Monday, July 11, 2011

Pheaturing Ragnar Vikse From Spirits of the Dead

Hello, and welcome yet to yet another entry of the Phile. So, how do you like it here's been two entries a week? How has your Summer been? A new survey found that 87 percent of high school seniors are less than proficient in U.S. history. Not me. In fact, when I was a senior, I did a 10-page paper on my favorite president, George Jefferson. A man in Minnesota paid $230,000 for his new dog. But here’s the thing you have to understand: That guy is a moron. It turns out that 70 percent of guns found in Mexico actually come from the U.S. Meanwhile, 70 percent of people found in the U.S. actually come from Mexico. Chris Hansen, the host of “To Catch a Predator,” was caught cheating on his wife with a woman 20 years younger than him. Hansen knew something was up when he walked into his kitchen and he was already there waiting for himself. They say that if you break a mirror, you get seven years of bad luck. I broke a mirror once and all I got was seven stitches. I don’t put any faith in numerology — especially in an odd-numbered month like this. Hey, kids, it's the Philosoraptor!

So, you know I am a big fan of the app game "Angry Birds", right? I mentioned it when I interviewed Dax Norman the other day. Anyway, I was playing it the other day and it dawned on me where they got the ideas for the characters. Take a look at this and you'll see what I mean.

See? Crazy, eh? Okay, last week I had a guest on the Phile, a character named Pat Riot, who seems was very popular with you Phile Phans, so I thought I would bring him back and have him explain the American way. I have loved in the States for most of my life and I still don't know what the American way is. So, once again, please welcome to the Phile...

Pat Riot: Let me tell you about the American way, my half foriegner friend. The Cadee antoni quitteral is a good damm thing, I'll tell you why... now they can charge the parents, and we can get a two for one fry night. Won't that be sweet. Lissen to me pal, in this economy you got dig deep for the ratings whatever it takes. Lissen, he touched his daughters private parts, he committed suicide, the mother got falsies you can tell, and that family... hey, fry em. So it's a good thing, the main thing is somebody gotta pay, thats the American way. Do you know how much money they spent on gas, and toilet paper and what have you? American ingenuity, that's the ticket, Romeo, you like to box, come on, lets shadow dance. One, two... Hey, you gotta duck, Mince Meat, ha ha ha. I didn't hurt you did I? The American way, yessiree bob's yer uncle. Yeehaw! Fry em fry em both, gimme a bucket of KFC. Fry em! This is almost as good as napalm on those gooks in Vietnam! Yeehaw! Boss! Fry em! One more thing now that the South's leading this country with real principals and what you call, unbiased leadership and vision, lets get some more ammo in the high schools. Say boy, you like these boots, boy? Yee haw, son of Sam g-damm! Fry the parents! Yee haw. Grab my gun, gonna have some fun on the Bayou tonight. Yee haw!

Ummmm. That's not exactly what I expected. I don't know either to laugh or cry. I apologize to anyone who Pat offended. Thanks so much, Pat. Pat Riot, everybody. Now, let's laugh again.

And now from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York, here is...

Top Ten Signs You're Watching a Bad Super Hero Movie
10. The X-Men on screen are really ex-men.
9. Mode of travel is a bus touring America.
8. When he takes off his mask he still has shoe polish around his eyes.
7. The superhero's motto is "I'll get you next time!"
6. The movie is almost over before the superhero finds a phone booth where he can change.
5. Superhero's alter ego, "Bruce Wayne Gacy".
4. The superhero's only power is the ability to consider running for President.
3. Two hours of Iron Man going through airport security.
2. The hero wears a cape... just a cape.
And the number one sign you're watching a bad super hero movie...
1. Superpower: Empathy.

The second artist for the P.P.A.G. is ChrisRWK, and here is one of his pieces.

Chris will be a guest on the Phile next Sunday, kids.

Today's guest is the lead singer for the Norwegian rock band The Spirits of the Dead, who have a new album out called "The Great God Pan" that came out on July 5th and is available on iTunes. Please welcome to the Phile... Ragnar Vikse.

Me: Hello, Ragnar, welcome to the Phile. How are you?

Ragnar: Thanks for having me, I am well, thank you, hope you are too.

Me: Apart from having to go out later to get my haircut I am fine. So, I believe you are the second singer from I had here on the Phile from Norway. The first was the lead singer of Peter and the Penguins, have you heard from them?

Ragnar: I have heard of a Peter and I have seen penguins once, but never of this band.

Me: I asked them about a tradition Norweigan men have where they go out once a week and drink and get pissed, and there's no women and they never heard of a such a thing. Do you guys know what I am talking about?

Ragnar: We go out at least once a week and get pissed, but where we go there are tons of beautiful women. So no, I do not know what you are talking about :-)

Me: They have a Norway pavilion in Epcot here in Orlando, y'know. They talk about trolls and vikings a lot. Do people in Norway talk about such things?

