By Bob LeBad, an insider.
2019 was in many ways a demanding year in the Psychoverse. The band released two albums, recorded three more, toured Norway and Europe twice and both the band and all us others in the organization kinda acted like we knew we wouldn’t be allowed to do much at all in 2020. We didn’t of course, and having to shut the operation down just days after playing the national Norwegian Opera with Ole Paus in February was a truly unreal experience.
What now? Hide out and wait ’til the plague passes?
Rest assured: the guys are all alright. We have not had any illness or other close encounters with Covid-19. The Mothership abides, but our lives – along with everybody else’s – got put on hold. 2020 has been far more demanding so far than last year. In a different way for sure, but in no way any easier.
The All Is One is an album we’d hoped to release this spring. It was already well underway when the virus hit, and the mix process wasn’t affected much by the shutdown, but things took a little more time and the album was eventually postponed by a couple of months. It somehow seems a little better for it to us as things’ve had time to mature and settle before being unveiled to the public.
It has become one intense listen, an epic and dense piece of music that might be perceived as demanding by some listeners, but that also hopefully rewards those with patience and a longer attention span. This period of self-isolation and reduced social activity has made us go deep into our own geekery and in our music consumption. We figure we are not alone, so here is our contribution. Simply put, the album needed all the time and attention we could possibly give it to be as good as it is and also finished this soon. We hope you won’t mind the wait when you hear it.
The album was recorded in two major chunks: the first in September, the second in November last year. The first session took place in Studio Black Box in France. Reine Fiske joined us as we focused mainly on relatively concise material with more or less traditional song structures. These songs have no thematic through-line, but they all sort of fit into the conceptual continuity that our last few albums seem to have been a part of. They all seem to have dealt with living in a much more polarized society than before, and with the loss of faith in democracy and in civic institutions that the countries of the world all seem to be going through. All these ‘strong leaders’ we see on the world’s political stage today all carry the stink of earlier totalitarian experiments, and …well, we all know how that went, and we do not like that smell!
As people, we are grown-ups in a big, increasingly unstable world, and we need to comment on what we see. These albums are our soapboxes and we take advantage of the privilege to rant on like almost everyone else would given such a platform. We know full well it’s probably a futile exercise, but still: The Clownprinces and Presidunces we are currently enduring have somehow managed to reach a new nadir in statesmanship, and the world is worse off because of their inept machinations. No man is an island (he’s a peninsula!), and somehow our own navel-gazing doesn’t seem quite as important as it used to without being reflected in a civic mirror and watched through a wider, political lens. Everything needs contrast for scale, music and lyrics too.
The second main recording session for this album happened at Ocean Sound Recording in Norway and basically dealt with recording the long piece called N.O.X.
This piece has its roots in commissioned music we wrote and performed at the St. Olav Festival in Trondheim last summer with two of our favorite Norwegian musicians, Lars Horntveth (Jaga Jazzist, Amgala Temple) and Ola Kvernberg (Steamdome). It was conceived of as our discussion and celebration of the themes Håkon Gullvåg (the artist who has done the covers for our last three albums, including this one) has dealt with in his art. One seldom finds the kind of affinity we have found with his art, and although the music didn’t end up seeming too celebratory of anything, the size, scope and lyrical contents are inspired by Håkon’s work. Where our approach to some of the themes is a little more, shall we say ‘esoteric’, than his, we seem to find these themes as fascinating and inspiring as he does, and we recognize that we touch on some of the same topics and have quite a lot of common ground even if we operate in different mediums. The themes of The Tower and The Crucible have resonated incredibly well with his art in the past, and both N.O.X. and the shorter songs on this final chapter in what we loosely and lightheartedly call our Gullvåg Trilogy fit extremely well in that lineage too. Beyond that, we do not want to give you a clear and concise explanation of what the piece is about, if such a thing is even possible, so we’ll leave figuring out the meaning of it up to the listener: there should be clues enough!
We are obviously totally stoked that Håkon wanted to paint the cover for this album – it is an act of goodwill that crowns this four year/three album project in proper style. We are humbly grateful and immensely proud!
Some of the smaller pieces on the record were recorded at home at Kommun’ in Trondheim. What these pieces lack in finesse and intricacy we think they make up for in mood. We hope you do too: it seemed like they gave all this other big, opulent sound a healthy, sober perspective.
Since the world as of writing still is only in the middle of the first wave of this pandemic, the rock and roll world is still not revolving like it used to, and no matter how much we wish it was, we could not plan any promotional escapades involving personal appearances in the promotion of this record. There will be no tour as we know it to celebrate and play the material in the foreseeable future either, but we hope the music world will open before too long and that we can get back to playing to a live audience soon.
In the meantime, we hope that the music on the album will resonate with you and help you both keep the horror at bay and perhaps dream the apocalypse away, at least for a little while.
Photo by Terje Visnes
As always, thanks for the music, and for the insights. The album is exceptional and N.O.X. in particular knocks my socks off. I don’t how you guys do it but I’m so grateful that you do. Stay well and hope to see you on the road sometime in the not too distant future.
Your dedication to your work once again yields great results. I find your ethics as artists very inspiring and hopegiving for our world, and if there’s truth in that ‘butterfly wing theory’ , MP is cooking up a truly cosmic storm of creation, of human expression, of art. I wished Igor S. could have witnessed your work, and when I hear N.O.X. pt. V I hear the most impressive ode to the works of Magma, my other lifelong favorite band of angeldemons! Keep on doing things your own way, whatever they may say,
Dear Insider ;), thank you very much for everything. I just finished the third listening session of your intense and very helpful album. The lyrics and the whole concept of “The All is One” are so all and one. It goes deeper and deeper. Your band is such a big part of my life, and with this new album in this strange and painful time it is even more than I can describe with words. I thank you.
it seems being a psychonaut is part of a larger community linked by….who knows what. Music? that would be reductive. There must be much much more than that. Anyway, this year has been the first year in soooo long time without meeting you guys, but let’s stay positive (ops…!), we are going to meet again sooner than later. Ah, and by the way, the new music is brilliant, but that goes without saying.
