Uncategorized

10 things you might not know about Kolossus!

In April last year I wrote a post with 10 things that people might not know about our Armada album. The post was quite popular and it seemed like the fans appreciated that kind of information.

So, I thought I’d do the same with Kolossus so here we go:

  1. Since the studio we recorded Armada in went bankrupt, as you can read more about here, we took over the studio ourselves together with producer Rune Stavnesli. So we spent the studio budget on buying equipment to run our own studio. The same equipment has been used for all Keep Of Kalessin recordings since. The studio was already built, but all equipment was ripped out so we had to install everything from scratch when it comes to studio monitors and other equipment. But even though we used some money to install everything we have saved a lot of money on all albums since this recording.
  2. Once again, we realized that we had put the bar too high in regards to our own performance. We were struggling and using way more time than anticipated when we started recording. This resulted in less time to mix etc. so the production lacked some power, in my opinion.
  3. We constantly pushed the releasedate for the album because we never were able to finish the album. The releasedate was pushed so much that we at some point just had to say. Ok, enough is enough. We just need to get this album out there! Kolossus was released on June 6th 2008, but we were talking about pushing it further and into the fall of 2008. However, we decided to have it out before the summer. This stressful push for release resulted in the fact that we weren’t able to do any festivals in 2008. So it wasn’t until 2009, a whole year after the release, that we did the festival run for this album.
  4. Kolossus is a truly unique album. It doesn’t sound like anything else out there and when I hear the riffs on this album, I often think “wow. did we actually do that?”. I think that Kolossus has some great moments to it and my personal feeling is that it’s still an underrated album in the metal scene. Maybe lacking a bit in production, but the feeling and style of this album is truly unique.
  5. One of my personal favourites for this album is “Escape the Union”. Which also have one of the better leads I have done.
  6. If you listen to the bass on this track, you’ll be amazed of all the detail and how cool this bass recording is!! Especially the part from 5:16.
  7. I had never done sweeping before the Ascendant track. After the song was done and I was listening to it in the studio, I told Rune. “Hey. We need a guitar lead here!”. He agreed and I started testing a little bit. I was listening to the part and I kinda heard what the lead should be like in my head. I then told Rune “Wow. Imagine doing it like this and then going into this part just sweeping before we move on to something like this”. Rune said, “yep, you’re right we HAVE to do that!”. “But I don’t know how to sweep!”, I said. “Well, you gotta learn!”.
    At this point we only had a few days until we had to deliver the master and I tried sweeping before, but never really managed to do it. I told Rune that I would need at least 2 weeks to learn the sweeping I wanted on this track, but he told me that I’ll be able to learn it in 2 days! I sat down, started to practice and I nailed the solo in 2 days! 🙂
  8. As I’ve mentioned in interview and forums before, I think the Ascendant video did just as much harm as good. We had great ideas for this video and it looked really cool when were filming it, however when we got the edit from the director, I said that this was totally not acceptable. I said to the record label that we needed to re-edit the entire video. We did some edits, but due to rush and pressure from the label we released it without doing all the changes I wanted to do. When we released it there was a lot of negative comments and I just regret not holding my ground so I could have gotten a video that I could be proud of. I saw the comments and I understood where they came from because I actually agree with everything they say! The video became way to cheezy and unfortunately that was the result of me crumbling under pressure from the labels. Lesson learned!!
  9. The middle part of the Kolossus title track is very much inspired by the scene in Xerxes Tent in the movie 300. I remember watching this movie and this scene had just an amazing atmosphere which inspired me greatly to create this title track.maxresdefault
  10. The cover art and the band photos are inspired by the computer game Oblivion as well as the movie Alexander. Some metal heads think it looks too “soft”, but I think it looks epic and it captures the mood we wanted. And besides it’s definitely something different than your ordinary corpsepaint band! You can probably see the resemblance, but you can also see the difference in budget for a blockbuster movie and a metal band as well! 😉

Hope you like the article and maybe you learned something that you didn’t know.

Listen to Keep Of Kalessin on Spotify!

Why you need a CRM system for your band!

Nowadays, almost every business has their own CRM systems!

Yes, I said that almost every BUSINESS has some kind of CRM systems and guess
what, your band is a BUSINESS! And before you get your head wrapped around that fact, you can kiss your dream of being a rockstar goodbye!

It may sound harsh and “non-idealistic”, but that’s the honest truth. Even though you’re still in the garage rehearsing hours and hours just to get to play in the local pub, you’re still in business.

You’re a starting business. You’re an entrepreneur just as much you are a musician.

Here in Trondheim we are 4 guitarists and “band owners” that are about the same age and about the same music style.

I consider myself as the least skilled guitarist of the four of us, but still my band has the biggest fanbase and making the most money of these 4 bands. All bands are on the heavier side of the music biz.

I remember talking to some of them one time and I explained why my band was doing better than theirs and it’s very simple. They use 80% of their time “on the guitar”, rehearsing and getting better and writing songs, and just 20% “in the office” doing boring administrative tasks.

I on the other hand, use 80% of the time in the office and just 20% on the guitar and writing songs etc.

And that’s the reason why my band is the biggest of these 4 bands!

Many musicians don’t realize that their time is more well spent doing the actual work! Doing the boring stuff like sending out e-mails, booking shows, planning tours, pushing for labels, lobbying at festivals or traveling and showing up at the office of the record label they want to sign them.

They tend to get caught up in writing music, not getting the music out there, so they write more music and not pushing that music out there and then writing more and more, but never really get any attention for their new album.

Now, I’m not saying that Keep Of Kalessin is the biggest band out there either and we have done a lot of wrong things in our career. Maybe the biggest one is lack of consistency when it comes to releasing albums and going on tours, but we have also done many things right because we’ve been able to tour the world and make some money in the process. Which is more than most band’s out there manage to and I see that the big difference is actually where the focus is. If you don’t keep focus on the business, you’ll never really get your band off the ground! The day and age when managers picked you up and signed you to a big label while the band was out there drinking and partying and let everyone else take care of business is absolutely over!

