the success of his 2010 CD Ulydium, Norweigian guiar hero Stenar
Karlsen strikes back hard and fast with the 2013 CD release of
Hanens Død. Translated roughly from Norweigian
to English as The Rooster Is Dead, the CD is a major step
forward for the art of instrumental rock and surf-rock guitar. One
could cite greats like Americas Dick Dale, Swedens Kenny
Håkansson and others from around the world, yet the music is
so original and authentic you have to give Steinar credit in his own
right. Steinars own guitar prowess does right by those greats,
yet he also taps into the guitar noir genre and some of Hanens
Død sounds like it was lifted from some Scandinvian police
/ spy-fi series. Despite the frightening (lol) cover art, Hanens
Død is serious instro rock business and with a fine studio
sound, Hanens Død is surely shpaing up as one of the
top guitar instrumental albums of 2012-2013. In addition to the CD
and download Hanens Død is also available on 180gram
vinyl. Buy it for the incredible cover art yet listen to the ultra
cool sonic groove in play on Hanens Død. www.SteinarKarlsen.no
mwe3.com presents an interview
Following the Ulydium album what did you set out to achieve
with the Hanens Død CD? How would you compare the two
albums musically, who plays with you on the new album and are there
others you would credit with helping the album take shape?
STEINAR: I wanted to continue the expression from Ulydium,
but with more Spanish and oriental influence. The musicians are the
same - me, Kåre Opheim on drums and Morten Skage on bass. Both
albums are recorded live in the one room with additional recordings
later. But the producer is new on this album, Yngve Sætre. His
hand on this one has been very important helping us with arrangements
and the right sound for each song. Hanens Død was recorded
on a multi-track tape machine.
mwe3: Can you say something about the title Hanens Død
and the cover art concept which is just fantastic. It took a while
to sink it but it is quite amusing and amazing! Is the CD available
on vinyl yet? How would you compare the sound quality of the download
versus the CD and the vinyl?
STEINAR: Hanens død (The Death of the Rooster). I
got the idea for the title a year ago in Cairo when I saw an old and
tired rooster on the highway. He must have led a hard and criminal
life. I drew the cover, imagining the mafia having some unfinished
business to deal with. As I recorded this album I tried to
imagine it as a sountrack to an old gangster movie.
is avaliable on vinyl, CD and digital. The sound quality is better
on vinyl and CD. I don't know FLAC, but I have more faith in trying
to sell CD quality wav/aiff files as an more expensive option to mp3/itunes.
But downloading can never replace the physical format for me.
mwe3: Last time we spoke you mentioned your guitars, the modified
Tele among others. What guitars were featured on the Hanens Død
album and has there been any new additions to your guitar arsenal?
How do you choose what guitar is right for a particular track? How
about amps, strings and other new devices used on the Hanens Død
STEINAR: I used the Telecaster on some tracks, but I also used
my p90 Epiphone Les Paul, Epiphone Sorento, also with p90), an old
Holiday Bobcat guitar and a Gretch baritone guitar. Except for the
baritone I use 012.-052. strings.
There is not only one right guitar for a track. It is more important
to me not to use the same guitar on too many tracks. Variation in
sound is important. I try also to use different amps, sometimes an
old Norwegian tube tape recorder as amplifier. But my main amp is
a Swart Atomic Space Tone. Live is more simple, I mostly use my Epiphone
Sorento and the Space tone.
mwe3: What are your other interests outside of music? Whats
currently the news out of Norway for guitar music and other musical
STEINAR: I like photgraphy and canoeing, it inspires my music.
There is not many instrumental guitar based bands in Norway, except
for jazz bands. But there is a lot of great vocal based rock and blues
What are your plans for 2013 and specifically about spreading the
news about the new Hanens Død album?
STEINAR: Im gonna play my music live here in Norway both
with my instrumental band and with my other band Good Time Charlie.
Hopefully a good festival summer. Im also promoting my instrumental
music towards movie production.
Thanks to Steinar Karlsen @ www.SteinarKarlsen.no