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nitrodive promo2014 02Interview with

Albert Norberg (guitar & lead vocals), Robert Johnson (bass & vocals) and Johan Gren (drums & vocals) from NitroDive

Some of you might remember Albert, Robert and Johan from NitroDive. On their last tour with Hardcore Superstar in March we got to know them and talked a little about their music, band history and career goals, and now we have been able to meet them in their hometown of Gothenburg, Sweden, for a long chat in depth from which you‘ll get the best of right now:

Reflections of Darkness [RoD]: Concerning your upcoming album ‘Shock Treatment’, how far are you in the whole process now? Did you expect it to be harder or easier than recording your own songs and how was it in the end?
Robert Johnson [RJ]: We‘re in the middle of the recording...
Albert Norberg [AN]: So we can‘t actually say...
RJ: We have recorded the whole thing, not the songs, but...
AN: The instruments, yeah. The music is done.
Johan Gren [JG]: The live-sessions as a band are finished.
RJ: But you can say it‘s a little bit easier of course with other band‘s songs. We made our own versions of the songs, so it‘s a little bit easier of course, because the songs are already written.
AN: But when we do this, we kind of like... really like to take the song and make it ours. There‘s not much point to taking an already written song if we don‘t add anything to it. So we take the songs and overwork them together for a couple of days and we try different stuff. Sometimes it doesn‘t even sound like the song from the beginning (laughs), but we try to keep that so that it doesn‘t get too far away from the original, because then, once you have the rights for the song, they say „That‘s not even a cover, that‘s a mashed up weird thing you did!“. So it‘s somewhere in between making it your own and keeping it so people can still recognize the song but find something new in it. It takes a while but of course it‘s much easier than writing your own stuff I would say.

RoD: Did you ever have an embarrassing moment on stage?
JG: Yeah! The last gig on the last tour! It was fucking embarrassing!
AN: You were there!

RoD: Yes, Lichtenfels!
AN: Yeah! When they... the band, Hardcore, fucked up.
RJ: (laughs) Hardcore Fucked Up!
AN: They fucked up his drum chair!
JG: It was a funny thing though, it‘s all good and it was fun, but... I actually tried to get the chair down...
RJ: It‘s a drum chair so you just spin it.
JG: I didn‘t get the chair down so I showed the audience that it was a joke from the headliners just to tell that it was the last gig. It was a really fun joke.
AN: And during the show they were talking into our monitors.
RJ: We did get our payback though.
AN: (laughs) Yeah, we did.
JG: But that‘s a whole different story.

RoD: What‘s your favourite Disney-song?
AN & RJ: (singing) I can show you the world...
JG: Aladdin.
AN & RJ: (singing) Lalalalalalaaalaaa...
RJ: (still singing) Säg om du ska vara ärlig, har du drömt om den ibland!
AN: Now it‘s in Swedish, alright!
AN, RJ & JG: (singing) En helt ny värld, en plats jag inte visste fanns!
JG & RJ: (singing) Lalalala!
AN: Okay, okay, yes, it‘s the Aladdin-song.

nitrodive iv2015 01

RoD: ‘Love Itch’, ‘Want You’, ‘Bright Side Of The Sun’ and ‘Whatchagonnado’ - can you say a few words about those songs?
AN: (laughs) How do you even know the names of our songs?!
RJ: (laughs)
JG: How the fuck...!

RoD: (laugh) We did our homework!
AN: Yeah, you certainly did...
JG: Have you heard these songs?

RoD: No.
AN: These are some of the songs, some of the few thousand songs we never did finish. (laughs) That‘s what I can say about them. They were up for discussion for our last record, ‘Re-Evolution’, and a few of them made it to pre-production and we have actually made a demo of them, but those are songs that didn‘t quite cut it.
JG: But you really did your homework...
RJ: Wow.
AN: You really have an eye for the details!
JG: You‘re really good!
AN: Yes. But I don‘t think there‘s much more to say about it than they‘re unfinished songs. (laughs) They could have been something but they never really flowered.

RoD: Do you have any inside jokes?
AN: (laughs) No. We don‘t have a single one, we never joke with each other.
JG: No, not ever.
AN: (laughs) Yeah of course we do, but one of the things... it‘s like really hard to name one.
RJ: We have like “räkor“! We got to translate it, it‘s “shrimp“.
AN: You‘ve seen, you‘ve seen...