Greetings from Italy.
Hey, Pask dude.. What would be reductive about the central theme being the healing power of music? Friends, lovers and family come and go, but side 3 of Exile on Main St will always be there.
What could be MORE than music? Nothing.. And why should it ever aim to be.?
If this really is the New World Order that conspiracy theorists like David Icke has warned about for years, then the music scene is in big trouble, as there is not supposed to be social gatherings in crowds in this ‘new way of healthy life’. It will be a society driven by doctors and scientists and their goal is an alcohol free, smoke free, salt fre, meat free, no loud music… kind of society. They are re-establishing western culture, so to speak. it’s what this is all about. And to me, it is moving from a theory to real life. A week a go, the World Health Organisation offcially announced that this virus won’t ever go away. There is something fishy going on. I don’t need the facts to know that by instinct.
Many thanks that you stand at the good side, brillant music, brillant lyrics and brillant words that you find in this post to describe what is going on in this world nowadays.. I hated it when artists need to say or do something politician but today there is no other chance. So I had to do it in my book. too.
Thanx that you who is reaching a bigger crowd have shared your thoughts. I think they are true and nail it and are icery mportant to share .All the best romaniac
The NOX suite is washing over me right now – thank you for this incredible record!
Fucking holy smoke… N. O. X er noe av det bedre jeg har hørt på mange, mange år ♥️
De glatte ryggene i riksavisene gir dere næring, tydeligvis.
I gave the record one listen and I’m already in love with it. Amazing work! I hope these crazy times will end soon to see you back on stage!
What now? Hide out and wait ’til the plague passes?
Yes, hide out forever.
Keep the horror at bay.
And do what you like.
Why not alchohol, like Lemmy.
And why not play Superbowl?
Thanks for the music guys, hope to see MP live in 2021 ;)
jeg tenker på mp når jeg driter. jeg har blitt venn med bananfluger. de er skikkelig kule. mp er boss eller søppel eller noe i nær slekt. søppel er søppel.er ikke det kult,detb jeg sier.Er ikke det kult?????????????????????
Mp. er en synkemine som dreper sine frender. Naboen min vet hva det dreier seg om. K. C. er død og begravet , det er også dere. Ja, dette er kult, ikke sant?
Å ta et morgenbad til Dreams of Fancy var bare helt magisk! Takk Bent, Tomas og Snah! For making this trivilal world sublime ❤️
Motorpsycho er skikkelig kul, bra musikk.
mp er sikert kult me4n ikkjenså kiult som folk vilm ha detb til då
Cecilie skammer seg
@ Strange Days: Cut the crap, will you?
@ MP: Love the album, so much to discover with every listen …
Deep, wise and emotional thoughts. A new Motorpsycho album out now is a refreshing news. Can’t wait.
Jan: Stop being a conventional little wimp. You can think outside the box. It won’t eat you.
yet another album which needs it’s time and space and an intensive listening before being able to give a full vote. the only thing i know is that after listening the first 4 songs, I couldn’t remember the first three. and this for me is a super sign …… keep on and hope to catch you live in Italy in 2021! thx
well and N.O.X is superb!!!!!
This is an amazing album. On the fourth listen and I love it. I wish my 2CD which looks fab came with lyrics. But wow this is my favourite album of the year. Big smiles here.
Well done. I’ll be sure to include one of your new pieces in my upcoming radio show. Can’t go a year without Motorpsycho for sure!
Hope you stay safe and sane during these days. Your music surely will keep me much more alive. THX! Best wishes from Austria!
Petter Northug har alltid vært og er en skikkelig dust !
Galaxy of a record!!!
Ich habst nicht iet rechieved das allen is eine album früm mich lokale plattenforhandlerin. Meine håpnung est für freitag, das morgontag. Ich will förhåpendtlighwisch becümst das gluchlicke ownerin eine tag und ich habe su guten bra für das fremtidische muzik mit Motorpsycho.
Right now i’m listening to the new LP for the first time, it is my first MP record ever. And it keeps knocking my socks off. Hats off, Motorpsycho! Hope to see you sometime soon!
SIAN er bedre enn MP
Nordmenn er døde. Den vestlige kulturen er død. Ikke av innvandring, men av mangel på lekenhet. Den er mett av dage. Det er uvirkelig at folk som Leif Juster og Trond Kirkvaag en gang eksisterte i denne verden.
What about streaming a concert? We miss you and cannot wait until covid is over.
When covid is over, the challenge will be to get a billion people to stop being afraid of people who caugh or sneeze or look unhealthy or come too close. It can be difficult to undo. I guess it’s called The New Normal for a reason. Look what happened with the smoking bans. First people became aware of the dangers of smoking, then they became afraid of smoking, and then they became afraid of second hand smoke. The same with climate change. It developed from being an industrial problem to become a household. problem. And it can be difficult to unsee something you have seen. And God knows what is meant to overlap it. Fear and control. It’s what the world is about now, whether one will realize it or not.
When I listened to “The All Is One”, I suddenly realized; Motorpsycho is the Edvard Grieg of our time. Does anyone else get that comparison? Or has my madness proved to have its limitations again?