Anointed For Burial
CoC interviews Extol
by: Alex Cantwell
On June 18th I had the extreme pleasure of witnessing Norwegian metal warriors Extol in a live setting. However, before all of the chaos ensued on the stage, while hanging out with these fine gentlemen, I took the opportunity to interview guitarist Ole Borud. About three years ago, I picked up a copy of a CD of a band called Schaliach, which was excellent doom with a distinct Norwegian flavour. I learned later, after perusing this CD, that Schaliach was not a band at all, but the music of one man named Ole Borud. Soon after, I received a demo in the mail of new material from Oslo's Extol. Blown away was I to read that all of the bass tracks were performed by Ole. I thought to myself, if Ole joined this band Extol, who are already quite good, they would certainly be the best band in the world! Imagine my absolute shock when I got a copy of _Burial_, Extol's debut CD (on Endtime Records in Europe, Solidstate Records in America, and now Avalon Records in Asia), and Ole was listed as one of two guitarists! "I have found the band that will conquer all", I announced to myself and many others. Imagine my shock, when a few years after getting into this obscure band from thousands of miles away, they book a show where I live! Anyway, to get to my point already, Extol is my favourite band and I was stoked to have Ole sitting in my car with me doing an interview. OK? You with me? Read on, people...

CoC: What are the band's plans for the rest of the year?

Ole Borud: The rest of the year will probably see the release of a mini-CD that will come probably in September, and we're not quite sure, but we will definitely do a second album. Hopefully we'll do it in the end of this year, otherwise it will be in the beginning of the next. Otherwise, whatever concerts that come up, we'll do them. We don't have tons of them close to Christmas, but we have some out in August and stuff like that, and maybe one in September.

CoC: Have you been able to tour in Europe yet?

OB: Actually not. I mean, we haven't been around with the album for ages and I guess it just takes time to establish yourselves as a band in Europe, because it's all about credibility as a band, and what you are. You've got to prove that you're able to show what you're good for. Hopefully, we'll get the chance to do that very soon. Actually, we're going to do a show in Germany in the end of July, so that will be our first thing down in Europe.

CoC: What kind of reaction have you had in Norway?

OB: It's basically been pretty cool...

CoC: Of the three songs that were on the _Embraced_ demo, "Burial" and "Embraced" were included on the _Burial_ album, but why was "Prodigal Son" left off?

OB: Well, you know, the thing is basically because we thought that in the beginning we were like "We're at least going to have "Burial" on the album", and we thought to ourselves "Let's do "Embraced" too, because it's a cool song and people really like that song", but then again we thought "Let's not overdo it, and put all of the three songs from the demo on the album", because we had enough songs. It was basically just the fact that we didn't think that "Prodigal Son" was the best song on the demo. But still, the new version of "Prodigal Son" [which is included as a bonus track on the Asian version of _Burial_ and will also be on the forthcoming MCD _Mesmerized_ -- Alex] is pretty much different.

CoC: Oh really?

OB: Yeah, it's tuned much lower and is much heavier, and it's got a new part.

CoC: Your music is amazingly technical. What kind of musical training have you had?

OB: You know, we didn't go to classes or anything like that, we just learned our instruments by ourselves, more or less. In the beginning I started out with a couple of classes or something like that, but it just cost too much money at that time. That's the way it goes with all the other guys. We just developed... you get better. There's nothing more to say, really.

CoC: What kind of direction do you think the music of Extol will take in the future?

OB: We have quite a few songs for our next album, and it will still be the good ol' Extol when it comes to the technical parts and the melodic parts. It'll still be what we do, but what we've added with the new songs is just more brutality, actually. So, for once we've tuned down our guitars and it sounds much heavier, and the total sound of the band is darker. It's beefy and it sounds massive, I think. Maybe we have a couple more hooks, you know what I mean. Still, there are a lot of parts in every song, so there's not going to be a boring song with two riffs.

CoC: I wanted to ask you some questions about some specific songs, if that's OK.

OB: Yeah.

CoC: "Jesus Kom Til Jorden For a Do" sounds like this big anthem. You could just see this big room of people swinging their arms. How did that come about? Who wrote that?

OB: My dad wrote it, and he wrote it in 1976, so that's pretty wild.

CoC: The lyrics and music?

OB: Yeah, sure. I mean, he's been writing tons of songs for years. See, the thing is, my family has been in the music business for years. I started singing when I was like five or six years old, and have been touring with my family for years. My dad has been involved with different things, different projects. At that time he had sort of a band with other guys, like a '70s thing. Wait a second, it's not the band. He had another band too, but this one was actually himself and two other women. They just sang together, and that song only had vocals, which is really cool because all of the harmonies are done vocally, and it sounds just great. It was just basically that we recorded this album where I live, because I work in a music studio, and we just hung out one night after recording stuff, and I think that for some reason we put on that tape, because it was there, and the guys were just like "Woah, that's cool". So, just right there we decided "OK, let's do a cover of that one", and so we did. That's the story behind that.

