Underwing – Interview
Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD. What type of artist are you?
Enyeto: Independent, progressive grungers for once. We’re working really hard to balance both musical and business aspects of being a band. We don’t really follow any given template when it comes to carving the road ahead, and I guess it makes us more flexible somehow. We’re occasionally dwelling in the classic rock band mentality, but we sure get the shit done, you know? Personally I’ve always been a poetic-paint-percussionist hybrid with a taste for the hidden, and it just spiraled from there. We’re a bunch different personalities trying to coexist with each other and the music at once, good luck figuring out how. We love each other though.
Magnus: I agree with Enyeto on describing how the band dynamics between musicians / businessmen flows pretty well. It’s been a real hassle up until recently to structure everything and balance things – and we’re still not quite there, but are we ever?
Personally, I consider myself an ever-evolving artist both in terms of my musical and general expression. I’m an emotional guy and I’m not afraid to show it. Luckily I don’t have to hide anything in Underwing, as it’s a band consisting of most of my best friends. I’ve been rebellious since I was a kid (just ask my mom), and if people told me that I couldn’t do things I felt this huge attitude of «I’ll show you!» – Sometimes that has been (and from time to time it still is) a bad thing, but I’ve learned to transmute it into something nice. Underwing is that «something nice» – but I’m still learning.
PD. Tell us the brief history of yourself.
Enyeto: Underwing was formed at the beginning of 2016 on the southern coast of Norway. Our drummer Joachim and I had just disbanded with our previous band and decided to continue making music together because hey, we really jammed out man.. I had some ideas and a vision, so a few songs were written. Along came Thomas and Magnus, our guitarists. We released our debut effort, “Kaela Upsweep”, on our own indie label ‘Pinecone Records’ on May 20, 2017, which quickly garnered critical acclaim both nationally and internationally, it was a blast. The music featured on this debut has been compared to legendary acts such as Alice in Chains, Black Sabbath and Tool. It’s flattering, we know. We then started playing live.. alot! Releasing several singles as well. Finetuning our social media and stage presence. I also gave Jesper my bass, so there’s that. Only vocals for me now. Major changes in this period.
Fast forward, we released our second EP ‘Spirals’ on June 1, 2019, only to be treated even better than the first debut in the press and media. Overwhelming, really. We toured the shit outta this realease as well, it was wild.
Now we’re plotting to drop a full-lenght album. When? We don’t know, we really want to polish this record. It’s the breaker. It has to be.
Magnus: Haha, I remember that cold ass day in February 2016 – I was walking outside and there was a blizzard, I could barely see anything, and it was one of the first days I ventured outside of my house after suffering from crippling anxiety for about 8 months. I used to play in a glam rock band called Valerie, that had just disbanded (about the same time as Joachim and Enyeto’s band disbanded) – and I never thought I’d be onstage again, but Enyeto talked me into it and suddenly there I was at Munkehaugen in Arendal with my white Les Paul, ready to give this one last chance. And it’s going great! I’m really grateful for that.
PD. Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
Enyeto: I love a good beat and a groove, man. No matter where and whom it may come from. Be it a bird with its soothing tonalities, the repetative muddy sound of a truck passing by or anything by Black Sabbath. Yeah, classic rock and metal was the best growing up. It still is though, don’t get me wrong, but I’ve been exposed to way more interesting shit in my latter years.
Magnus: That is a really tough question. As Enyeto, I can be inspired by the weirdest and most trivial things. I grew up listening to a mix of the old and the new. Dancing to Elvis in my boxers in front of the TV watching «Jailhouse Rock» before later on getting really into the skate punk era of the 2000’s with bands like Blink 182, Green Day, All Time Low before moving onto more old school punk like Sex Pistols, Dead Kennedys and Ramones and stuff like that. In my early teens I started to love bands like Avenged Sevenfold, Bullet for my Valentine, A Day to Remember, Escape the Fate etc. and that’s when I picked up the guitar (actually I started out by playing Guitar Hero, and decided it would be so much cooler to play the real thing than playing on plastic buttons)
After being into modern heavy riff-driven music for a while, I went back to the roots once again to discover 80’s AOR/Melodic Hard Rock/Glam/Whateverthefuckyouwannacallit and was HEAVILY into the whole sex drugs n rocknroll vibe of the 80’s – That’s when I joined Valerie and listened to a lot of Motley Crue, Skid Row, Whitesnake, RATT, Poison, W.A.S.P etc. and Nikki Sixx was my role model (didn’t go so well..)
