Saturday, February 25

To listen or not?

Inevitably & expectedly "BH/BC" has leaked! Apparently it surfaced through Oink first & is now making its way to several other torrent sites, e.g. here or here.

And although I am getting decent download speeds & the download is about to finish soon I am still undecided whether to listen or not. My previous experiences with album leaks of my favourite bands have been pretty hit or miss: sometimes it works & sometimes it destroys the tension & anticipation thoroughly. Either way I'll try my best to make careful use of spoilers regarding significant new album content the next three weeks leading up to the real album release.

Friday, February 24


Hey, it seems "someone" used the Tussler-font & themes here (much to my delight intentionally so, the way I know him). Apart from the font The Magnificent Brotherhood & Tussler share some identical cover choices, namely "Christine's tune", "Turn on your lovelight" & "Friend of the devil". That's about it tough regarding similarities between the two bands. The Magnificent Brotherhood of Eternal Love & the Happiness Close Companions are currently Berlin's hottest live-act -- reproducing the San Fancisco ballroom-electric-acid-rock sound with brilliant original songs, utmost authenticity & the hottest guitar-playing this side of Jerry Garcia. :-)

The Magnificient Brotherhood will play Berlin's Zosch tonight.

Friday, February 17

"Black hole/Blank canvas"

Motorpsycho will release their first studio album in three years on March 17, 2006. It will be called "Black hole/Blank canvas" & it will be a double LP/CD. There will be a limited edition. Compare the press-release here.

Here is the tracklisting:

CD 1:
1) No Evil
2) In Our Tree
3) Coalmine Pony
4) Kill Devil Hills
5) Critical Mass
6) The 29th Bulletin
7) Devil Dog
8) Triggerman

CD 2:
1) Hyena
2) Sancho Says
3) Sail On
4) The Ace
5) L.T.E.C.
6) You Lose
7) Before The Flood
8) Fury On Earth
9) With Trixeene Through The Mirror, I Dream With Open Eyes

There are numerous references to be found, compare this & this post.

The artwork was created by Kim Hiorthøy.

Motorpsycho will tour Europe in support of "BH/BC", go here to see the tour dates.

Discuss the album with other Motorpsycho fans here!

Press release

Rolf Klausen googled up this rather weird but very cool to read sort of press-release:

MOTORPSYCHO – Black Hole / Blank Canvas 2CD/2LP

Yep, you read right - a double album! After 3 relatively quiet years, the magnificent Motorpsycho strikes again. For the first time since 1998's 'Trust Us', they've gone all the way and are - in cahoots with the Mighty Stickman Label (MSL) - again releasing a huge, sprawling, epic and dark meisterwerk: "Black Hole / Blank Canvas".
Recorded and mixed over a 6-week period in Eindhoven's "The Void" studios, this is the first album without their long-time drummer Håkon Gebhardt. Losing Geb after so many years together was a big kick up the old wazoo and helped make this album the fresh and vital Bundle of Joy it became.
Having forgone the strings and horns so prevalent on albums like "Let Them Eat Cake","Phanerothyme" and "It's A Love Cult", the instinctive side of Motorpsycho is what's on display here; the arrangements are kept comparatively sparse, and the boys play everything themselves, with Bent taking over on drums. Snah and Bent clearly felt it was time to do or die and opted - in good motorpsychodelic tradition - for 'kicking out the jams' as the lingo has it. The result is an album that rocks like little else in the MP canon, and for what it's worth, shows what Motorpsycho sound like before they start thinking about what they sound like.
The production work (by Motorpsycho's longtime sound engineer Pieter Kloos along with the band) also has a 'rockier' sensibility than other post-millennial Motorpsycho albums, and focuses more on the Total Sonic Energy Transfusion (TSEF) inherent in the music than on its fashion-, hipness- or clarity (FHC) factor. This is not an album you can date by the plug-ins or the loops, it's an organically grown product from our friends at Friendly Farmers Trondheim, that will free your mind and beautify your booty! Shake it, grrl, Shake it! Whoo!! (eh, a little carried away there...).
Some art-forms feel more true the less refined they are. This statement is definitely relevant where rock music - art or not - is concerned, and Motorpsycho are hereby proving it. As they sing in the album opener 'No Evil': "I'm never quite as brilliant as I am when I am dumb", and amen to that. Grown up sensibility, but juvenile energy: Rock music at it's best!
The only sensible things MP themselves have to say about the record, are that 'it's probably too long', 'it was an intense experience to make it as a duo, we felt like a WWF tag-team!', and a variety of the other sportsmans-like platitudes musicians like to blather on about when trying to be profound. One gets a distinct impression that it's far easier for MP to do what they do than to talk about it, and we have heard from very reliable sources that it's "far better to listen to their music than to hear them talk". The boys themselves actually have procured notes from their elders asking that they be excused from interviews this term, and who are we to dispute the wisdom in that?

