Interview by Rachel Jablonski
Defining success by their own standards. Unconcerned about image. Hoping to leave their mark the best way they know how… by slamming alcoholic beverages into their systems… I mean by making great music. And most importantly backing it all up with their solid debut album “Velvet Noise.” Impressed with these Raunchy musicians from Denmark, I was fortunate to be able converse with Morten, the drummer of Raunchy, to learn a little more about the band.
Rachel: How did Raunchy get started? Tell us a little about the band.
Morten: We started back in 94’ as a cover band. We covered stuff like Metallica, Pantera, and Megadeth. Later we began writing our own material and throughout the years we recorded three demo tapes before we got a deal. Except for another singer in the very beginning, there have so far not been any changes in the line up. If you want the long and boring story about the band I suggest you download our bio from our homepage.
Rachel: I have noticed you guys have gotten some grief in regard to your choice of band name. In reviewing Velvet Noise I even went so far as to say “the band name may be completely repulsive, but the music makes up for it!” Why have you opted for the name "Raunchy?” Any particular reasons? How do you respond to someone like “Raunchy Rachel”, as my friends jokingly call me, who is somewhat critical of the name?
Morten: Haha Yeah, what can I say? I guess we weren’t thinking much about it when we chose that name. We just wanted something that was completely different from the typical metal cliché band name. We felt that we liked the sound of the name and thought it was a cool word that you could use in a lot of ways. Later we discovered that a lot of people seem to have a problem with our name, especially the people who review our CD. But I don’t think it matters lots what you call your band or what kind of image you have as long the music is great. I hope that the music will make the name and that people are open minded to different band names. But come to think about it, I don’t think a band like Slipknot would have sold that many CD’s if it weren’t for their image (even though I like their music, especially their new DVD). But I don’t have a problem about people who diss our name (only a few ones have been positive about it). In fact I think it was pretty funny when I read our review in the latest “Revolver” magazine. It was very positive and ended something like this: “Not bad for a band with such a lame ass name.” haha Maybe we will change the name to Raunchy Rachel.
Rachel: You have told me that Velvet Noise is “mix of everything we find good in heavy music.” What does this mean exactly? What do you find good in heavy music? Who influences you?
Morten: Yeah that’s right. Velvet Noise is just a cocktail of everything we find good in metal and by that I mean inspiration from quality bands. I mean there’s a lot bands that, for example, plays thrash metal, groove metal, industrial metal, death metal or whatever else, but not all of them make quality and we of course only “steal” from those we think make quality.
Rachel: What bands have you played/toured with? Any interesting stories from a particular gig?
Morten: We have played with such bands as The Haunted, Withering Surface, Barcode and other Danish bands. Unfortunately I don’t have a lot of funny stories. We just like to get up there and play our shit. After the show we will sit backstage hammering beers in our throats, that’s what we are best at. I have heard from other places outside of Denmark where I have played that they think Danish bands drink a lot of alcohol. Sometimes the venues will not serve a band before the show because they are afraid that some band members will not be able to play or eventually will pass out on stage cuz’ they have experienced stuff like that before. I guess it’s the old Viking genes. Last year we played at the summerbreeze festival in Germany. After the show people were acting quite childish, you know way too drunk throwing up everywhere. Germans are very serious people so I had the feeling that some people back stage felt we were pretty ridiculous, which we definitely were. But you know we don’t play a lot of gigs at the moment so for us it’s just a hobby and when we play it’s a sort of scapegoat to get away from our daily lives and party. We are all good friends.
Rachel: Do you think Velvet Noise is an accurate representation of your band's live shows? What can we expect out of Raunchy live?
Morten: If we use our own sound engineer everything is velvet and the way it should be but if we are in a hurry or have to use another sound engineer the noise would be the right representation of our band's live shows. Some of the stuff works really great live. I think it has a lot of energy which means that people who like that will rock when we play and if people are into it we deliver a much better show with much more energy. Sometimes people are just standing in the bar and it is really hard to push yourself to the limit. Cool crowd equals cool show.
Rachel: If you could wear only one color besides black and white for the rest of your life what would you wear?
Morten: No black? Damn! That would be army green or navy blue.
Rachel: What are your goals as a band?
