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  • Torfinn Sirnes

The making of "1970"

It's not easy to write and record a song with the goal of honouring and, even more difficult, representing the true masters of early heavy metal… But we went fearlessly into the studio nonetheless!

The first recordings of "1970" took place with engineer Dag Erik Johansen at Athletic Sound in the Norwegian town of Halden. We recorded for several days in the studio in November. This really is a great studio where they record on vintage tape machines, just like in the good old days. This means 1) you really get the warmth from the instruments and amp 2) you can't really re-record your takes a hundred times like in the modern digital world. The studio also has a lot of retro gear from the 60's and 70's, so this was really the right place for us.

Our great friend and talented drummer Geir Thorstensen (Spirits of the Dead), myself on bass and Johannes on hammond organ laid down the basic tracks live. After some rounds of rehearsal, setting up the sound and a few beers we all hit the right spot on the same time. Bang! Done! Next! We then went on to record basic tracks for some other songs. The next day I overdubbed the rhythm and acoustic guitars for the song. My choice of guitar for the rhythm parts was a very nice Gibson SG, in the true spirit of the great riff master.

With basic tracks done we really had some extraordinary guitarists to play the solos. Ole Øvstedal (Spirits of the Dead) did both the first and third solo his studio in Oslo, standing on the shoulders of Jimmy Page and Tommy Iommi. His studio contains a lot of fantastic retro gear and the word "inspiration" is written in the air and dust of every corner. As the evening went on Ole also arranged and played the wonderful electric guitars on the bridge and I even got to play a real mellotron (!) on that same part. (I know… Neither Sabbath, Purple nor Zeppelin used a mellotron in 1970, but this instrument really catches the vibe of the time so I just couldn't resist!)

The absolutely spot on "Blackmore"-solo was later done by longtime friend and guitar maestro Daniel Palmqvist in his own studio in Stockholm, Sweden. Johannes did both his great "I love Ozzy-vocals" and the amazing hammond solo at our own Baker Island studio back in Haugesund. The solo was played on a real beautiful looking and sounding Hammond B3. It is really cool the way he interacts with Daniel on the solo part for that real Purple-feeling!

The song was mixed by Espen Andersen at Cederberg Studios in Kristiansand. He really made the instruments shine! We also added a more modern remix for the fun of it, as an homage to the remixes Roger Glover did for the Purple anniversary editions. Finally, it was mastered by Christian Obermayer at Strype Audio in Oslo who really made some final magic touches on the song. We're really happy Christian is coming along the ride for the next songs on this project as well.

The very cool cover art was done by the talented local artist Alf Dale Wold. The hippie days are over and "the storm is coming"... Stay tuned for more!


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