Interviews: Slaamaskin

On this new occasion, we have had the opportunity to interview the Metalcore/Hardcore/Crossover band, Slaamaskin from Norway. Check out the interview and follow the band on their FACEBOOK PAGE.

1. Where did you get the idea for the band name, you planned it or came out just like that?

It actually was “Slow, Massive”, but then the lyrics started to turn Norwegian, and our music started to get less slow.

So, we played around with the phonetics of “Slow, Massive” and came up with Slaamaskin (archaic notation of “slåmaskin”).

“Slåmaskin” translates to “mower”, but it also has a transferred lyrical meaning, indicating the heart and passion in the music.

2. Why did you want to play this genre?

The genre we ended up with, if indeed we have a genre, is a result of us playing the music that we like. Almost all the songs are created through jamming them out, so they’re kind of “frankensteined” together with ideas in the rehearsal room.
The energy is there just because all of us immensely enjoy energetic performances, and quite like to perform live ourselves.

3. Did you know each other before the band was formed?

Yes, more or less.

The storyline is somehow that Jan-Helge and Kåre met serving the “civil service” (a non-military alternative to the mandatory conscription Norway had back then).

They formed an electronic rock band that ended in the early 00-ies. Meanwhile, Kåre played in another band with Jostein and Jan-Helge worked as a sound engineer and met Arvid through that. When the band finally got together they figured it would be cool with a vocalist as well, as the others could NOT do that.

As a struck of luck, Kåre and Jan-Helge bumped into Rolf on a night out in Bergen.

Now, Jan-Helge and Rolf have kind of an acquaintance since the early 80s, growing up in Ålesund, dropping in and out of each other's social circles as life progressed. It clicked, and we ended up with the product you can hear in “Trollveggen”.

4. Each band member's favorite band?

Kåre: It's impossible to boil it down to just one band, there are so many great ones out there! If I have to choose only one it would be The Cure, which had an enormous impact on my formative years. I was also lucky enough to see them live in Oslo, Norway, last October.

Rolf: Oh, that’s a hard one, so many to pick from! I guess Faith No More and Pantera have been most influential to my vocals in Slaamaskin, but if I boil it all down to the first band that got me into rock/metal, it’s Kiss.

Arvid: Rancid

Jostein: Rush

Jan-Helge: Anthrax was the first band that got my juices going, so that’s what I’ll have to put down.

5. Who or what inspires you to write songs?

Jan-Helge: Most of my ideas come up while I’m out on my bicycle, or hiking up one of the local mountains. But new riffs and melody lines crop up everywhere!

Rolf: I write most of the lyrics, so it’s usually stuff here and there from the news, documentaries, or movies I’ve seen.

The album title ”Trollveggen” kind of sums up most of the lyrics, as they deal with how we view the world through numerous digital screens or walls. Trollveggen is indeed a famous steep mountain in Norway, and it’s just as enchanting as all the walls you stare at every day in the palm of your hand. Other times, I just get a hang-up on words, like ”Lynvingen” or ”Vaaghals” and work my way around that word. ”Lynvingen” is the Norwegian translation of Batman, but it’s a song about revenge, loosely based on ”Manhunt”, a movie about Ted Kaczynski, aka the Unabomber. ”Vaaghals” translates into Daredevil, and no, it’s not about Matt Murdock, but a song about that destructive side of yourself that reveals itself through heavy drinking, that will always be a part of you.

Kåre: I usually come up with my riffs late at night with a bottle of red wine. Then we somehow blend them in with Jan-Helges stuff during rehearsals. It’s usually fun until Rolf starts nagging about too many repetitions of the same riff.

Jostein: I play along with the riffs and have as much fun as possible before Rolf starts nagging about breaks, pace shifts, and drum fills.

Arvid: I enjoy backing up the guitars and having as much fun before Rolf starts nagging about everything.

6. Where was your last gig?

Our last gig was in January this year at Skur 14 here in Bergen, Norway. We’ve been quite busy working on the promotional aspects of the release, including doing the videos for the singles that are out.

7. Where would you like to act?

Jan-Helge: I’m happy if we ever get to play on one of the major festivals in Norway and somewhere outside of Norway on a gig where we’re not bleeding money doing it. That said, I and Rolf went to CopenHell this year - appearing on the smallest stage there would certainly blow my mind.

8. Whom would you like to feature with?


9. Whom not?


10. Have any of you ever suffered from stage fright? Any tips for beginners on how to beat that?

Of course! We all have. The trick is to realize that it isn’t really fear - it’s excitement. Remember that most of the people in front of you really want you to do great. Just add alcohol and have fun!

11. What bands have inspired you the most?

Jan-Helge: All of them!

Rolf: Besides the bands mentioned in the favorite section, I’ll add early Soundgarden, Entombed, Type O Negative, Misfits and Norwegian bands like Raga Rockers and Thulsa Doom.

Kåre: King Crimson! I am still trying to decode what the hell Robert Fripp is doing with his axe…

Jostein: Too many to mention, I’ll just go with Rush again!

Arvid: Alice Cooper!

12. What's the weirdest thing a fan has ever asked you for?

Not exactly weird, but we were all kind of dumbstruck the first time someone asked for our autographs when we released the “2016” CD.

13. What do you think of your fans?

They are of course the best! We are very aware that we are a tiny speck on the music radar, but we appreciate that we actually have a few loyal fans. It is just mind-blowing.

14. What do you think of our site?

We think it looks good on a laptop/tablet. Was a bit difficult to navigate on mobile. Liked your sub-genre guide! Generally, really cool site to explore the underground of the countries you cover! Keep up the good work!

15. Something to add?

We’re happy if you bothered to read all of this, and more than happy if you check out our music, and buy our albums and t-shirts! And we are very grateful for interviews like this, they don’t come around too often.

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