TMF meets Tristania

In the midst of recording their forthcoming seventh album, Norwegian gothic troubadours Tristania are taking a break from the studio for a few shows across Europe. So Dominic caught up with Tarald Lie for a little chat ahead of their London date in September.

How are things coming along with the new album?

Things are going really well. We have finished about half of the songs, while the rest of them are coming along very nicely. Some of the working titles so far are Requiem, Victorious, and Cathedral. We are planning to record it from January to March, and it’s tentatively scheduled for release in May 2013.

What can we expect from Tristania this time around?

You can expect a continuation of the Rubicon feel, but with a slightly darker touch to it. We are putting a lot of effort into arrangements and finding the best vocal lines and harmonies. There are two main singers and a couple of growlers in this band, so the material needs to be very structured in order to work. Some songs are very melodic, while others are heavier and doomier than the case was on our last album.

Are you approaching this record any differently?

The approach we have is, as always, to make the best songs possible, so in that sense there is no big difference compared to the making of any other Tristania album.

Why the decision to do this little tour now?

We really feel like playing live, and it's important to "keep it warm", so to speak. We could have chosen to stay exclusively in the studio, making more songs etc., but it feels natural to go out there and have some interaction with the people who are anticipating our new material and give them a taste of it.

Are we likely to hear any new songs at these shows?

Yes, indeed. We will be playing two new songs, along with tracks from almost all the other releases.

With only the one show here in the UK, will you be coming back for a more extensive tour once the record is done?

After the release of the new album, we will be touring as much as possible, and a more extensive tour of the UK is not unlikely.

After all the various line-up changes in the wake of the Illumination album, how important is it that it is now much more stable?

It's very important, indeed. Playing in Tristania has always been loads of fun, but the newfound stability in the band can really not be overestimated. There's a great atmosphere; we love touring and hanging out together, and we are also very comfortable spending time writing, rehearsing and recording new material.

How difficult is it to shake off the spectre of previous high-profile members? Does it become an irritant or a problem from either fans or the media?

It will always be there, and it's of course understandable that people with an old interest in the band bring it up, but it's not a problem at all. Previous members have certainly – in various degrees – contributed their shares to the heritage of this band, and they should have credit for that. Our mission is to concentrate on the present, though, while at the same time making the best of what we bring with us from Tristania's past.

Tristania play the Camden Underworld on Monday 17th September, and the new album is scheduled for release next year on Napalm Records.

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