So, one of the most important tools when running your band business is actually gathering your fans’ information.

Facebook is great, followers on Instagram and Snapchat is all fine, but to have your own CRM tool is a great way to keep contact with your fans and you can build your own fanbase slow and steady and know that you will really be able to reach them. You can also have statistics and analytics on how well your e-mail campaign is doing as well as do special deals for a certain group of customers sorted by gender, age or adress.

The great thing about this is that when you for instance have a new T-shirt in your webshop, you’re able to send an e-mail campaign with an offer for this t-shirt. If you have a few thousand mail-adresses in your list, it should be possible to create instant revenue from that list by offering the fans a good deal on the new shirt. Promoting shows, selling merchandise etc. is way more effective with a good CRM system.

You don’t need a huge fanbase to start, but I think that if you just start and gather this information, you’ll some day be very glad you did that even though it’s in the beginning of your career.

There are countless CRM systems out there and earlier I used MailChimp, but since this is just an e-mail sender, I feel that I need more. So I’ve been using Wix for some time to gather e-mails from the fans of Keep Of Kalessin, but recently I’ve also been moving my database over to Cashback Solutions by Lyoness.

In Cashback Solutions, I get a full CRM system, not just an e-mail sender. This includes statistics and analyzis on a very professional level for a very low price compared to any competitor. But there is also one crazy benefit of choosing Lyoness as my partner for CRM systems and that is the opportunity to get paid whenever the fans of Keep Of Kalessin is buying their daily household products! Imagine as a band not only getting paid when your fans buy music or merchandise or go to your shows. But rather when they buy things like groceries, gasoline, clothes, shoes and more! Lyoness gives you the opportunity to earn money whenever your fans buy what they normally buy anyway and there is no other company on the planet offering that solution! I honestly just love what this company is doing!!

And besides, aren’t we all kinda fed up about all those different type of loyalty cards and customer clubs now? So why not share ONE customer club with thousands of other businesses instead of trying to create your own!? Lyoness’ motto is actually “Together we are strong!” and I couldn’t agree more!

Utkast 45301062

Lyoness is a global shopping community offering benefits to all their customers in any type of business.

This means that our customers can save money in many different stores like Carrefour, Lidl, OMV and thousands of small and medium sized businesses across the globe as well as thousands of online stores. Our fans happily save money with their Keep Of Kalessin Cashback Card or the Cashback App on what they are going to buy anyway, and the band gets a cut of every transaction! It’s unbelievable and it’s absolutely brilliant, if you ask me!

If you have any questions on how this would work for your band or business, please don’t hesitate to contact me on mail@morningstarmusic.no and I’ll be happy to assist and teach you a thing or two about it.

To sign up for the Keep Of Kalessin Cashback Card simply go to http://www.keepofkalessin.com/fanclub and fill in your name and e-mail and you’ll be contacted by us!

I wish you success in your endeavours and hope you found this post a little enlightening!

 

all the best,
Arnt

It’s not Trump, it’s you!

What is going on in the world? Has the world gone mad?

Seeing all this anger and frustration all around, one must really start to wonder, how did we end up in this situation?

Now, I’m not from the US, but I have many friends over there and besides, Trump becoming President has shaken the world, not just the United States. We feel it’s repercussions all over, also here in Norway.

trump_flicker_face_yess

But wait, is it Trump’s feeds and statements that are shocking? Well, he has said some weird things that I don’t think belong in a political election, but when I come to think about it, it’s not Trump’s posts that scare me the most! It’s the posts from the people! The total lack of self awareness in the world today is scaring me way more than Trump being President!

People are out rallying and demonstrating! They show their anger towards one man that many american’s elected into office. I’m not going to go into detail whether or not he won fairly, and frankly that doesn’t even matter in this post, because this is not a political post, but rather a call to raise awareness among people!

You see, it’s not about Trump! It’s about you! It’s about us, the people of the world! We all need to wake up!

I agree with one thing Russel Brand said, and that’s “we created this situation. We created the conditions for this to happen and it has been going on for a long time! And now all of a sudden, everyone is so surprised!”.

People take to the streets and show their anger! I see posts all over facebook like “Is it the beginning of a new world war?”, “Is WWIII really starting?”.

Seriously? Do you really think that fueling an environment of fear, hate and disrespect is going to turn the world on to a better direction?

Hasn’t it always been, and won’t the world always be a reflection of the people living in it? The environment we all live in? Didn’t we in fact create this environment ourselves?

There’s definitely something wrong with the world and it isn’t Trump! It’s the total lack of responsibility taken by the people! For the last few decades it has been growing into this. Our children grow up in an unsafe environment with fear mongering all over the media regarding the economy, terror, the environment or whatever the media can find.

The focus is always on the problem and not the solution! If you focus on trouble, you will have more trouble! The world is going in the direction where the focus of the people lies!

And why is the media doing this? Because YOU watch it! They give you what you want! You’re complaining that there’s “nothing on TV”, but you still keep watching it! And the freedom of choice in regards to online video content hasn’t made it any better! Because the choice of the people is to seek negativity and feed their brains with content even more narrow minded than mainstream media.

The most viewed videos online are for the most part non educational, brain degrading content feeding into exactly this zombie state of existence.

There is a whole world out there of free education that can propel us into a brighter future and we don’t even care to watch it! We want the easy fix. We tend to go for a quick 10 second laugh instead of life fulfillment.

The world is on the brink of destruction and it’s not because of Trump! It’s because of us! The people! Don’t you get it? If everyone would just stop spreading fear, anger, hate and going on with their warmongering all day, but rather took responsibility of their own live’s and the life of other’s around them, our community would immediately improve!

