|Interview by Burt Wolf with Kaj Gornitzka, guitarist for TWISTED INTO FORM.
Interview done November 1st, 2007.
TWISTED INTO FORM STARTED COLLABORATING BACK IN 2000.CAN YOU PLEASE GIVE
SOME OF THE BANDS HISTORY UP TO THIS POINT?
TWISTED INTO FORM started out as kind of a musical playground for Erik Aadland (bass) & myself. We had
known each other since the mid eighties & at this point we were both without bands. He had just left LUNARIS
& I had not really been playing for a long time since leaving SPIRAL ARCHITECT in 1998. At first it was
playing a bit now & then. We soon realized that we were writing well together, our styles being quite different,
but complementing each other in interesting ways & soon we had the basic outline for a few songs that we really
band EXTOL, asking him if he would like to join our "playpen". He did, recognizing it as an opportunity to
broaden his horizons even further & we started rehearsing the material we had while simultaneously writing
more. At this point TWISTED INTO FORM was just a place where we could all delve into the pleasures of
creativity & we had no plans to record anything at all, but finally we were forced to make a decision. By 2003 I
had decided I was going to move to Portugal in the spring of 2004, which meant one of two things: either we'd
call it a day & break up the band, or gather up what we had so far, making a serious effort to finish & record it.
Obviously, we chose the latter... We booked Toproom Studio for the drums & began writing like mad to finish
all the songs & the lyrics by January 2004. Simultaneously I contacted Leif Knashaug, whom I had worked with
several times before, both in SPIRAL ARCHITECT & earlier endeavours & asked him, rather out of the blue, as
usual, if he would be interested in handling the vocals. We had no one else in mind at all, so there was a huge
rush of relief (& quite a few silly grins, I suppose...) when he said yes. The rest of the album was recorded in
Asgeir Mickelson's (SPIRAL, BORKNAGAR, etc...) Multimono Studio. We were the first band to ever record
there & we basically did everything ourselves. Asgeir co-produced the album with us & helped us out when ever
we needed it, but most of the time we recorded & engineered ourselves. The album came out in September 2006
& since then we've mostly concentrated on doing interviews & maintaining our websites & such.
WHY WAS THE NAME TWISTED INTO FORM CHOSEN AS THE BANDS NAME?
It was Erik's idea originally & yes, the name is "borrowed" from the FORBIDDEN album by the same name. But
there's really no more link than the fact that we thought this was a name that was suited for our music & the
way we write it, well. We literally spent years to find a name we all felt comfortable with & when "TWISTED
INTO FORM" came along, we collectively sighed with relief. Identity is as difficult as it is important & we are
truly happy with our name.
YOU GUYS HAVE A VERY
DIFFERENT SOUND. HOW WOULD
YOU BEST DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE
& SOUND TO SOMEONE WHO HAS
YET TO HEAR YOU?
Well, I guess we are part Progressive,
part Technical Metal, but with influences
from a host of different genres, including
Jazz, Pop & World music. It's always
hard to categorize your own music, you
know, so most of the time I just call it
Metal. That's the basis for everything we
do & I prefer leaving the rest of the genre
breakdown to the people listening...
WHO OR WHAT HAS HAD SOME IMPACT ON YOUR MUSICAL DIRECTION & IN LIFE IN
comes to music & otherwise in life & I'm not sure if it's possible to separate the two either. Musically though, I'd
have to say growing up with Lars Norberg (SPIRAL ARCHITECT) as my best friend, we've known each other
since we were about nine years old. I think, has been rather decisive, we started playing in a band together in
eight grade & everything that's happened for me musically since then is a direct result of us growing up together.
