History of VNRDS #4: The Lost Album

This is the story of how ridiculously slow and stupid a band can act in certain situations, especially when there are two bands involved, and where the outcome therefore is slim to nothing.

In 2004 we joind forces with the highly esteemed, but now unfortunately deceased, rock orchestra Autotune, to make a split 10″ vinyl. The recordings were done in August/September the same year in Autotank studio, later to be known as Come Again Studios, on analouge tape and a feisty, yet raw sound was secured. The recordings and mixing were taken care of by Håvard and the mastering by Renate Bakke. But one thing remained. The cover art. And that was when the trouble started.

Thomas Røst had done the first demo and Good Rock for Good People, so we decided to go for him one more time.

We gave him rather unlimited say in bringing in ideas for the cover. All we did was to give him the title, and since it was a split release, there shouldn’t be side A and B. The sides should be labeled with different colours. Svein came up with the title «This is Rock. You are Disco», and strangely enough everyone agreed rather quickly.

So, Thomas worked for a few days, and we all gathered for a meeting at the infamous pub Cafe 33 in Oslo.

Café 33

The meeting went fairly well. Some of us loved Thomas’ suggestions right away, some were a bit indifferent, while some didn´t like it that much. So why not go for it and perhaps make minor alterations? For some democratic reasons why more or less had decided, or at least had the silent idea, that all of us should agree on the final product – no matter what. So when the bands were alone the discussions started on what kind of design we wanted the cover to have. A discussion we might have been better off with taking some time earlier. The moose was in fact a major issue.

Because the end of it was that we left the pub, and had some sporadic talks about what we wanted. The time went by, and suddenly it had taken so long time that Autotune was ready to release their own album, and found that the two releases came to close to each other. So it was clear that the vinyl was dead. All the songs that were supposed to be on the vinyl were re-recorded and ended up on different albums. A fun fact is that the song «Cruise Control» that VNRDS were supposed to put on the vinyl were renamed and the lyrics were rewritten for Hoggin´all the Action. The song ended up as «Sire, it´s the Bell Boy from Hull». And what did the cover art look like? There were suggested other colours as well, but these are the only copies known to have survived:

History of VNRDS #3: Album titles

How did the titles of the VNRDS-albums come about? Did they just present themselves? Were there hot debates and great controversies? As you probably know, The Vineyards has released one EP and two full length albums. This is the stories behind the titles.

Titles for songs often just pops out of someone´s head, but the album titles have been a bit more difficult. The EP was about to be called Schwedenborg. It was close to the deadline for the pressing, so we summoned a meeting at Hans Martin´s flat to pick the best name that had been suggested so far. I had suggested «Schwedenborg». We all had seen the movie Riget, and I had read something about Schwedenborg at the university that I found interesting. However, after a couple of days, it didn´t longer feel quite right, and we knew too little about this enigmatic character, so the aftermath would be a bit uncertain. Then Kjartan suddenly said: «Let´s call it Good Rock for Good People». This had for some reason become some sort of saying within the band in that period, so it suited the EP perfectly.

Then after two years we were on our way to Sweden to record our first full length album. Yet again, we had no title ready, not even a working title. After a week in studio we drove back to Oslo for a break. We arrived in Oslo late at night and on one street we were intercepted by an ambulance with the lights twirling, and out of the blue one of us blurted out: «It´s the Ambulance of Doom!». When you are very tired and giggly some things can be a bit more funny than they in fact really are. So, in the following days we actually thought of naming the album «Ambulance of Doom». I think it was wise not to.

So, how did we end up with Hoggin´all the Action? We did not want to name the album after one of the songs on the album. The opening song on the album is Hoggin´All the Action, I See – a title in fact lent from the video game GTA Vice City – and we thought that just Hoggin´All the Action was a good statement for the first album, and yet not making the opening song a title track. The title was settled during a few phone calls done late at night from where I work.

For some reason we just wanted to call our latest album The Vineyards. We always thought that we should save the self titled album for a sort of defining album. And since we were doing all of the recording ourselves, it seemed like a good idea, and we still think so. However, Hans Martin said a little bit to late that we should give the album a proper name, and I think we all on some level agree – mainly because it is fun to think up names.

This is the VNRDS-catalouge so far, but what about the album that never saw the day of light? What was that name intended? And the cover art? Oh, you will be let in on the secret in due time.

