Rock Eyez Webzine
Rock Eyez
Rock Eyez Webzine


Interview with Oddleif Stensland
(Vocals, Guitar - Communic)

Oddleif Stensland

Interviewed by Brian Rademacher
Date: January 18th, 2006

Hello Oddleif and welcome to

What was the first band you were ever in as a child?
Well, I was at the age of 18 when I first started to play guitar, so I don’t know if I still was counted as a child back then, but anyway… I wish that I started to play at a younger age, but that’s how it was for me. The first band I played in was called Xenon together with some friends, and then I was in a local band called Revival for a short period before I started my first band called Clairvoya, and we released a demo back in 1996. Some of the ideas from the Clairvoya period has actually survived and is present in some short flashbacks on “Conspiracy in Mind.”

Did you originally want to sing or play guitar first?
There was never an urge to sing at any point actually. I started to play guitar, and in the beginning, we had a few vocalists trying out, but we never found anyone usable and there wasn’t many to try out at all, so I tried to sing myself in lack of vocalists, and the demo that we recorded sounded horrible. But during the last ten years or so, it (vocals) has developed slightly to the better, ha-ha…

What kind of the guitar you learned to play on and when did you get it?
My first guitar was a used ‘Maja’ telecaster copy. It has a boss distortion pedal and a tiny Roland combo but it served its purpose for a short period of time. This was in back in 93 I think. Sold it to my uncle and saved up enough money to buy an Ibanez RG 770 that I still have today. My main guitar today is a “Jackson KV2T USA,” and I have an “ESP Horizon custom” as backup these days.

What kind of music did you listen to when you growing up?
My parents rarely listened to music so I first got hooked when my brother came home with Slade, Scorpions, Black Sabbath, Rainbow, Kiss and stuff like that. I sneaked into his room and listened to his records when he was out, and he kicked my ass when he noticed it…

What kind of kid was Oddleif in his school days?
A quiet guy… hanging out with friends and playing soccer…

We know Sanctuary – “Mirror Black” was the first album you bought but what was the first concert you attended?
Oh, I think it was a concert with Smokie, together with my brother.

Was Clairvoya the first band you were in that recorded material in 1994?
Yes, this was the first recording that we made. I think it was done in 1996, actually. We booked time in a local studio and recorded two songs that lasted over 20 minutes together, and the result was quite good, except for the vocals that really sucked …

Why did that band breakup?
After the demo, we lost the keyboard player, and everyone was complaining about my poor vocals, we tried a short search for a better vocalist, and it all died out when we didn’t get any further. Meantime I had already started with Ingermanland and the other guys went on to other bands in the area.

Then you moved onto Scariot in 1997. They had 3 full-length releases did you work on all three of them?
 I was only the vocalist for the last album “Strange To Numbers.” Before I joined the band they used mostly growls as vocals and was nearly death metal.

Why did you leave Scariot?
Scariot was quite boring. I was only the vocalist and there was no room for my ideas in that band. I need to be able to contribute in the songwriting. But I made all the melody lines for the vocals and wrote lyrics also… so it was ok, but in the long run, that didn’t work for me. When we started to work on another album, I felt that we were going in the wrong direction. At this time, I started Communic as a side project to Scariot. I asked Tor Atle if he wanted to jam along and see what we could make out of it; shortly after that, we got Erik on bass along on the ride and we entered a local studio to record a demo of three songs. To make the story short, we ended up signing a deal with Nuclear Blast within a few months and I decided to quit Scariot so I could focus 100% on what I felt closest to; I told the guys in Scariot that I was quitting, and it all ended up with a split in Scariot. When Tor Atle followed me to work 100% with Communic -- Scariot was dissolved and the other guys went to other projects and bands. Now it looks like the main man has something going again, and that is Cool. I have loads of good memories from this time, and it was a great fun to be on tour and playing live with those crazy guys…

Next was Ingermanland, which released two demos. “Surface As Ceiling Demo,” in 1999 & “Beyond Equator” Demo in, 2001. “Beyond Equator” received great reviews but the band never released a full-length album, why?
Both these releases came before I started with Scariot. Ingermanland was my playground after we ended Clairvoya. The idea was to make some crazy experimental and progressive metal without any boundaries at all. We had some really cool stuff going, and the reviews were telling us the same, but it seems like people had some trouble understanding what the hell we were doing. We sent our stuff to some labels but we never heard anything at all. And everybody thought we was coming from Germany and didn’t understand why we had called the band IN-GERMAN-LAND?? The real story behind the name is bound to the local history of our hometown where this big ocean liner called Ingermanland ran aground outside the coast of our hometown back in 1842, and this project was inspired by that thrilling story… and I still get inspired by the ocean, when it comes to writing lyrics.

You met Erik Mortensen when with Ingermanland. How did you hook up with him? 
I knew Erik from when he played in some other local bands back then, but didn’t know him personal yet. At some point he started to work in the in the same firm that I was working, and we started to play together shortly after that.

