“STAER‘s Happy Meal is comprised of 100% distorted, octave-pitched meat patty, two piercing blastbeat high-gluten buns and fresh saladcore. Choose between high-fat ring modulator and cold filtered noise”. So the info-sheet speaks of this young Norwegian band, who wisely disassociated themselves with the words “Happy Meal” during our chat, which occurred just after I had a chance to appreciate listening to their self-titled album, is being released by Discorporate on CD (also available as a limited edition wooden box) and by Gaffer on vinyl. In spite of the usual line-up (drums, guitar and bass), this extremely skilled Viking trio dishes out a very energetic and wild future-rock soup out with a remarkable nimbleness. The trio is made up of Thore Warland (drums), Markus Hagen (bass) and Kristoffer Riis (guitar) and they are named after the Norwegian word for “starling” (how many birds are crowding music these days!). Their 40-minutes lasting sonic stream was recorded at Jørgen Træen’s Duper Studio (many successful Norwegian musical acts such as Jaga Jazzist, Röyksopp, Kings of Convenience, MoHa!, Ultralyd, The National Bank and Kaizers Orchestra picked it out for the professionalism of their owner, the above-mentioned Jørgen Træen aka Sir Dupermann, and Yngve Leidulv Sætre). This will surely blast your ears by offering an authentic orgiastic music experience. Check it out!
Chain D.L.K.: Hi folks! Congrats on your release… you definitively managed to controvert my belief that nothing particularly interesting would come from the typical drum-bass-guitar line-up! Have you ever thought the same?
Staer: Thank you! We’ve never worried over the limitations of our instruments. Good ideas will always come across, regardless of format or media.
Chain D.L.K.: You’re very young… is it the reason you’ve taken the name of a little bird like the starling (sometimes it tweets, doesn’t it?) for your band?
Staer: During autumn and winter in Scandinavia, before the starlings settle to roost for the night, an incredible spectacle takes place. Millions of starlings flock together to form what is called “sort sol” – “black sun”.
Chain D.L.K.: I like the association between music and food as well, but I don’t understand why you or someone else in your stead would choose Happy Meal to describe your sound…. does it cause obesity or cardiovascular diseases?
Staer: We didn’t write that.
Chain D.L.K.: I like the way you destroy and then rebuild a track… it seems you apply jazz logic to heavy metal… some other bands like Alboth! or Ultralyd have done similar experiments… do you think such an association and description would fit your sound or not?
Staer: I wouldn’t call it an experiment. We are genuinely trying to fathom and grasp something unpronounceable, and it forces us to rove through unknown land. Each piece presents its requirements, and we work as best we can. Ultralyd were one of the true greats.
Chain D.L.K.: Another impressive aspect of your music is the role of the drums… in several moments I was under the impression the drummer tries to chase off magmatic effluviums from cords… what does each of you imagine while performing?
Staer: Playing fast on drums is cool. Playing fast on guitars is not.
Chain D.L.K.: What’s the audience reaction like?
Staer: People usually react well.
Chain D.L.K.: Which are the most ridiculous and the less esteemed band of all times in your own words?
Chain D.L.K.: “Det Är Nyår, Jävlar”… a Swedish title for a Norwegian band?
Chain D.L.K.: You mentioned the controversial televangelist Creflo on a supposedly ironic title… how come?
Staer: Idiocy deserves attention.
Chain D.L.K.: You are part of the line up at Gaffer festival in Lyon, aren’t you? Any anticipation on other forthcoming venues?
Staer: Yes. It’s always exciting to play in front of an audience, whether we’ve been at the specific venue before or not.
Chain D.L.K.: How did you get in touch with Gaffer?
Staer: We sent some material.
Chain D.L.K.: It seems that cold environments have a positive effect on creativity. Would you say the extreme weather conditions in Stavanger pushed you towards music in a way or another?
Staer: I think this is a question that has deeper sociological implications than mere laughing matter. It’s a long and painful discourse that is likely to produce an equally painful and controversial outcome, and I believe that it might have more to do with wealth than anything else.
Stavanger was vibrant in the late ’90s and early ’00s, with a few really good acts emerging, and a healthy flow between the jazz and noise scenes. The notion of a Stavanger sound or identity started to form, but scattered during the mid ’00s, due to many reasons. Now we’re a part of it, but it’s not a legacy thing. We grew up under this, and are merely a product of our environment. The weather in Stavanger is not extreme by any measure.
Chain D.L.K.: Any work in progress?
Staer: We’ve recorded our second album, and we have some big plans for 2013.
visit Staer on the web at: mozartkebab.com