History of VNRDS #2: Cover art – First demo

Way back in 2003 The Vineyards went to the now legendary Come Again Studio to record their first demo. The man behind the knobs and reels was the infamous man, now known as Howie B. of Bloodlights, Håvard Lunøe Nielsen, then the even more infamous man of the mighty Autotune.

The demo were pressed in just a few copies, maybe 150 or so. Not many people have got this rare release, hence, not many people have seen the cover art. Yet again, even fewer people have seen what the cover art didn´t turn out to be! The man behind the art work is a guy called Thomas Røst, who later made a few posters for us as well.

So, the first picture shows what made the foundation for the final art work. The next three shows what it didn´t end up to be, and the last picture – yes, that one shows what it almost ended up to be except for a minor detail. Unfortunately I don´t have a picture of the final version at hand. So, if anyone can tell me what this minor detail is you will win a prize! And what is this fabolous prize? A copy of this rare recording! Yes, we still have a handfull left, believe it or not. Send us an email or post a comment bellow and be a winner!


The Vineyards har omsider våknet til live igjen etter en lengre juleferie og stablet seg ned i øvingslokalet med ny frisk. Allerede begynner nye låter å ta form. For noen karer. Så hva skal The Vineyards ta seg til i 2010?

Vanligvis blir vi så gira når nye planer legges at vi avslører godsakene alt for tidlig, så i år er det duket for mer hemmelighetskremmeri. Må jo overraske litt også? Men spennende ting, folkens, spennende ting. Og selvfølgelig, vi skal holde dere oppdatert på det viktigste.

Likevel, noe kan nevnes. Våren vil i hovedsak bli brukt til å snekre sammen låter til et nytt album, så det blir ikke noen lange turneer, men noen utvalge gigs for å holde det hissige liveshowet i gang. Så i mars er det en bekreftet gig på plakaten, pluss en i emming:

18.mars: Kvarteret – Bergen. Alltid tilbake til Bergen, og denne gangen til et nyåpnet Kvarteret! Der har vi ikke vært siden… Ikke greit å huske. Men det skal være nyoppusset og fjongt.

History of VNRDS #1

A while back, when I cleaned out of my beloved Renault 5 TL before I sold it, I found an interesting artifact. It was a frizzy piece of paper hidden in a corner of the trunk. And what do you know? It is the setlist from the first gig The Vineyards did! What a relic!

The first setlist
The first setlist

The paper is not dated, so you may ask how can I know it is the first setlist? There is one song called After the Great Divide that we have only played once, and that was on the very first gig at Barbeint in Oslo 10th April 2003. The song was actually a slow waltz. Nice enough, but it just didn´t cut it. And it still doesn´t.

Those of you that have followed us through the years might see that three of the songs found their way to official album releases. Most of the other songs unfortunately did not, but are out there as demo recordings. So if you went to one of our early shows, maybe you got your hand on some golden treasure?

The final trivia regarding the lost but now found setlist is that it is actually written by Hans Martin. This is very rare, and happened only in 2003.


Then the first gig this autumn is done! We opened a two day festival located north-east in Oslo in the suburban heaven called Groruddalen. We had some difficulties getting the correct information regarding when we were to show up, and for how long we were supposed to play. So, we arrived one hour before we thought we were supposed to be there, and one hour after the festival thougt they had told us to be there. Anyhow, we got there and started to do what every rock orchestra does most of the time when giging – yes,  we wait.

Tormod is catching up with the latest news

It is a very strange unwritten rule that now matter how early or late you arrive, you just have to wait. So, over the years we have become quite good at it as well.

Kjartan is waiting to do some rock
Kjartan is waiting to do some rock

We were the opening act this evening, and the bands playing after us were Satyricon and Kaizer´s Orchestra. For some reason the Kaizer-people had a stupid amount of flight cases that just had to be placed right at the entrance of the stage, and the whole «where should we put our gear» was a bit confusing. But in the end we found a decent spot on the stage. I placed my monstrous bass rig right in front of Frost´s evil drum kit – just to make a childish statement, as I often do.

The stage - before the move of the might bass amp!
The stage - before the move of the might bass amp!

The ancient VNRDS-organ was brought along for this special occasion. However, it chose to just not work. Too bad, but we had the Phillichorda so the delightful organ sound was secured. Hans Martin was in addition in bewilderment regarding our infamous backdrop.

