Friday brings greetings from Norway with our Band of the Day, Underwing…
We hail from the southern coast of Norway, and currently reside in the seaport towns of Arendal and Grimstad!
How did you meet?
I’ve known Enyeto (our singer) for many years, while he was in the band Klepp with our drummer Joachim. I was in a glam rock band named “Valerie” at the time. We used to hang out a lot in our spare time, discussing music and attending each others shows. Joachim was always the mysterious character (he still is!), and I always saw him around town and we shared stage a couple of times together, but never really talked much. Thomas was always the drunk guy in front of our shows with Valerie, shouting song titles and generally just being himself. Jesper came into the band last year, he actually started out as a fan of Underwing before slightly making his way into the ranks.
It all started with Enyeto showing me the logo and concept of Underwing, so I decided to give it a try – The other band members (with the exception of Jesper) were already jamming and had a couple of songs under their belt before I joined.
How long have you been playing as a band?
We started playing together around February 2016, so it’s closing in on four years now!
Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?
The band name is influenced by the pink underwing moth, which in its caterpillar state has this self-defense mechanism where it displays a kind of “mask”. We humans tend to wear masks as well, so we tried to show that influence in our first music video for the song “Sunless Seed”.
What are your influences?
By taking inspiration from genres such as prog, stoner and grunge, the band has made a unique musical expression. In short: If Black Sabbath and Alice in Chains had a lovechild that was adopted by Tool, who coincidentally lived next door to Soundgarden and Motorpsycho, the result would be Underwing.
Thomas: My personal influences as a guitarist comes from guys like Guthrie Govan, Joe Walsh and David Gilmoure. As a band, we’re influenced by bands like Alice in Chains, Tool and Black Sabbath.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
Underwing is the intense interaction between groovy rhythms, melancholic moods, hard-hitting hooks and the commanding vocals of Enyeto Kotori.
Magnus: I think part of what makes us unique is the ability to write songs without being slaves to genre boundaries. It’s all within the rock/metal genre, but we’re comfortable experimenting and putting other influences into our music.
Thomas: I think what makes us unique is how we blend elements from a lot of genres and make our own special mix.
Do you have any particular lyrical themes?
It varies a lot, but we mostly write about life in general, overcoming personal obstacles, realizing your own potential – becoming the best version of yourself. Also our singer Enyeto has some cool interests rooted in old ancient times, which he occasionally incorporates into his lyrics.
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
It’s high-octane progressive grunge vibes from start till finish! A lot of energy and passion goes into our live shows, these songs mean a lot to us as a band, but also on a personal level – to perform them in front of people is a privilege and a gift that keeps on giving. It’s authentic, and people notice that. Our fans don’t deserve anything less.
Magnus: I think we’ve played just under 100 shows so far, but I’m not sure on the exact number!
Thomas: Our live shows are characterised by high-octane energy! When we’re on stage we really give it our all! Over the last few years we’ve built up a dedicated fan base that are good at showing up at our shows and feeding us energy. As of now, we’ve played just under 100 shows.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
Magnus: There has been a lot of crazy stunts, we love when our fans get innovative – Something we’ve been seeing lately that I think is really cool is people creating a “Spiral pit” which is basically a circle pit, but more friendly. We just dropped our second EP, named “Spirals” so that’s probably why.
The craziest thing that has happened to us onstage though, is having a man jumping onto the stage, unbuttoned his pants and pulled forth his..caterpillar, while jumping up and down to one of our songs – Completely naked. The security guard thought it was staged, so he wasn’t sure whether to interfere or not! Someone also yelled that I should take off my shirt, and got the whole crowd chanting “TAKE. IT. OFF” – I didn’t, though.
Thomas: I remember when we played at an MC club’s Christmas party and a guy passed out during the show right in front of us. One of wildest things that have happened to me during a live show was that a guy started tying my shoelaces mid-song. They had come undone during the song and this lad graciously offed to tie them for me. It was crazy.
What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?
Magnus: I mostly use my Fender American Standard Telecaster for live shows, but in the studio we mix it up sometimes – adding a more beefy sound by using guitars that have humbuckers instead of single coils. This is especially true for our latest release Spirals – Oh and if you haven’t checked out Spirals yet, you can stream it on Spotify.
Thomas: My gear consists of a Boss Katana 100 combo amp and a Line 6 Firehawk FX board for effects. Live and in the studio I use a Fender American Standard Stratocaster from 2011.
What are your plans for 2019?
Magnus: Our plans for the rest of the year is releasing some new music, we also have a few gigs coming up in places we haven’t been before – and that’s always exciting!
Thomas: Release new music, play more awesome shows and develop ourselves as a band.
If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!
Magnus: Definitely would have opened for Tool! And I would bring another local band with us called Vorbid, they’re REALLY cool!
Thomas: Would love to be supporting Tool or Alice in Chains. Would be awesome to have Vorbid with us on the bill!