CoC: I've gotta say this: "Superior" sounds like a Schaliach song.

OB: You think so?

CoC: Yeah. Did you write it?

OB: Yeah, I did. Maybe you're right. Of course I wouldn't think of anything else [besides] "it's me" if I'm the guy that wrote it, but nevertheless I think it sounds more Extol than Schaliach, in my ears.

CoC: Is that a real sitar on "Reflections of a Broken Soul"?

OB: No.

CoC: Keyboards?

OB: Yeah, it's keyboard.

CoC: Who did all of the sound effects on _Burial_? The different stuff in between the songs.

OB: Oh, that's just us. You know, we just did it. We had some sound CDs and some keyboard stuff that we mixed together. We kind of fooled around with ideas on what to do.

CoC: How did the orchestral part come together on "Tears of Bitterness"?

OB: Oh, well, we just did it.

CoC: Was that keyboards?

OB: Yeah, the stuff in the back is keyboards, but there is one violin on top of it, so it sounds kind of "for real". Christer [Espevoll, guitar] is the one who wrote that song, so he wanted that part, and so we just went for it.

CoC: Has Eystein [Holm, bass] departed from the band?

OB: Yeah.

CoC: So what happened?

OB: It's basically just the fact that we felt, and he felt that he wasn't as engaged and involved in the band as he should be. He had been feeling the same way for a while, and so we kind of just talked together. There was absolutely no hard feelings whatsoever, I mean totally cool, and he was like "This is the right thing to do", and it was a good feeling afterwards, and he's been totally cool about it. So we feel peace about what's been happening. I mean, like when we left for the States, he called us up and wished us good luck, you know, so nothing bad is happening. It's just that that was the right thing to do, and that's the way he felt, too.

CoC: So Tor Magne [guitarist for Norwegian black metallers Lengsel] is playing bass for you on the tour. Are you going to get another bass player full time?

OB: Well, the thing was that as soon as things happened and we talked to Eystein, we knew that we had to do something in order to get things going, and we just hooked up with him as soon as possible. We knew that he was a good musician, and we had been hanging out with him and his friends, and we knew that he was a good guy, I mean a guy that we definitely could work with, and so we just asked him "How do you feel about stepping in and working with us for a while?", and he was cool about it. I mean, he needed his time to think about it, but he was very cool. He does an excellent job. He's cool. I'm not sure what is going to happen in the future, I mean if Tor Magne is going to be a bandmember. For now, he's not, because that's just the way we've set it up. He's aware of it, and we're aware of it -- he's got his own band. I don't know, we will have to wait and see, basically.

CoC: I wanted to compliment you on the Extol website that you guys have out. I don't know who's responsible for it, but it's really good.

OB: It's our guy from the record company.

CoC: Samuel [Durling, owner of Endtime Productions and member of Mental Destruction]?

OB: Yeah. He is really good at what he does. Really good.

CoC: It has a lot of good information on there, as far as if you're a fan of the band, then you'll find a bunch of good stuff on there. It seems like you guys care about your fans as far as getting information out and stuff like that.

OB: That's cool. Nice to hear. He's just a great guy who's done tons of work for us. He's got an eye for nice stuff, you know.

CoC: Yeah, the layout is awesome.

OB: I mean the website looks nice, it's cool. All that he's done -- we're very satisfied with his work. Definitely.

CoC: Have you written any new songs that you would use for new Schaliach music?

OB: Yes, I have a few that definitely would not work for Extol, that would be good for Schaliach. Nobody is writing that kind of music right now, like good doom. I'm not talking like Paramaecium, I'm talking like Anathema. British doom.

CoC: Any closing comments?

OB: Oh, okay. If anybody wants to check out what Extol is all about, just go get hold of a copy of _Burial_, and check out the music and the lyrics and find out what we're all about. We're always glad to get new listeners. Also, for anyone who wants to check out our website, it's for everybody, and we wish all the best for everybody.

Contact: WWW: http://www.durling.com/extol/

(article submitted 7/7/1999)


CHATS
1/10/2001 A Cantwell Extol: Death From the North
ALBUMS
1/20/2005 J Smit 5 Extol - Blueprint
10/25/2000 A Cantwell 8 Extol - Undecieved
8/12/1999 A Cantwell 7.5 Extol - Mesmerized
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