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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Trond Gjellum, March 2008
    Posted: March 03 2008 at 19:19
This interview comes in light of the release of the new project lead by Trond, TR-OND & THE SUBURBAN SAVAGES
Those of you who know Panzerpappa know Trond from there, but here he takes on a different path.
Here is the introduction the band gives in their Myspace -
Tr-Ond (from PANZERPAPPA) made tunes, and cooked coffee.Thomas (from THE SAMUEL JACKSON 5 and NOW'VE GOT MEMBERS) drank the coffee, and tweaked and turned the tunes inside out. The rest of the savages (Anders from PANZERPAPPA and the unknown Hans Petter) were whipped into shape (with feathers). Foreign cooks (Truls from TULS AND THE TREES and Sissyfus from NOW'VE GOT MEMEBERS) were allowed into the kitchen, to add their delicious spices and good skills to the final product.
Trond has been kind to answer some of the questions that Bj-1 and I sent to him.
So without further a due, here is the interview:
  1. You’re busy enough in your daily lives with Panzerpappa and your day job, why this project? What did you want to achieve with it?


I love playing in Panzerpappa, and I’ve had the honor of being able to contribute a lot to the sound of the band. Approx. 1/3 of the song in Panzerpappa started as my ideas. But I’ve always had some ideas that I felt didn’t fit in the Panzerpappa sound of “RIO-ish Canterbury with a twist”, either because they’re to “straight” and poppy (or punked) or just weird, and I just had to get these ideas out. I also wanted to focus on music that go a little bit outside the typical “prog sound” and try to bring experimental music to the masses, to people that usually don’t listen to progressive rock. I have Panzerpappa, a day job, a lovely girlfriend and a couple of other hobbies, so it’s quite a jigsaw puzzle to get everything done!


  1. To continue the previous question (in case you haven’t addressed it yet) - Being a musician that plays this particular style of music that not only is not mainstream, but also in the underground prog community it’s hard to sell it, why do you start another project in addition to Panzerpappa? Isn’t it hard enough as it is?


As I said earlier, I just had to get it out of the system. But I also like starting a new band. Even if we cash in on the Panzerpappa name (and the name of the other bands we get members from), we have to start fresh establishing a fan base. The music of tr-Ond is also aimed at a slightly different audience (still, the “prog rock audience” loves us), and it’s funny playing this music for an audience not accustomed to music that goes beyond the 4/4 and verse-refrain domain. But it’s quite a lot of work. That’s for sure! But as long as it is fun, it’s worth doing!


  1. This project seems to be filled with humour and “joix de vivre”; from the band name to the song titles; from the sound of the music to your Myspace page. When will you get serious…? But seriously, do you view music as such that humor is not only a natural aspect of it but an essential part? Could or would you make a depressing sounding album?


I think that we should treat humor as any other feeling. To me humor is just as serious as melancholy, sadness and depression and to me an essential part of being human. When you laugh and smile, you use much more muscles in you face than when you’re sad, so it’s also kind of fitness training!;-) Myself I’m a positive person that like to get people to smile, and I want my music to reflect that.


I’ve always liked the sound of Lars Hollmer, Samla Mammas Manna, Brian Eno, Frank Zappa. Etron Fou Leloublan and Albert Marceour  because they manage to put humor inside a genre that usually is far too serious and regard itself as so much better than any other music. I think the humor bit make the music more dynamic too. If I can make a depressive sounding album? Maybe, but not at the time being.


  1. What bands/musicians/albums are the influences for this project? Has some Panzerpappa-ism dripped into here as well?


As I mentioned earlier, I’ve been responsible for approx. 1/3 of the Panzerpappa-songs, so it’s natural that some Panzerpappa-ism dripped into here as well. To name all the artists that influenced this album, is almost impossible. As we say on the myspace-page, we’re inspired the record collections of Thomas and my self, and those collections contain everything: 70’s prog, pop, heavy metal, punk, new wave, electronica, folk music, classical music, indie and so on. I’m a big fan of good melodies, and I can find that in all kinds of music.


