Interviewed by Mark Balogh
Date: March 2010
Mark Balogh: Hello Terje. Thanks for talking with us here at RockEyez.com. The new On The Rise record "Dream Zone" is a great slice of melodic rock at its best. Are you happy with the outcome of your sophomore release?
Terje Eide: Thank you. Glad you like it. Yes, I’m happy about the new ON THE RISE album "DREAM ZONE" for sure. It’s been some wonderful moments of creativity and quite rewarding in so many ways.
Mark Balogh: Let’s go back to your early background for a minute. Long before TV shows like the popular "Idol" series took the world by storm you participated in the Norwegian National Rock Championships in the 80’s. How did that come about and what was the experience like?
Terje Eide: I played in a band called The Heat in the 80s. We signed up for two talent contests during that time. We won both of them. The first one was a local one in my hometown Bergen (Norway) and the second on National TV. It was a great experience. It was an amazing and special moment in life.
Mark Balogh: You also worked as a backing musician for some large-scale acts in your home country of Norway. Can you tell us about some of the bands and musicians you’ve worked with in the past?
Terje Eide: I was lucky to be a part of big shows by playing and performing songs from the last four decades. They were performed by lots of well-known Norwegian artists and bands. There are too many artists to mention here and I think anyone who would read their names in a foreign country wouldn’t know them ‘cause they’re all settled and having their career here in Norway. You know they’re not known on the International music scene.
Mark Balogh: Did anyone in your family have a musical background that led to you getting into music?
Terje Eide: I’ve got an uncle who’s playing. I borrowed a guitar from him and sat down by listening to a lot of artists and bands. I was learning by catching a few bits and pieces here and there. Got the chance to learn the basic techniques on guitar that made me develop as a musician. It was a joyful ride.
Mark Balogh: The On The Rise project goes all the way back to the beginning of the decade. How did you come to start OTR and finally hook up with Frontiers Records?
Terje Eide: I went back to my roots of melodic rock in 2000 by starting a project, which later became "On The Rise". A demo was made in early 2001, which immediately raised the interest of Frontiers Records, who signed the project in June 2002. The debut album, which was also called "On The Rise", was released in 2003.
Mark Balogh: The OTR musical style is very much in the mold of the classic AOR of the 80’s. I understand you have been involved with many other musical styles over the years, so how is it you developed a passion for this style of music?
Terje Eide: AOR/Melodic rock has it all you know. There are so many great songs, singers, guitar players, artists and bands. The music is so melodious, catchy and groovy. I grew up listening to this genre of good music. Admiring the way it’s played and performed. You’ll find some of the world’s best singers and guitar players in this genre.
Mark Balogh: Taking the previous question a little further, can you tell us about some of your influences musically?
Terje Eide: My influences have been artists and bands like Deep Purple, Whitesnake, Kiss, Toto, Bryan Adams, Journey, Mr. Mister, Steve Perry and John Farnham... just to name a few.
Mark Balogh: Tell us about some of the songs on "Dream Zone" and even what some of your favorites are.
Terje Eide: It’s difficult to choose any favorite songs on the new ON THE RISE album – "DREAM ZONE", but here are a few words about every one of them…
- ALIVE - This started with a theme from an old song I had from my collection/library. It's got bits and pieces from something I wrote in the past. It was a joyful moment to see how old stuff can rise up and become new and be used in a total new setting. Even better than it was. That's what I love about making music. There are no limits or recipe for how to make it. And it's never the same every day. Quite a colorful and inspirational process to follow. It was fun when I wrote and recorded this song. Catchy chorus with a highlight in the middle that was enjoyable to play on guitar.
- DREAM ZONE - A straight on theme is going through the tune with lots of background vocals on a sing-along chorus. Groovy guitar riffs! This song was built step by step over a few days. I was going back and forth by adding parts that were needed to make it complete and putting it together the way I wanted it to be. There are times in life we all need to catch up with our dreams to keep a certain instinct of survival intact. Grabbing a hold and hoping the best.
- GET OUT OF HERE - I like the rhythm and the groove on this song. Glad I added some B3 underneath the arrangements. It gives the 70’s kind of atmosphere. It's a little heavier than a few other tunes on the album. As the lyrics says some need their freedom, to live and let go. To leave the past behind and enjoy life.
- FLY AWAY - I like to co-operate with colleagues and friends in the music business and this song was giving me the opportunity to write together with Tor Talle again. We've been working together before on a song called "HIGH ABOVE THE SKY" performed by our mutual friend and colleague Rob Moratti (SAGA). FLY AWAY has a nice story in the lyrics about the search for happiness and a joyful life.
