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Poised to hit the road as main support to Enslaved on their Norwegian tour this autumn, Tiebreaker are the latest (and possibly greatest) band to breathe new life into the classic '70s hard rock formula, as showcased in this exclusive studio performance of live favourite Nicotine. We spoke with guitarist Eirik Wik Haug about giving the past a fresh lick of paint and how the band's future is looking pretty damn bright as a result...
There are countless young bands peddling the 'classic rock' sound at the moment, so what sets you guys apart?
“We play an explosive mix of classic rock and stoner with occasional folk- and blues-elements. What sets us apart for other classic rock bands? Well, our goal has never been to sound like a traditional classic rock band. We just play whatever feels good and go with it. I think that makes us a tad more interesting than some bands, especially live, because that allows us to go completely nuts, without having to worry about fitting into a 'classic rock' frame. That’s what set the most creative bands apart back in the day, like Zeppelin or Hendrix, they were never afraid to explore new musical ground, and that’s what we think is important to learn from them.”
**Why do you think this kind of music has experienced such a big surge in popularity recently?
**“I think those things are cyclical, at least in the independent-segment. Every new wave of music comes as a reaction of the previous one, and right now I think people are growing tired of some of the stuff that has been dominating for a while. Also, the internet and the digital market allows smaller bands to promote themselves to basically anywhere in the world.
Tell us about Nicotine…
**“Nicotine was a song we wrote a few years back when we started writing for our first album. The song is a straight-up, high-octane rock 'n' roll song. Sometimes you just have to say ‘Fuck it!’ and do whatever you want, and that’s pretty much how we felt when we wrote it. The song ends in a pretty doomy stoner riff to top the whole thing off. It’s definitely one of our personal favourites on our record, and always a thrill to play live.”
**What can we expect from a Tiebreaker live show?
**“Expect a high energy performance, stage moves, dancing and a lot of passion. We’ve built a pretty decent reputation in Norway as a high energy live band, and we always give everything at our shows. The music is written live at our rehearsal space, so naturally it fits best in a live setting.”
**You’re about to tour Norway with the mighty Enslaved… do you share any common musical ground?
**“Well, we are not exactly an extreme metal band, but I think it’ll be a blast! We have been listening to them for some time, and they’ve done some crazy stuff. Also their new record, In Times, is great. As for common musical ground, I think we share quite a few references in classical prog rock, at least with regard to their recent albums.”
**What hopes and plans do you have for the next 12 months?
**“We are re-releasing our first album in Europe and the US through Karisma Records this fall, and we have started writing for our second album. Also, we’ve got the Enslaved supporting tour coming up, and we’ll be on the road a lot next year too. As for hopes and goals, recording great albums, playing as much as we can and eventually making a living out of it is what we all want. Touring the world some time in the future would be pretty damn cool too. Who knows?”