In 2004, Ingermanland seemed to disband and become Communic, what was the reason behind the name change?
Ingermanland was not active in that period that I was playing in Scariot, so when I got the urge to start up again I figured that it was time to start with a blank sheet and try get something new going on. Also, the fact that we had some problems to get people to understand what Ingermanland was all about. Problems communicating you might say, so we ended up with the name Communic.

Communic was formed in 2003 releasing a demo in 2004 called “Conspiracy in Mind”; then in 2005, the full-length release came out with the same name but without the song “Dreamweaver,” Why did you decide to exclude that song from the official debut release?
That song was also on the final recording but it went through a name change along the way; so all the songs from the demo made it to the album. Now the song is called “They feed on our fear.”

What song do you think was the motivating factor for Nuclear Blast to sign the band?
Don’t know actually, but I like to think that it was the complete package. The three songs were chosen to show the diversity in our music and also show the potential, and I think that these songs managed that, and amazingly enough we signed the deal after just one demo.

Do you feel Nuclear Blast gave the band enough promotion; the “Conspiracy in Mind” CD is excellent.
I don’t know how much promotion they usually put into their debut bands, but we are pleased so far. I've done tons of interviews and spent one week at the Nuclear Blast headquarter doing phone interviews all day, so I was actually amazed that so many magazines from all over the world wanted to talk with us about the album.

The Communic CD sounds like it has influences of Jeff Loomis and Nevermore. Who is you favorite guitarist?
I don’t have any big favorite guitar player, but one for my favorite songwriter is Anthony A. Lucassen.

The CD has a chamber-sounding feel, was that intentional to record the CD that way?
I think that the final CD came pretty close to what we had in mind before we entered the studio, and that is the work of Jacob Hansen that made it that way. I really like it and its real powerful and yet crystal clear so that all the details shine through.

“History Reversed” would make a great acoustic song with that melodic guitar in the beginning of the song. Would you ever consider doing an acoustic version?
That may be a good idea. Maybe we will do that for a bonus or something sometime in the future.

Would you ever consider adding another guitarist to Communic?
We have tried that before and we ended up dropping it. We felt that our music and sound lost some of the dynamics that is had as a trio, so we added some session keys in the studio instead. Live it sounds quite cool as a three-piece and also the fact that people don’t think that we can pull it off makes it interesting. We also have to be quite focused because we don’t have a 2nd guitar to hide behind, which would have been a good thing… since I'm singing at the same time, but we like it this way.

What was the most difficult song to record on “Conspiracy in Mind?”
I think we all had our struggles on different spots during the session, but I don’t think we had too much trouble to get it down, maybe “Silence Surrounds” was the worst one when I think of it.

You mention on your site you are working on a new CD for 2006. Can you give us any information about that release? Title, songs, release date, will it be a Nuclear Blast release and thoughts on cover picture?
Yes, all the songs are ready the title is “Waves Of Visual Decay,” and will include 7 songs this time as well. The release is set for sometime before the summer, in May/June or something and it will be released by Nuclear Blast. The artwork is not set yet so we have to see about that.

Tell us what was the feeling playing the Rock Hard Festival, in Germany in May 2005?
That was really great. This was our first “big” festival appearance and we played 12:15 in the afternoon, and it was really cool that so many people showed up to see the first band on the festival.

What were some of the highlights from that show?
Hard to tell… people gave us an amazing feedback and was chanting along on the songs so it was a great experience, and cool the see them screaming for more when the show was over.

What does Communic ask for on their rider?
A few sandwiches, some bananas, beer, loads of water, and some clean towels. Yes, that is all I think…

What is your feeling about downloading?
That’s a good way to discover new bands, check it out before you spend your hard-earned money on some crap. I think metal fans want their albums in the original media if it’s something that they really like and want. If they download it and don’t like it they have the possibility to throw it away and delete it. At least I do, but the bands I like, I buy the albums.

What is your feeling about the current state of the world?
Through the media, it doesn't look like a happy place these days, but I guess it’s always been that way, but now we get it all into our own living room. It gets closer on us. And it seems like the rich are getting richer while the poor gets even poorer…

What is a typical day for Oddleif?
I go to work early in the morning, I have my own company that I try to live off, and I work quite a lot. When and if I have some free time in the afternoon, I'm at rehearsal or working on some music at home, or just watching a movie, or playing some video games to end the day.

If you could change something from the past in you life, what would that be?
I would have started to play guitar at an earlier age.

Oddleif this has be a great pleasure to talk with you and I wish the band success. I am looking forward to the new release. Will there be a chance Communic coming to the US in 2006?
Thanks for the interview. I really hope we can come to US sometime in the near future, but we don’t have anything scheduled yet. We are ready! Best wishes in 2006 Brian.

Would you like to say anything to our readers and your fans?
Cheers from frosty Norway, and if you haven't checked it out yet, Check out our album “Conspiracy In Mind” GET IT !! If you have an open mind… © 2005 All rights reserved. The contents of this site may not be reproduced without the expressed written consent of
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