- IN THE LINE OF FIRE - I served as a professional soldier in the UN-Force (UNIFIL) a few years ago. Working for peace. I was in the war zone in the South of Lebanon. It made me reflect upon the terror we have in our world today. The lyrics are written as a reminder, observer and the knowledge of my own experience in the past as a soldier and towards the fact of today’s reality of life! It's a groovy tune with lots of guitars and a catchy chorus. I enjoyed the creative process on this one!
- NO TIME TO LOOSE - This song is a little different from the others. It was pretty nice to see how Erik Engebretsen turned around a few parts. Even to the better by adding some ideas on drums. He did a tremendously great job through the whole album. Certain times in life it's healthy to just stop and look around. Reflect upon life itself! Grab a hold on whatever that is needed to keep going on. Catch the glimpse of magic! Give ourselves the kick in the butt to realize what's needed to be positive, smile and keep going on in life! ;-)
- TOMORROW NEVER DIES - A very positive song. Melody lines came up very easily. The groove was set very quickly. I wanted to bring some positive vibes to the lyrics and the sound on vocals was the main contribution for making it sound correct. Whatever comes up and blocking your way, just move on. Give it a new try. Smile to the world and the world smiles back at you. Well, most of the time! ;-)
- LIFELINE - A real AOR classic. It's a good example of great collaboration between Christian Wolff and myself. I knew this song would be special in its own way and a pleasure to work on. It's got it all. Catchy chorus, great hooks and it's a little different from the others as well. As the lyrics say ‘together we're strong’. The band that keeps us united. Walking hand in hand through what life has to offer!
- HOWLING AT THE MOON - It's an old song that I brought back to life and pushed it above the surface. I wrote this in a local recording studio. A man who's still standing tall. Been through tough times but makes it all the way through life! Coming back stronger than ever!
- WHY WAIT ANOTHER DAY - Good to have a few collaborations on an album. To make it even more colorful. This is one of those songs that I felt would bring an interesting feeling to it. A little different in style and the way it's written.
- EDELLYN - I wanted to bring a silent moment of peace in between all the rock tunes with this one. To keep it with a less is more kind of arrangement. Down too basics. Once in a lifetime people are lucky to meet and explore the love in their lives. I guess this one says it all with no specific introduction or explanation! ;-)
- LOST YOUR TRACK - This is one of the songs that I found quite interesting for the new album. Another great collaboration between Christian Wolff and me. I felt it would fit in between the rest of the album. I did a few changes on vocals and Eirik Grønner (Engineer) came up with the lyrics.
- FIND A WAY - One day I was listening to my cousin playing on piano. I never hesitate by letting a good idea or a song be wasted without giving it a chance to develop. I sat down by adding some guitars, arranged some instrumental parts and I gave it a few uplifting melody lines on vocals until I felt it had what was needed to include it on the new ON THE RISEalbum.
Mark Balogh: You are a multi-instrumentalist having taken on not only vocals in OTR but also guitar, bass and some keyboards as well, yet you did have a couple other musicians take on a roll with the new record. Can you tell us about the other people that played on "Dream Zone"?
Terje Eide: I met both Eric Ragno (Piano/Keyboards) & Erik Engebretsen (Drums) through the Internet. So did Christian Wolff, and me who’s one of the collaborators on three songs. Dag Ove Nilsen (DON) wrote the lyrics for the song "HOWLING AT THE MOON" and Eirik Gronner, who’s the engineer, contributed with the lyrics on "WHY WAIT ANOTHER DAY" and "LOST YOUR TRACK".
Mark Balogh: Did you play any live shows with OTR or is this just a studio project for you?
Terje Eide: So far it’s been a studio project. But the respond has been overwhelming, and if everything goes as planned, then I’m sure we’ll get out there with a band enjoying it together with the audience someday.
Mark Balogh: Are there any other projects that you are currently working on besides OTR that you can share with us?
Terje Eide: For the time being it’s only ON THE RISE. It takes more than enough time to be around supporting and enjoying the process of promoting "DREAM ZONE". ON THE RISE is priority #1, so to speak.
Mark Balogh: Well Terje, Thanks again for taking the time to talk with us here at RockEyez and best of luck with the new record "Dream Zone". Is there anything else you’d like to say before you go?
Terje Eide: Thank you! You’re welcome. Don’t forget that CDs got the best quality of sound; better quality than Mp3. Order the new ON THE RISE "DREAM ZONE". Pump UP the volume, enjoy and rock on. Keep Rock Alive Everybody!