On behalf of the staff here at MSLArt
E. Caill,
Head of Marketing and Agriculture

"Black Hole / Blank Canvas" hits the shops on March 17th, 2006
Don’t miss out on the limited edition first pressing!
Catalog Nr : Psychobabble 053
See for tour dates in April & May.

Thursday, February 16

Reduced to the max!

Indigo, Stickman's German distribution service, updated its site with a better resolution scan of the "BH/BC" artwork (see below). They comment on the album as follows:

"Reduced to the max: The Norwegians rock again!
Yes, it is a double-album! After three years Motorpsycho reemerge as a duo with a grand, epic & dark meisterwerk. “Black hole/Blank canvas” is the Norwegians' first album without longtime drummer Håkon Gebhardt. Strings & horns are missing as well, the arrangements are comparetively sparse, and Bent Sæther & Hans Magnus "Snah" Ryan played all the instruments themselves. “All or none?” was the question & in the best motorpsychodelic tradition the two of them decided to kick out the jams! This double-album rocks like no other of their efforts. That’s how Motorpsycho sound when not thinking about how they should sound. Reduced to the max – an organic power plant, which will alternately make ones ears glow & the heart dance. “Black hole/Blank canvas” is mature sensibility coupled with youthful power, is Sonic Youth/My Bloody Valentine, is pure energy, which blazes a trail to ones conscience only to stay there. There will be a limited edition.

Pidah comments on the drummer-situation

There is an article called "Motorpsycho vindt een nieuwe drummer in Eindhoven". It contains an interview with Pidah. He confirms Jacco van Rooij as the drummer for the next tour. At the same time Pidah also states that...
  • Jacco doesn't want to do interviews because he has no time and because his quotes were not represented correctly [maybe referring to this article?],
  • Jacco played drums on the track "You lose" [on the new record],
  • it's hard for the band to find the time to rehearse with Jacco as he has to come to Norway for it and still has to keep his job (web design) running,
  • Jacco is currently not the steady Motorpsycho drummer; after the tour the band and Jacco will have to see if they 'click'. If so, Jacco will have to decide if he wants to move to Norway (to join the band full-time) or stay in Holland,
  • Suimasen has not split-up.
Obviously the band doesn't take the question who is to permanently replace Geb lightly. Pidah says that it is "no catpiss" (kattenpis) to drum for Motorpsycho because they are so demanding when it comes to rehearsing & devoting time to the band. A permanent replacement for Geb, who will eventually turn into a real Motorpsycho-member will apparently have to relocate to Trondheim & will have to be dead serious about his obligations to the band.

Thanks to Fastnbullbous for posting the link & to Jonne Kramer for the translation/summary.

Wednesday, February 15

My Space

Someone, most likely not the band themselves, created an updated MySpace user site for Motorpsycho (& The International Tussler Society). It contains some basic information about the band, the new album & the tour, thrown together from various well-known sources. There is another MySpace account for Motorpsycho (oddly under the username "The Motorpsycho") which is a little outdated but since it was created earlier it has more "friends".

MySpace is an online "friends-network". Lately it has become a popular tool for bands to promote their stuff in a grassroots sort of style.