Just look at all the people out there in the streets, first blaming Obama and now Trump and almost every President before them for their lack of success.

Don’t you all have work to do? If everyone used that energy to be productive, you wouldn’t even be in this mess!

I’m not saying that we should totally neglect all our problems, but I am saying that each and every one of us should start taking some responsibility! We often hear that you are responsible for your actions, but what’s more important is that you are also responsible for your lack of action!

What we really should do, is start teaching personal development in schools at a young age because the world cannot continue on this track of self degradation!

I want you all to watch this video by the great Darren Hardy! I think he’s spot on in this video and I think it’s a lesson everyone on planet earth should be taught!

You see, everything starts with YOU! This is how the people can take back control! You simply do it! You take back control of your life! You take back control of your future! You support and help each other. You take responsibility for your own actions and don’t go around blaming the government for your failures! You have done that for way too many years already! Now, get over it! Be done with the whining and the blaming and get out there and be productive!

I still have hopes for a great future for humanity! There are great forces working towards a better future, but sadly there are also great forces working to hold the control through fear.

The great thing is that we all have a choice! We all can choose which side to root for! Your future is based on the choices you make today! You can choose where you will put your focus in the next minutes, days, months and years! Your future will be determined not by Trump, but by all the small choices you make from today and moving forwards!

We must understand that voting for the good is not done by hating the bad! It’s not done by spreading more fear, anger and hate. It’s through education, understanding, peace and compassion!

At the other side of fear lies a world of opportunity for you and your friends and family! A world of abundance! A world of peace and prosperity! You can simply go out and grab it if you just wake up and not let yourself be paralyzed by this overwhelming focus on negativity!

For the hope of a better future, with peace and love,
Arnt

 

 

 

 

 

The simple rules of residual income!

If people had a choice, we would agree that everyone would’ve wanted to set themselves up with residual income. The opportunity to have income generated while you sleep, while you’re at the beach or on holiday. Income streams that continue to flow regardless of the time you put in is a dream for most people.

As a musician I’ve touched into residual income on royalties from radio rotation or album sales, but in 2017 these income streams have become close to obsolete after music streaming services and downloading took over the market.

In the last few years, I’ve made it my mission to study the options of setting up residual income streams and in this quest, I’ve learned that the overall rules for this is actually not that difficult to understand so I’d like to share them with you all in such a simple way that anyone can understand it.

There are 2 basic rules that you MUST follow in order to reach financial freedom. I often hear people talking about their dreams and how they want to “get rich” or be “financial free”. However, most of them totally neglect these simple rules and hence, never achieve the freedom they covet.

Understand that if you don’t follow these 2 basic rules, it will actually NEVER happen for you unless you win the lottery!

This information is a gathering from years of studying and reading books and the information is actually quite easy accessible, but for my part, I actually needed some mentors to tell me where to look. So hopefully you can learn a little something from this blog post to push you in the direction of reaching your dreams.

Ok, here we go!

This is the Cashflow Quadrant as illustrated by writer Robert Kyosaki in his book with the same name.

cashflow-quadrant-e1425219291524

In this image you have the four ways of creating income in today’s society.

The E stands for Employee, meaning that you’re working for someone else and earning money by selling your time to your employer. We all know how that works. And it’s the safest way to never be financial free, yet for some reason the majority of people spend most of their time and focus here! But you must know, if you spend the majority of your time in this quadrant, you have no chance on reaching financial freedom except winning the lottery!

The S stands for Self Employed or a small business. Now, there are way too many people who think that they are on the road to freedom by starting their own business. However, studies show that most people in the S quadrant actually have less time and less money than if they worked the same amount of time as an employee. Don’t fall into this “entrepreneurial trap” like myself and so many other of my friends and other entrepreneurs have done before you!

The B is for Big Business or if you own a system.
There are many people who get the S and the B mixed up or they think they will start on the S and grow into a B, but the chance of doing so is extremely small and I’ve come to learn that much of the difference between the S and the B is the focus that they have. People in the S are often focused on their product or service. They have some kind of expertise in a field and they keep their focus on selling that service or product and their time is required for their business to run. However, the people in the B quadrant normally have a much higher focus on expanding the business and building leadership within their organisation. What everything actually boils down to is leadership. The B quadrant is built through great leadership and main focus on building more leaders within the organisation, while the S quadrant is built on focus on a product or expertise, often the expertise of the founding entrepreneur which means he is still selling his time instead of earning money on other people’s time.

The I is for Investment. This is where you can put your money to work for you. However, most people think of this as high risk and never get involved. Most of us know about the I, but most of us think that the jungle of stock products and securities look way too complicated to get involved into.

Now, when you look at the cashflow quadrant where 95% of people on the left side own only 5% of all assets in the world and 5% of people own 95% of all assets it is quite obvious that you must start taking steps over to the right side if you’re looking for financial freedom! It is ONLY on the right side that you’re able to generate residual income!

We all agree that earning residual income is a more lucrative way to earn money than selling your time. So if everyone agrees to that, why is it then….that only 5% of people are on the right side of the cashflow quadrant?

The answer is two things: Knowledge and Fear!

We don’t spend enough time to learn about the different opportunities, and hence we let our fear of the unknown stop us from living the life of our dreams!

Understand that rich people spend their time, energy and money on aquiring assets while broke people (the 95%) spend their time and energy working for others while they spend their money on liabilities.

So let’s look at the 2 basic rules that got my focus to shift and in a very short time has totally changed my economic situation going from dead broke and in debt, to having multiple residual income streams and a future that is looking extremely bright!

RULE NUMBER 1:

If you are looking for financial freedom there is absolutely no way around the fact that you need to put your time, energy and money to start setting yourself up on the RIGHT SIDE OF THE CASHFLOW QUADRANT! And here you can choose between the B and the I.

