Motorpsycho back as a trio

After a period as a duo Bent Sæther and Hans Magnus Ryan have enrolled Kenneth Kapstad as Motorpsycho’s new regular drummer. – Kenneth is an extremely skilled improviser, and that is very important to me and Bent, says Ryan. -We are mishmash musicians, and to make it work playing with us, one has to be seasoned in different genres.

Motorpsycho 2002 (Foto: Ellen Ane Eggen)

Interview by Carl Christian Johansen / Translated and abridged by Christian Lysvåg

Drummer Håkon Gebhardt left Motorpsycho a year-and-a-half ago. It entailed that guitarist Hans Magnus Ryan and bassist Bent Sæther had to contribute the drum tracks themselves on Motorpsycho’s most recent album Black Hole / Blank Canvas.

Now they are relieved of this, with Kenneth Kapstad – with a pedigree from Monolithic and Dadafon- installed as a regular member of the band. The Dutchman Jacco van Rooij will no longer appear as a hired hand at concerts.

-It is never beneficial to have a drummer who lives in a different country, says Ryan.
-Motorpsycho has always worked by way of meeting up in the rehearsal space, drinking coffee, shooting the shit and making music.

-It is definitely more fun to be in a proper band and to play the music “real-time,” so to speak, continues Ryan. -When we were just two, either me or Bent had to play the drums. And then we had to add things later on. That’s how it worked for a period, but we were able to make music nonetheless. It is certainly more comfortable being a band.

Monolithic unity

Kenneth Kapstad is also a member of the improv-metal duo Monolithic, together with Stian Westerhus. Ryan and Sæther were introduced to Kapstad through Øyvind Brandtsegg’s work “Canon”, which was commissioned for the Trondheim jazz festival in 2006.

-Motorpsycho’s trademark is largely the open improv-jam thing; something I know well from the metal and jazz scene, says Kapstad. -We’ve played together since March or April now, and we have lots of common references, continues Kapstad, who knows Motorpsycho’s music well from before.
-We’ve all listened to a lot of Black Sabbath, Motörhead and Deep Purple, and I get where they want to go pretty instantly.

-Kenneth got through Burn by Deep Purple without mistakes, says Ryan. -That we found very gratifying. A lot of the Monolithic stuff is pretty out of control. Kenneth is an incredible improviser, and that is very important to me and Bent, and the way we work, he continues.

Trippy Powertrio

Ryan and Sæther played with Supersilent earlier this fall; a kind of reunion with Helge Sten (Aka Deathprod who was a producing member on the early Motorpsycho albums)

Are you about to move in a direction where the music is more based on improvisation?

-It is an aspect of Motorpsycho that has been present all along, but more important during certain periods. Around the year 2000 we released a series of records that were all written for the studio.
Now we’re definitely back to a more explorative mode, says Ryan.

Motorpsycho have recorded a new album with Kapstad which is to be released some time next spring, and with an “acute danger of touring” in its wake, as Ryan puts it. It is not yet decided whether the album is to be released by SonyBMG in Norway and Stickman in Europe, since Motorpsycho licence their albums on a yearly basis, and are not bound by contract.

The album is a pure trio record.

-Instrumentally it is a continuation of Black Hole / blank Canvas, but in terms of the tunes I’m not sure what to say, Ryan relates. -There are no guest appearances this time, so it’s all about guitar, bass drums and vocals. It is not exactly chamber pop.
-It will come across as a nice trippy album with nice chords and long, delicious songs, he continues.

Kapstad thinks Sæther and Ryan are extremely productive and very easy to make music with. He calls the album pure and simple Powertrio rock.

-It is a continuation of the previous album, only more explosive, promises Kapstad.

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