Elephant9 is a Norwegian neo-psychedelic-progressive-jazz-rock trio, established back in 2006 (at that time known under the name Storløkken/Eilertsen/Lofthus). Led by the keyboard player Ståle Storløkken they offer one of the most astonishing electric rhythm section you can find – thanks to Nikolai Eilertsen on bass and Torstein Lofthus on drums. When recording the Atlantis album (2012), Elephant9 joined forces with Reine Fiske (the excellent Swedish guitarist from Dungen) for yet another heavy slice of mind blowing modern rock'n'jazz psychedelia. Many critics have compared their tunes to those of Deep Purple, Brian Auger, Emerson Lake and Miles Davis in early '70s, all pointing to the fact that they're pretty relaxed in both rock and jazz. There's absolutely no doubt that Reine Fiske is the perfect fit for Elephant9, because they all work together so smoothly and nobody really stands out – instead, they all shine as a whole! I got a chance to ask Ståle some questions and voilà, here are the answers!
Hi Ståle, how are you doing? How has your early summer been so far?
I'm doing fine. For me the early summer has been a bit rainy (living in Trondheim).
How did you get in contact with jazz or with music in the first place?
I can only speak for myself. I started out playing electronic organ and later classical piano, inspired by my father, who used to play electronic organ as a hobby.
The overall sound of Atlantis from 2012 seems a bit heavier and more spacious than your previous albums (Dodovoodoo and Walk The Nile). How do you see Atlantis in comparison to your other projects? What was the main element that switched the game a little?
We always try to find new ways in our musical landscape, so the sound and music on Atlantis is sort of a result from that search. And also bringing in the amazing new dimension of Reine's guitar. That also contributed to it!
Where do you scoop your inspiration from?
We all seek inspiration from many and various musical genres and styles. And for Elephant9 I think the common inspiration is first and foremost from jazz and rock music of the '70s. But there is also room for bringing in other inspiration that the individual person has at any time.
It's fascinating how you can move between different styles in your production (impro, progressive rock, electric rhythms …). How did you choose your style? Do you like to mix and spice things up with elements from different music backgrounds?
Yes. As I said, we have a common liking of music from the 70's, but we also seek to mix in other musical inputs as well.
You'll be performing at Ljubljana's Jazz Festival soon. What can we expect to hear from Elephant9 and Reine Fiske?
You will probably get music from Atlantis, and also some from the previous albums, as well as some material from the forthcoming album. We're looking forward to playing in Ljubljana!