Roughly six months after recording its debut album "Idiokrati" at Vespa Studios in Toronto, Norwegian Man The Machetes was ready to release its awesome 10 track hardcore piece in January, 2013. Shortly after, this Toronto Metal Music Examiner caught up with Morten, Man The Machetes guitarist, to learn more about the album, the band and its experience recording in T.O.
Interview with Man The Machetes (Norway)
What are the top three Man The Machetes characteristics?
Energy. Melody. Vibe
You have been around for some time, but only recently changed your name from Sudan to Man The Machetes. Why the name change, and how did you end up with Man The Machetes?
We were never too happy with the name Sudan. Our first name was actually "Mageplask" (hence the title of our first single). We experienced some difficulties with that name as well. After a painstaking process of coming up with a new name, we did (for some reason) end up with "First Class Sudan". It was shortly after shortened to Sudan. When arriving at Vespa Studios, our producer was being honest, cut the crap and just said: "Fellas, the name just isn’t working." And, we sure as hell were not going to change the name after the album was done! While recording, we used the time to come up with a proper name. After playing around with ideas, having word feuds, and ending up with at least ten pages of names, we narrowed it down to a melting pot of 5 suggestions. I actually think it was Christopher (the vocalist) who came up with the name. "Man The Machetes" is actually a twist of an old pirate expression: "Man the Guns".
Your debut album “Idiokrati” was out on Jan. 18, 2013. How did you end up naming your debut “Idiokrati”?"
It was easier to find the name for the album than the band. Idiokrati was actually more or less a working title for one of our songs, which also comprehends the main message in the lyrics. It's not an official word in the Norwegian vocabulary though, which in many ways almost makes it our own. And it has a nice ring to it.
“Idiokrati” was recorded at Vespa Studios in Toronto. Why did you travel all the way to Toronto to record your debut album?
This had all to do with us wanting to work with Eric Ratz, who has a reputation of producing great sounding albums. We did not receive any financial support for this recording, so each member used more or less all of his savings. Being on a tight budget, we would've never been able to achieve such a great record, production-vice, back home. In many ways it was good for the whole process to do the recording somewhere outside Norway. It meant traveling together to Canada, and live together as a band throughout the whole adventure.
What was the best part of the recording process?
The whole process was great. There was a lot of creativity, and it was fun to see how the songs evolve as each layer was added. You've heard each song a 100 times, rehearsed it a thousand times, done demo recording, pre-production, and then the moment is there; You are recording the riff, the vocal line, or the drum track that is going to be the final touch on that particular song. Standing in the studio, hearing each layer be put together, justifies all that hard work before going in the studio.
Which part of the recording process sucked the most?
The 3 weeks passed really fast. The biggest low was when everything was over.
Do you have any funny stories from the Toronto visit that you would like to share?
On the last day in the studio, we had our final listening session. Most of the gear had been wrapped, the rental car had been delivered, and our stay in Canada was reaching its endpoint. Then, just before the guys at the studio were going to drop us off at the airport, it became clear that we had forgotten to record the intro-part for the song “Slagen”. For some reason it had been postponed throughout the whole process. We were in the studio recording the “gang vocals” until late night, the day before. The “gang vocal” was more or less the final thing we recorded, and as a result of this, recording the intro was forgotten.
However we unloaded some of the gear, and recorded the intro part direct into the DA, which was then re-amped at a later point. The Canadian speed limits are more forgiving than the Norwegian ones, so we managed to catch our flight in the end.
What do you think of the outcome - "Idiokrati"?
That is the $64,000 question, right? We are more than satisfied with "Idiokrati", both in terms of songs and sound, and hopefully people will welcome a fast-paced album which keelhauls the listener with catchy aggressiveness.
I know you grew fond of Tim Horton's donuts and Copenhagen Skoal while in Toronto. What about Toronto would you want to introduce to Norway if you had the chance?
I think we should throw McDonald's out and get "Five Guys" burgers instead!
Any last messages for your current and future Canadian fans?
Tune in, stay tuned and play loud!