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Into The Realm of Storm

Into The Realm of Storm

Photo: Elisabeth Anker Jakobsen

Into The Realm of Storm

STORM has been making a name for himself all over the world with his dynamic metalcore anthems. At the age of 15, the young star has already performed at the biggest festival in Norway, Tons of Rock, played at the German festival Summer Breeze Open Air, toured Norway together with Gåte, and now he is announced to the UKs biggest rock and metal festival: Download!  With a pair of brand-new songs out entitled After A Lie and House Of Cards via Indie Recordings, it is clear that the band has aspirations above and beyond any genre.  Highwire Daze recently interviewed Leo, the mastermind behind Storm, to find out more about this absolutely amazing artist on the rise.  Ride into the realm of Storm now…

First of all, the big news is that you just got signed to do Download. What are you most excited about? And is this the first time that you’re going to be in the UK?
Yeah, I was totally mind-blown when I found that out. What I’m most excited for is going on that stage because the feeling you get is crazy, especially in that place. And I’ve been dreaming about only going to the festival to see other bands. I’ve never pictured that I’m actually going to play there myself. So, it’s totally crazy for me. I’ve never been in the UK playing before. I’ve been there one time before, on a vacation. I was there for 4 days because I was going to see the band, Motionless In White. They were playing in the UK, so we went to London, but it’s so crazy to me.

You have played big festivals before. Tell me about Summer Breeze. What was that like playing that prestigious festival and what was the highlight?
So, that was a fun experience because we, as the band, Storm, we’ve only played in 1 concert before. And that was a small club for about probably 100 people there. And 2 weeks after, we were going to Germany and that was so crazy also. I remember, it was very stressful. A lot of things happened that we didn’t expect. So, before going on a stage, my heart was going so fast, I remember. And I was saying to my guitarist, “What is going to happen?” But it turned out well and it was an amazing experience.

Also, it’s a funny story about that festival because I was so stressed. And then, my drummer gave me a big hug. He just gave me a hug for like 1 minute. And after that concert, we have done it every time before playing a concert. Summer Breeze, that was a great experience.

Photo: Anine Desire

You also recently did Ton of Rock with a lot of big bands: Volbeat, Nightwish, and Asking Alexandria. What was that experience like?
That’s pretty fun because, I think, it was June. Yeah, on June 22, 2022, we played our first concert. And June 22, 2023, it was Tons of Rock. So, we started with 100 people, and 1 year after it was like 8,000. I remember standing on that stage, I couldn’t believe what I was doing. It was like looking at all these people. That was so surreal to me, but it probably was the most fun concert I’ve ever played. We had so much fun on stage and everything was going so well. And also, the experience after playing, like talking with all these people, it was so great. And seeing all these bands, I was so excited for, for example, Architects.  And I also got to talk with the singer of Fever 333. But that was so sad because they played at the same time as us.  So, I didn’t get to see them, but I remember between our songs, I could hear what song they were playing.

How did your recent tour with, I think they’re called Gåte, go? And what were some of the highlights of being on the road with Gåte?
Yeah, they’re cool. It’s the Norwegian word for riddle. So, it’s ‘goat-eh’ you say in Norwegian. And my aunt is the singer of that band.  So, it’s kind of a family connection. And because my dad was in the band before, so I grew up on the tour bus with them. I remember when I was about 7 years old, I got to join them on tour and sleep on the tour bus. And that was the reason I started with music, because then I saw, especially the guitarist here, who was like my big idol. And when I was on that tour with them and got to see a lot of concerts and festivals, I was like, “I want to do this. This is what I want to do.

So, it was amazing going on tour with them, and I know these people very well. So, it felt so safe and it felt so natural. I also played 1 song with them on stage. And that song I recorded when I was 12 years old. So, it was released now, 4 years later, but that was also so fun, because standing on the stage beside my aunt, that was great. We also got to practice a lot. We have never played a concert. So, what is it called, repetitive?

One day after the other. Yeah.
Yeah. So, we’d never done that. And. That was good training for us. We had so much fun, and hopefully, we got to show ourselves to some new people and get some new listeners.

What could one expect from a live Storm show?
A big Storm!  It’s a lot of energy. And that’s one thing I got that inspired me with Gåte when I was a kid because the guitarist there, he’s going all around the stage and he’s climbing up, and jumping, and throwing the guitar. And I remember when I saw that band when I was a kid, I was like, “I’m going to look like that on stage.” So, we also climb everywhere and jump, throw the guitars, and we have a lot of fun on stage. We’ve also experienced a lot with different genres, but I think you can actually expect a lot of energy.

Let’s talk about some of your new songs. You have a new song that just came out called After a Lie. What’s the story behind the lyrics and the inspiration for that song?
That song is about something, I think, especially in between 8th and 10th grade, that a lot of people feel: the feeling of trying to be someone else to get new friends. In this song, I used ‘she’, so to get that 1 girl, you’re faking that you are someone you aren’t.  And like I say in the song, “White lies for the better.” So, you lie about yourself to get someone or get the attention of someone. I think, a lot of teenagers feel that way, that they have to do that, or wear those clothes, wear that or say that to get new friends. And this song is about really that feeling.