– Then at some point I took LSD and listened to The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Grateful Dead, The Moody Blues, Pink Floyd and a band called Of Montreal – just to name a few. After that my musical horizon expanded and now I listen to everything that makes me feel something, whatever the genre. Lately I’ve been enjoying hip-hop and classical music, with artists like Machine Gun Kelly, Tom MacDonald, Beethoven and Bach. I’m not limited by genre boundaries, neither is our band as a whole. We’re musicians, in the true meaning of the word.
PD. What are your dreams and goals?
Enyeto: I want to see how far we can come from nothing.
Magnus: To make a living by doing the things we love. To pay down my parents debt, and give something back to my community, whatever that turns out to be when we get there.
PD. Who writes your songs, what are they about?
Enyeto: We all do our part, but I mostly write the song. Always the lyrics, sometimes the structure, a few riffs here and there, other times the whole song, but mostly it feels like a joint effort to complete it and to mold it into the product that people hear, and that’s how we roll. I like to write about my own life and experience, my ideas or interests molded into this almost cryptic message of hope and despair. Rendering the listener capable of understanding deeper parts of their own psyche.. or not.
PD. How do you promote your band and shows?
Enyeto: I usually make posters, good looking ones to catch your eyes, all three of them. Online ads, contests etc. We also just stand outside screaming on the top of our lungs, but we don’t have enough data at this point to reach an educated conclusion wether it boosts our audience or not. We’ll let you know though. Nah, but we have an excellent marketing and promoter in our band so together we can make content, music, videos and promote it all by ourselves.
Magnus: Thanks man (I’m that excellent marketing wizard) – Like Enyeto on the songwriting, I’m in charge of setting the wheels in motion but in the end it’s a joint effort on all aspects of the band, really. I think one of the key ingredients as to why this seems to be working so well is because we’re genuine. It’s not like the band is just a hobby or side project in addition to other stuff one can do with their lives. We live this, we breathe this, and we believe in this. That makes it easier to promote, cause I do it with a passion. I spend my days self-studying marketing and other aspects of getting us out there. There is a lot of e-mailing involved, sometimes phone calls – and sometimes as Enyeto stated above, we interpret the term «word of mouth» a little too literal and scream at the top of our lungs «FOLLOW UNDERWING ON FACEBOOK!» While walking around town, for example. Hah!
PD. What do you think about downloading music online?
Enyeto: You can download anything these days, so why not music? I’m really not bothered.
Magnus: In a perfect world, I think people should pay for downloadable content (music, movies, books etc.) to respect the creators. But we do not live in a perfect world, so I’m not really bothered either.
PD. What song do you wish you’d written and why?
Enyeto: A National Acrobat by Black Sabbath, man. Its been one of my favs for a looong time. The groove is phenomenal, the lyrics are spot on, and their delivery is out of this world. I guess I’ve been inspired by this song on several occasions during my career. The song is really alchemical in a sense. When Ozzy starts ”I am the world that hides the universal secret of all time” Oh man, it gets me everytime. You should listen to it, right now, for sure.
PD. What are some of your pet peeves?
Enyeto: Not being able to come up with some of my pet peeves.
Magnus: Walking out in public and almost crashing into people with their head buried in their smartphones. WATCH WHERE YOU’RE GOING!
PD. What is your proudest moment in music?
Enyeto: Hard to pinpoint THE proudest, because it’s often a journey where you have pat yourself on the back just for pursuing this career, so there’s plenty of moments to be proud of. When people come up to me, telling me in different ways how music we’ve created helped them though a hard time that’s up there, man.People singing along to our songs, sharing their energy with us on stage. Is frikkin’ beatiful.
Magnus: I agree. It’s so surreal sometimes, because we’re just doing our thing you know. To hear that it inspires people to fix something in their lives in which they deem problematic. That’s impacting, and inspires us even more to go on. A guy is having our logo tattooed on his leg in October, and he’s been to every show since he saw us the first time. If you read this, you know who you are – And you’re fucking awesome!
PD. So what are you working on at the moment?
Enyeto: We’re in the midst of a few singles actually, then as previously mentioned, a full-lenghter. Lots of booking and promoting to do as well these days. We are really constantly progressing towards a more sustainable business frame combined with an even heavier, progressive grungy sound. Just you wait.
PD. Tell us about your next shows and why we should be there.
Magnus: As Enyeto said, we’re currently in the midst of recording some stuff so we don’t have that many shows planned this fall – but you could watch THIS (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YdD4DDo3Tv0&list=PLaGF4Dp45czPuRVUfbrpfWzITcwMw9lOo&index=9&t=0s)
and THIS (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uMVPicvHc8I&list=PLaGF4Dp45czPuRVUfbrpfWzITcwMw9lOo&index=2) to gain some insights about the energy at our live shows. Looks fun, right? It is.
Band/Artist location – Arendal Norway
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