Friday, 5 July 2013

EXCLUSIVE: Erik Norlander interview

I like my job. In fact, I like both my jobs. But if we ignore my day job running the Centre for Fortean Zoology for the moment, I have been a toiler in the rock and roll vineyard for many years, and I think that it is truthful to say that I have enjoyed most of it.  I have been writing about Gonzofolk for about eighteen months now, and I have become rather fond of many of the people with whom I have been working, and about whom I have been writing.

One of the people I am fondest of is Erik Norlander; a sweet, kind and gentle man who likes curry and is happy to chat about science fiction until the proverbial cows come home.
Talking to him the other night, I was truly affected by how tired the poor chap appeared. He sounded like he had the weight of the multiverse on his shoulder. But then again, he has a heck of a lot on his plate at the moment. 

File:Erik Norlander in Indiana 2008.jpgJON: How is life in planet Norlander at the moment?

ERIK: It’s quite good at the moment.  We have our big 4th July holiday tomorrow, so Lana and I are heading out of town for a few days.

JON: Where are you going? Any where nice?

ERIK: We are going to Las Vegas actually. We’re going to go visit my bandmate John Payne and see his Las Vegas show and just have a little bit of a vacation

JON: I’ve been reading about that.  It sounds rather spectacular.

ERIK: It really does. He’s been working on it for quite a while I know, and obviously it’s been taking up quite a bit of time and cutting into the band a bit as you would imagine, but you know, we’re all just kind of holding on patiently and letting him do because it’s a phenomenal opportunity for him. So while things might have slowed down with the band a little bit, it’s great for John.

JON: And you’ve all got your other projects as well haven’t you….

ERIK: Yes we do.  Of course.

JON: So is the band actually on hiatus at the moment, or is it just on a bit of a slow?

ERIK: It’s a hard question to answer.  I mean I wouldn’t say it’s completely on hiatus because we just played a gig in Florida at the end of May.  And we do have a few other dates coming up over the summer it looks like, but it’s definitely not moving at the same pace as it has done in past years. In the United States, the summer is a really great time to tour and because of this musical that John’s doing, we’ve had to curtail our summer dates quite a bit. So it’s not like nothing’s  going to happen with the band for a year so go do something else and then come back, but it’s definitely being going more slowly.

JON: Because the album is due out soon isn’t it?

ERIK: I think the album will come out when the album comes out. It’s really up to John at this point. He has all of my tracks, he has all of Jay’s tracks. He wants to mix it himself and that kind of makes him the gatekeeper of it all. So it will be done when it’s done.  I doubt very much that it will be done this year, at this point, but I do hope that we will release a few more singles. That’s something that looks pretty possible.  But as far as the rest of it, I don‘t know. I think we’re just going to have to wait for John to come back from his Las Vegas show and then we’ll go on from there.

JON: Do we know how long it’s booked for…..

ERIK: Officially it’s booked through October, but I know it’s the kind of thing that John – and Jay also, who is playing in the show – I’m sure they would like it to go on for as long as possible. I haven’t seen the show yet, but it seems to be a really fantastic production and they should be making pretty good money, so in that sense I hope for them that it continues.  You know, as far as weighing that with the band it’s an exercise in one’s character, because – you know – I can say that this show is great for John, it’s not that great for me.  I am happy for my friend John, I’m sad for myself, but it’s not like this is the only musical project I have going on, so if this one slows down, you’re right, there’s plenty of other things that I can be doing and that I am doing, in fact, in the meantime.

JON: So what are you working on at the moment?

ERIK: Well, I am working on one recording project which I am not quite ready to announce yet, but it’ll be something pretty special that I’ll be announcing some time in the later summer

JON: Brilliant

We are looking to doing another Lana Lane album later in the year, or at least start it. And I’m looking to do another Erik Norlander solo album as well. So lots of good things in the works, but nothing really specific that I can tell you about at the moment.

JON: And no more Galactic Collective stuff at the moment….

ERIK: Well you know, The Galactic Collective; the whole idea behind the project was to re-record past instrumental music in one unified context so I certainly plan on doing more work with those three guys, with Freddy, Mark and Nick – our guitar player, bass player and drummer. I don’t know whether it would be called The Galactic Collective any more, because unless I am playing that exact music, it kind of wouldn’t make sense so we’ll see.  Now I am looking to do a run of live dates with that band.  We have some offers for the Fall that we’re fielding right now, both in the United States and some other countries.


ERIK: Not the UK yet, but if you know anyone who wants to invite us over, we would love to hear about it.

JON: I’ll put the word out.  Because I just want to see you guys live, because I’ve seen the DVD and it’s bloody fantastic.

ERIK: Well, thank you. I appreciate it.  I would love to bring that band to England. The last time I was in England actually was with Rocket Scientists and that was in 2008 I believe. And that was in Rotherham for the Classic Rock Society.

JON: That’s way up in the frozen north. 

ERIK: Yes, up near Santa Claus <laugh>

JON: We’re down in the south-west, right down in the south. Any time you are in the UK, you are always welcome to come down and see us.

ERIK: I’d love to. Absolutely. That would be fantastic.  Like I said, I am still piecing together this tour, so who knows if we were to have some European dates. It would be wonderful to bring the band over.

JON: What about your solo album.  Have you got the stuff written for that yet?

ERIK: I do actually.  I’ve written the complete album.  I just have a few other projects ahead of it in the queue; this one quite special one that I can’t talk about yet and then a few other things, but you can rest assured I’m not just sitting around just sipping wine here in northern California.  I’m actually working pretty hard in the studio each day, so you’ll definitely be seeing some nice output from me later in the year. And like I said, I hope we can release a few more singles from Asia featuring John Payne as well.  That would be wonderful.

JON: Well, thanks for that Erik.  When you are ready to announce your new secret project drop me an email and I’ll give it the front cover of the magazine as well.

ERIK: That would be wonderful.  I would really appreciate that and I think it will be something well worthy of that and interesting to everyone, so I shall surely keep you posted. 

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