Another recent single is called House of Cards. Tell me the story behind that song.
It’s pretty fun because, it was like a festival here in the town I live in, and one of the guys who was playing guitar for one of the artists came to my record label, who was there, (Erlend Torheim) and they talked together, and my record label said, “We have a kid here that we’re working with, and I think you would get along.” Because that guy also liked metalcore and that stuff.

So, he came to my studio right here. We met and we had such a good connection, and because needed a producer… I’m so glad that I met him. Me and him have worked so much together now, and we work pretty well. But, yeah, we met and he showed me the song he’s been working on, just a demo, called House of Cards, just to show what he’s been making for himself, for fun. And I was like, “That song is crazy. Well, we’ve got to work on that. This song is… I love it.”

Usually, I write my songs by myself, but with some exceptions, because this song was like… I said to him, “If you’re up for it, I’m down because this song is crazy.” And he was like, “Yeah, we can work on that song, of course.” And that’s how our relationship started. About 1 month ago, I was at his studio, and I slept at his house in Oslo for 2 weeks, and I think we made 10 songs or something.”

So, I’m so glad that I met him. And also, the streams House of Cards got, that was crazy. 100,000, that’s been one of my goals. And now it has 200,000, so that’s crazy to me. And how people took that song was crazy to me. Yeah.

You’re on Indie Recordings, which is a label more famous for extreme music and black metal. Kampfar is actually one of my favorite black metal bands. Are you into black metal at all and have you met Kampfar?
I listen to basically everything, to be honest. I have some Norwegian black metal bands that I’ve listened to since I was a kid, but I’m also a fan of artists like Travis Scott and Michael Jackson. And basically, my playlist is so mixed in different kinds of genres, but I listened to some heavy metal. Yeah.

Leo of Storm at our Zoom interview

I’ve noticed you’ve gotten some new band members along the way. I was able to find out the name of one of them, Olai Wanvik. How did he become involved with Storm and what was his background before joining?
So, Olai has been with Storm from the start. Me and Olai are pretty close because my first band—I had another band that was called Snowstorm. And he was like helping us with backtracks and all that technical stuff. And when I wanted to start a new project that was called Storm, I thought, who can be the guitarist? And Olai was the first one that came to mind because his energy on stage is crazy. It’s like me and him are jumping on each side, and we’re having so much fun.

Also, Olai has been recording the vocals for my first EP. So, I’ve been working with Olai a lot and he’s like a big brother to me. And when we started Storm, it was only me, Olai, and the drummer called Sondre, and that’s the 3 original members, you can say. But when we play in bigger shows, we used to have one bassist with us that’s called Eric. And that guy, we actually found right before Tons of Rock because we were like, “I think it would be cool with a bassist and it’s a big stage.” So, we found him and he played so well. He learned all the songs in like 2 days or something.

And sometimes, Erlend, the one I was talking about, the one I made House of Cards with is with us playing guitar. That’s only like on the biggest festival. So, he was with us on Tons of Rock. He’s going to join us for Download. And he also plays a little bit of Synth. So, yeah, but Olai is amazing. He’s helping me with school, the studio stuff, and like basically everything I need help with because he’s a super smart guy.

How supportive have your parents been on this journey that you’re making?
They’ve been super supportive. Both my mom and my dad are musicians. On my mom’s side, it’s been like flamenco because they’re from Spain. So, they’re always playing flamenco music. My granddad plays flamenco guitar. And on my dad’s side, it’s always been Norwegian folk music. So, I grew up with music. And like I said, on the tour bus, my dad had some festivals before. So, they’ve been super supportive and they’ve both been there for me and really support that, this is what I want to do.

How close are you to releasing a new EP or even a full-length album?
We’re working on an album now. Erlend and I had these 2 weeks where I slept at his house. We’re just working every day, writing songs. And I’m so excited to show everyone what we’ve been making because I feel like this album is like experiencing all types of genres. I think we’ve been everywhere. We’ve been experimenting so much, and we have songs that are metal and disco, we have pop-punk songs, we have songs on the piano, we have basically everything. And I’m so excited to show everyone what we’ve been making. But, House of Cards and After A Lie, I think, is a little taste of what’s coming.

Any chance of Storm coming here to the United States in 2024?
I don’t think so because it’s very expensive. Yeah, maybe in 2025, because I don’t think we’ll do it, but who knows, maybe something will happen. So, maybe, we get an offer or anything, but as of now, I don’t think so. Maybe in ’25, but that would be crazy, going to the US, that would be… I don’t know how to say it, but it would be so crazy.

What’s up in the new year for you?
A lot of studio work. Yeah, at the beginning of ’24, we’ll work a lot in the studio and get all the songs done, and then we’ll start to release each one of them. I want to release a lot of singles before the album comes out. So, a lot of stuff will come out. And also, we have some more festivals, especially here in Norway that we’re going to play in the summer. And yeah, I think it’s going to be a very exciting year.

Do you have any messages for your fans out here in the States?
I would just say thank you so much for listening. I see on Spotify that, the US is in the top 3, I think. And that’s crazy to me. I don’t know how you think we think about the US, but for us, the US is like, “That’s the big shit!” For us here in Europe, the US is like, “That’s big.” So, yeah. It’s pretty cool to see that people are listening in the US. That’s great!

(Interview by Ken Morton)

Storm on Instagram

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