After a 4-year hiatus, Triosphere has returned with the best album of their career so far. We’ve chosen “The Heart of the Matter” as the Best Album of November here on Grande Rock. We also had a chat with the singer and bassist Ida Haukland about the new album, the music, the band and lots of other things…
Triosphere band pic

Hi Ida… you’re back with your new album “The Heart of the Matter” after 4 years. I think this is your best album to date!
I: Thank you so very much! Like you say, it’s been 4 years since our last album, and just like on our two previous ones, we’ve put a tremendous amount of work into “THOTM” so it’s really fantastic to receive such wonderful feedback!
So, what happened during those four years between “The Road Less Travelled” and the new album?
I: Well, first of all we spent some time promoting “TRLT” and the band; we did 3 European tours with Kamelot, Sonata Arctica and Crimson Glory, big festivals like Wacken and Metal Female Voices Fest, and a lot of other cool festivals and concerts. Marius begun working on new material shortly after the release of “TRLT”, but I would say that it was not until 2012-ish that we started fully focusing on the new album. So it’s been 4 eventful years, rich in experiences.
Do you think it was necessary to take your time in order to come up with the best ideas for the new album? Sometimes more than a 2 year hiatus works for some bands and other times not…
I: Hehe, well with everything that’s been happening the last years we at least needed this amount of time to make an album we were proud of and felt contained “all killers and no fillers”, hehe. It might take much less time on the next one, but one thing is for sure: We will never release and album until we are happy with each and every song. Quality over quantity, if you know what I mean.
In your own words, what is the “The Heart of the Matter”? What does the album title declare?
I: As this album begun to take shape, we really felt that it represented the essence of Triosphere. The arrangements and general structure have been cut more straight to the point, to the “heart of the matter”, and in that way the title refers to that the music on the album now is at the core of us.
In reference to the lyrics I can say that each lyric is an independent story, but they are all connected by one common theme that I see as at the heart of the matter in every one’s life; love. Love as the immensely powerful emotion that so often takes control of our decisions and direction in life, how it can both drive us and delude us, save us and destroy us etc. So the album title refers to both the music and the lyrics on the album.

I’d like you to comment on each track…
I: Oh wow… that’s no easy task since there is so much one could say…

“My Fortress”: A thrashy song with a great, epic chorus and amazing solo-section. A story about waking up and questioning whether or not the fortress you’ve built around you have been protecting you from the outside, or kept you in such ignorant bliss that everything around you now have fallen apart.
“Steal Away the Light”: A heavy 7-stringed guitar track with more bite, and solo-section with “big wings”. A story about escaping by the grace of darkness, protecting something you believe in with all your might, a conviction and strength you did not even know you had, but that must remain hidden.
“The Sentinel”: A really powerful track that I think is very Triosphere-esque, hehe, and an amazing guest appearance on 2nd guitar solo by Simone Mularoni of DGM. A story about how a strong ambition can become your own blinding darkness and that your trusted sentinel – guardian – might become out of reach.
“Breathless”: This one is a bit difficult to explain. A mid-tempo, powerful yet fragile song. The sound is a mix of metal, rock and even a bluesy touch. Very emotional with a strong story that I won’t say anything about since I know many have their own interpretation of it already that I like them to keep.
“Departure”: The first of the more progressive songs on the album with really strong melodies and a captivating solo-section. Many reviewers have pointed out the excellent guitar-work on this one! And the story is a continuation of “Death of Jane Doe” from |TRLT|, a kind of an epilogue/eulogy with a message to always stay true to yourself.
“The Heart’s Dominion”: Now this is the most epic and big songs on the album, at least in my opinion! For the first time we’ve recorded an epic choir to really set the atmosphere of the story, a super catchy chorus, and a really big, big solo-section filled with great guitar-work and strings. This story is a hurtful one, and in short it’s about accepting the past and moving on.
“As I Call”: This one has been called the more power metal-esque songs on the album, and has a really strong melody. A fast song with a blistering guitar-solo, and a story about realizing that the only one who can make a difference in your life is yourself!
“Relentless”: The fastest and in many ways the heaviest song on the album. A really “pick me up” song with a catchy chorus, and super cool solo section where the absolutely excellent guitarist and friend of ours Jørn Viggo Lofstad of Pagan’s Mind is playing the guitar solo. A story about being relentless in your fight for what you believe in, through “fire and ice”.
