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A Dirty Dozen with JØRN KAARSTAD from BOKASSA – September 2021

| 1 September 2021 | Reply

According to a recent press release: “Following up to the announcement of their new album Molotov Rocktail (out September 3 via Napalm Records) and releasing their new single “Careless (In The Age Of Altruism)”, Norwegian power trio BOKASSA are not stepping down from their stoner punk rampage, revealing their new single “Burn It All (P.T.S.D.E.A.D.)” today! Airtight, dense production and raspy, unmistakable vocals by guitarist Jørn Kaarstad make this heavy rock banger an unmatched joyride. The melodic chorus and speedy guitar solos prove BOKASSA to be on top of their stoner punk game! Vocalist and guitarist Jørn Kaarstad’s unmistakably raspy voice and crushing guitar riffs hit satisfyingly hard with the snappy drumming and fat bass tone of drummer Olav Dowkes and bassist Bård Linga. Songs like “Herticules” effortlessly pull off the transition between melodic choruses and punishing breakdowns, while the title track “Molotov Rocktail” is two minutes of pure stoner punk paradise with its dense songwriting and dynamic production.” We get Jørn to discuss new music, influences, and more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets you put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

There are lots of little nuggets everywhere on there record. Lots of intricate details in the production and twists and turn that one would normally not expect from us. After each listen I think people will discover something new and exciting on the record. There are also some funny bits hidden in the mix, but I won’t tell you where, haha.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

As long as I can remember I always wanted to play in a band. I used to dress as both Tim Armstrong from Rancid and Bruce Springsteen as a kid. But I think for me NOFX or Bad Religion probably was the records I heard when I thought that I actually could be able to play in a band.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

NOFX – So Long And Thanks For All The Shoes has been my favourite record for years. It still is a fantastic piece of music.

4. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

If Chris Hannah from Propagandhi wanted to collaborate on a song, I would jump on the first plane to Winnipeg. And I hate flying!

5. What is your favorite activity when out of the studio and/or not on tour?  What do you like to do to unwind?

I love horror movies. So I see a lot of B-movies in my spare time. After the pandemic I have also become an avid podcast listener. I didn’t ever listen to podcasts before, but after lockdown I discovered lots of great podcast from people I admire. “Like Road to the Skeleton Coast” with Brendan Kelly from Lawrence Arms, “As You Were” as podcast about Alkaline Trio, Chris Hannahs own podcast, The High Way with Kyle Shutt from The Sword and The Best Good Band which goes through the discography of bands like Rancid and Ramones!

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

I describe it at as stonerpunk, neither stoner rock or punk rock, but a mixture of a lot of genres like stoner / sludge / punk rock / hardcore / metal rock. I cringe at a lot of reviews we get. Especially when it is clearly done by someone who just likes Whitesnake. Nothing wrong with that, but maybe that person shouldn’t review something that he/she doesn’t like or understand. But the worst is always when they call us stoner rock and then complain that we are not stoner rock. We never said we where, we have elements of it, but it is just a small part of what we do. Same goes the other way around with punk “There a lot of stuff in here that isn’t punk.” Yeah, that’s the point with mixture of genres.

7. When your band is hanging out together, who cooks, who gets the drinks in, and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

No one cooks, we order pizza! Olav is always great at getting the alcohol, and I don’t think we ever had an acoustic for a singalong! We do singalong to records though.

8. When was the last time you were starstruck and who was it?

It’s been a while since I’ve been to a concert or met people because of the lockdown so I don’t really having anything new here, other then meeting Metallica on tour.

9. What is the best part of being a musician? If you could no longer be a musician for whatever reason, what would be your dream job?

Dream job would be a cheese taster. Or working with making new types of cheese. Like being in a department that was experiencing with new flavours of cheese and then eating them.

10. What is one question you have always wanted an interviewer to ask – and what is the answer? Conversely, what question are you tired of answering?

Dunno if I have any dream questions, but questions that are not your average run of the mill questions are always welcomed. The question I am tired of is “How was it touring with Metallica?” It was great, as one would imagine it was.

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over,” even if it didn’t change your current situation?

Haha, yeah, a lot probably. We are not a functional organization, so we never know what we’re doing. It would be cool to have someone guide us to make smart decisions, but we don’t have that so we just try and fail, and try something else the next time, haha.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

Definitely Chinese Democracy. My favourite Guns N’ Roses record is UYI2 [Use Your Illusion 2] but I am really curious about how it was to record Chinese Democracy, and want to know what was happening during the sessions. There isn’t that much info about that record, and I really wanna know the stories behind it.






Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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