Saturday, February 11

"BH/BC" artwork

This "add" can be found at Stickman's frontpage. What we see is obviously a preview of the artwork for "Black hole/Blank canvas", Motorpsycho's new album, due in March. Nothing is known about the artist. And while the common consensus so far seems to indicate that people think it's "crappy" & "metal" I actually do like it: just imagine this thing blown up to gatefold 12 inch, all black & deep & shiny, maybe even without any name or title (is that maybe a sticker in the upper left corner?) -- simultaneously classic & enigmatic. And most importantly the supernova or cosmic knots or weird figures holding each other like trapeze artists -- whatever might be pictured here -- do express space all the way, which certainly bodes well for the music!

It's probably just a matter of few days/weeks until the proper artwork will go up at either the Indigo or Stickman site.

Thanks to Holger & marc.

Wednesday, February 8

Tour line-up not finalized yet?

Snah speaks out in another interview regarding his contribution to "Fantastike Pepsi Love":

"-This is the fourth time I make musik to a theatre play, as always in collaboration with director Jon Tombre. I enjoy the way of working, and think I am getting better at it now, says Snah. Besides this, he has not played in other bands than Motorpsycho, if you do not count a few jobs in Deathprod together with Helge Steen.

He [Snah] is in a very exciting phase right now. Motorpsycho's comeback record is out in March, and he and Bent are rehearsing a concert repertoire together with two candidates for the live band. There has been a lot of speculation around Motorpsycho, and very little response from the band. A game of secrecy?

- No, no. But a lot has happened to us these last years. For the first time we're going on tour without the colossal safety it was to play with Gebhardt. The three of us knew eachother inside out. Now it is different. It is complicated and exciting enough just to relate to each other - and to make final decisions. To communicate this to the rest of the world gets a bit too complicated, says Snah."

Of course this is much more cryptical then revealing. Previous unconfirmed news hinted to dutch drummer Jacco van Rooij joining them on stage. Given the most recent statements, though, nothing seems to be set in stone yet. The guessing can continue: Trio or quartet? Two drummers? A keyboard player again? A second guitar? Someone on noise-producing devices à la Deathprod?...

Thanks to The the for pointing out the article in this thread & to The other Anders for the translation.

Sunday, February 5

Five years Motortrades

Those were the first Motorpsycho live-recordings I ever got. It was late 1999, “Roadworks I” had just left me craving for more live music when I stumbled across a post by Kristoffer in the old marketplace. He was so nice to send me the two tapes for free & the next weeks I was all over them. The sheer mayhem of the recording from Roma left me actually quite puzzled yet deeply impressed while the Drammen tape astonished me with a number of then unreleased songs. Six years & roughly 300 recordings later Motortrades, the Motorpsycho trading community, celebrates its fifth anniversary – today!

In order to commemorate the anniversary I will use this opportunity to take a look at some randomely chosen recently surfaced recordings (those that actually came on physical media):

The last opportunity to tape Motorpsycho music galore was the 2004 tour of The International Tussler Society. Along with a good number of fantastic tapes – the best being the tour-closing shows Dresden & Berlin – came our only Motorpsycho(related) recording from Bodø (15.09.2004). Recorded by a first-time taper it features some problems, like a little sub-standard sound & being circulated on disc-at-once burnt discs. It is, however, a labour of love, as the scan of the charmingly designed artwork shows. This one proves that Motorpsycho’s music (and live-performance) has still enough power to make people go “Oh my god, I gotta tape THIS!”.

Another sideproject’s -- HGH’s -- spring tour in 2005 spawned a very rare soundboard recording (on DAT) made with Geb’s approval at Berlin’s Knaack Club (09.04.2005). There are very few soundboard recordings out there, and so far only one by HGH (Weinheim, Germany 27.01.2001). Look out for this recording to be circulated soon.

