Track by track with Trist Pike

We've made this record called "Den problematiske drømmen"/"Patetisk og patologisk". (Eng. "The problematic dream"/"Pathetic and pathological".) It’s our heaviest record yet. We stuck a slash in the title to quote our hero, the huge gnome, "to mega ilithios", "the little man with the big voice", Tom G. Warrior. We've got nine tunes on the record and here's some quotes about each of them.

Desperasjon ved Stengetid

E: This cut is just about the most ominous and evocative thing I’ve ever heard. Darkness is growing, eternity opens and the cemetery lights up again, to put it mildly.

S: I've gotten the impression that some listeners interpret the title "Desperasjon ved stengetid" (eng. "Desperation at closing time") as a sex thing, that it's about getting laid late. This is not the case. I got the title from a photo caption on the internet like fifteen years ago. The photo showed a dude leaning over a bar counter, cash in hand, with like a Munch "Angst" type face style, trying to secure a final "golden cylinder" before closed taps. But I don't really care what anyone thinks the song is about. The melody here is based on what we call the "Status Quo hand" which is sorta complicated to explain but easy to demonstrate if you hand me a guitar as I pass your busking event in the street some day. The German languaged gentleman talking near the end says pretty much what we've been trying to say with Trist Pike our entire career. He doesn't mean it exactly like we do but I don't mind the “DISCREPANCY”.

Nakne Damer

E: At first listen this may seem like a simple rewrite of Ozzy’s “No Bone Movies”, but it’s a little more complex than that. It’s about “Cronenbergian” fear and alienation when confronted with the realities of the human body, be it your own or somebody else’s. Wanting something while also being deeply repulsed by it, spiritual incarceration in a “meat jail” with needs and desires of its own, “fear of cock” and so on. In keeping with this theme I’ve also borrowed elements of a genre that majorly deals with the obscenity of the human body - so-called “slam death metal”. The bridge is sort of an attempt at writing a Devourment riff and doing “gutturals”. I think we would have been the first ever band to do synth pop with “gutturals” if it wasn’t for the singer for Future Islands. Fittingly for a song about hating the body it’s also really exhausting to sing.

S: It's also normal to me how we almost open this record with the "Be my baby" beat in the first verse here. Have you heard that song? It's up there with "Dissident aggressor" and "Leader of the pack" as one of the greatest and most perfect things anyone has ever presented into the ether if you ask me. I remember when Eirik first showed me this song I was impressed he actually wrote a song called "Nakne damer" (eng. "Naked ladies"). That's a good example of what we call "the fractal stupidity" - you can zoom in or zoom out as much as you like but it's just as dumb and smart regardless. Like Tom G. Warrior's career.

E: It’s also worth mentioning that the opening drum break is modeled after the intro break from Mayhem “I Am Thy Labyrinth”. The entire A side of our album is actually loosely based on “Wolf’s Lair Abyss”, but that should go without saying.

S: Yes, I can confirm that Trist Pike are primarily inspired by Mayhem's mid-90's comeback and "Be my baby".

Guide til Europas Natteliv

E: I’m not sure what this song is about, but I know we mean it. The Beastie Boys/God Gave Rock & Roll To You II vocal arrangement makes this one of our wildest and strongest cuts so far, and I’m particularly fond of Svein’s INSANELY aggressive delivery of the second verse.

S: Yeah, everything is cranked to "Snø og granskog" volume on this one. It's compelling to me how Helge Taksdal's mastering makes this song sound like a "Final Fight" type "DONNYBROOK" tumbling out of a closet as it follows "Nakne damer". Which "Final Fight" character are you? I can recommend Poison and Sodom, but the most important thing is to be the dude who gets to fight a fucking automobile. Singing this song live is kinda like “bare knuckle boxing” a car as the clock is ticking all over the place. The song's theme is how the awake life influences the dream life and vice versa, and the combination of total confusion and open horizon that occurs when the separation between the two breaks down, the waterfall flows in both directions, etcetera. For a long time this was supposed to be the title track on "Den problematiske drømmen" but I think the final title (eng. "Guide to the European nightlife") is far better.

Ingen Savner Meg I Morgen

E: A lot of “Life Lived” in this one. Trist Pike have always been compelled by dansband music and how much undiluted emotional truth of love and despair it contains, and this is our first attempt at articulating this in our own music. I tried to imitate Fenriz’ stentorian performance of “Snø og Granskog” on the final chorus.

S: I ALWAYS try to imitate Fenriz' delivery on "Snø og granskog". We know this song initially from Håkon Banken's Norwegian language cover, but the original by suecas Max Fenders from Hörnefors ("CORNER FORCE"?) is no laughing matter either. I recommend everyone to take a look at Hörnefors on Google street view as you listen to Max Fenders. It looks like a place you go to hide a corpse. Max Fenders' music on the other hand is really "lush" and nice, so you can prepare for some contrast in the apparatus of the senses. The dansband narrative looms large in the Trist Pike collective mind like Eirik correctly says, but there's a lot of "wank" and "piss" quality crap in the genre also to be fair. My tip for beginner listeners is to look for releases from the 70's up to like 1983, and focus on the records where the lyrics are in Swedish, or "suecas" like we say in the group.

E: Other strong locations in Sweden: Åmål, Hudiksvall, Karlstad.

S: If you're already in Karlstad, I suggest you visit Kristinehamn nearby. I went bowling there with Tommy Online like ten years ago and the bowling alley played karaoke versions of current hits only.