If you fail on understanding rule #1 and continue to use your time on the left side of the cashflow quadrant, you have to understand that you will basically work until you’re dead and you can kiss your financial freedom goodbye!

Switch your focus, today!

Ok. now that we have rule number 1 established it would also be interesting to know the options on the right side, wouldn’t it?

Some people feel overwhelmed with the opportunities out there, but when you really look at the right side of the cashflow quadrant, there are actually only three major classes that all opportunities are put into. And this brings us to rule number 2.

RULE NUMBER 2:

If you are going to get involved in the right side of the cashflow quadrant (which you must do in order to achieve freedom), you actually only have three classes to choose from.

And these are:

Business
Real Estate
Securities (Stocks, bonds, mutual funds etc.)

If you fail to choose any of these, it means that you’re still on the left side of Cashflow Quadrant and you need to go back to rule number 1!

Out of these three options, most people actually choose Business as their way to freedom. However, if you really look at it. Building your own business is the option that normally requires the most money to start, the most knowledge, the most time spent and also has the highest failure rate. How come so many people choose this option? Yes, they might have a passion for what they are doing, but I also think there’s a huge lack of knowledge in these simple rules.

Real Estate can be very lucrative, but you normally need some money to start and owning your own real estate business can also become a job and the return might not be that great in comparison to what you put into it. But it might beat buiding a traditional business in regards to the time you spend on it.

People generally think that securities has the highest risk of all these options, however the fact that it’s possible to start with a very low investment makes this option the one with the least risk. Normally this option has a “the higher the risk, the better the return” philosophy, but it is possible to find good long term options and savings plans within the jungle of the different securities available.

Now, there has come a fourth option to the market and I will explain this in later blog entries. This option is what I have chosen to put most of my focus on simply because it’s less risk, higher return and easier to understand than any of the other options.

Like I said, this information is a gathering from the overall view on economics after reading countless books, blogs and going to seminars and watching videos on the topic. I think Robert Kyosaki is one of the few that explain things in a very easy way, while it seems like many other write’s almost deliberately try to confuse people or try to impress with their fancy knowledge.

Kyosaki wrote the book Rich Dad, Poor Dad which I suggest everyone reads if they’d like to learn the basics on how to escape the slavery of modern society working paycheck to paycheck.

In this book, Kyosaki explains in a very simple way how rich people use their time, energy and money to aquire assets while broke people use their time and energy to work for the rich while they spend their money on liabilities, like I mentioned above. And I took these principles and boiled them down to this blog.

This simple knowledge has for sure changed my life. Maybe it will do something for you too so I hope you got value from this!

thanks for reading!

all the best,
Arnt

Same dream, different tool!

Hello friends!

I often get asked what I’m doing outside of the band, if I have a job or where I make my living and in regards to this I’d now like to go public with my new venture so you all know because I will be posting updates from my new business occasionally on social media as well.

But first let me start with telling you my story so you get the background for my choices in life.

In the 80’s I was a kid growing up in Trondheim, Norway.

In ’84, at only 7 years old, I came across a VHS tape with a concert of Dire Straits that aired on TV. I remember watching “Sultans of Swing” over and over and over again and this became a huge inspiration for me to start playing the guitar.

At the age of 10 I had already been in several bands and I was now listening to Guns ‘n’ Roses, Metallica, Iron Maiden, Helloween and all those bands in the 80’s.

In my teenage years I remember dreaming of living the life of a rockstar. I remember standing up in the hill of the soccer team clubhouse looking out on the entire soccer field and imagining that it was full of people and I was playing a concert. Dreaming of big shows, dreaming of having the life of a rockstar with thousands of fans, money, mansions, women, cars, touring the world and playing the guitar in front of thousands of people and receiving praise from the masses. I guess I’m not the only one having those dreams, right?

Later on, in my teenage years, I started listening to death metal and black metal and I formed the band Ildskjaer together with a friend, which in 1995 changed the name to Keep Of Kalessin with whom I released the first demo in 1996, now 20 years ago.

When I was 21, just after the release of our second album “Agnen” the band was put on hold because of personal disputes within the band. The band was actually more or less disbanded because me and the singer at the time were no longer friends, but rather bitter enemies and we didn’t talk at all for several years.

My dream started to fade and I went and got a job for a credit card company working as a customer consultant at their call center, which basically means 100 calls a day answering questions from their customers. While working there I always had a feeling that I could do more with my life than being a call center consultant! I guess many of us have that feeling, right? That there has to be something more!?

Also around this time I was introduced to a network marketing company, or direct selling company, because my girlfriend at the time joined one. At first I thought it was just a scam and didn’t even take a look at it, but it was actually because I saw she got new friends, changed to be more positive, started to travel a bit and it was because I felt I was starting to loose her that I decided to at least take a look.

I remember that first meeting with her sponsor when I actually sat down and looked at it and I thought “Hmm. This is actually possible!”. I almost didn’t sleep that night because once again I saw something that did enable me to once again start dreaming big.

So I decided to join the company and for a few months I was running around to friends and family trying to sell household products like toothpaste, cleaning products and diet pills. Haha. Can you imagine? With my long, black hair and leather pants, selling soap and toothpaste? It must have looked strange for my family and I understand why they kinda frowned upon me and my new business.

However, today I’m actually very happy that I did this, because I learned so much and I still remember some of the principles I learned in this company. And those principles and the change in mindset that happened in these months actually made it possible for me to achieve more in the music business.

Now, it was at this time that I got a message from my younger brother when I was at work in the call center saying “Hey, Satyricon is looking for a new guitarist. Maybe you should apply?”.

Satyricon was one of the biggest black metal bands in the world and I sent them an e-mail and applied for the job as their live guitarist.

I was quite shocked when Satyr called me up a few days later to invite me to an audition and I had 2-3 weeks to learn some of their songs. I saw this as a great opportunity and decided to really work and be prepared for that audition and during the Inferno Festival in 2002 I was in Satyricon’s rehearsal room auditioning for them.

