by John Kindred
– Publisher –
Hot on the heels of his departure from Jorn, Tore St Moren gives Hardrock Haven the inside scoop on his leaving the band and his future plans.
Hardrock Haven: Tore thanks for taking time out for Hardrock Haven.
Tore St Moren: Thank you – the pleasure is all mine.
Hardrock Haven: Let’s start off with your recent departure from JORN. This is big news as you have been partnered with Jorn for many years now. What led yourself and Nic Angileri to leave the band?
Tore St Moren: You´re right, it has been quite a few years. I´ve been in the band all the way since the beginning back in ´99 except for a couple of years after the Worldchanger album, when I left and Jorn Viggo Lofstad joined the band to record Out To Every Nation – the only JORN album I´m not on. There were different reasons to leave the band. I´ve wanted to play more melodic and perhaps less gloomy music for some years, while other members of the band have wanted to be darker, heavier and slower. Some of the tracks on the new album were going in the right direction, but I think they should be played live as well. There has also been a lot of bad chemistry between some of us for quite some time, both in the band and in the organization around it, which made it impossible for me to continue working with them. I need to have peace, mutual respect, and equal ambitions within the band in order to perform well.
Hardrock Haven: Was it a hard decision to leave JORN?
Tore St Moren: Of course! This has been my longest relationship with anyone except my close family and my best friends. I´ve sacrificed as much, and also put as much heart into it as anyone to build up the band, so it was no simple and quick decision to make. It´s been on my mind for a couple of years now, and for me as a musician it had to be done.
Hardrock Haven: Do you consider this departure to be for good? Can you see yourself rejoining JORN at some future date?
Tore St Moren: I´d love to play with Lande again – he is one of the most amazing singers I´ve heard, but for now I want to do something else. Maybe in a different setting sometime. There´s no bad blood between the two of us.
Hardrock Haven: You have teased us a bit with the news that you and Nic are working with John Macaluso (TNT, Malmsteen). Is John working on the solo album?
Tore St Moren: Definitely, and I´m very excited to have him on board. John and I actually started talking about this album a couple of years ago. When Nic and John played a tour together just recently and hit it off it felt natural to ask both of them to play on my album. They are my favorite rhythm section, and I feel very privileged to have such amazing musicians in my band. I´m going to Rome in about six weeks to record the drums, and then Nic will record the bass in Switzerland shortly after. The album will be mixed in September/October, and you guys will probably hear it sometime before Christmas.
Hardrock Haven: Does the solo album have a title yet? How many songs do you expect release on the CD?
Tore St Moren: (Laughs) … I´ve done all the songwriting, recording and programming on the pre-production, so the working title for the album is Playing With Myself, but that might be changed before release. I have fourteen tracks ready at the moment. I write new stuff every day, so I´ll pick out the best ones after we´re done recording. I guess there will be 12-15 tracks on the album.
Hardrock Haven: Will the album feature any vocalist or is 100% instrumental?
Tore St Moren: This will be an instrumental album – no vocals. “Music without prima donnas” as I prefer to call it.
Hardrock Haven: Musically what can fans expect from the solo album?
Tore St Moren: One thing I really enjoy about instrumental music is that there´s room for more variation musically, and that you´re not necessarily stuck in one genre. I want to reach a wide audience with my music. You can say this is every bit an album for the musician`s girlfriend and fans as well as the musician. There´s a few ballads as well as some fast and intricate tracks, and a couple of straight rockers, but melody and composition is always my main focus. The Jorn fans will recognize a couple of tracks, and hopefully enjoy the original versions as much as the previously released ones. I´m really excited to finally release this album. This is without doubt my best work so far!
Hardrock Haven: After the solo album is done, do you Nic have other projects lined up? Will John be a part of any future projects?
Tore St Moren: As soon as the album is finished we will start booking gigs together, and I can definitely see us make music together in the future. Both Nic and John are great composers as well as musicians.
Hardrock Haven: Last time we talked I forgot to talk about your gear. What types of guitars do you use? Amps? Are you endorsing any products? Effects?
Tore St Moren: My gear might not be very interesting to the geeks, I´m afraid. I do not endorse any products at the moment, but I would if they could come up with products that I´d prefer over what I already have. I have quite a few guitars, but my tobacco sunburst Epiphone LP Classic will always be my one true love. It´s a very cheap guitar, but it always delivers the goods. I went back to using my old Marshall JMP 1 preamp while we recorded Bring Heavy Rock To The Land after playing Jet City live for a couple of years. I´ve actually recorded all my albums with that one. I use the speaker emulator straight in to the mixer. No power amp, cabinet or mic between. I do the same thing on stage, but then I have a power amp and cabinets for monitoring as well as wedges in front. My effects are Marshall as well. I´ve used the JFX 1 for many years. It´s a dinosaur in the FX world, but it sounds very bright and clean, and is very easy to use. I´ve always been a plug and play guitarist. I also use a Vox V847 wah-pedal that I´ve had for about 20 years. The ultimate wah!
Hardrock Haven: For fans interested in you as a solo artist fans they can still purchase your two singles “The Journey” and “Benedicte’s Song ” on Amazon and iTunes,” right?
Tore St Moren: Certainly. And those who do will get a taste of what the album is going to be like.
Hardrock Haven: Tore it was good catching up with you. I hope you have continued success as you strike out as a solo artist. Here’s your chance to plug anything I didn’t ask you during the interview…
Tore St Moren: Well – I´m planning to give an aspiring shredder out there the opportunity to spread his name around. Mike at Shredguy Records and I are working on the details, and will come back with more details a bit later on.
Hardrock Haven: Again, thanks for taking time out to talk with me. Will talk again hopefully after the new CD is out.
Tore St Moren: Thank you, and remember – SHRED IS NOT DEAD!
Tore St Moren artist page: http://www.facebook.com/ToreStMoren2
Tore St Moren fan group: http://www.facebook.com/groups/torestmoren/
Tore St Moren website: www.torestmoren.com
Tore St Moren on iTunes: http://itunes.apple.com/no/artist/tore-st.-moren/id416870301