LARS FREDRIK FRØISLIE, keyboard player for Prog Rockers WOBBLER is set to release his debut solo album “Fire Fortellinger” on Karisma Records on the 2nd June.
Comprised of four tunes, each one telling its own story, “Fire Fortellinger” came about during the pandemic when Frøislie was forced to isolate like everyone else, and chose to make this time as productive as possible. Explaining how the album was conceived and the inspiration that was behind it Frøislie had this to say:
During the pandemic, I dreamed myself back in time, and consumed music, art and literature from the old days. The music is characterized by this, and inspiration is drawn from, among other things, Snorre Sturlason, Vinternatt i Rondane and Markens Grøde. It is both a search back to an apparently more primitive time; as well as a quest back to nature and away from civilization and people.
I took many trips out to Raknehaugen in Romerike, as well as trips to an old cottage in Heidal and the home districts of Ringerike (with its many Viking graves and magical landscapes), and this can also be heard in the music.
Frøislie has also completed the first part of a video series in which he describes the making of “Fire Fortellinger” and it can be seen here:
Had it not been for the pandemic, much of the material on “Fire Fortellinger” would probably have been earmarked for a new WOBBLER album, with English lyrics and subjected to the revisions that are inevitable when a band gets together over new material. However, given that the circumstances dictated that he would have to work on the material alone, Frøislie was able to keep his material as spontaneous as possible, without having to put it through too many rounds of processing.
He has thus succeeded in preserving the impulsiveness of the original, and, as a consequence, much of what the audience gets to hear is improvised and recorded in one take, thereby maintaining the hands-on human aspect with an avoidance of click tracks, auto-tune, MIDI or too much technology.
With a sound that draws its inspiration from 70s prog rock, especially from Italy, Norwegian 90s black metal, British rock and heavy metal from the 60s and 70s, as well as folk music, jazz and psychedelic rock, “Fire Fortellinger” finds Frøislie on vocals and drums, and availing himself of a formidable array of instruments including Ludwig drums and a few tons of old analogue keyboards including Hammond C3, Mellotron M400, Minimoog Model D, Chamberlin M-1, Yamaha CP70B, William de Blaise spinet, Hohner Clavinet D6, Rhodes MkII and an Arp Pro Soloist. With him is Nikolai Hængsle (ELEPHANT9, NEEDLEPOINT, BIGBANG, BAND OF GOLD etc.) on Rickenbacker, Fender Jazz Bass, Fender Precision and Fender Telecaster Bass.
The album artwork is by Frøislie himself and “Fire Fortellinger” will be available in CD, Limited Edition LP and Digital formats. Track listing is as follows:
01. Rytter av dommedag
02. Et sted under himmelhvelvet
04. Naturens katedral
For those wishing to delve deeper into the stories behind each track, Frøislie was happy to oblige:
The first song “Rytter av dommedag” is themed around Ragnarok, when King Rakne awakens in his large burial mound outside Romerike and, together with the old gods, creates real mischief.
The second song “Et sted under himmelhvelvet” is dreamy, possibly set in a Renaissance garden near Florence or Arcadia. But in principle it can be anywhere where it feels good to be. It is partly about travelling to a place and feeling that you have been there before – only to find out that you had ancestors who lived there long ago.
The third song “Jærtegn” opens in a frenzy, with a horse and cart speeding through the forest. The wagon overturns at the same time as there is a solar eclipse, and the riders become eternal wanderers in the dark forest, only visible to us now and then like the northern lights, as they vainly stretch their arms towards the sun in the hope of finding their way home.
The final song “Naturens Katedral” is a depiction of the Norwegian mountains in winter where the cold is bitter, and blizzards and avalanches abound. It is also a search for bygone times when life was more basic out in the wilderness.
“Fire Fortellinger” is now available to pre-order from:
More information about LARS FREDRIK FRØISLIE can be found on facebook.