If you like metal and you enjoy the occasionally head bang, then you will want to hear Extol’s latest album Extol. I got my hands on it and I really enjoyed it. I liked the switch between the growls to symphonic, angelic really, vocals. Not only did I want to know more about the band, but the album as well so I asked those wonderful questions I had in mind.
Why did you self-title your album? Was it because you split then got back together so it was as if you had a brand-new start? Or was it your deceleration you wanted to get out that we should “Extol His holy name?”
I think this new release defines Extol in so many ways, both musically and lyrically. And after 20 years of existence we thought it was about time to self-title an album. That’s about it. Extol has always wanted to extol the creator of life. I believe we owe him to do so, after all the talents and gifts he has given us.
I really liked Open The Gates, and Extol. Okay, I really enjoyed the entire album. What’s your favorite song off the new album?
That’s nice to hear. Those songs you mention seem to be very popular among our fans, but personally I enjoy “Behold the Sun” the most. On this song you can clearly hear our influences from the Florida death metal scene in the early 90’s. The guitar solo in the end must be Ole’s greatest solo ever.
What does coming back together mean? Why did you get back together?
To me this means a whole lot. Extol has been such big part of my life, and it’s been one of those things I’ve been wanting to do again. When we quit seven years ago, it just didn’t feel right, and the band deserved to be remembered differently. So when we got to the point of doing another album in 2011, and the spirit of creativity was there, still, it gained such big inspiration to continue where we left. Our goal was basically just to make our best album ever!
Would you allow one of your songs to be put into a movie that is not faith based?
Absolutely. We want our songs to go out to everyone, whether they are believers or not. Our music will speak for itself no matter what kind of context it will be put in to.
Will you be touring?
Peter, the vocalist, struggle with tinnitus and fear of loud stage volume. This makes things difficult considering future live shows. There is nothing more we would like to do than to get around and perform this new album live. But from how it looks now, it will probably take a while before we see that happening. But of course – we will consider every offer that comes to the table.
Why did you title Behold The Sun, and not Behold The Son?
Well, it felt like the right thing to call it. God is like the sun. Everything will be revealed when you step out in the light of the sun.
Do you listen to other band’s music secular or Christian? If so which ones and why those particular ones?
I grew up in a christian home and my parents wanted me to listen to christian music. Luckily there were great bands with positive lyrics to listen to back then. Believer, Vengeance, Mortification, Living Sacrifice were all bands I appreciated when I was a teenager. But when I got older I bumped into secular bands suh as Rush, Death, Pestilence, Cynic ++, and I realized that I had missed so much good music. Some of the stuff I listen to now a days doesn’t really appeal to me lyrically at all, but I enjoy the music. I don’t believe listening to christian music, only, will ever satisfy one musically, that’s just the way it is.
Where did you and the band first meet?
I started Extol with my cousin, Christer in 1993. I had played drums for a while and I remember forcing him to buy a guitar so we could start a band together. Peter, Christer’s brother joined later on, first on bass and moved on to vocals later on. Ole, our current guitar player heard rumors that we’d started a death metal band, and he knew we were christians, so he got curious. After hanging out a lot, he joined our band permanently in 1997. To me this was such a dream. Back then, Ole was such great musician, and I must say now after 16 years, he must be the best guitar player I ever played with. We’ve had quite many line-up changes, and Extol now consists of Ole, Peter and myself.
Where do you see your music and band in the next five years?
Hopefully we’ll be making another album. And if we’re lucky, we’ll get to tour a little as well.
Have you had to overcome major obstacles during your music career?
I think things went smooth most of the years. Of course all the line-up changes caused some frustrations, but it was never a big deal. The biggest problem we came across was back in 2007 when things just stopped. Peter and I were the only original members left and the band was vulnerable. Due to personal circumstances, Peter decided to step down. And with only me left, we couldn’t continue under the same band name, so we decided to split up.
Are you trying to mimic anyone musically? Do you want to be known for sounding the same as another band or known for your own style?
Every now and then we make music that reminds us of bands that we like, but we do that on purpose. But this is more of a tribute thing than it is copying, in my opinion. Most of the time we try to be innovative, and we try to continue to develop what we consider to be the music of our own.
If you were out eating would you stop and give a fan who wanted, an autograph?
Of course I would. I love talking to people that enjoy our music.
Would you preach to anyone you meet or just let your music, and lyrics do that for you?
I want our songs to communicate on a level where the listeners are comfortable. If music is what they want, music is what we will bring. If your question is about whether we share our faith or not, I don’t believe Extol or us personally are preachers. Jesus told us to love one another, and if we do so, I believe our faith will be visible.
What is one word that describes you and your music in whole?
What are any other hobbies you have other than your music?
Well, I can only speak for myself. I love re-building motorcycles, I’m quite much into audio systems, I love studio recording in general, and I also love to go crate digging for vinyls.
The Band includes:
PETER ESPEVOLL – Vocals
DAVID HUSVIK – Drums, Vocals
OLE BØRUD – Guitar, Bass, Vocals
Purchase the album you’ll really enjoy it as I did.
Like one of their Facebook fans state, “This is the best release of 2013. I’m loving it — a perfect album. It’s like really good Chinese food, an hour after listening to it, I want to listen again.” Marc Hanson
Interviewed by: Forrest L. Rawls