RoD: On Robert‘s bass, yeah!
RJ: Yes, and that‘s an inside joke, because if I said “shrimp“ no one would care, but...
JG: We got the coast in Gothenburg which is well-known for the shrimps and the restaurants and everything.
RJ: That‘s why my bass is named “räkor“.
JG: No one understands but us.
AN: No but it‘s kind of sick when you think about the beginning. We were at a gig in... uh... somewhere up north... when Johan suddenly one day just started talking about shrimps with the audience, out of the blue, and we were just standing there like “Well, okay, where did this come from?“
RJ: (imitating JG on the drums) “We‘re going home now and eat some shrimps, blabla!“
AN: (also imitating JG) “Have you eaten any shrimps today? We‘re from Gothenburg, fuck yeah!“
RJ: And the audience was like “Uuuuuh...“
AN: That‘s one of the times when it has come up, but a couple of months later we were at the Sticky Fingers here in Gothenburg, not performing or anything, we were just out having a good time, drinking beer with each other, and Johan came up with it... I don‘t know how he brought it up, but it was like “Do you have any shrimps with you tonight?!“, and we were going “Yeah you are fucked up, like always, but no, we don‘t have any shrimps!“ and he went like “I do!“ and he pulled up some real shrimps from his pocket.
RJ: Yes, he was smuggling fresh shrimps into Sticky Fingers.
JG: We started eating them on the dance floor. (everyone laughs)
RJ: Everyone was dancing, it was like House music (AN imitates the beat), and we were peeling the shrimps and eating them.
AN: It was fucking priceless. And one of our friends picked up the scales or the rubbish or whatever you call it, from the floor and went over to the bar and gave it to the bartender, like “Here, I have some stuff, can you take it?“, and the bartender was just looking at him like “„What the fuck, where did you get this, who has shrimps in a club?“ So yeah, that‘s kind of an inside joke.

RoD: Who of you is the band mom?
RJ: (puts his hand on JG‘s shoulder)
AN: I would say I am the mom because I would say Johan is the father.
JG & RoD: (laugh)
RJ: Okay, that‘s fair enough.


RoD
: That makes Robert the child?
AN: Yeah!
RJ: Johan is the mom but if you say there‘s a father and a mom, he‘s the father and Albert‘s the mom, and I‘m the offspring, that‘s fair enough.

nitrodive iv2015 02

RoD: What‘s your funniest or weirdest tour story?
AN: Yeah, you can name the last show in Lichtenfels...
JG: Oh yeah...
RJ: Should we say which band or should we
AN: No!
JG: Ah, I think we should just tell them.
RJ: We will call the Band “X“ for the moment...
AN: Yeah.
RJ: We had finished our show and were going backstage to where we got our catering, our food and drinks and salads, and when we got back from the show, the “X“-band had shat in our salad. They had taken a dump in our salad.
AN: Yeah... (grins)

RoD: We totally misunderstood that in Lichtenfels then - we thought they shat in your shower.
AN: No...
RJ: Shit in the shower should‘ve been like, a good one. We went back into our locker room
AN: Which already smells bad normally.
RJ: Yeah, and we opened the door and smelled and were like “Oh, what the fuck has happened here...“ Me and Albert were the first ones I think that were going “It smells like shit. Actually, it smells like real shit.“, and I went like (bows over) “Oh, okay, it is shit.“ But the band “X“ was getting a payback. But that‘s another story.
AN: Yes, let‘s not go there. (snickers)
RJ: We can say that the band “X“ got back to our locker room and thanked us for the payback. They thanked us and went “Okay, that was a real good payback.“
JG: “That was the best payback on tour so far,“ they said.
AN: Because they were kind of worried that we wouldn‘t take it the right way when they took a dump in our salad (laughs), so... but in a rock band kind of way we really took it like, the right way.
RJ: We didn‘t get offended.
AN: We defended instead. (laughs)

RoD: Use three words to describe each other!
AN: (points at JG) I would say, kind, blond and angry, and (points at RJ) black... haired, happy, and...
RJ: (laughs) That‘s three. Black and haired and happy.
AN: (laughs) Yeah... I didn‘t mean... (everyone laughs) You‘re black and you‘re haired...
RJ: (points at JG) Cranky, blond and cranky.
JG: It would say for Robert it‘s nice, stupid and thankful.
RJ: (laughs) Yeah. Well as I said, for you it‘s cranky, blond and cranky... but actually I could say cranky, cranky, cranky, cause you‘re cranky. But...
AN: He‘s also blond...
RJ: Okay, okay, I guess we got four on this one, he‘s cranky, cranky, cranky and blond.
AN: Yeah.
RJ: And you are... weird...
AN: (laughs)
RJ: If you see his fridge at home... he‘s weird. I won‘t say anything more but he‘s weird.
AN: I like it when you guys come home to me and kind of explore my apartment and look in my cupboards.
JG: I would say on Albert - weird, strategic and... hmm...
RJ: The last one, what‘s the last one?
JG: Hm... it‘s, yeah, it‘s a nice one.
AN: (laughs) Oh thank you.
RJ: Yeah, he‘s nice actually, he‘s nice. He‘s nice, kind, yeah.
AN: That‘s really heart-warming, I‘m not cranky, I‘m not stupid... (laughs)
RJ: No, we got Johan to be cranky, he‘s cranky, cranky, cranky and blond. Four words.
JG: If I ought to be the father in the house I got to be cranky.