Hans Martin in bewilderment
Hans Martin in bewilderment

For some reason there seemed to be some difficulties for the stage crew to actually hang the backdrop behind us. Even after a friendly discussion about the pros and cons of backdrop engineering, the prospects looked bleak. But 30 minutes later, two lads from the stage crew found out that they could climb the stage rig, and a few meters of gaffa later:

Oh yess. Backdrop
Oh yess. Backdrop, hovering above evil drum kit.

To be honest, the gig went OK. We have to admit that we are a bit rusty, but the audience seemed happy, so no reason to complain. The strange thing was that we were told to play for 35 minutes. But because of a general high speed song delivery we played for about 30 minutes. When we went of stage someone backstage said: «What?! You were supposed to play for an hour!». Nobody had told us, but we went back on and played some more merry tunes. All in all, great fun!

The setlist for the gig. Without the "encores".
The setlist for the gig. Without the "encores".

Shows! Gigs! Entertainment!

Did you think that The Vineyards didn´t have any plans this autumn? That they were just going to stay indoors playing mighty rock music for their own amusement? You couldn´t be more wrong!

As mentioned before we are doing a mini tour with The Audience in early November. An update here is that the venue in Oslo is Garage, and yet another band will join us for the evening: X-Queen of the Astronauts. Oh yes, you´ve heard them before, and you love them too.

But there is more to come!

Already on 4th September we are playing festival called Granittrock, along with Satyricon and Kaizers Orchestra. That should be fun.

23rd and 24th October we are transporting our tiny asses to Berlin. The gig on the 23rd is not yet confrimed. The gig on the 24th is nothing less booked by the Norwegian Embassy! Can you dig it? We can. The details are a bit unclear, but we hear roumors that it is held in a circus tent.

The 30th October we are back in Norway playing a show at Gamla in Oslo. It is an event called «Bønder i byen». We played there last year, and they were so kind to ask us once again.

Then it is the mini tour with The Audience and X-Queen of the Astronauts 5th-7th November.

After a short break we are setting sails to conquer yet another country: The Netherlands. 26th-28th November we are doing another mini tour. At least one gig will be with The Audience in Den Haag. Information on the other two gigs will be revealed soon. Maybe we will team up with some old friends of ours.

So now you are almost as updated on The Vineyards as we are!


The Vineyards LP
The Vineyards LP

Last night I was walking down the street Howie B from Bloodlights drove by in his car shouting through the window: «great vinyl»!!


And today I ran down to the superb record store Big Dipper to see for myself, and there it was! So, finally the long awaited time is here. 

And you better run and get a copy for yourself and all your friends. Just take a look at the back: Track 13? Oh, yes, there is a bonus track. The first recording ever made by The Vineyards from 2003. 

Track 13
Track 13

The merchandise

The Vineyards strongly recommend that you visit Synne Moen Tøften´s website. She was the designer that made the fantastic cover art for our latest album. Get a glimpse at what inspired her in the process and how the artwork was made.

And last but not least; take a look at the extremely limited edition merchandise that will be available only on eBay! We´ll let you know when the auctions start! 

The Hair - merchandise

The exclusive version of Northern Winters

Ok, here it is – Northern Winters arranged for acoustic guitar and macintosh! I bet you’ve never seen anything like it :

[flashvideo file=»video/tvnorge-vnrds.flv» /]

Now, we do need to explain this performance. As you may know, The Vineyards is a band fully employed in the business sector and a lot of our texts reflects the hard and dull life of office work. Like we say in Texas Ranger:

«gotta make a living, that’s all I know, it’s time to work, let’s go, let’s go!»

or in The Alibi:

«but as the clock is ticking and the day runs out, I cross my arms, I’m dreaming of what life is about» … «I should be seated at the fireside, with a little velvet robe untied, but every time I try to unwind, I’ll be standing at the assembely line»

Now, that is what we call powerful lyrics! The hard office work require a lot of skills in how to lure the co-workers (and bosses) to believe that you’re actually working when you’re sitting at the desk. What they don’t know is that we are actually making music in our office hours while playing keyboard on our macs. This version of Northern Winters is a way for us to come clean to our co-workers and say that there is indeed a life outside the cubicle! Enjoy!