Some weeks later I was offered the position as their live guitarist and I did their festival run in 2002 while still keeping my job at the credit card company. My first show with Satyricon was a small show at Rock In in Oslo for some invited guests and close friends, but the second was just before Rammstein on the main stage at the Quart Festival in Norway in front of 10 000 people. The childhood dream had become a reality.

However, in autumn 2002 I had to make a decision if I was going to stay with the “safe job” or quit my job and continue touring with Satyricon.

Now, many of you will think that this is an easy decision because you think that playing in bands like that will make you a lot of money, but I knew that this was not the case. Already at this time the music business had started to change a lot. Bands were touring and not many of them were able to make any money. With Satyricon, being quite a big band, it should be possible to make some money, but the big problem was: what do you do in between tours when it’s absolutely impossible to keep a job because you need so much time off to go on tour? And yes, you could make some money from touring, but not enough to last several months in between. I was also just the live guitarist which meant that I would not earn any money if the band took time off or if they were going to use some months in the studio to record a new album.

This has for so many years been the biggest challenge and I know so many other musicians struggling with the same. The band is not big enough to make a full living and not small enough to just keep as a hobby. You’re stuck in between.

Anyway, I quit my job and I somehow managed to continue playing for them until I quit in 2007. I also re-started Keep Of Kalessin and all the years I was constantly building my own band on the side of touring with Satyricon.

So throughout all these years, I feel that we’ve accomplished a lot. At least more than most people do in the music biz and I am truly grateful that I decided to go for it because I have been on stages playing in front of 30 000, 50 000 and even more than 100 000 people. And when I have been on those stages, I have actually taken the time to remember back to my childhood dream looking out over that soccer field.  I have toured the world for the most part of my adult life playing countless shows in clubs, concert halls and festivals.

But still through all these achievements there has been one thing constantly holding back my appreciation for making my hobby become my job…. and that is money. Or actually, the lack of money. My hobby….my passion….suddenly became just a grind for money and if you consider the hours we work in composing albums, planning tours and going on the road….the payment is actually totally ridiculously low! After my 5 years in Satyricon, one of the biggest bands out there, I calculated that my gross income was about 200 NOK per show. That’s about 20 euros per show over a 5 years period. Because sometimes we earned a lot, but then just to do a whole month of touring almost without income.

So living the dream actually became reality in regards to having those awesome moments that I would not trade for anything, but as far as money, cars, mansions and the “rockstar lifestyle” goes, it’s not a reality for most bands, even the ones at the top, in 2016.

Understand me correctly, I’m actually not complaining because I understand that we’ve been quite fortunate to make it this far in a quite narrow path of the music biz playing extreme metal and all. And it’s always about creating value for people. The ones that creates the most value for the most people earns the most money. So I guess we haven’t been able to create that value for enough people….yet.

But after almost two decades of dedicating my life to music only, I decided in my mid 30’s that it was time for change. I was seriously tired of having to ask my parents for economic help and I started to downgrade Keep Of Kalessin to a hobby only.

At first I started taking small jobs and I took the job as a bartender at one of the largest disco’s in Trondheim. I was also offered the opportunity to join another network marketing company again after not doing that for 15 years. It was a great company and we promoted energy drinks which suits me better than soap and toothpaste and I made some money from it. In fact I learned again about residual income and I remember one month that I was on tour with Keep Of Kalessin I earned more from the organisation I had built in that company than I did from the tour. And that was a great feeling. To have almost double the income on tour because my salary didn’t stop even if I went away for a while.

In the disco I had been working earlier I had met some interesting people and one of the owners understood that I had more to offer than being just a bartender so we actually decided to start our own company.

So me and the owner of the disco started our own business doing website development and selling that in the B2B market here in Trondheim. But I soon realized all the headaches with operating such a business with office rent, salaries to our sales team and general administration of everything. You work more and earn less than a normal paid job, especially in the startup and going on tour is absolutely impossible the first years when you run your own company.

But throughout this period I also started learning more and more about the network marketing industry and I actually totally fell in love with that business model. To get a chance to have all the benefits of owning your own company, but none of the drawbacks like huge investments, risk, employees and headaches about product development and such. I saw the benefits of this model very clear because I was running my own company at the same time.

Because I was doing quite well with the energy drink, the owner of the disco one day asked me to take a look at another company he had come across. At first I said no, but a month or two later I got asked again from his partner and at that time I said to myself, “Well, at least I have to take a look! Because saying no to something I know nothing about is just being ignorant and not a very wise thing to do.”

A few days later, I met with some businessmen from Bergen and I got to take a look at Lyoness. And I will be forever grateful that I did! Because in that first meeting with the two businessmen I saw something…..I saw a company with the potential like no other.

I kept in touch with these two guys from Bergen while I kept on building the energy drink organisation and running the website company as well as writing a new album for Keep Of Kalessin.

But after a while I just knew that I had to make a choice. I told my organisation that I was going to change companies and in April 2015, a year after I first signed up with Lyoness, I started working with Lyconet which is the marketing division of Lyoness and right now, from my point of view, the most exciting business opportunity on the planet.

lyconet-logo1

In that year a lot has happened and I have just realized that this whole process has now put me in the middle of one of the biggest momentums of our time! I am forever grateful that I was able to see this before it is happening because within just the last 12 months the company has changed so much that it’s almost not recognizable anymore. And now we’re ready to blow all records in the industry and create something truly unique. And btw. I’m talking about the network marketing industry which is double the size of the music industry and movie industry combined!

I still have some friends coming from the music biz, totally without understanding of the network marketing industry, saying things like “Do you really believe you’re going to make money in that pyramid scheme?”. But if you look at the numbers on the image below, I’d actually turn the table and say, “Do you really think you’re gonna make money in the music biz?”.