nitrodive iv2015 03

RoD: You‘re good friends with Andy Brings (Double Crush Syndrome, former Sodom and The Traceelords). If you had to do a song with him, and you can only do it in German or Swedish, what would you choose? Would you try singing in German or would Andy have to do it in Swedish?
AN: I think we would do it both. I would do a verse in German and he would do one in Swedish.
JG: (laughs)
AN: And a mixed chorus I think.
JG: Yeah, I think that would be a cool one.
RJ: Yeah, that would be cool...
AN: That would be cool!
RJ: Maybe we should do that!

RoD: Who of you needs the longest to get ready?
(NitroDive laugh)
JG: That‘s an easy one!
AN: Yeah, it‘s fucking easy.
JG: Robert, do you think that‘s an easy one?
RJ: No.
AN: I don‘t think he takes the longest...
RJ: Yeah, I take the longest, because this guy (points at JG) doesn‘t fix himself, I fix this guy, that‘s the difference! “Can you do my make up? Can you do my hair?“
AN: Well, you take a longer time to get ready, but when you‘re ready you‘re actually at the place you should be. Johan gets ready but he doesn‘t get to the place he should be. (laughs)
RJ: I take the longest, like one hour before the show, but this guy isn‘t even at the show, he‘s somewhere!
AN: (laughs) Yes, but he‘s fucking ready.

RoD: Would you do a song in which Johan and Robert are doing the vocals and Albert is just backing up?
JG: The answer to that is definitely yes, because the only thing that matters to us is writing the best song. So if that‘s the best song, why not!
AN: Yeah, we should try that so I just play guitar... I‘m always standing at the mic so fixed and I can‘t move, so... that‘d be cool!

RoD: If you were a girl for a day...
AN: ...what would you do is the question I guess? (grins)
RJ: I would probably... look at myself in the mirror? (laughs) A lot, maybe?
AN: (laughs)
RJ: If I was a girl?
JG: I would touch myself. That would be the first thing to do. I don‘t care about the mirror.
AN & RJ: (laugh)
RJ: But first the mirror.
JG: No?
RJ: Oh, okay.
AN: That‘s the second one.
JG: Just touch myself.
AN: Yeah, it would be interesting to know how it would... yeah. (laughs)
JG: Yes, so I‘ll touch myself!
AN: Yeah, I think it‘s a good answer! We all wondered how it feels like. (to RoD) If you were guys, wouldn‘t you try it also? But there‘s a bunch of things you would try, I guess...
JG: But the first thing was the question. He said “Look in the mirror“, I said “Touch myself before I look in the mirror“, so what‘s yours?
AN: No, they didn‘t say “the first thing“ actually, the question was “If you were a girl for a day, dot dot dot“... but I like your enthusiasm.
JG: Yeah, but if you were a girl for a day you would have a first thing to do, what would it be?
AN: Yeah, yeah, I would touch myself.
JG: I would be scared.
AN: You would be scared. (laughs) I was a guy yesterday, what the fuck! (laughs)
JG: Yes... and then I would touch myself! (everyone laughs)

RoD: What‘s your favourite fashion faux pas of yourself and your band mates?
AN: What is “faux pas“?

RoD: Something like a fail. If you wear something and find it really cool but everyone else thinks it‘s horrible.
JG: I know one thing. I think with Albert it‘s that he wears shorts and has his shoes on and

