by Jorge Patacas
Wrath is a band from the west coast of Norway that has been around since 2019. They’ve recently released their first EP which contains three songs recorded in the city of Haugesund and is available both online and on cassette. After their very first concert in Oslo, we had the chance to interview Jenny Rudi (vocals/guitar) and Leon Torskangerpoll (bass) to discuss the origins, influences and everything related to their debut. Concert promoter Espen Forsmo from Brenn Alt Booking joined as well to explain the concept behind the agency.
RISE!: – You guys started three years ago. How did you meet each other?
Leon Torskangerpoll: Me and the drummer Sander (Skogen) were stand in on bass and drumming for Jenny’s previous band.
Jenny Rudi: It was called Acid Cunt.
LT: After that, Jenny wanted to do something more with us. She just created Wrath and…
JR: We made something more serious because Acid Cunt was this punk band, just raw and energetic, and we wanted to do something more progressive. So we mixed the punk elements on stage with the proggy more serious music, so we still have the punk attitude.
R!: – It’s in your blood.
LT: Yeah (laughs). Punk feel, but progressive musicality.
R!: – How did you come up with the name Wrath?
JR: Wrath is about being pure and not corrupted by modern society. It’s the wrath of the wilderness in the music. We take inspiration from the sea, the woods and all the rawness and the brutality.
R!: – Why did you decide to release your debut EP on cassette?
LT: We’re doing metal, so of course we have to get it on cassettes, but it was a long process because we had to get to know the right people. Personally, I’ve always had a dream to hold my music. Making music physically is very important because it allows us to get more in touch with musicians and creators.
R!: – Do you plan to release it in other physical formats as well?
JR: Vinyl. The album will be on vinyl.
LT: We’re planning to make an album and we hope to release it on vinyl, but of course it will be on cassette as well because cassette is the metal standard.
JR: Yes, of course, it’s cult. True cult (laughs).
R!: – What did you try to represent with the picture on the EP cover?
JR: The EP cover is the image I had when I wrote “Epitaph”. It’s about meeting someone you were really close to that died, in this place between reality and death, so you kinda sense the person. They’re not physically there, but you have this ghost like walking through you in the water.
R!: – Do you write the music all together?
LT: We have a lot of problems regarding that because Jenny and Sander live in Haugesund and I live in Bergen, so it’s not that often that we have the opportunity to jam together.
JR: Usually I make songs with Sander and then we send them to him. He comes with his vision and then we mix it together to get the result.
LT: So even though we live in different cities, we all participate in making the songs together.
R!: – Who’s responsible for the lyrics?
LT: Jenny, she’s the mastermind.
JR: No, Sander is the real mastermind.
R!: – But you write the lyrics, right?
JR: Yeah (laughs)
R!: – So what was the first song that you wrote for the EP?
JR: The first song I wrote was “Stormr”. That’s an old song I wrote.
R!: – What thought comes to your mind when you think about that song? What was the inspiration for it?
JR: It’s a kind of tragic love song. It’s this guy that falls in love with the storm, so he’s enticed by it, but it’s really destructive and basically it’s going to kill him if he continues being enticed. The nature reference again with the band trying to find human feelings and put them with nature.
R!: – I can hear a lot of alternative and progressive elements in your music, but if you have to name bands or genres as reference, what would you mention?
LT: We usually get associated with Tool because they’re fathers of progressive metal. But personally, I’m a fan of John Entwistle from The Who. That’s who I take inspiration from when I play bass at least, because he’s steady and he catches the most important aspects of playing bass. John Entwistle is really important to me. Other than that, I listen to a variety of music.
R!: – I was going to say that Jenny likes old school extreme metal, but now that I see your t-shirt, I see you like it too.
LT: Yes, that’s Neamhní, an Irish black metal band, you should listen to them.
JR: So now we know you both like extreme metal, so how did you first get into it?
LT: In my case, I was first interested in hard rock and 70’s progressive rock when I was a teenager. After that I just started exploring music and since I’m Norwegian, of course I started with black metal. In the beginning it was more about the things around black metal, not the music. I fell in love with the atmosphere, the darkness and the stories, but after a while of course I fell in love with the music as well. I love black metal. In fact all Norwegian bands regardless of genres are very important to me, so I have to like black metal (laughs). So I was there front row when Mayhem played in Bergen this autumn. It was really a lot of coincidences, but I think it was a friend of mine who played Mayhem to me and that’s how I got interested in the darker side of metal.
JR: I’ve been a crazy motherfucker since I was a teenager, so me and my best friend always had the same musical taste. We listened to a lot of grunge and then Tool and prog of course. That’s how I met him (Leon), because I like his old band. They played prog and I love it. But me and my best friend just got darker and darker, and when we found old school death metal, it was so extreme and brutal. That’s why we use it, I want the brutality of that in music.
LT: I actually have to say that the reason why me and Jenny know each other is actually because of a cultural exchange program between Bergen, Karmøy and Haugesund region. My old band met Jenny’s old band and that’s how we met.
JR: I knew he played prog and I wanted a prog band, so I just asked him.
R!: – Jenny, you’re able to growl as well as sing with clean vocals, so I wonder when did you start singing? Have you taken lessons or are you self taught?
JR: I’ve sung all my life. I grew up singing Norwegian folk songs, but I never went to a teacher. It’s just that I love singing since I was a kid, but I didn’t sing a lot for a few years, so I got this shitty raspy… so I kinda need to train it up again with the band, but the growling just started when I started listening to death metal because me and my friend just walked around the town and screamed (laughs). We just growled everywhere.
R!: – What are your expectations or goals for the future?
LT: I think the first goal is to release the physical vinyl, to create an album, to create the full story.
JR: We want to tour, to play as much as possible. We just wanna play because we love it. We love being on stage, seeing the fans and talking to them.
LT: So now we have the opportunity because of Espen. This is our first time in Oslo and we have to thank Espen for that.
R!: – How do you feel after your first concert in Oslo then?
JR: It was… good (laughs). It was fun.
LT: It went really great for us as a band playing together, and the audience was…
JR: The audience was awesome! Tiny metal kids doing moshpit.
Espen Forsmo: There’s always a moshpit when Jenny is around.
JR: No… (laughs)
R!: – Espen, how did you get in touch with Wrath to get them to Oslo and what’s the idea behind Brenn Alt?
EF: The idea is pretty simple. It’s about finding great stuff, great music, great people. People that are involved, people that say something through their art that corresponds with what I believe is the true word for hardcore. Hardcore is not a genre, but a feeling. It’s meaning it, it’s loving what you do and that’s why we call it Brenn Alt (Burn All). It means fuck it all, burn all, just leave everything behind and go for what you want. It’s a psychological fact that if you have the will and the thing you wanna do is clear in your mind and in your heart, you do it with your conviction and you do it better simply because you want to. So it’s very simple, we love to see bands happen and what better than to see a young band do what they wanna do? We’re just older, so we have the experience to make it happen. That’s it. That’s our position.
R!: – Thanks a lot everyone for the interview!
JR: Tusen takk!