NMvsotherbiz

I actually believe I’m in the middle of the team that will build one of the biggest companies on the planet within the next 5 years! And to be part of that, and to get a share of all that revenue is a once in a lifetime opportunity!

Do you know the saying: “You have to take advantage of the opportunity of a lifetime in the lifetime of the opportunity!”?  Well, never before has this been more true! And this is the reason why I now have decided not to tour with Keep Of Kalessin until autumn 2017. Because I simply don’t have time, as my freedom is more important at the moment!

It is still the same dream that is the fuel for all of this because I still believe that life has more to offer for those willing to work hard (and smart) for it! I just found another tool to reach that dream. A tool that makes it possible for me to have the experiences AND the money, which is almost impossible in the music industry today. Does this mean that I’m now working with something I’m not passionate about? Not at all! I totally love this company and this concept! And I’m just as passionate when I’m on stage speaking to my team or helping new entrepreneurs reach their dreams as I am on stage with the guitar in my hand.

In my recent years doing all of this, I have become addicted to attaining residual income! I believe it’s the only type of income worth working for and never in my life have I seen a model that creates freedom through residual income like the Lyconet compensation plan!

I don’t want this blog post to be a “sales-pitch” to you guys, but rather an information blog because I’ve been thinking a long while about “going public” with the fact that this is what I’m doing now.

But I still think it’s fair that I post a couple of videos so you understand more of what I’m talking and of course, being in Network Marketing now, I am available for anyone who’d like to learn more about this company and the unique opportunity for you to create the lifestyle of your dreams with the tools available to you in this company because the model of “make money from people saving money on their daily spending” is as good as it gets! But the time for doing this is limited as the company will be almost done in the building phase in Europe in just 10-16 months from now!

And yes, it is Lyoness that operates the Keep Of Kalessin Cashback Card, so I have taken this also into the band. Because I’ve always thought of a band like a small business and their program makes it possible for a band like us to actually earn money when our fans save money on their daily groceries, gas, clothing and daily shopping as well as the fact that we save money on CRM-systems that enables us to keep more in touch with our fans. Imagine that, a band making money not only from merch or concerts, but rather the entire household of their fans! It’s almost unbelievable.

And in Lyconet, which is network marketing, relations marketing…..it means that anyone can earn money from recommending their friends and family to save money with our partners worldwide. This includes businesses like Carrefour, OMV and thousands of SME around the globe. And yes, this also means that you can earn money from recommending Keep Of Kalessin to your friends! 😉 It’s the most uniqe win-win-win situation I have seen in my life and I am active as a Lyconet Marketer as well as having my band as an SME! So now you know! 🙂

For me, Lyconet has already changed my life completely in regards to finance and relationships as well as education in economics, self development and the mindset of achieving success.

So who knows, it might do the same for you!

 

If you’re interested to learn more, here are some videos to check out:

 

Lyconet:

The World of Lyoness:

Also watch this video:

What is the Lyconet Customer Cloud:
http://ceosparky.7figuresecrets.com/e/vd?OQ1E1R

Here I am with other leaders at the Lyconet Leader Seminar in July 2016:
lyconet-elite-seminar-2016

Thank you for taking the time to read this post and I wish you all the best in achieving whatever success you’re looking for in life! 🙂

best regards,
Arnt

 

Unfulfilled dreams….and unrealeased tracks!

 

We all have them….dreams and goals that never happened, or to stay on the positive side, dreams that hasn’t happened…..yet!

Procrastination-Doodle

 

Today I was going through some of my backup-disks to find some old tracks from Keep Of Kalessin because there’s been a glitch at the Official Webshop so some people haven’t recieved the download links when bying MP3’s.

So to fix this problem I need to upload some files again and I started looking for them on my backup disks. But when I did so, I found so many other files….so much music that is just sitting there….on my disk, unfinished, unreleased.

I have wanted to release many of these tracks for years and some are even decades old songs that I still think deserves to see the light of day. For someone like me it’s really frustrating to feel that I never really tap into the full potential and I guess some of you guys could relate to this!

I know a lot of musicians who are the same way and who end up extremely frustrated because they have hundreds or even thousands of songs on their computer. There’s just one problem. Most of these songs lack something, some piece to fall into place, to be done! Like 100% done!

For me, some songs lack a proper mix, but I don’t feel comfortable in doing the mix myself so I’ve just stalled the process. Many songs lack vocals, some are missing an ending or a middle part. So basically these are all great ideas, but they’re never really finished. Why? Because in most creative work 90% of the song/art is just 10% of the actual work! And the last 10%…..you know the last riff, the ending, the one lyric that you’re not satisfied with or the middle part that is not sitting right, all this, even though it’s just a small thing to fix is normally 90% of the work! Because the first 90% doesn’t even feel like work. But when you’re about to finalize the product it becomes work…..and it’s down right boring! So it’s suddenly easier to move on to the next project or song and do the “fun” work, the creative process of beginning something new!

I often see this in creative work, but also amongst businessmen. The risk though, is that you’re jumping from one project to another, without really finishing the project and maximizing the potential of it.

In recent years I’ve had to become painfully aware of this and also started saying no to many projects. Even though I’m this kinda guy who would like to be part of “everything” and do “everything”. But if you’re going to get something done, you need to focus! And you know what? I really suck at it! I suck so much at keeping focus that I need to have someone hit me over the head with a hammer to remind me once in a while!

Anyway, so today I went through my disk and I found so many songs, ideas and projects that I would really like to finish, but haven’t done so just because I haven’t been focused enough to say “ok, this month I will finish THIS project. Next month THAT project.” and then set aside time and a plan to actually do it. Much of this is also because sometimes, there’s an obstacle, something that just gets in the way.  And when you can’t find an immediate solution to overcome that obstacle you move on to something else instead of figuring out how to bash through that wall!

I have a goal of becoming better at going through those walls!

