today most people find it a bit strange. We are fortunate to have a government that really took the situation seriously and because of that
Norway is one of the countries with fewest dead and sick in the whole world. We had planned to make a couple of concerts but instead we were stuck in our studios so we tried to make the best out of it and even made a video with live playing from our homes.
Tom: This still isn’t over. The plan for a release concert in February -21 seems difficult too, so we just have to wait.
S-ROCK: John, you ever participated in IDOL and musicals like LES MISERABLÉS, JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, MISS SAIGON. Have you ever sung in an AOR band besides STONEFLOWER? And your name “Masaki” reminds Japanese people of a Japanese male name, is it your real name or stage name?
John: I’ve always been a huge fan of AOR and ever since I was a teenager I’ve been singing cover songs with various bands but this is the first time I get to be part of something completely original. Doing musicals and theatre and cabaret shows are fun and challenging in their own ways, but it’s something completely different to be able to do your own music. I am so lucky to have met these incredibly talented people who happen to share my passion for AOR.
John Masaki (Vo)
My grandmother was actually from Japan and I was named after her brother Masaki. As a young sailor, my grandfather stayed in Toyama-ken for three months while repairing their ship engine. He told me he met my beautiful grandmother Chizuko Iwata one day at a hair saloon and managed to ask her out to dinner even though he couldn’t speak a word of Japanese. They fell in love and she moved to Norway with him. My full name is John-Magnus Masaki Nielsen, but John Masaki is a much more catchy stage name and I carry it with great pride.
S-ROCK: Geir, you work as a video journalist/photographer/drone pilot for TV2 news as well, from a journalist point of view what will happen to the world next after COVID-19 matters?
Geir: Oh well, that’s the big question everyone is asking themselves, isn’t it? I think the world will feel the aftermath of this for a very long time.
But let’s hope they can find a vaccine soon, and maybe after a some time, the virus will be just another annual influenza-virus. In Norway the kids are putting posters in the windows saying: «It Will All Be Fine» written inside a rainbow. And that’s what I think also.
Geir Johnny Huneide (Ds)
S-ROCK: Some bands and musicians in Norway have been doing online gigs on FACEBOOK, YouTube or other ways for free or receiving money as a ticket price or social tipping by Vipps for example. Any plan of an online gig of you guys? If you do, your fans in Japan will be interested as well even though there’s time difference. And when this chaos with restriction is over, you guys will do some gigs with your fans at clubs?
Svenn: Well we thought about it but the market was really flooded with concerts and it was too much hassle to get it done in a way we liked and now it’s almost over. People got tired of it I suppose 🙂 It would be great to treat our fans with a concert tho’ so let’s see what’s gonna happen.
Tom: We will love to do clubs in the future.
John: Yes! Live streams can be fun but it’s just not the same as a real concert with real people. I tried to download a beer the other day but it didn’t taste quite right.
S-ROCK: This is a question from your Japanese fan. Which are your favorite bands and bands which have influenced your music career?
Svenn: Wow, there are just so many. My personal favorites are FOREIGNER, TOTO, WHITESNAKE, YES, DGM and some of the new ones like W.E.T and WORK OF ART. I started listening to music at the age of 10-11 so every classic rock band from 1984 and forward has influenced me but especially TOTO, VAN HALEN, KISS, WHITESNAKE, DEF LEPPARD and GIANT have been huge favorites.
Tom: Again, I have to follow Svenn, TOTO, WORK OF ART, LIONVILLE, W.E.T but also Michael McDonald, Kenny Loggins, PAGES and MR. MISTER to name a few.
John: One of my favorite voices is Norwegian Jørn Lande (Jorn) but my biggest inspiration as a performer is probably Freddie Mercury. Other huge influences are IRON MAIDEN, DREAM THEATER, WHITESNAKE, GUNS N’ ROSES, AEROSMITH, LED ZEPPELIN, THIN LIZZY, BON JOVI etc. The list could go on forever!
S-ROCK: Would you give your messages to your Japanese fans who visit S-ROCK website? Tusen takk!
Svenn: Thank you so much for your interest and for listening to our new album. It would be a really treat if we were to play for our Japanese Fans in Japan sometime in the future and in the meantime I pray everyone stay safe and healthy.
Tom: Thank you so much for listening and supporting us. We are so grateful for all the feedback we got this time around.
John: Thank you for keeping rock and roll alive! Hope to come see you very soon!