Our crown-jewel though is a recording from back then. It’s a recording made on good old analogue tape at Reutlingen’s (Germany) Zelle towards the end of the fantastic “Trust us” tour (22.05.1998). Recorded five days prior to “Roadworks I” it’s every bit as great as that landmark recording. While the majority of the pre-2000 Motorpsycho recordings tend to be of comparatively amateurish, bad sounding & often incomplete charakter the show from Reutlingen was captured by an experienced taper. It has excellent sound & very elegantly done tape-flips. The performance is simply wonderful: it features two acoustic sets as well as a juicy electric portion that features “Ocean in her eye” as perfect opener, the last 1998-era stand-alone “Superstooge” (before it would ultimately morph into "Superwheel" for the next two years), a text-book “K9 suite”, a lenghty “577”, which includes a “The other other fool”-esque jam, as well as an even longer “Heartattack Mac”, enriched by a lenghty “Waiting for my man”-jam. Particularly noteworthy is the inclusion of “Ocean in her eye” since it is the only 1998 recording of that song to circulate, plus the only recorded 1998-version of “Come on in” in listenable sound.

That was not the last great discovery to be made though.

Just back in late 2005 some brave psychonaut liberated a video-recording of Motorpsycho at 1993’s Quart festival (09.07.1993). The bootleg DVD was on sale at some record-fair in Norway when our secret agent secretly copied it & brought it to the fans for free. While the sound is terribly poor the footage makes allthemore up for it: we are still talking nasty screaming, long dreadlocks & gigantic Deathprod noise here! Watching it was one of the very few instances when i was I able to really penetrate to the very heart of “Demon box”-era Motorpsycho & to really get the music made back then.

Talking old-school 1993 Motorpsycho there was another interesting find last year -- though historically much more so than musically. It’s a wild tape of Motorpsycho meeting Hedge Hog (forming Detroit Dogs) for a round of fun-and-distortion filled MC5 & Stooges coverversions, recorded on Norway’s national day 1993. The cover speaks for itself.

The latest recordings to surface are the previously reviewed acoustic session from Japan & a Minidisc-recording from Bergen 1999 (16.04.1999). This one has actually just surfaced & we still don’t know what to expect from it because it hasn’t been playbacked yet. No matter how it turns out it’s a cool find anyway because recordings from the 1999 tour are amazingly sparse (curiously enough an audience source for Trondheim 09.04.1999 has just surfaced as well.).

The amount & content of the stuff we unearthed together through the years is amazing -- thank you!

If you got a Motorpsycho recording that is not listed here or here, or if you happen to know of a recording (a friend of yours made or so), or if you intend to tape an upcoming show we'd love if you got in touch with us here or here or here.

Thursday, February 2

Fantastiske Pepsi Love

The stage-adaption of Frode Sander Øiens book "Fantastiske Pepsi Love" will premier at Trondheim's Trøndelag Teater tomorrow (03.02.2006). It will feature music by Hans Magnus Ryan. Snah has worked for the theatre before: last year he contributed music to the Astrid Lindgren plot "Ronja røverdatter", which was being staged at the same theater (on the theatre's site there is also a short Quicktime clip which actually includes very little music). Back then he spoke about his work in this interview (Norwegian only).

Frode Sander Øien, born 1969, is an old friend & associate of the band. He was/is also the lead-singer of Sanderfinger, a Trondheim based on & off project to which Bent has contributed occasionally & which features second Tussler drummer Even "Ringo" Granås. Apparently Øien has now a career as aspiring (and successful) author going.

Here is a small interview-snippet with Snah, quoted (and translated) from this article. The picture has been borrowed from this article as well. Pictured are Øyvind Brandtzæg, Snah & Frode Sander Øien.

The musician from Steinkjær, Hans Magnus Ryan, maybe better known as Snah in Motorpsycho, has written the music to "Fantastiske Pespi Love". --"I have mutated small melodies to the play, and I have worked my way through the script several times to get things into their right places. I want the audience to be left with feelings of music, and this music is meant to stimulate the central nervous system. No doubt this will become "ambient music" in the theater setting, and I am curious about people's reactions", says Ryan. Motorpsycho is also alive, and in the best of shape. A new double album is in the works, and will be released in the middle of march. "There will be some touring both inside and outside Norway during the spring. Unfortunately I don't think Steinkjær is on the tour list thistime", says Ryan.

Thanks to Roar J. for the heads-up & to The other Anders for the translation.

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