Kaizers Orchestra head out on European tour

In support of their third album ‘Maestro’, Norwegian chart-toppers Kaizers Orchestra head out on a European tour next week.

Kaizers Orchestra 2005 (s/v) Photo: Paal Audestad

This week Kaizers Orchestra’s third album, ‘Maestro’ shot to the top of the domestic sales charts after the release was met with very positive reviews in the home press. Says Kaizers front-man Janove Ottesen on the outfit’s chart success on the home market: “Some things are still within our control. We master the weather ‘cause it’s always clue skies when we play. And our record is a No. 1 on the charts. Piece of cake.”

Says guitarist Geri Zahl to Kaizers.no: “We’re thrilled over the reception! And the fans better be ready, ‘cause we’ve got two years of bottled-up energy worth and we want to unleash it on the stage! It feels good to present new stuff. We’re very proud!”

While Kaizers Orchestra have been extremely successful on the home market with platinum sales and sold-out domestic tours, they might come across as an unlikely export product as the band sing in Norwegian. However, the language barrier has not prevented the band from crossing borders, and the collective have now built up a loyal following on the continent in the wake of Kaizers intense live appearances. A well-timed slot at the 2003 Dutch Eurosonic festival started the hype which has since led to high-profile gigs at such festivals as Roskilde and eventually last year’s record deal with Universal Music Germany who is now set to bring the oil-barrel pounding collective out to a wider European audience.

Shortly after its release in Denmark, ‘Maestro’, debuted at No. 3 on the Danish sales charts.

Allmusic.com profile Kaizers
Earlier this month, one of the web’s most central music sites, allmusic.com, chose Kaizers Orchestra as the main feature on the popular site’s front-page. Says Kaizers front-man Janove on the allmusic.com profile: “It’s as if we’d written the story ourselves. And it’s great to be compared to our heroes!

Wrote allmusic journalist James Christopher Monger in his profile on the band: “The Norwegian sextet Kaizers Orchestra builds cathartic rock songs that borrow heavily from the dirges of Tin Pan Alley and Eastern European folk music. Formed in the late '90s in the city of Bergen, the band consists of Jan Ove Ottesen and Geir Zahl on vocals/guitar/oil barrel, Helge Risa on pump organ, Øyvind Storesund on accordion and bass, guitarist/percussionist Terge Vinterstøen, and Rune Solheim on the drums. Their signature sound eventually led to a record deal with Scandinavian label Broiler Farm, and the band released Ompa Til du Dør in 2001, an album that won the Norwegian Grammy and went on to become the highest-selling rock debut ever issued in the Norwegian language. Evig Pint followed in 2003, resulting in numerous awards and even more impressive record sales than its predecessor.”

8 September marks the start of Kaizers Orchestra’s European tour that will take the band to its loyal audiences in Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Holland, Belgium and France.

The band kick-started their ‘Maestro’ tour this week with a blistering show in Stavanger which was awarded six out of six by regional as well as national media.

A quote from the Man himself, Tom Waits, taken from a recommendation he wrote on the band on Amazon.com sums it all up: "Norwegian storm trooping tarantellas with savage rhythms and innovative textures. Thinking man’s circus music. Way out."

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