Hanens Død


After 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 America’s Dick Dale, Sweden’s 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. Steinar’s 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. presents an interview with

: 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.

The record 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 album?

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? What’s currently the news out of Norway for guitar music and other musical things?

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 bands.

mwe3: What are your plans for 2013 and specifically about spreading the news about the new Hanens Død album?

STEINAR: I’m 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. I’m also promoting my instrumental music towards movie production.

Thanks to Steinar Karlsen @


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