  1. Now for a question I asked several other musicians: With the spreading of the iPod culture and mentality, do you still believe in the concept of making albums and not simply offering some tracks for downloads? Would you ever compromise your artistic intentions and aspirations to gain more financial success? Can your music adapt to such a culture?

I still believe in the album as a concept, because a lot of people still can relate to a long, continues story consisting of various parts. Even if I would make separate tracks available for download, I still think that I would like to make a batch of songs that in some way relate to each other in mood or style, just like an album would do.


  1. Aside from Anders from Panzerpappa, how did you get in contact or persuade the other musicians to join you?


I’ve known Thomas Meidell for many years now, and when I needed a “partner in crime”, I felt it naturally to ask him to help me out arranging the songs. He’s also a very inventive guitar player. Hans Petter, the keyboard player, is a good friend of mine. He has never played in any band before this, but is a very good player with a lot of musical knowledge and technical abilities.


  1. Who are your favorite drummers, and who would you compare your playing style to them?


Well, I’ve got a lot of favorites concerning drummers. Drummers like Charles Hayward (This Heat, Camberwell Now), Bill Bruford, Christian Vander, Stewart Copeland, Daniel Denis, Phil Collins, Neil Peart, John McEntire, Gavin Harrison, Audun Kleive (Terje Rypdal) are drummers that play musically for the song and just not only to show off like Mike Portnoy and so on. I try to play what fits the song, and I do not try to imitate certain drummers and their licks. But after consuming a lot of music played by these drummers, of course I’ve accumulated a lot of inspiration and tricks that I use in my drumming!


  1. Does Panzerpappa have any new material these days, and will it be a new album or concerts soon?


Panzerpappa are still alive and kicking, but we’ve got a low profile concerning concerts and instead try to focus on writing new songs. We’re planning to release a lot of new music in the first half of 2009. We’ll also have a big 10 year anniversary concert in August, September. Keep you updated on


  1. Are your band mates really Savages? Did they accept this name easily? J In other words, why this particular name? And why not Rural Savages?


Well, it all started out years before, when my self and a friend had a free improvising band called Suburban Savage. I’ve always liked this name. Some years later, I had a project called tr-Ond, and I liked this name too. When this project became a full blown band, I thought it could be fun to call the band tr-Ond and The Suburban Savages, just like, you know, Neil Young and Crazy Horse and so on.  And yes, the other guys accepted the name easily!


  1. The album art-work is lovely; who created it and who designed it?


The album cover were designed by a friend of mine named Thomas Kalhol, who also play guitar in The Samuel Jackson 5, one of Suburban Savages Thomas’ many bands. He’s working professionally as a designer, and this is just one of many good covers he’ve done.


  1. Are you performing with this lineup?


Yes, we are. We’re performing as the quartet, but sometimes also with guests. On a recent show, Jarle from Panzerpappa performed on 3 tr-Ond songs and a cover of the legendary Panzerpappa-track “Billettkontrollørenes Inntogsmarsj”. We’ve played live ten times since May 2007, and we’ve gradually built up a nice reputation as a live band. I’ve always liked to perform live, because the response (or lack off) from the audience gives the performance a certain unique quality. It’s also fun to be on the edge, because when you’re playing live, you’ve got no way back. You have to perform there and then. We’re playing mostly in small clubs in Oslo, and in may, we’ll support Daevid Allens University of Errors when they play in Norway.

  1. Will we see more releases from this project?


Yes, definitively. We’re in the process of writing new songs, and they will explore other directions besides what you’ve heard on our debutalbum. We’re planning to release it in February 2009.


  1. Do you have any ideas for yet another different project altogether?


Yes. I’ve got a solo percussion project called Soniq Obscurata that will release a cd-r album later this year. This is music made totally by programming samples of myself and my huge arsenal of percussion sounds. This will definitively be something different from what I’ve done before. But as Frank Zappa said: “Without deviation from the norm, 'progress' is not possible.”




I'd like to Thank Trond for the time he took to answer these questions and to wish him success in this project; We're looking forward to more music from these guys.


Read the review I wrote for the album here.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 04 2008 at 22:44
Good interview. Plan to pick up that album soon!
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 05 2008 at 09:38
Nice one! Clap Clap Clap
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