RoD: The socks.
JG: Yeah! He has his socks like here (shows it on AN‘s shin).
AN: (grins) Yes!
JG: And that‘s really awful! You can‘t have long socks and shorts in summer!
AN: (still grinning widely) And everyone keeps telling me that but I keep doing it!
RJ: And also you have long shorts, you have two long shorts now!
AN: And I usually have tennis socks, like (points to his socks) these are the kind of nice, thin socks! I usually have more robust ones.
RJ: These are the thinnest socks he has and these ones he got from me.
JG: We need to buy him these socks, the lower cut socks (shows his socks). You should have these kind of socks!
AN: Yeah then you should buy me those!
RJ: It‘s your birthday soon, now you know what you‘ll wish for.
AN: Yes... well, I think that‘s enough harassment for one day, let‘s get to the next question... (laughs)

nitrodive iv2015 04

RoD: What do you have absolutely no talent for?
AN: I‘m really bad at playing hockey.
RJ: I‘m good at playing hockey but I got no talent in drinking Tequila. Actually I got no talent at all in drinking Tequila.
AN: I‘m really bad... yeah... I would like to be good at hockey. (laughs) It looks so fucking good.
JG: I‘m a really bad swimmer I think.
RJ: I can learn you to play hockey and I can learn you to swim, okay!
JG: Yeah, and I can learn you to be a man.
RJ: No you can‘t.
AN: I can teach you to speak English, if you like.
RJ: It‘s too late. (everyone laughs)

(Note on the next one: AN was out for a few minutes)

RoD: What was Albert‘s first guitar setup, what is his current one?
RJ: Albert‘s first is the Fender...
JG: Fender Mustang in a combo with Line 6, that‘s probably the first one, and the ones he uses now are two Gibson guitars, Explorer, with the Marshall JMP.
RJ: From... ’62, it‘s the old JMP. And it‘s a good story because Albert just bought this one and blew the shit out of it. He bought this old guitar amp from ’62, ’63, an old Jimmy Hendrix-style guitar amp, and he just bought it and brought it to the rehearsal spot, plugged in the guitar and played like three chords and he blew the shit out of it.
JG: Yeah, and that‘s a really bad thing to do, but we‘re fixing it right now.
RJ: We have a good contact at Marshall and they‘re fixing the guitar amp, but Albert just blew the guitar amp in like, 5 minutes.
JG: Yes. Nothing to add to that.

RoD: Is there any ritual before the gig, for example the safety piss you posted on Instagram once?
RJ: The whole thing starts one hour before the gig.
JG: Yeah, and it‘s the safety piss.
RJ: Then the safety shit.
JG: Then one beer, safety shit, safety piss, warming up the voice...
RJ: Warm up of the fingers, warm up of the hands...
JG: And the thing we do before the gig is like, we‘re doing this: (puts his hand on RJ‘s)
RJ: We do the Nitro.
JG: 1, 2, 3, Nitro! And then we get up on stage.
RJ: Actually it starts one hour before the gig and we have our own rituals, our common rituals, and one hour before the gig no one will disturb us. You can talk to us anytime but one hour before we‘re just like (stares at the floor very focussed). Albert‘s got his things to do, I got my things to do, Johan, yeah.
JG: And when we‘re getting up on stage, it‘s like, yep. (clicks his tongue)

RoD: Which music genre do you listen to but wouldn‘t dare doing yourself?
AN: Well, definitely Hip Hop for me. I wouldn‘t try to rap... but, you know, I really like Jay-Z.
JG: I would be involved in a Hip Hop project probably, that would be cool. But I would say, the Bring Me The Horizon metal thing going on. I would never do that one. Never. I would never play drums like that and never have that as a project.
AN: (to RJ) And you?
RJ: Probably more like the Hip Hop thing. I would never try to rap.
AN: Actually when I think about it, it would be funny to try it someday. (snickers)
JG: But it wouldn‘t have to be actual rap, but to be involved in a music genre that you.
RJ: But that‘s a music genre I know shit about, I listen to it but I don‘t know shit about it.
JG: Yeah but, as a project. I mean, I also like the new Bring Me The Horizon piece...
RJ: Well...
JG: Then maybe Dansband, what is it called in English?
AN: Yeah, like, some Rockabilly-Country-music, kind of...
JG: For older people you know, they‘re dancing and...
AN: Singing cheesy lines, just bad stuff.
JG: We wouldn‘t do that because the bands that do that will earn money, big money, but…
AN: Sell their self-respect for money. (laughs) And they know it. It‘s kind of like selling your soul.

RoD: And now we‘re at the end already: what can we expect after the release of ‘Shock Treatment’? More touring, working on the next album already?
JG: Everything!
RJ: Yeah, actually.
AN: Both of it. We are planning to both tour and we‘re definitely working on the new album already.
JG: We‘re actually about to tour as headliner this autumn and we‘re about to release the record, and we‘re about to begin the next album this autumn as well, so we got a bunch of things going on!
AN: And good news for you guys in Germany, we have started a new working relationship with a German booking agent, so...
JG: Yes. We‘re not there yet but we hope so.

RoD: Thank you for your time, guys, and we‘re eagerly waiting for all the things coming up!

nitrodive promo2014 01
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