With their rise to international stardom Turbonegro has become an increasingly enigmatic and secretive band whose current affairs are always a matter of much speculation. -And never more than when a new album is just round the corner. Bits of news have been issued from the recording sessions –which have included former QOTSA bassist Nick Oliveri- and some song titles have been unveiled. Titles such as “Stroke the shaft” “We’re gonna drop the atomic bomb” and “Welcome to the garbage dump” indicate a band up to form, at least in terms of attitude. The one song that has been made available for mobile pone downloads in Norway, “Do you do you dig destruction”, is familiar Turbonegro material and will surely please the armies of dedicated fans -the Turbojugend- even if it has received a somewhat bored reception in domestic media. Because the Turbonegro formula of massive, glitzy guitars, frantic and simple gang-bang melodies and obscene words was never meant as a contribution to music on the premise of sophistication, innovation or artistic content. The idea was always to create fuel for a kind of party-escapism that can be likened to a vast ship of fools with a bedevilled captain; like an Ahab, not after the white whale, but out to invoke the party potency of platitudes and mock debauchery.
This ship has become an exceedingly big Noah’s ark, with representatives from every city and town across the whole world it seems. Turbonegro is probably unprecedented in terms of the number of dedicated fan clubs, and the sheer magnitude of this phenomenon is truly astonishing. More than anything it indicates the power and lure of the fan-institution, i.e. the complete package of symbols, clothes, lingo, attitude, habits etc that surround the actual content of the entity of admiration. -It is no different than from a football club: People bored with the actual game will embrace the institution of being a fan, and readily dedicate all their spare time to something whose essence is fairly indifferent to them. Turbonegro have managed this; to make accountants and housewives carry the band iconography as symbolism of their own freedom, a freedom manifest in their adherence to an entity void of any serious or genuine content at all. Turbonegro is a pure construct, and an ingenious one; filling more seats than any “authentic” Norwegian artist.
On July 10th the band fill perform in front of thirty-five-thousand people as they warm up for Metallica, when the biggest hard rock band in the world plays in Oslo. It will not be the largest crowd Turbonegro has beheld, but it will probably be the most dedicated –a pure rock congregation- and this makes it something truly special for the Oslo band. And for Turbonegro it is a piece of unsurpassable pr regarding their new album, which will be in stores just about a month prior to the Metallica gig. Before that, from May 4th, Turbonegro will be out on a tour of Europe and Norway which will carry on almost to the end of June. And one week before the Metallica show they will also play the opening day the Quart festival in Kristiansand. sd
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