Procrastination is the enemy of all success and it is a demon that needs fighting on a daily basis!

I even procrastinated before posting this blog because I wasn’t sure how much I wanted to share with you guys, but I decided to post some unreleased material here.

So here you go, some unreleased tracks that for some minor reasons never (or not yet) saw the light of day!

Headspin – Draw

Headspin – Self Deciever

Headspin – To the top

Arnt Gronbech idea, feat. Geir Mikael Reijners – symphonic song
– I wrote this song, but got help from my friend Geir Mikael to produce the orchestra. It has great potential, but never really finished it.

Alteration – The Beast Among Us
– I’ve had this dream about an electronic project for decades, but I never focused enough to find producers to help me with the sound and production as I’m not skilled enough to produce this kinda music. Even though I feel the ideas are good.

Alteration – unnamed song
– Electro-pop that I have great ideas for vocals on. Just never gotten around to finding that singer and producing this idea in a professional manner.

Arnt Gronbech – acoustic idea
– This is also a great idea, but I also have ideas on how to add vocals so I never got around doing that.

Arnt Gronbech – acoustic ballad
– Same as the “excuses” above.

Arnt Gronbech – piano ballad

Arnt Gronbech – guitar rock ballad

Arnt Gronbech – bonjovi-style
– I had this idea about a Bon Jovi type of song and went to get help from my good frien Jorn Viggo from the band Pagan’s Mind. Idea is great, but lacking vocals and minor adjustments that we never got around to finish.

In addition to all these ideas I have several disks full of symphonic music, acoustic music, electronic music as well as rock and metal.

And for now, my goal is to reach a level of success in business so that I can have my “dream home” with a studio where I can get all this shit done and every day try to better myself in regards of procrastinating!

Anyone else feel the same way as I’m explaining in this blog?

Hating the haters….

Today a friend of mine posted a comment on facebook. It was in norwegian, but I’ll translate it here:stock-vector-words-haters-never-win-269217320.jpg

“To be a fan of a band in the old days meant to really care about the music, defend the band at all times and really enjoy their existence…play air drums and air guitar every time your favourite song was being played…yeah, you name it.

Today it seems like everything has been turned around…that it’s more important to find errors, criticize and rather find excuses to stay at home instead of going to a concert when the “heroes” are playing right down the street. “We’ll catch them another time” you say. What happened with enjoying new albums and be happy that the artist still excist instead of analyzing, thinking and concluding that “it’s not good enough this time either”. I almost daily hear people that there is no good music anymore…WRONG! There is too much great music being released. So much that we are actually spoiled.”

I really agree with my friend here. I’ve been thinking about this for a long time and sometimes I’ve been almost expecting to see the entire metal scene implode in on itself.

Because, there’s more fans that use their time and energy on hating and talking shit about the bands they don’t like, instead of using that energy to positively support the bands that they DO like!

I’ve heard many artists feel the same way and some have even quit the bands or stopped touring because of it.

introspection

See beyond the boundaries, break your confinement, open up your dogmatic mind. Man over board, a lifetime reward. A life lived in hate will just seal your own fate! – KEEP OF KALESSIN – Introspection 2011

Yeah, yeah. I get it. We play in a genre where lyrics often revolve around darkness, aggression, hate and those negative feelings, but music is a creative force and now I’m just speaking from my own point of view that Keep Of Kalessin’s music has never been about feeding the darkness, depression or negative emotions. It has actually always been about empowering the listener with our music. Our lyrics also mention the fact that you should break free of dogmatic thinking and that you should be your own master. And this is liberation for us.

I guess all the hatemongering from the bands really started to affect the listeners for real and I think it’s time we re-evaluate this.

Let’s liberate the scene together. Imagine how much further we would come if we supported the bands that we love! Imagine how much more could be created if we stopped holding everyone back. If the fear of someone “destroying the metalscene” just went away. A better fellowship with everyone and a more positive attitude towards the things we know nothing about. Because there are a lot of people (including me) that have said too much negative things about music that they really didn’t even give a chance.

And let’s face it, it’s not Darkthrone with their new black ‘n roll album or Keep Of Kalessin entering in the Eurovision Song Contest that is ruining the scene. It is the norms of confinement! The unwritten laws of what’s acceptable and not! It is all the hating and judgemental minds! For every word or negative comment you write, it takes 100 positive to give back the energy that you just stole from that artist.

So I hope that we can all start to think more and look inwards to limit the time and energy we spend on talking down someone and instead start using that same energy on positively supporting the artists that we love!

And here I am….hating the haters. Time to shut my mouth and do something productive!

I’ll start by giving my support to one band that I truly LOVE everything about, but because they’re very different they have gotten way too much shit in their careers. And that band is Bal-Sagoth! I wish they would come back with a new album and a show! I would travel across the globe to see them!

Who’s your underdog band that you truly love?

10 things you might not know about ARMADA!

armadaOur ARMADA album was released on April 3rd 2006 and even though you hear the expression “times flies” a lot, I must admit that realizing that it’s already 10 years since we released this album makes me both happy and scared at the same time!

I’m happy that this album stood the test of time and we still hear from fans that this album really made an impact on their lives, their musical taste and on the metal scene worldwide. People from other bands that we look up to often talk about this album as an inspiring piece of music.

On the other hand, it makes me a bit scared that time flies by so fast and sometimes you feel that you haven’t really moved an inch before you really start to think about all the single moments that you’ve experienced throughout those years! Which of course is plenty!

But let’s bring nostalgia to the table and let me share with you some of the things you might not know about this album and the process of producing it.

