With domestic sales in excess of 70 000 copies since the late February launch of Madrugada’s fourth album, ‘The Deep End’, it is a confident and eager band that heads out on an Extensive European tour in May. With gigs in Sweden, Denmark, Germany, France, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, Holland, Luxembourg and Greece, Madrugada are set to reach out to the band’s loyal following, a following that has been built up the old-fashioned way over the last five years; non-stop touring and world-class performances in Europe as well as the US. Madrugada enjoy particularly strong followings in Germany and Greece but other territories have also opened up, resulting in healthy sales and a loyal audience.
The domestic reception of ‘The Deep End’ has been formidable with rave reviews and subsequently massive sales. The band is now gearing up for a hectic European campaign following the release of ‘The Deep End’ on the European market in late April through EMI/Virgin.
New personnel has also been recruited following former drummer Simen Vangen’s departure. Erland Dahlen (of Xploding Plastix fame) will sit in the drum chair during the ongoing domestic as well as the upcoming European tour. States the band members on the upcoming tour and the new drummer on the official Madrugada site: “We are in the final stages of preparing for some serious touring. We have the Norwegian tour starting tomorrow, and we are happy to have the fantastic Erland Dahlen on the road with us behind the drums in April, and Fredrik Viklund joining us as a jack-of-all-trades on guitar, keys, whatever we find for him. Fredrik was out on the road with Sivert & The Opposition last year and it's great he's able to come out with us.”
The Deep End
The band members have all their own opinion on the meaning of the new album’s title. Says vocalist Sivert Høyem: “It’s about the feeling of not being in control, the sinking feeling, the deep end of the swimming pool.” Guitarist Robert Burås has a different take: “It’s got this classic ring to it” is his answer, while bass player Frode Jacobsen says: “When you hear that title, a lot of word associations come to mind. It works on many levels. You get to a stage in life when it’s time to learn how to swim.”
The tight-knitted collective have come a long way since the band first got together in Stokmarknes in Northern Norway in the early nineties. The band relocated to Oslo in 1995, gigged relentlessly all over town and subsequently landed a deal with Virgin in 1999. The band’s debut ‘Industrial Silence’ catapulted Madrugada into the mainstream with platinum sales and sold out tours in Norway. The band managed the transition to the international stage well and has built up a loyal following in Europe and a steadily growing audience in the US. Madrugada have sold in excess of 400 000 copies of their three previous albums, have toured extensively across Europe, UK and US and scored a major hit with the Majesty single from 2002’s ‘Grit’ album.
Madrugada’s new ‘The Deep End’ album has been recorded over two months in Los Angeles with famed producer Geroge Drakoulias (known for his contributions to Tom Petty, The Black Crowes, The Jayhawks, Ride and Primal Scream productions) and mixer/engineer Dave Bianco (U2, Throwing Muses, Johnny Cash and Mick Jagger).
Says bass player Frode Jacobsen on working with Drakoulias: “We worked at Sound City where many brilliant albums like Nirvana’s Nevermind have been recorded. It’s Dave Grohl’s favourite studio to record drums in. George brought 20 electric guitars, eight different bass guitars, great old amplifiers from the fifties,” he enthuses. “We really had a chance to try out all those different sounds. He’s very complete as a producer, he’s a musician himself. With David, they were really a good team, they’d worked on Primal Scream’s Give Out But Don’t Give Up together.” Indeed, Subterranean Sunlight, one of the pivotal tracks on Madrugada’s new album, suddenly shifts from Burås’ twangy guitar into the realms of what Høyem calls “soul swagger. It’s one of the songs that George and Dave influenced the most.” All three musicians agree, “Subterranean has a bit of that Manchester groove thing going. Stones Roses, Happy Mondays. It’s a cool story, about a bad party in Oslo.”
Fittingly, the group, whose brooding music could be the soundtrack for a film Lynch has yet to make, worked with the American director’s composer of choice Angelo Badalamenti on the ominously beautiful track Hold On To You. “That was fantastic because, to us, he is like the Holy Grail of film music. The Twin Peaks soundtrack is amazing and we used to go up on Mulholland Drive while we were recording in L.A. It just worked so perfectly,” says front-man Høyem.
Additional tourdates are expected to follow and they will be added subsequently to MIC’s calendar.