Ragnar: We are not allowed to talk about such things by our parents, if we do they might come to our farm and eat all our food. No seriously, we have viking blod in our vains and I guess we are influenced by that. We like to travel and conquer, feast and drink. The swords and the axes are changed to instruments. That's the only difference.

Me: Anyway, let's talk about your music, I like your band 'cause you sound like something straight out of the 70's. Are you fans of music from that era?

Ragnar: Yes, thank you. Yes,we love the sixties and the seventies, but we also love the future, so we try to land somewhere in between.

Me: What bands did you grow up listening to in Norway? Any Foghat?

Ragnar: I actually got one Foghat record from my brother in law when I was younger, and some Kiss and Deep Purple on vinyl. Led Zeppelin of course, Blue Öyster Cult, Black Sabbath, King Crimson... the list goes on. But we are still growing you know, so Black Mountain, Joanna Newsom, Tame Impala, Dungen etc, etc.

Me: Tell the readers who is in the band and what you guys do. And where did the band name Spirits of the Dead come from? That's a depressing band name.

Ragnar: We are a psychedelic-stoner-folk-rock band from the west-coast of Norway, now located in Oslo.We have been a band since 2007 and have released now our second album "The Great God Pan". The band consists of Ole Øvstedal (guitars), Geir Thorstensen (drums), Deadly Nightshade (Bass) and me, Ragnar Vikse (vocals) on "The Great God Pan". However is it Kristian Hultgren who plays bass in the band now. Spirits of the Dead is only depressing if you are feeling depressive. To me it symbolize that the spirits of the dead are still among us. We can have a huge impact on life and our spirit can live forever through our actions. Who stood once in life are here still. Hopefully we can do some good that inspires others even after we are gone. Can't see any depressing about that? :-)

Me: I noticed there is a song on the self titled first album called "Spirits of the Dead"... what came first, album title, song or band name?

Ragnar: The lyrics to the song and the band name came at the same time only that we did not know until we decided the band name that the song also should be named that. The album title came as a natural first introduction.

Me: There is a song on that album called "T.I.T (Traveller In Time)". That would of been a good name as well, guys. T.I.T.

Ragnar: I don't think everyone would get it. Although it feels kinda sexy.

Me: Your first album was mixed by George Marino who worked with Zeppelin and Hendrix. That must've been a cool experience for you. Did he tell you any good stories?

Ragnar: We promised not to tell anyone about his experience with Jimi.

Me: That album was one of the 50 finest albums in Classic Rock magazine. What did you guys think about that? You're not classic rock yet, but you sound like it.

Ragnar: We were very honored of that, we have a good hint of the old times, but I think we do it in our own style. Listen to our drummer, he does not do it classic, he plays very modern.
And I could go on about details, but I agree the vibe you get out of it is Classic, but with a freshness to it, and hopefully thats why we were picked by them.

Me: Let's talk about your latest release "The Great God Pan". How does that album compare with the first self-titled one?

Ragnar: Recording is pretty much the same. Drums and bass recorded live all the way through in studio. All on analouge equipment in Grand Sport Studios in Oslo with Christian Engfeldt recording and mixing with Ole Øvstedal as the producer. Mastered by George Marino as last time. We had some parts very well planned before entering the studio, but we had also intentionally left some "open holes" in most of the songs until we entered studio, so that we would get that organic feel to it as these parts were jammed to their results. "The Great God Pan" is a much more folk, psychedelic and jazzy record. It's a journey through deep forests, over high mountains, where beautiful landscapes opens up and sometimes tricks you into the darkest (and brightest) corners of Pan's Kingdom.

Me: How did that song title get to be the album title?

Ragnar: The album was titled long before we had any songs written. This song is lyrically about what The Great God Pan is about (for us). And that is about following your dream no matter how hard the travel might seem. Sometimes the road is joyful and lovely and sometimes you feel like you are in a nightmare. Then it is very easy to fall back and think this was not for you, and give up. If you really want something you must go your full length to get there, even if it kills you for the small glimpse of what we think of as The Great God Pan!

Me: I imagine you play and tour all over Europe. Ever been to America yet? Are you planning on coming over here?

Ragnar: Canada is the nearest so far, but finally we have a proper release on the End Records. We love to conquer as I said, U.S. is no exception.

Me: So, what's next for the band? Any new music you guys are working on?

Ragnar: We just recorded our third album, which will be titled " Rumours of a Presence". We are really excited about that one.

Me: Thanks so much for being here. Come to America. Good luck, you guys.

Ragnar: Thanks for having me! Take care.

That about does it for another week's worth of entries. Thanks to Jeff Cameron and Ragnar Vikse. Like I said, the Phile will be back next Sunday with ChrisRWK. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.

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