And as a general rule, I think most of what we become as we grow older is an extension of what we learned &
liked when we were, you know, teenagers. Hopefully you develop a bit along the way, of course, but the
foundation is there from quite early on. Alos, still speaking in musical terms, the whole SPIRAL ARCHITECT
era was one long (and pretty steep...) learning curve for me & Steinar Gundersen was a fantastic source of
inspiration. He is one of the absolute best guitarist around. There's obviously a whole bunch of artists &
musicians that i have been influenced by, the very first being DEEP PURPLE, KISS, IRON MAIDEN &
BLACK SABBATH, I guess & ABBA, of course! But giving you the whole mile long list is not very
interesting... If you listen to what i play, you can hear most of the influences, they are not very well hidden, I'm
afraid. But I do have to say this, without METALLICA & James Hetfield specifically, my playing would
probably sound very different. And I suppose Al Di Meola, Vicente Amigo & the odd Bulgarian choir have also
had a certain effect on me... As for inter-connection between life & music, traveling has been another instant eye
opener for me. I went back packing through a considerable part of Latin America ten years ago, spending about
six months going from California to Chile, mostly by bus, train & walking & I suppose that experience really had
quite a profound effect on how I have come to see the world. It also affected me musically, of terms of new
openness to other sounds & rhythms, which since has been broadened to include influences from a lot of
different cultures & countries around the world.
YOUR CD "THEN COMES AFFLICTION TO AWAKEN THE DREAMER" CAME OUT BACK IN
SEPTEMBER 2006. HOW WELL HAS IT BEEN DOING? WHAT HAS THE RESPONSE BEEN TO IT?
It's hard to say, really. I still have no idea how much it has sold (I'm guessing not a whole lot) & I'm not sure
how well the follow up has been handled. On the other hand we are receiving some incredible reviews & people
seem to enjoy the album quite a bit. All things considered, we are happy just to have released the album, so for us
everything else is a bonus!
SENSORY RECORDS RELEASED YOUR
ALBUM FOR YOU. HOW DID YOU GET
HOOKED UP WITH THEM & HOW HAS IT
BEEN WORKING WITH THEM?
didn't quite know what to do with it. In general, they
promote it, so they all said no. SENSORYliked it, but
couldn't figure out how to present or , on the other
hand, showed a strong interest from the very
beginning. Also, I had already worked with Ken
Golden & SENSORY before, as he released
ARCHITECTWe sent the album to a few labels,
most of which 's "A SCEPTIC'S UNIVERSE" & we
were confident SENSORY would be a good choice
for TWISTED INTO FORM as well. So far sales
have been slow, but we knew from the start that this wasn't going to be ripped from the shelves anyway. There's
not much of a promotional budget at SENSORY, of course, but this type of musically normally be under the
wings of a small label that cares about the music than at the hands of a bigger one that couldn't care less about
anything but the money.
CAN YOU DESCRIBE THE CD COVER ART & IT'S MEANING?
To tell you the truth, I'm not sure I can describe it very well at all. Verbal descriptions of a graphical concept
would in some way mirror both the band itself & the lyrical content of the album, or at least the feel of the album
as a whole. We went back & forth with the designer (Samuel Durling) so much that we must have driven him
utterly crazy. But I think we did the right thing, we really do love the result! The many layered roots & branches
& the spiky fractals of the cover both pick up on the band's name & the some what bleak & unforgiving world
portrayed within. As for further meaning I will leave it up to the beholders better judgement.
WHAT IS SOME OF THE LYRICAL CONTENT IN YOUR SONGS? WHO WRITES THE MUSIC OR IS
IT A WHOLE BAND COLLABORATION?
To begin with the last part of your questions. The music is split more or less 50/50 between Erik & myself &
even if we to a certain extent work out our own ideas, we rely heavily on each other during the whole process.
Then, once we have the structural outlines of a song, we'll arrange it with David during rehearsals. The final
result is definitely a very collaborative effort. A good example of the whole being bigger than the individual parts.
When it comes to lyrics, I have written most of what you'll find on "THEN COMES AFFLICTION...", but Erik
always provided much needed input whenever I got stuck or didn't know how to get to wherever it was that I
wanted to go. In some way or another, most of our lyrics deal with questions of an existential nature, based on
what is going on around us in the world at any given time & since I find the footprint of human existence slightly
depressing these days, the record paints a some what bleak picture, I'm afraid...
WHY DID IT TAKE FROM 2004 TO 2006 TO RECORD THE CD?
