Norwegian? Check. Metal-punk crossover noise? Check. Catchy as fuck? Check check check. Man The Machetes, we approve.
It’s a common but fairly apt cliché that heavy music can be for everyone. These days there’s seemingly no limit to the breadth of our community – wherever you’re from, if you are repping from under the umbrella of heavy music, you’re welcome. Take the story of Norwegian punk and rollers Man The Machetes as an example.
“When we came to record our album we had to decide what sort of sound we wanted,” says frontman Christopher Iversen. “Did we want to go for that typical Norwegian sound, or did we want to go for a more US-style approach? We decided to go for the latter because we are such big fans of bands like Cancer Bats and Comeback Kid. So we started looking for producers and we came across Eric Ratz, who produced both of those bands. We sent him some demos and ask if he would be interested in recording us and to our surprise and delight he said yes. So, off we went to Toronto, Canada to record our first album.”
The result of Ratz’s “totally professional” guidance is MTM debut album Idiokrati. Ten tracks of snarling old school hardcore punk with a rock ‘n’ roll edge and, crucially, that little extra something that you can’t quite place. It could be the lyrics, sung in their native Norwegian, although, according to Christopher, that’s no big deal.
“We never really thought too much about it. We talked a lot about the sound, mixing hardcore and rock with elements of pop. When it came to writing lyrics we just thought we’d do them in Norwegian because it felt natural at that moment,” He shrugs. “We just wanted to do hardcore and we wanted to do it in Norwegian. We tried to do some songs in English but it didn’t feel right, it’s just something that happened from the first rehearsal.” And it doesn’t seem to have an adverse effect on Man The Machetes, even in foreign climates that don’t speak their lingo.
“We’ve been here in the UK supporting 36 Crazyfists and the shows have been amazing, a sold out show in this great country,” Says Christopher. “We were used to speaking to people onstage in Norwegian and this was quite a different experience for us. To be so far from home and to have such a reaction was incredible, we hope we will repeat it many times in the future.” From Olso, inspired by the US, via Canada and into your ears, it’s not where you’re from that matters. It’s where you’re at. And, if there’s any justice, Man The Machetes will soon be everywhere.
Idiokrati is out now via Indie
Interview by Stephen Hill