(^^New photo by Cindy Frey^^)
Band Members: Ronny Thorsen − (Vocals), Cathrine Paulsen − (Soprano vocals), Bjørn Erik Næss − (Guitars), Endre Moe − (Bass guitar), Cato Jensen − (Drums)
Origin Country: Norway
Bloodstained Endurance (2009)
Free Fall into Fear (2005)
A New Dimension of Might (2002)
Disclosure in Red (1998)
When Silence Cries... (1997 Demo)
Natt (1996 Band Demo)
1. Trail of Tears are back with the new album Existentia. Congratulations on a great new record! Tell us about the writing process on this album.
Thank you! The writing process took about a year to complete and we worked more or less the same way as we have always done, most of the songs are results of individual ideas recorded at home and worked upon collectively by the whole band. Over the years we have been fortunate enough to obtain decent recording equipment which of course makes it much easier to record music and ideas as they appear.
2. Was there anything on this album you wanted to try that you have never tried before?
I wouldn't say that there were things that we have never done before but in true Trail of Tears tradition it was important for us to approach the whole process in a slightly different way. I would rather say that we have tried to perfect the best elements instead of changing them or replace them and I think we managed to do that in a good way this time. We have taken the best elements from all our albums and tried to melt those together into a strong and natural sounding unit.
3. Obviously, Trail of Tears has replaced certain members. How is the new lineup working out?
It is progressing nicely, the line-up isn't completely finished yet but most of the positions are already filled and rehearsals have just started. It was important for me and still is to take the necessary time in order to find the right people. I don`t want this to be a band consisting of session members, I want people on board who can and will dedicate themselves to this in the long run so in that sense it is important to not only choose the first and easiest options.
4. We see the return of Catherine Paulsen, how is it working with her again?
It is really great to have Cathrine back! After the other members decision to leave I felt that it was natural to contact Cathrine again, if not for a co-operation than at least to talk things out. Even though there were no hard feelings when she left I always felt that the situation and the whole circumstances around her departure could have been handled in a better way and it turned out that she was more than willing to rejoin the band. She is a fantastic singer and a great addition to any band so obviously it was a very nice surprise that she expressed a wish to join the fold again!
5. What would you say is the biggest difference between the new album and "Free Fall into Fear"?
It is a different album in many aspects. I would say that “Existentia” is first and foremost a more melodic as well as symphonic album. It holds a very strong identity compared to the previous one which turned out a bit unfocused due to the length of the recording and all the technical problems that we faced in the studio. This time everything ran smoothly in the studio and it was just a much more creative and focused experience. Seeing that we traveled to France this time we had the luxury of putting all our other aspects of life on hold for six weeks and only concentrate 100% on doing the best album possible. I think the album has a bunch of strong songs and a clear red line regarding structure and atmosphere, it sounds like a great mix of old and new Trail of Tears to me.
6. Are there any songs from Existentia that you are particularly proud of?
It was important for us that all the songs were strong enough to stand on their own while at the same time working together as a collective unit. So I think it is a very even album without any weak links. My favorite tracks have changed quite a bit but I would have to mention the opener “Deceptive Mirrors” as well as “Decadence Becomes Me” and “As it Penetrates” as my favorites at the moment.
7. How was the experience working with producer Terje Refnes?
Well it basically was a dream recording this time! We had worked with Terje earlier on the “A New Dimension of Might” album back in 2002 and I had also been there a year earlier doing vocals for Tristania`s “World of Glass”. He is in many ways the perfect producer for us and I can`t see myself going any other place for the next album either. He is a tough dude and brutally honest but he just has this ability to get the best out of everyone and I always feel comfortable in his company unlike a lot of other people who can`t take criticism. It is all about making the best album possible and in order to do that you must sometimes accept the fact that what you do suck and that it needs to be changed. So for me Terje is Trail of Tears producer and that`s how I want it to be in the future as well.
8. So when are we going to see Trail of Tears on the tour circuit?
The first scheduled appearance now will be at the Sweden Rock Festival in June. Several other festivals have been booked as well and will be announced as soon as the festivals themselves let us. A European tour is in the works for the Fall as well as a North American tour is planned for September.
9. Are there any plans to play in North America?
Three weeks in September is what we are aiming for now. The tour is already being booked and I hope that we can get some attractive jobs included there. I am very curious about the US and Canada and don`t really know what to expect having heard so many different stories from people and bands who have been touring there in the past. The fact is though that we have released five albums and we clearly have fans over there so I just think it`s about time. We don`t expect miracles but I hope we will avoid the “playing in small bars for 15 people and get paid in gas and love” kind of tour hehe..
10. What does Trail of Tears mean to you on a personal level?
That is a pretty huge question that I could rant on and on about for hours I guess. Ultimately what you can say is that the band is my life, it has shaped me into the person that I am today and at this point in my life there is no way that I am going to give it up. In five years I might look upon it completely different but as for now this is what I need to do.
11. What are you most looking forward to in 2007?
To get the new line-up finalized and hit the road so that we can start promoting this album the way it should, and needs, to be promoted. Touring is and always has been the most important aspect for me and I want to make this band much more active in that field. We have always had lots of offers but because of other members priorities this has been difficult at times but with the new line-up we will have a much better foundation for making Trail of Tears a touring band in much bigger scale than before.
12. How much does Ronny Thorsen love beer..lol ?
Hehe…rumors travel fast I see! Beer is the elixir of life and happiness and thus a very important part of life.