Seems like a bloody long time, doesn't it? In fact, it was... We never thought we'd spend so much time on this
album, but on the other hand it wasn't like we spent two whole years locked in a studio either. First of all, we had
no limits what so ever on our studio time, which meant we spent a lot of time just playing around with all our
songs & ideas, remember, nothing was never really complete when we began, so we took advantage of the
freedom we had to elaborate on everything, as much as we possibly could. Secondly, and partly as a result of
what I just said, we weren't ready when I finally moved to Portugal & I spent most of that summer writing &
making additional melodies & vocal arrangement there, before going back to Norway in August/September 2004
to record the rest. We even did what we thought would be the final mix at that point! As it turned out, after
having shopped around for a deal & finally settled for SENSORY, Ken Golden asked us, very nicely, I might add,
if we could possibly include a few more tracks on the album... Since we didn't actually have anymore music to
record, this meant writing a couple of new songs completely from scratch, only this time it had to be done with
Erik in Oslo & me is Lisbon. It was a new experience for both of us, but it worked out quite well. We sent sound
files back & forth, added some click tracks & gave them to David to use in the studio. He recorded the new
drum tracks with Asgeir & later the rest of us did our things once again. This added about a year to our schedule.
At this point it was also decided that Neil Kernon should do the new mix & this process, along with the normal
business side delays, meant even more months added. And last, but not least, SONY screwed us on the delivery
of the album, SENSORY got the CDs at least two weeks too late, which meant that almost no stores received the
album on the actual & publicly announced release date. In short, It's a long way to Tipperary & as it turned out,
to the record store shelves...
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO USE
TWO STUDIOS, MULTIMONO &
TOPROOM, TO RECORD THE
When we decided to go ahead & record,
we immediately struck a deal with Asgeir
Mickelson, who at this point was building
his own studio, what was to become
Multimono. Because it would not be
finished in time, we used Toproom,
which is where a lot of Norwegian Metal
bands, including David & EXTOL, have
been recording their albums these past
few years, for the drums, before setting
up in Multimono, where we did all the
remaining tracks. As such, it was a
purely practical choice to use two
studios, but we got great deals with both
of them & it all turned out for the best.
ARE THE MEMBERS OF TWISTED INTO FORM STILL IN THEIR OTHER BANDS EXTOL & SPIRAL
I just found out that EXTOL has been laid on ice indeterminately, but I still haven't gotten any details, other than a
resulting new band called MANTRIC (you can check them out at www.myspace.com/MANTRCIofficial if
you like). This means that David is not technically in EXTOL right now (at least until they decide to revive it
again, which they most likely will do at some point). In fact, he is currently in Japan for a few months, doing
some kind of work through his church. As for SPIRAL ARCHITECT, none of us has played with them for
years. Leif only participated on two demo songs back in 1995 & I left the band in 1998, while we were finishing
the recording of "A SCEPTIC'S UNIVERSE".
DOES TWISTED INTO FORM PLAY OUT A LOT? WHERE & WITH WHO HAVE YOU PLAYED?
No, we don't play out a lot. In fact, TWISTED INTO FORM has never played any concerts at all! It's not that
we wouldn't like to, but with the current situation it has been too difficult to rehearse properly, so we made an
informed decision not to do any touring at all at this point. Instead, we'll focus on writing more material for now
with the hope of one day getting the chance to climb a stage or two with both old & new songs.
ARE YOU INTO ANY OTHER STYLES OF MUSIC BESIDES WHAT YOU GUYS PLAY? WHO ARE
SOME OF THE BANDS YOU HAVE CURRENTLY BEEN LISTENING TO?
As I mentioned earlier, I definitely listen to a lot of other kinds of music & I don't really care much about genres
& styles as such. I listen to everything from World music to Pop to Black Metal to Folk music, but not
necessarily a lot of bands or artists from each segment. I tend to pick out a few that i really enjoy, music has to
be sincere & heartfelt to get my attention & there aren't all that many artists that actually bring either of those to
the table. Lately, on the heavy side of the scale, I've been listening to GORJIRA & THE END & a few hours ago
I was reminiscing about the good old days with DEEP PURPLE's "BURN" album, which I think is one of the
greatest album ever made! But then again, I also listened to Sinead O'Conner's "SEAN-NOS NUA", which is
fantastic & very moving & I regularly give Norwegian avant garde pop musician Anja Garbarek (daughter of
Jazz musician Jan Garbarek) a spin in the CD player. And I just heard an unsigned Portuguese band called
MONS LUNAE, which is quite nice, though I might not be qualified to an opinion since they are friends of mine...