“The Sphere”: This is one of my favorites with a really cool mix of prog, classic metal and rock, and a really big choir in the chorus and absolutely beautiful guitar solo. A story about always finding the answers within yourself, your inner sphere where every heartbeat contains the answer, but do you know the question?
“Remedy”: This is actually also one of my favorites, but the songs that differs the most from the rest of album. This is still very much Triosphere, but definitely a rock/AOR song with a guitar-solo really worth checking out! The story here is more straight forward and not as cryptic as many of my other lyrics, so just read it, hehe.
“Storyteller”: Perhaps the most progressive song on the album, really fun to play, and fantastic guitar-solos by both the guys! A story about knowing your reality, but asking for an alternative storyline to escape for just a while.
“Virgin Ground”: The most stripped down song ever from Triosphere. Only clean guitar, strings and a quiet vocal to round off the journey through “THOTM”. This is a very special story that I think I’ve re-written about 10 times to get just right, but I leave it to the listener to interpret it.
Which were the reasons that led to Ørjan’s leaving the band and how did you come up with the new substitute Kenneth Tårneby?
I: Well, Ørjan is of course the best one to answer that, but the simple answer must be that we’ve had Triosphere for almost 10 years now, and a lot happens in a person’s life during so many years. There is a time and place for everything, and for Ørjan the time to devote yourself to a band was over, and the time for a wife and family had come instead. No hard feelings, we had been needing to use substitute drummers on tours and most of the gigs since 2011 so we weren’t caught by surprise when he told us that the time had come to take a permanent leave from the band, but we were of course really sad to lose him.
We tried out several great drummers from both Norway and abroad without finding “the one” with the right set of technical and social skills, because we weren’t only looking for a new drummer, but a kind of family member. We had almost left hope in finding the perfect guy when we received a video audition from Kenneth. It sounded so promising that we flew him up to Trondheim to hear and feel what he was like to play with and get along with, and I have to say; we were shocked how perfect he was! His drumming skills are outstanding, and we just felt like we’ve known each other for years! The transition could not have gone better, and we really feel that we’re finally back on track and sounding better than in years!

The album was mixed & mastered by no other than the renowned Jens Bogren… but also Marius and you produced it. I believe that you (and the other guys) have your own vision about the band’s sound and in order to achieve the best result, you like having the final word. Isn’t it so? By the way, the production is exceptional in every part.
I: Thanx! We’re really happy with it too! Marius and I produce, and mainly record and engineer the albums, so we have pretty much full control on everything. Marius had been thinking about using Jens Bogren since 2010 for the mix and master of the album, and we feel that he managed to give “THOTM” just the right modern and tight sound that we had believed he would! So we are very happy with that, and can absolutely recommend any kind of band to go to Fascination Street.
There are a bunch of guest musicals that are participating in the new album too. Jørn Viggo Lofstad (Pagan’s Mind), Chris Pettersen, Espen Warankov Godø & Simone Mularoni. Can you tell us a bit about each person’s participation?
I: I’ve mentioned Jørn Viggo and Simone on the comment for “Relentless” and “The Sentinel”, and the reason we asked them to guest appear with a guitar solo is simply that we love their style and thought they could make a perfect solo for that particular song they appear on. When it comes to Chris (orchestration and strings) and Espen (keyboards, piano and mellotron) they also participated on TRLT so it was natural for us to ask them to contribute again since they are fantastic musicians who really understood what we wanted! They have made small sections for specific parts of a song that emphasize either the melody or the atmosphere. In short, their contributions give the overall sound that little something extra.
Apart from the lyric videos do you also work on an “official video” and if yes for which track?
I: There will be an official video for sure, but it’s a big question about money to make that happen so we don’t have it sorted out yet. And which track… hmmm… good question. We’ll just have to see when the time comes, hehe.
It’s already been a decade of your existence and this is your third work. How would you describe these years in terms of progression and do you believe that this album can help you make an opening to a bigger audience as well?
I: Well, it’s been very exciting years, rich in experience. You learn so tremendously much from touring and meeting other professional artists, from recording and producing etc etc. To sum it up briefly; I feel that we have improved and developed as musicians and songwriters for each record, and that this record is even more melodic and catchy, and consequently perhaps more accessible to a bigger audience. We certainly hope we’ll reach out to even more listeners, next year will tell…
I know that musicians do not usually want to put tags on their music… but how would you characterize Triosphere’s music to someone that has never heard of the band before?
