1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording of the new album?
The process of making Solitary IV was hard work and at the same time incredible inspiring. The Soundbyte went straight from recording to work on new material and ideas. The recording of the new album generated both new musical ideas as well as ways of working with sound. It generated so much material to dive into and explore further. So we will back in studio in June rehearsing like we have done more or less continuous for almost three decades.
2.You have a new album coming out during the end of June, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
Solitary IV presents a variety of different soundscapes. Like the previous albums it has many layers. Listeners may find that Solitary IV stands out as even darker and more like an introspection, a dystopia than the previous albums. This album becomes visual, drawing on contrasts between a light etheric expression and a massive dark sound. The album does not fit into a defined style, it has become more of an expression in its own right. Still it draws on different inspirational sources the listeners will notice. There are traces of metal and even Norwegian folk music in the music. The record demand something of the listener – some tracks hits immediately, other tracks takes more time. It is a sort of record you can listen to many times, and always find something new.
3.The band has been around since 1998 but have only released 4 full lengths, can you tell us a little bit more about the gap in between releases?
The gap between the albums is a result of exploring and developing musical technological tools to create music. Developing it for our use has taken a lot of time. To integrate it as a tool, an extension of the instruments we play has taken even longer. All albums are a step further –the band can be seen upon like a research project where we explore different aspects from record to record. We never do new thing just to do it but learn it, practice it so it is a integral part of the sound and performance – like learning a new instrument every time.
4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
We have not worked with lyrics on the two last albums. There are no text or lyrics on Solitary IV. The vocal is the result of an atmosphere created in the process. The vocal is improvised both in the rehearsing and recording settings. The intention behind that is to use the vocal as a part of the instrumentation, enabling the voice to take more and different roles by using effects, foreground, background and so on. We think the listener still would find lyrical meaning within the tracks through the expressions of the human voice. City of Glass was built upon lyrics by the Norwegian artist Paul Irgens, Rivers of broken Glass had lyrics – the last two albums we have explored without, but still with vocal.
5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'The Soundbyte'?
The Soundbyte refers to both the technological in soundbyte. It's a short phrase of a statement as it pictures the way we expand how music can be approached.
6.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
We play at different scenes and places. All the concerts are unique whether it is a small and more intimate concert or at a major arena. It is almost impossible to pick one performance and say that this was the best; the contact with the audience makes all these settings unique and satisfying. One of the really fine aspects of doing concerts is that we get to visit different places around the world and communicate through music.
7.Do you have any touring or show plans once the new album is released?
We are working on new material, and are planning concerts and tours from January 2018. Doing (smaller) concerts before that time is not impossible, but not a main focus right now. Though some concerts we have been asked to do might be hard to say no to.
8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of Avant-garde metal?
The feedback has been overwhelming. It feels especially good to see that so many listeners embrace the music. The feedback we receive is from fans that comes from all sorts of different genres.
9.where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
We are exploring music and create in our own style. We definitely push ourselves forward. We do not try to make the concept beforehand; all guest musicians contributing into the band also push us out of a predictable way of working. The ground base though will still consist of drums and guitar.
10.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
I am not sure if it is only music that is our main source of inspiration. We grew up with metal and rock music, and of course we cannot underestimate what that meant to us. At the same time we grew up in and still live in a nature and surroundings that influence the way we form our lives and music. Grounded and torn at the same time.
11.What are some of your non-musical interests?
I like to be in activity or learning something new. That is relaxation to me. Skiing (down hill) is a relaxing activity. So is reading. I find pleasure in all kinds of art, as well as science.
12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Thanks for the interview, and hope you enjoy the album Solitary IV. All the best Trond