Friday, 16 November 2012

EXCLUSIVE: Erik Norlander interview part three

I am very fond of Erik Norlander. Not only is her a very talented musician and composer, but he is a damn nice guy as well. It is always a pleasure to chat to him, because we can talk for hours on a variety of musical and philosophical subjects such as curry (for example). 

My dear wife removed our long discussion about Vindaloo from the current interview on the grounds that it was completely off topic and not interesting to anyone apart from me and Erik, and as she is the poor dear who has to transcribe these chats, I have to do what I am told. Just in case you missed it here is part one and here is part two

JON: Are you coming to England again soon, have you got any plans?

ERIK: We’re working on some plans right now to bring Asia featuring John Payne to England next year.

JON: Oh brilliant.

ERIK: In fact, this last week we recorded our first video for the first song for the long-awaited studio album from this band, so we actually shot a video and we’re going to be releasing that song as a video imminently, I hope it will be within this month, but it will certainly be within this year.

The reason I bring that up is that we do need to get over to England and also to Europe, but we don’t want to do it as a cover band.  I think it is very important that we have some new material out there, and we really create our own identity because from the first day I joined this band, I said it, and John agrees, this band is not Asia – there’s another band called Asia that has the four original members, this is Asia featuring John Payne and it has a different sound.  We do play some of the same songs, but there’s only very little crossover and I’m very excited to really get the identity of this band out into the world.  It’s all very clear to us, you know, who are doing it and to the people who come to our concerts, it’s all very clear what we are about, but I just think with some new music out there and the wonderful video which we just shot, I think it’s going to become more and more clear to the rest of the world too.

JON: So when’s the Asia featuring John Payne album going to be out?

ERIK: That is the $64,000 question as we would say over here.  It’s kind of foolish of me to try to answer that question because it has been in the works for so long.  I hope it will be released in early 2013, but what we are doing is kind of taking a bit of an old school approach and releasing singles so we’re going to release the first single, along with video, as I said I hope this month, and will probably follow that up with two or three more before the actual album comes out.

JON: That’s a really nice old-fashioned way of doing things.

ERIK: It is, you know, and I think why not?  Obviously we of course want to release CDs but with this whole digital download culture we have now, why not just release a few singles along the way, and with videos and all that to go along with them?  To kind of get people excited about the band, and like you said, when you were talking about a new Yes album…create a new expectation – and now a new song from Asia featuring John Payne is going to come out in two weeks, and a month later another song is going to come out, and maybe we will kind of replenish that magic and that expectation and all that stuff we had as kids.

JON: Well I hope so. Will the singles be hard copy as well, or will they just be downloads?

ERIK: Not sure yet.  We’ll have to see.

JON: Because I know that downloads  - I mean most of what I listen to is downloads now, three-quarters of the music I consume is purely electronic, but I still miss the idea of having the hard single, the record in your hand.

ERIK: I agree with you.  It’s something we’re very aware of and not only that, if we were to release it physically the idea of having a B-side, obviously you don’t have a B-side on a CD but you know what I’m talking about.

JON: I know exactly what you mean.

ERIK: Adding something else with it just to make that single something a little special, whether it’s a second song or an alternate mix or a live version, we’re looking into that sort of thing as well.

And this is where the long conversation came to an end as both our respective wives called us for meals. I hope to be catching up with Erik again very soon. He is a joy to interview..

And check out the dedicated Gonzo artist page for Asia featuring John Payne, and for Erik solo

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