The all girl group Razika hail for Norway and are finally getting an official release for their album Program 91 in Australia this month thanks to Fuse. We talk about the album, Norway, Australia, touring, missing their boyfriends (yes, it seems like they are all taken...) and much more...
We're here to talk about Program 91 finally being released in Australia - but this is quite a while after it was first released. It must feel like you've been talking about it forever! How long has it been since you started working on the songs?
We started recording Program 91 early 2010. We were having our last semester at highschool, so the recordings were done in the weekends. It was a slow process, but it felt right not to be rushing. We finished recording in November 2010. The songs on Program 91 kind of sums up what we had been doing since we started the band in august 2007. The last track on the album, "Walk in the Park", actually were one of the first songs we wrote. And some of the songs like "Vondt i Hjertet" and "Eg vetsje" we started working on during the recordings.
Since then it's slowly made its way around the world... Has the reaction of people to the record surprised you at all?
Yes, of course. Especially when 50% of the record is sung in Norwegian. We would never dream of touring in US or Japan! It is very overwhelming, and I think people here in Norway are surprised too that that little records makes its way around in the world. We feel very privileged to have fans in so many different places in the world.
If you could sum up the album in one sentence, how would you describe it?
I would like to quote our Rough trade review : “Few bands can make you instantly recall your favorite summer. Your first kiss. The first time you snuck out of the house”. Ok, that was three sentences, but we felt that was a very good sum up for the album. It is an album about youth.
Have you been to Australia before? What have you heard about the music scene in Australia?
None of us have! I actually wrote a school assignment on Australia at primary school. Draw my own kangaroos and printed out pictures of Ayers Rock and Sidney Opera house. Seems like a very interesting country! We don’t know too much about the musicscene, but we just loved Wolfmother! We actually did a cover of Dimension back in 2007 and you bassist just saw them play at a small festival in the north of Norway.
You've spent so long looking back over the last years, let's look forward... I understand you've been working on a second album? How has it been coming along?
Right now we are having a vacation (It is summer in Norway right now). But we are practicing a lot and working on new songs. It is so much fun playing something else than Program 91! Were going back to studio again in September working with a new producer and that is going to be very exiting.
How has the process of writing music changed for you between albums?
Not very much. We have two songwriters in the band, both the vocalist and the guitarist. So we bring our new ideas to rehearsal and the rest of the work we do together. It is very social working on new songs together, we have a lot of fun trying out different things.
When might we expect to hear the new material?
Maybe early 2013? We hope so! We just have to start recording!
You have said that when you first played music together you had no idea what you were doing, and learnt together. Do you find that you're still learning?
Yes. We still have to practice a lot. We have never been the most technical skilled musicians here in Norway but that has never been our goal. Of course we want to be good musicians but Razika is more the collaboration of four girls who wants to make good music and wants to be good friends as well. It has been important for us not to make this a job, but try to hold on to the fun and social side of playing in band. We have a lot of fun together J
What has been the best thing about playing live and touring?
Seeing so many fantastic places and countries! We have been to so many different places we would never have gone to if it wasn’t for the band. And we meet so many nice people, and it is so cool meeting fans all over the world! We feel very privileged that we get to travel so much.
...and the worst?
Some of us tend to get a bit homesick. We all have boyfriends and when you are two weeks on tour you start missing them. And of course the travelling, driving, taking planes, stressing. That can be a bit boring. The shows are always the most fun part of the touring!
...do you think you'll be making it down to Australia anytime soon?
We really hope so! We are signed to the Australian label Popfrency, so it’s definitely not impossible that we’re coming down sometime soon. It is so cool and exiting that our record is being released in Australia! And I actually have an aunt who is moving there in August, and she would be very happy to have us playing there!
If Australians were to come to Norway, what would you recommend we do?
Go to Bergen, see this beautiful city. It is a very special mixture of medival culture and early 1900s architecture. Norway is a very beautiful country with a lot of great scenery. But you should not come in the winter (from October to February) it gets very cold here, and I don’t think you Aussies would handle that! (hehe)
...what would you recommend we don't do?
Go to Oslo. It not half as beautiful and cool as Bergen !
Thanks for your time!
Program 91 is released in Australia later this month by Norwegian label Smalltown Supersound and distributed locally by Fuse.