Exclusive interview for hellfest.fr: AUDREY HORNE [Toschie (vocals) & Ice Dale (guitar)
« I hope that our albums will stand the test of time. I hope that with our albums people can still play them in 20 years and say it sounds good » – Toschie – Friday 17 June 2016.
How has been your day so far?
Ice: It’s been pretty hectic but very good as well.
Toschie: Yeah, it’s been really, really good. We got up early, went to the festival site, had a coffee and then it was time to warm up, have a drink, go onstage and play the show. It was a really good show so it’s been really good to us.
How difficult is it to play that early (11:40)?
Ice: We played early at Hellfest befre. But you never really get used to play early. It’s been a really good show at Hellfest playing early. There was a lot of audience there. In Norway, there wouldn’t be anybody: a lot of people would still be sleeping (laughter). I mean, it’s still early for rock n’roll.
So, why are you doing interviews instead of hanging out with your mates?
Toschie: Well, we have no idea!
Ice: And it wasn’t our idea!
Toschie: When people want to talk to us about our music and how we experience what we do, it’s always nice.
Ice: We have to play and also promote the band. We can chill out later. We’re staying for the whole weekend so we’ve plenty of time to chill out.
So every single one of you is going to spend the week-end in Clisson then?
Toschie: Yes, apart from the bass player: he’s a pussy, he’s going home! But he’s old and he’s a pussy! (smiles)
Any memories of your previous appearances at Hellfest?
Ice: Absolutely. Especially the last time we played. Maybe one of the best experiences at festivals. There was really a lot of people and the atmosphere was fantastic.
Toschie: As a musician, you have to experience the backstage area as it is so fucking good here. The food is good, the drinks are good: it’s very clean and very well organised. Being here is very relaxing as an artist. With many festivals, it’s very small, hectic, muddy and dirty. I like the way you make an effort: you hand up pictures, you make rooms look nice. The festival area where you have art and stuff is great and the food area looks like a restaurant. I think that’s amazing. You make an effort to make it look good which, to me, is important. Because I easily get bored if things don’ look good. I do! (laughter)
Some people complain that the whole scenery is a bit too much… They compare it to Disneyland.
Toschie: But that’s what I love about it! Our sound engineer said today when we were driving there: “Hellfest is different” because as opposed to most – like German festivals – metal festivals which are just plain square fields where people can listen to hard rock and get drunk, and that’s it. I like the fact that it’s a bit more of a Disneyland thing. You can still listen to great bands and get drunk. But it doesn’t have to be in a boring environment, you know. You can do the same things and things can be a little bit exciting around. So I love that.
Ice: Me too!
Toschie: And you have this big shop where you sell t-shirts (The Extreme Market). Every time I play at Hellfest I go there and buy all the Van Halen t-shirts I can get my hands on.
Would you say that festival culture is killing touring?
Toschie: I see the point and on one point, I agree. Especially if you tour after the Summer, which is normally a good time for touring, like early Fall. Of course, if you do a lot of festival shows, then you do a club show and you say “I saw them at that festival so I’m not gonna go there”. But at the same time, if we do a festival like this, we play for more people today than we do on an entire tour in France… It’s a good thing and a bad thing. But I like festivals. And also, festivals for bands, are the occasion to meet a lot of old friends, other bands that you toured with or you met somewhere and you just know because they’re musicians. And you can make a lot of new friends. So I love festivals but of course I can see the point that it’s killing club touring…
Ice: I’m not sure… Because I mean at festivals you get to see a lot of bands on the same bill. It’s more like going to a big party. A bunch of people loving music and you party together. At club shows, it’s more concentrated because you go as a fan of that band or two maybe. It’s just different. I don’t think that the club shows will die at all. Of course, it’s easier for a lot of bands to do their own thing at a club show because you can put on all your gear maybe, that you can’t bring on festivals. I don’t know… These are two different things and we need both, definitely.
Are you currently working on some new material?
Ice: We’re working on it, absolutely. We’ve been writing for a while now and we will continue. It’s going to be out next year, some time.
Do you have a specific ambition with that new album?
Ice: Only to write a hell of a good album! (laughter) Of course you always want to evolve as an artist and we want to do something new but we also want to keep the sound of the band…
Toschie: People always ask: “Your previous albums did well: is there a lot of pressure?”. But the pressure is within the band, really…
Ice: You’ve gotta write what you wanna write as a band. Because if we were supposed to write music that we think fans would love and want, it would be wrong and the fans would probably not like it anyway. We just want to write the best album that we can do.
Toschie: So we put a lot of pressure on ourselves. There’s a lot of disagreement within the band when we write music. Not because we want totally different things but we might have different views on things. Earlier, we argued a lot and there were some bad tensions within the band. But we came to the point where we realised that the only reason me or him are arguing about a song is that we want the song to be as good as possible. So we kind of figured out how we could use this disagreement. We’ve learned over the years to listen to each other a lot more. Now, it’s more “I see your point, I don’t agree but let’s try your way and see where it goes and let’s try my way too and see where it goes”.
Ice: We can do a mix. We put a lot of ourselves into it. That’s the strength of the band.
Toschie: A good band is always a combination of everyone in the band. For example, our drummer doesn’t write music but he always gets his saying in things. If we didn’t have him, if we had a different drummer, maybe our music would be a bit different. It’s the result of the combination of who we are and we’re 5 people who are very much alike but also, at the same time, so different. And that’s what makes us a good band, you know. If we were 5 guys who loved Metallica and that was our favourite band, then we would probably sound a lot like Metallica. But our sound is a bit all over the place, which is also the combination of the fact that he likes old school hard rock, that he likes more progressive hard rock, that I love pop music, that he likes disco, country, etc. All of that makes a good mix. Like I said in an earlier interview, we are inspired by a lot of classic hard rock but also by a lot of newer stuffs. We haven’t reinvented the wheel in any way. We play hard rock and we have to find a way to do that well. It’s kind of like a restaurant. Spaghetti bolognese: you can have that in a restaurant and in another restaurant but it can taste totally differently. So it’s kinda like cooking! I don’t know what I’m talking about! (laughter)
The story will come to an end one day. How would you like Audrey Horne to be remembered?
Ice: Yeah, good looking! Who cares about the music! (laughter)
Toschie: I hope people remember us as a passionate band. A band that people had a good time with. And of course that our albums could stand the test of time. Like today, if I put Synchronicity by The Police. It was recorded in 1983 or something and if I put it today, it’s not old-fashion, it’s not out of style, it doesn’t sound like it was recorded back then. Synchronicity still sounds amazing today. I hope that with our albums people can still play them in 20 years and say it sounds good.
Is there anything embarrassing about each other I should be aware of?
Ice: Probably too much!
Toschie: Way too much… Our drummer looks like Lars Ulrich from Metallica. He gets mistaken for being Lars Ulrich every now and then.
Ice: We hired him because we thought he was Lars Ulrich!
Toschie: And he has a passion for very progressive soft music. So every now and then he puts some album and we have to destroy that album. Our bass player is old and grumpy.
Ice: And he thinks that drinking beer outside is highly overrated. It’s like the most overrated thing ever. That’s kind of embarrassing. Who doesn’t want to drink beer outside and listen to rock n’roll?
Toschie: Our two guitar players are drunks, basically. You’re a drunk!
Ice: Well, sometimes…
Toschie: And I’m sophisticated, good-looking , smart, polite an really nice.
Modest as well, I suppose?
Toschie: Yeah! That’s the most modest thing I can say about myself! Except that I just split my pants right now!
Many thanks to Elodie & Charles (HIM Media).