E: This song has held a crucial place in our mindscape from day one, but it took us a while to develop the confidence and competence to do a version of our own. We were introduced to the song by my mother, who heard it on the album “Countryfest 5”, which she had on cassette tape during her childhood in the depths of Norway’s rural south, where life is cheap. It’s a creative translation of Tammy Wynette’s “Womanhood”. I think the original is about a girl who regrets having sex, whereas the Norwegian version is about a girl who regrets not having sex. In a way it’s also about the universally relatable experience of being at a crossroads where you’re unsure if the fun is over or the fun has only just begun. We had to record it separately at our homes due to the covid, and I feel like I managed to channel a “feminine mystique” of sorts due to just having seen 3-4 full seasons of Drag Race back to back. For the record my drag name is “Michelle ReMembers”.

S: There's really not too much to add to what Eirik's already said. Lillian Askeland's "Womanhood" version is uncannily strong and one of the most dramatic pieces of music ever made in Norway.

E: Tammy’s original is no laughing matter either, to put it VERY mildly! I generally recommend Tammy Wynette. She sounds like she’s on the verge of bursting into tears 100% of the time and if you read a bit about her life story she had every reason to.

Livet er en Sykdom

E: A crucial element of Trist Pike lore is that I wrote this song while institutionalized for depression. I remember closing my laptop as if I had been watching a “porno” when the nurse came by my room, fearing that a guitar pro file labelled “life is a disease” would get me put on suicide watch. Hah! Lyrically this song is just how I was thinking at the time.

Advanced life and consciousness in particular is really just an evolutionary mistake, isn’t it? Isn't the personality just the sum of your trauma and dysfunction? Musically the goal was to combine Swans and Judas Priest.

S: Now that Eirik is alive and doing well, I think it's time to look back at his time in the brain hospital as a funny time packed with hilarious trivia. We got this great song out of it, where we rhyme "kill myself" on "have a nice weekend", but the funniest thing I remember from those times is how much time we spent coming up with David Lee Roth fanfic (not an easy man to make up a story about, let me tell you) - there's a Dave Roth reference somewhere else on this record by the way but I'm keeping my mouth shut about it for now - and that I made like literally hundreds of "get well soon" greeting cards for Eirik where disgraced vocalist David Coverdale wished for him a "speedy recovery". HEY EIRIK, IT'S DAVID COVERDALE, THE SINGER FROM WHITESNAKE THE BAND!!! YEAH I WAS IN DEEP PURPLE FOR A WHILE TOO, MAYBE YOU'VE HEARD 'EM? RUMOR HAS IT YOU'RE


Turist i Eget Liv

E: I remember listening to the recording of our very first live gig and thinking, yeah, this one’s a hit. It’s the only song that’s been with us since day one that made it onto the album and remains a “live staple”. In many ways this song is the best summary of who and what Trist Pike is. Keywords: “Hard Wave”, “Euro Tough” and walking down the street.

S: Yeah, this is the "proletarian boogie", the "pedestrian's reality", sort of an autobiography as well as probably the closest we will ever come to being directly (though likely subconsciously) inspired by the Situationist International.

E: Not too much to say here, this is our most self explanatory song.

Den Ekte Meg

E: I submitted this one as an entry for the Eurovision Song Contest, but they never got back to me. The chorus here is just about the most straight to the point thing ever written, if you ask me. It’s mostly about thinking that feeling like shit is the default condition and underlying truth at all times, but there's also room for wider interpretation, about the fear of people seeing all the idiocy that’s moving around inside your skull, or pretending that you really want and will do your best at the job you’re interviewing for at the local port-o-john company. “Confessions of a Mask”, or what? I wrote the bass line with one hand on my bass guitar while I was on the phone, and I decided to build the whole song on one riff because I’d been listening to “Bite It You Scum” by GG Allin, which is also just one riff. I sound a bit like Bonnie Tyler on the album version due to having a cold and being worn down from lengthy recording sessions, which suits the song perfectly.

S: When we were in the "studio" (lol) recording the vocals for this song I thought Eirik didn't sing it with enough woeful pathos, and I had to nudge him several times to "dig it a little deeper" so to speak, or "think loser thoughts" like we say in the group. The verses that ended up on the final mix I think were recorded after a visit to Jørgen Egeland at Hør Hør and a round of Belgian glasses, and they were titled "Eirik complex PTSD" in the software.

Ekko fra Asfalten

E: This might be my favorite song of ours, both to perform and listen to. As you all know we’re obsessed with Black Flag, and one thing that particularly compelling us is the way Henry Rollins and Bill Stevenson had to dedicate a lot of energy during shows to preparing to play “My War”, because it’s a song you have to throw your entire self into so hard it almost kills you when you play it. That’s how I feel about this song too. I don’t really sing that much on it, so when we play it live that mainly means doing my best Sutcliffe Jugend voice and flailing around on the floor.

S: Rollins goes on with a sort of awestruck fear of the "My War" song and how he and Stevenson would view the setlist from afar and make glimpses of eye contact during the sets on the "My War" tour, in dread and trepidation awaiting the playing of the song. I wasn't thinking about Black Flag at all when I wrote this song, though. It's about "street corners" and "avenue roundabouts", infrastructure and external signs of internal dysfunction. I stole the title from Sidsel Mørck who also wrote "capitalism screams with metallic voice" which is like the toughest and most precise thing ever written? In live settings we've "twisted the knife (slowly)" by playing this song two or three times in a set, sometimes in a row. I remember having a sorta "wow moment" with this song at Internasjonalen once, the first time we had Helge Taksdal “on the knobs and the sliders". He cranked the master on literally max and we were sloped over into the monitors and the mics were "hella" feeding back but since everything was so loud already it just sounded like extra racket on top of the already boomin' racket. That night I sang this song louder than I had ever sung anything before and later I thought "hey", this is actually something you can do out in public. And we drank Blue Nun from an ice bucket which is just subversive.