After a multi year hiatus, Norwegian Christian metal group Extol decided that last year the time was right for the band to reform and produce new music again. Rocksins were lucky enough to catch up with Extol founding member and vocalist Peter Espevoll for a conversation about life with Extol as a functioning musical entity once again.
What was your main motivation for getting the band back together after the long hiatus?
The main motivation was to once again make as good music as possible, hopefully with a fresh angle since it had been some years since last time we collaborated musically.
Is the atmosphere in the band now healthier than it was when you took the hiatus?
I would say the atmosphere has been very relaxed and healthy during the whole process of writing and producing this album. The reason for the hiatus was obviously the need for a hiatus, so in that sense there is probably a better feel to how things are as of now.
Peter (Espevoll) suffers from tinnitus which has an impact on your ability to play live shows, but are there any current plans to attempt any touring?
We have had several offers to go on tour, but as you point out Peter has a serious issue with tinnitus, so we have no plans of touring in the future, however we might look at the possibility of doing a few live shows. We will just have to wait and see what we will be able to do.
Would you class this as a permanent reunion? Will the band continue to make more music now that the self titled album has been released?
I think we all agree that we take one step at a time, meaning there is absolutely a chance of us doing more in the future, at the same time we’re not bound to anything.
With your new album, were there any particular themes you covered that you’d previously wanted to cover but were not able to in the past (for whatever reason)?
If you are thinking lyric wise I think that David and Peter (as they have written most of the lyrics) have always tried to portray whatever experiences they have through a faith based life with ups and downs as human beings, and I don’t suppose that has changed since last time we were around.
Do you find your faith and beliefs are the strongest inspiration for the band when writing lyrics or just one of a number of inspirations / places to get ideas from?
I definitely think that it is the main motivation for what we do both musically and lyrically.
Your newest (self titled) album has been released through Indie Records. Are you happy with the relationship the band has had with the label so far?
Absolutely, they seem genuinely interested in what we have done with the album and we are very happy with that.
As a band known for your faith, have you had to deal with any negative experiences from other musicians (and other extreme metal bands in particular) because of your beliefs?
Yes there have been some incidents with other people that haven’t shared our view, but I would have to say that this has never really shocked us in any way as we realize that we in many ways are a minority inside the world of metal.
As your fans will (probably) be aware, there’s been a documentary about the band (Of Light and Shade) in the works for awhile. Can you tell us anything in particular about it, and if there is a confirmed release date for it?
I know of no confirmed release date, there is talk about sometime during this fall, but that remains to be seen. The film will cover the whole story of Extol from the very beginning to this present day. The production team behind the film is called Animidas, and Peter from Extol is a part of the team. Other than that I don’t know too much unfortunately, but I am very much looking forward to it!
To finish things off, aside from your own new album, is there any music, Christian themed or otherwise, that you would recommend to our readers?
Personally I’m a big fan of Donald Fagen so I’ll probably go for his latest album Sunken Condos. But that’s just me..
Anyone who wants to keep up-to-date with Peter can follow him on Twitter at @PeterEspevoll. A review of Extol’s self titled comeback album “Extol” can be read right here on Rocksins.