Naga Siren is a five-piece Hardcore Punk act based in Oslo that plays fast and catchy tunes influenced by American post-Hardcore scene, while also blending it with the nuance of Scandinavian hardcore. They started out as a side project of the members of various other bands: Despereaux, ieatheartattacks, Himmelhøyt, and Oberst. The current lineup is composed of Emil Odd Solbakken (vocals), Oliver David Kimmel (guitar), Tarjei Kristoffersen (guitar), Erik Fossmo (bass), and Steffen Landerud (drums). They released their new single Cut & Run on January 19th, which is highly anticipated.
Ghost Cult contributor Ralka Skjerseth had a bit of talks with Naga Siren regarding a lot of things on this interview, ranging from the creative process of their upcoming new single “Cut & Run,” to the dynamics of the Norwegian punk scene. It has been a fun and insightful short talk with them and we greatly appreciate the views they shared. So, here it goes:
So, first of all, you guys are releasing a new single on Tuesday. What are your hopes and expectations on yourself and your listeners upon releasing the new material?
Hi! Waiting for 2023 has been tedious. Finally, we get to share what we have been working so hard on since our last release. The recording of this album started 11 months ago, and to be sitting on the final result now feels great. Can’t wait to share our first taste!
And what were the most fun parts of the creative process of working on that new single?
The best part about our first single “Cut & Run” is that we give zero fucks about what we have previously released. We only cater to ourselves, and on that particular day we felt like creating an upbeat pop-rock song ala Paramore.. so we did.
Can you please introduce us to at least five noteworthy Norwegian hardcore names that are still underrated and need more exposure? It’d be even better if you were to mention more than five, though!
We feel there’s a void right now that should be filled by many of our friends. To name a few insane bands we’d love to hear more from Of grace and hatred, Fixation, Dead Movie Animals, Rat Lord and Kingseeker.
What are the ups and downs of being in your local underground scene so far? We’d like to hear your stories!
We’ll be honest. This band only has UPs. Why? There’s no desire for world domination as of now. Yes, we want to be taken seriously in the public eye of course but what truly matters is that Naga Siren stays a fun project where people can come to play seriously good music without having to invest their life savings or entire calendar to be in. We keep it FUN by keeping it SIMPLE. NS started as a side project to get an outlet for music that didn’t fit our main bands at the time. It has grown to be a serious band but there’s still lots of room and desire to try new things and keep evolving.
You have ever said somewhere that you cited Underoath as one of your musical influences. What is your favorite Underoath album and why is it your favorite?
I’m not sure if I can speak for the entirety of the group – for me as the vocalist and main songwriter Underoath has been an immense and continuous inspiration since teenage years. As a diehard fan I’m obliged to say ‘They’re only chasing safety’, but as overall inspiration the last years I’d choose ‘Ø:Disambiguation’. (Stated by vocalist, Emil)
As far as we know, Naga Siren started out as a side project among members of already established bands, being Despereaux, ieatheartattacks, Himmelhøyt, and Oberst. Do you have difficulties in balancing how to manage both Naga Siren and each of your other projects, or are you guys doing it just fine so far?
I think I answered this partially in 4. The answer is no. The band is operated by Emil when it comes to releases, booking, PR, and artwork, so it’s an easy project to be involved in for the guys who have 2 kids or other main projects.
Do you have recommendations on some of the most renowned, fun, and exciting Norwegian hardcore venues to visit?
Oslo – Vaterland: This place has come as a godsend! The staff, production, venue, and food is amazing. Tromsø: Bastard Bar! Legendary location that welcomes anyone ready to rock. Stavanger: Checkpoint Charlie: Just pure history of legend underground bands cemented in the walls. Bergen: We haven’t played there yet but hear good things about Samfunnet!
What are some of the bands whose sounds you have been compared to? And how do you feel about it?
I think besides bands we listed ourselves as close in sound or inspiration there’s only been mentioned two others: Lüt and Four Year Strong. We love the guys in Lüt and have never heard of Four Year Strong but we hope they rock.
And last; what do you think of the year 2022 in music? What are your best picks of 2022 releases?
There are so many though. Here’s some things to check out: Novelists – Déjà Vu. Fixation – More alive. Hammok – J/D/F. SYL – Alt godt.
Thank you for the time being and the views you shared, Naga Siren. We wish you great success on the trajectory of your musical career and have a nice day!
Thank you and see you soon!
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