WHAT DO THE MEMBERS OF THE BAND DO WHEN NOT DOING ANY WORK FOR THE BAND?
Well, let's see, Erik quit his job about a year ago to go back to studying & is now a Doctoral Candidate at the
Norwegian School of Management, Department of Strategy & Logistics. At about the same time he became a
father for the first time, come to think of it, he's been rather busy lately... Leif works for one of the major
Norwegian stage & music production companies, which also includes managing a few Norwegian bands
(including a band called STONEGARD, which is pretty cool). He also has another band that's been dormant for a
few years, but I think they've just picked it up again. It's called SIMS, of all things... David, apart from the
incredible juggling act he performs with all of his various band projects, ABSURD, LENGSEL, you name it, is
also a car man & his normal day job as a panel beater. As for me, I presently work for the Portuguese Doctors
Association's graphic department, doing all kinds of graphic work, mostly layouts for their magazines & books &
what not. It's only part time though, which gives me time to play around with a lot of other things as well, music,
photography, computers & so on. To tell you the truth, I still don't know what i want to become when I grow up.
WHAT IS ONE THING PEOPLE WOULD BE SURPRISED TO
FIND OUT ABOUT YOU?
That I hardly ever practice playing the guitar, maybe? I'm really not good
at that, whenever I pick up the guitar I enjoy playing & writing music,
but as far as proper practice goes, I'm unfortunately a bit too lazy to
focus on technique & scales & the things that actually make you a better
musician. I really do wish I had it in me, you know, because I know I
would have benefited enormously from it. But I just don't seem to muster
up the patience. I don't mind sitting in the studio for hours on end trying
to get things right, but just practicing for practice's sake I loose my
concentration way too fast.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT LIFE IN
Apart from polar bears in the streets & Oslo more often than not being
quoted as the capitol of Sweden, you mean? Maybe that in a filthy rich
country like ours & Norway is really, truly, filthy rich, everything "just
works", as the saying goes... Despite all the money there are still schools
hospitals & people begging in the streets of Oslo (although the latter most of the time is more of a consequence
of the wealth than actual poverty). In fact, only a week or two ago there was a bit of a crisis in Oslo because of
the very bad state of the city's old & completely rotten water supply system, a few people got sick & there was a
general warning going out telling the good people of Oslo that they better start boiling their water for awhile. I
state of affairs for more than 20 years & still nothing has been done about it. But these are things that all societies
has to tackle & money is in itself not enough to solve every problem mankind has invented for himself. On the
other hand, Norway is a pretty damn country to live in, with opportunities most people on this planet can only
dream of, something that becomes blatantly obvious once you spend some time away from it, like I'm doing at
WHAT CAN WE LOOK FORWARD TO NEXT FROM TWISTED INTO FORM?
Hopefully there will be another album at some point, although it's way too early to say when we might get around
to actually recording it. We've all been busy with a lot of other things lately, but I just bought a new guitar which
definitely gave me an extra kick to start writing music again, so I'll just have to see how that turns out. I've put
down some ideas on...well, it's not tape any more, it's hard disc, but in the end it's all the same. The results is
new music, & I suppose I'll pitch it to Erik one of these days, just to get some feedback & a first impression
from him. After that we will just have to go with the flow & see where it leads us.
WHAT WERE YOU DOING BEFORE ANSWERING THIS INTERVIEW? WHAT WILL YOU DO NOW
THAT IT'S DONE?
Trying to mount our new kitchen, which has proved to be a very long & painful process since nobody seems to
show up when they are supposed to & when they finally do, they break more than they actually fix. Which, alas,
means that that's also what I'll be doing when I finish the interview...
THANX FOR PUTTING TIME ASIDE TO ANSWER THIS INTERVIEW. PLEASE FEEL FREE TO ADD
ANYTHING ELSE YOU'D LIKE TO CLOSE OUT!
I think I've said just about enough by now...Well, Ok then, for anyone who is curious about our music, you can
check out our websites. Keep an open mind & we might just grow on you!