Morten: To keep making music for a long time and still have a career in the future (may it be big or small). If it leads us to something big, that’s great. If it doesn’t well then I guess that is okay too. We all have a lot of other things to do besides the band, so it’s not like if we never get a living out this we will all fall down. I think we have already gotten far. Nuclear Blast is putting out our debut album and that is not bad at all. Ross Robinson has contacted us and wants to sign us and produce our next album! As long as someone will release our music everything is cool and we will see what happens.
Rachel: I hear you guys are currently working on songs for your next disc already. What should we expect in terms of sound from the new album?
Morten: I think it’s gonna be a masterpiece (I have to say that). It gonna be the something that people will talk about like this, “this is the best I have heard since Metallica’s Master of Puppets. Score: 666/666, Mr. Very important, Metal Hammer .” There’s gonna be a couple of fast songs on it but there’s also gonna be some more straight-ahead songs that will really pull every ones teeth out live. I think in some ways it’s gonna be a Velvet Noise pt.2 just hopefully better. So far we are very happy with the tracks we have made but we still need at least two more songs before we have enough for a full album.
Rachel: Though you are Danish I am quite impressed with your English, almost flawless. haha I’m serious, very good. The vocals on the record are as well. Is there any word/phrase that you can't stand or that annoys you?
Morten: Thank you very much. I also think we sound more American than a lot of other Danish bands but as far as the lyrics I don’t know. Our singer Lars writes all our lyrics and lyrics are in general not a big aspect for us. For us it is just something that has to be there as an extra instrument. All lyrics are about living life to the max, people Lars don’t like and other things in life. I almost never read the lyrics when I listen to music cuz’ I really don’t care much about it. Some people shoot their heads off because they think that is what the lyrics tell them to do, very intelligent.
Rachel: What track on Velvet Noise has the most meaning for you? Is there a story behind it?
Morten: In general I like all tracks. But I think “Twelve feet tall” has some of the best lyrics. It’s about being on top of the world, feeling that you are the one.
Rachel: What is the music scene like in Europe? In Denmark specifically?
Morten: I think it is good. In general I think Scandinavia has been very productive for the last ten years but most of it is death metal. In Denmark, for years the scene sucked big time and all bands were always ten years behind with their stuff, but for the last years it has become much better. But Denmark is a small country and there’s only something like ten places worth playing, so I think you have to think of other territories if you want something to happen with your music.
Rachel: From what I understand you also have another project called HateSphere. I heard a clip of a song I think called “Blood Believer” tonight, good heavy stuff. How does it compare/contrast to Raunchy? What does the Hatesphere project have planned in the near future?
Morten: Yeah that’s right. HateSphere is a thrash metal band. It’s something like The Haunted and At the Gates meets groovy bay area thrash like Machine Head. Right now we are playing some weekend gigs in Denmark and we are planning to go on a European tour with The Haunted in April but that depends on how much money we will have to pay out of our pocket. It’s very expensive and our record company will only cover some of our expenses. It sucks being in the music business.
Rachel: What's in your CD player right now?
Morten: The new Strapping Young Lad. I’m a huge fan of everything with Devin Townsend or Gene Hogland for that matter. I just changed CDs. Lately I have been listening a lot to the new The Haunted “One kill wonder.” There’s not anything new under the sun on that record but I think it’s great anyway because of the great musicianship. Per M. Jensen (which by the way is a Dane) is one of my favorite drummers.
Rachel: If you had the attention of the entire world what would you say?
Morten: This is were everyone else than me would start talking about the coming war but I won’t get all political with you. It sucks when musicians try to score cheap points on stuff like that, so instead I would just say: “People, the world would be a much better place if you all bought the new Raunchy – Velvet Noise CD!”
Rachel: What future plans does Raunchy have? Any US touring in the works? Please? haha
Morten: So far we have gotten a lot of positive vibes from people in the US and Nuclear Blast believe a lot in us, so if it continues like this we will hopefully be able to do a US tour after the next album. But success is not something that happens over one night. We were actually told to play at this years New Jersey Metal Meltdown and we would go there together with Darkane but later on the festival promoter didn’t want to pay for our plane tickets so that whole thing went sour.
Rachel: You get the final say here. Any final thoughts? Any last comments, questions, or concerns for our readers?
Morten: I hope people will take time to check out our CD. Stop being so conservative and narrow minded, check it out and spread the word. We would love to tour in the US.