The rise of the internet and a vast community of vocal music fans on forums and social networking sites across the globe seems to have had the effect that rock stars are more likely to display humility than arrogance, more likely to reign in their excesses than go on the rampage and more likely to go to bed with a cuppa than trash their over-priced hotel room in a display of unwarranted macho posturing. To some extent this can be a refreshing change but to the other side the rock world has become rather staid of late, leading you to wonder if Axl Rose turning up late to stadiums is, in fact, the last gasp of Rock Star (capitalisation intended) behaviour.
That is until you meet the mighty Norselaw, a character as colourful and as possessed of rock and roll spirit as his music is of devastating musicality. One look at the artistically framed promotional shots that Norselaw has recently created will tell you that he is a metal musician as steeped in the grand theatrical traditions of the genre as he is in the epic sweep of the music itself. With Norselaw’s first LP, the charmingly titled “Rape you like a gentleman” receiving favourable reports in the independent press, the follow up – 2012’s “Moonhunters” displayed vast potential, and we felt it high time to catch up with the man himself and find out more about the formation of Norselaw and the inspiration behind the album. Norselaw may not yet have reached the heights of which he is capable – but the musical world is certainly a more interesting place for the addition of characters such as he, and we can only hope that the search for a label sees Norselaw developing his sound and his fan base in 2013.
• Taking the name Norselaw and creating your own version of black metal is a brave move – could you tell us, first of all, about your background as a guitar player and songwriter – how long have you been practicing your art and what were your earlier influences?
-I think that when I scream it can sound black metal-ish, but I think the music is more firmly rooted in classic rock/metal.
• What made you decide to operate under the name Norselaw rather than work as part of an established band unit?
-I have a pretty firm vision as to how I want things to go. It’s important that I get this music out within the confines of this vision so I opt to work alone creatively.
• How did you meet Theon Greyjoy and Jaime Lannister and what made you decide that they were right for Norselaw?
I met those guys going around to music stores and they’re both excellent players who have a lot of determination.
• The first record, ‘rape you like a gentleman’ received particular attention because it dared to be different – you must have taken on board a wide variety of influences?
Right now it’s mostly older metal that I listen to, but “Rape you like a gentleman” was a hybrid of black metal and old punk.
• What inspires you lyrically?
-Fantasy and horror. I have three song H.P. Lovecraft inspired songs on “Moonhunters” and one inspired by “George RR Martin”.
• Judging from your press releases and biography you seem to be remarkably confident – is that strength of will part of the reason for your focus on Viking philosophies and black metal?
My only philosophy is “ROCK IT HARD-ROCK IT GOOD-AND ROCK IT FOREVER!”
• Yet your biography is also very limited – is it important to you to maintain the sense of mystery surrounding Norselaw?
I never thought much about it, but maybe that’s a good idea? Although I am pretty awesome and feel people would be missing out. I’ll think this one over.
• One of the areas that characterised ‘Moon hunters’ was this sense of burning ambition – do you feel you have yet achieved everything you want to musically? If not what is your ultimate goal?
What I do is no different than a rugby player or a underwater welder except for the fact that my music is the fuse that ignites human emotion and higher thought. Blessed with such ability the ambition comes naturally.
• Any final words for your fans?
-We’re going to be submitting to labels soon so keep posted at http://www.norselawmusic.com/ for all the latest news.