ÅGE STEN NILSEN has, since the adventurous success with Wig Wam securely established himself as an artist on his own. After playing critically acclaimed parts in musicals like Chess and Which Witch, he went on recieving national success with his self-produced Queen tribute show The Show Must Go On. We talked with him about his new band Ammunition, Eurovision contest and their plans for the future
RF: Hello Åge, I’m very glad to talk with you. I grew up with your music and you are one of my favourite singers. A few days ago, Ammunition’s new single “Wrecking Crew” was released. How do you feel? Are you satisfied with the result?
ÅGE: Hello there Makis. A pleasure to talk with you, and thank you for having me. YEAH! Finally Wrecking Crew is out there and I’m extemly happy about both the song and the way it has been received so far. Top 5 on the norwegian iTunes charts and the #1 Rock song sure is a great start. The song was originally 4 minutes, and we weren’t sure if we would be able to make it 3:00, which is the limit in the Eurovision Song Contest. But I sure believe we made it without losing the essence of the song. The album version will be released on the forthcoming album.
RF: When will we have your new album in our hands?
ÅGE: The brand new album will be released in August. But I guess AMMUNITION’s first album “Shanghaied” is pretty “new” to most people who happens to get into the band at this point because of the attention we get from the Eurovision Song Contest.
RF: Τhe title will be «Wrecking crew» or something else and why?
ÅGE: The album will be titled “AMMUNITION”. We started up as “Åge Sten nilsen’s AMMNUNITION” more or less as a solo project built as a band. But since then we have turned into a real band, and everyone has a say. I prefer it like that. To be a team of brothers working together and sharing.
RF: What are the differences compared to your previous albums? I mean your sound, song’s compositions etc.
ÅGE: The new album is definitelly a progression from the first one. It’s a continuation so to speak. Erik and I have know eachother better as a songwriting team these days, and I guess our distinct style gets clearer and clearer. On this album we already knew from the start what we wanted. And I guess that reflects through the songs.
RF: As I know, you like the way things work nowadays. I mean you are free to write the music you like, to spread it on every online platform etc. You are not too dependent on records labels. Please let us know what you think about the future of the music industry?
ÅGE: I love the way things work nowadays. Still I would love to spend more time on the songwriting and creative proccesses than all the business sides of this…business huh. So I’m VERY happy that we finally have signed a deal with a big label that can do all the dirty work and let me do what I truly love; writing songs and performing live.
RF: No one can kill your Rock N’ Roll right?
ÅGE: Well, I love my rock’n roll, and I won’t let anybody kill it for sure 😉
RF: Wig Wam raised their fanbase when they participated in the Eurovision contest back in 2005. I saw that you will also play with Ammunition at the Norwegian final contest. Do you think that Eurovision is only a way to raise your popularity or something more?
ÅGE: Most people tend to forget that WIG WAM actually built it’s fanbase through heavy touring from 2001-2005. When we participated in the Eurovison Song Contest for the first time in 2004 with “Crazy Things”, it really boosted our career and raised our live fees about 300%. Even though we ended up as #3 that year. In 2005 it all got crazy ha ha. To answer your question, no I do not see Eurovision as the “only” way to raise our popularity. But I see it as a perfect tool to reach a crossover audience. We’ve been working this band the old fashioned way since 2014. Even released the debut album on our own label, touring and doing what all the other bands do to build a crowd and get people into our music. But hey, let’s face it. Our style of music is not what’s selling these days, and sure doesn’t get any airplay. It’s a small community of rockers out there that appreciate new music. The masses go to see the legendary bands and buy expensive tickets. But they do not buy their albums. They just wanna hear the classics and couldn’t care less about their new material. When an oppurtunity like this appears, it would be crazy to turn it down. I mean, people still think that WIG WAM is still around….
RF: What are your next plans? Will we see Ammunition on a tour to promote the new album?
ÅGE: We’ll do some one off gigs until the new album is out, and are planning a small tour in August, September and October this year. And take it from there. Actually I have a pretty hectic schedule this year doing the 10 YEARS ANNIVERSAY tour with my Queen show THE SHOW MUST GO ON. About 70 shows all across Norway, so I’m trying to make as much room for AMMUNITION as possible this year. But we are planning a very intensive tour for 2018.
RF: Back in 2006 you played in Greece. Do you have any memories of this show? Do you think it’s possible to visit us again with Ammunition in the future?
ÅGE: I DO remember our WIG WAM gigs in Greece 2006. They were crazy. And I went a bit over the top I guess ha ha I really had no control back then. Constantly touring and getting a bit too wasted at times. I mean, the biggest newspaper in Norway even had me on the front cover saying “GLAM GOIN CRAZY IN GREECE”, and two pages of photos from our gig in the Athens….trashing the drumkit etc ha ha But HELL YEAH!!! I can’t wait to get back to Greece to rock you all.
RF: I would like to thank you very much for this interview. I wish you the best for your new album and I hope to see you in Eurovision this year. Good luck! Please, say a few words to your fans in Greece.
ÅGE: Thank you for having me. And GREECE; GET READY FOR AMMUNITION!!!
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