I: Haha, oh man… you know, I just usually call us melodic heavy metal, but that again can be a thousand things. Maybe saying catchy melodic metal with a modern twist, progressive turns and a thrashy edge covers it better. Our label manager has always said that our music has something uniquely honest in it that he rarely hears in other bands, so that might be something to mention too.
Triosphere band pic
What are the band’s future tour plans? Any live appearances in your homeland or in Europe too?
I: We definitely hope to tour Europe and other continents in 2015/2016, but nothing is scheduled yet. So far we have confirmed our release party in our home town Trondheim the 17th of January, the awesome 70.000 Tons of Metal sailing from Florida to Jamaica, and then two Norwegian festivals in 2015.
What are the band’s long-term plans and what do you wish to achieve with Triosphere?
I: I want Triosphere to come in a position where we can go on really big tours, headline tours of our own, tour all continents, do all the big summer festivals, and finally – my ultimate goal – play at Wembley. But you have to take one step at a time, and we’re already having great fun!
Time for our “weird questions”!!! Tell us, how did you come up with the name Triosphere and who thought of it?
I: The name was Marius’ idea, and it represents the core/sphere of all creativity, the state of mind you enter when the music fills you and comes into shape through your guitar, bass, voice or whatever your instrument is.
Is it hard to exist in a male dominated music scene like the metal one, or do you think that over the years women have found their way and have become rather essential to the metal music?
I: In the beginning I really had to prove myself, but I’ve been in the metal scene since I was 16 years old so the only times I give this question any thought nowadays is when it appears in interviews, haha. My general opinion is that if you want something with your music there is a natural place for you in any music scene, and gender has nothing to do with it. If your heart’s not in it, then you won’t be taken seriously whether you’re a girl or a guy.
How do “normal people” (the one who wear suits) react when they ask you what you do for a living and the answer is “I’m the vocalist & bassist on a metal band!?
I: Hehe, I really wish I could say that, but the truth is that we all have full-time jobs to make a living beside the band, but all our co-workers thinks it’s really cool that we have such an ambitious and successful metal band!
What do you think about this “Views, tweets & Likes” mania of our time?
I: It certainly makes a tremendous impact on the relationship between artist and audience. The good side is that you have a very powerful tool to make people around the world talk about you and promote your work. The bad side is that if you’re a bit on the lazy side with “keeping up appearance” on social medias, people will forget about you. We live in a time of informational ADD, so to speak.
Top 3 female singers of all time…
I: Oh wow… I’m sure every one’s expecting me to name metal singers now, but for me I think the most impressive female singers would have to be Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald and Whitney Houston because they all have a unique ability to make the listener feel something.
Best 3 metal (of any genre) albums of all time?
I: This is really an impossible question, but OK, again for me the top 3 albums will be; Ayreon “Into the Electric Castle”, Emperor “Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk” and Whitesnake “1987”.
Which are the top 3 sci-fi movies and books according to you?
I: OK, that’s easy: Star Wars IV-VI! And I have not read any sci-fi books.
Can reality surpass sci-fi or not?
I: Erm…
What is that “element” which makes rock/metal music dominate over all other music styles?
I: I’m not sure I would say that rock/metal necessarily dominate over all other music styles. In my opinion, good music is good music regardless of genre.
Which track can describe today’s situation perfectly?
I: “The World is a Vampyre” by The Smashing Pumpkins.
What’s the worst thing you can say right after sex?
I: What the hell…
Which character from the “Game of Thrones” would you have been – if you lived in the Seven Kingdoms?
I: Ehm… I’ve never watched that series so can’t answer that.
Which of the Seven Deadly Sins do you reckon is the one, that’s more likely to send you straight to Hell, in the afterlife?
I: I don’t believe I personally am a big sinner on either of the 7, but in general I consider Sloth as one of the worst.
That’s all for now Ida. It was nice having you on Grande Rock. Wish you the best for the future. Any last words before we close? Thx for the music… take care!
I: Thank you very much for promoting Triosphere! We really hope all your listeners will take the chance and check us out, and come to our show next time we come to a stage near you! The very best wishes for the Christmas holidays and an awesome new year from all of us!