  1. When we were supposed to record the pre-production, Vyl came to the recording sessions so hung over that we only managed to record Winged Watcher and Many are We because he was totally unable to blast or play the double kickdrum. And even those songs didn’t sound very good. We said “oh, well. Let’s get everything else done in the recording sessions”.
  2. The process of recording the album took 8 months (yes, that’s 8 MONTHS!) longer than expected. This was mainly due to the fact that the band didn’t perform up to par and we were struggling to get the instruments recorded. We were, however, getting along with the owners of the studio which resulted in a lot of partying during our real studio time, which again resulted in the fact that we had to use whatever free time they had between other recording sessions because we had used up all our money.
  3. The studio went bankrupt just after we had finished our recording. We hope, and believe, that it wasn’t “only” our fault! 😉
  4. The title ARMADA was taken from the movie “The Chronicles of Riddick” and you can hear a sample from this in the title track where the commander says “Get my armada off the ground”. This movie as well as the movie Alexander were big inspirations for the album.
  5. The ARMADA title was decided on very early in the process and I had a vision of how the title track should sound. But when I was writing songs I always felt that “this is a cool song, but it’s not ARMADA!”. I remember thinking this for Crown of the kings, The Wealth of Darkness and The Black Uncharted. Until one special night at around 11pm, I took one chord and I felt goosebumps all over my body…..because in that moment, I knew that THIS was it. It was happening now! The best song I’ve ever written was about to manifest itself on my guitar! I then spent 8 hours writing the song. Without recording any of it. I just made the entire song in one go, with all the passes and details right there and then. And I remember calling my brother at 7am after I was finished, saying “I’ve done it! ARMADA is written!! And it’s fucking insane!!!”. Haha. I have never been more excited about a song and I remember this as something special because I’ve never written an entire song with all passes and details like that in one long session before or after. It was truly something unique and I also think that this song is something truly unique!
  6. Even though the band was struggling in the studio, some of the extra time used was because we did not have a singer when we entered the studio. It wasn’t until after we had recorded everything that we started looking for a singer. I had a vision about how I wanted it to sound, but when we started testing singers, I really had my doubts that this album would be any good. When we found Thebon, we decided to go with him, but during the recording process, we were struggling a lot. We were testing many different styles and at some point I remember talking with Rune (the producer) and I said that I wanted to release the album as an instrumental because I felt that the vocals were fucking up the atmosphere and not adding to it. I’m glad that we continued to work with Thebon and I also remember when he nailed the first verse on Crown of the Kings. In that moment I felt a huge relief and I now felt confident that we were actually going to get this album done!
  7. Because the studio sessions were really difficult and that we used a lot more time than expected, it was impossible to plan anything in regards to a release and video etc. Because of this we ended up doing a video to Into the Fire, which was not the song I wanted to do a video for, but it was the only song that we managed to finish the vocals on in time. We also hadn’t decided on a concept or title for the song so it was truly rushed and I remember we finished some of the lyrics actually after the video was recorded. The dude doing the video however, ran away with the money so the video was never even finished. Even so, the video was leaked to the internet and it looks damn ridiculous and should’ve never been released! The song I wanted to do a video for was actually Winged Watcher, but like I said….we didn’t have this one finished when the video sessions took place. Didn’t matter in the end though, since there basically was no video that got finished.
  8. When the album was going to be released, Tabu Recordings changed their label manager 3 times in the process of the release. We were struggling like crazy to keep any momentum of the marketing and distribution. We had this great album and we had great response, but none of the record stores had the album the first couple of weeks of release. It wasn’t until later that we managed to start pushing some copies. And remember, this was before Spotify! 😉
  9. The actual BPM on Vengeance Rising is 185, but at the fastest part we’re playing 16th notes in triplets. Which means that the actual kickdrum and guitar is running at 185 x 6. Which is an actual BPM of 1110! No wonder we were struggling with the recordings. :p
  10. When touring for the album, I played two shows a night as we supported Satyricon and I was their live guitarist at the time. I did my show with Keep Of Kalessin, ran back stage and put corpsepaint on, changed my shirt and got back on stage with Satyricon. I played 64 shows in 34 days!

So there you go! 10 things you might not know about the times around Armada.

I’d love to bring this whole era back on stage and I have some great plans on how to do that, but we’ll see what we can do about it in the next few months.

thanks to everyone who’s been supportive of Keep Of Kalessin throughout the years!

all the best,
Arnt Obsidian

 

New KEEP OF KALESSIN EP!

Today we’re sending out links to our new EP called “Heaven Of Sin” to everyone who signed up for the Keep Of Kalessin Cashback Card!

Keep Of Kalessin - Heaven Of Sin - Cover by Simon Bossert

Heaven of Sin artwork by Simon Bossert

The EP consists of three tracks that we recorded during the Epistemology recording sessions, but we felt that these songs didn’t quite fit on the album. Not because they’re not good enough, but when you write an album you kinda wanna stick with the whole concept and keep the correct kind of flow throughout the album.

The tracklist on the EP is as follows
1. Descendant – The Legacy of Kings
Fact about this song is that I wrote it for the Eurovision intermission that we did with Alexander Rybak. You can hear in the middle part that there’s a lot going on with violin and guitar. This song was actually written for the intermission we were going to do and I even showed it to the production team in early stages. However, since Reptilian was so fresh and had just been released, we had to keep promoting that album instead of “moving on” too fast with a new song. So we edited “The Divine Land” instead and did that together with Alexander Rybak which I think turned out to be a great performance!

The theme of the song, as you can see from the title is going back to Armada and Kolossus albums and building on some thematics from that era. Should be a nice little trip back in time for fans of those albums!

2. Typology
This is a track that I wrote in Spain back in 2012 and it’s very different from what you normally hear from Keep Of Kalessin. I write a lot of different types of music and it’s sometimes hard to find ways to release these songs. I think this one turned out pretty cool and I think it can be a great song to play live actually. Because it will help us break up the blast beats and add some groove to the show.

The title also stands out, like the song, but is also a simple reference back to the Epistemology album.

3. Heaven of Sin
This is a typical Keep Of Kalessin “ballad” like “Dark as moonless night”.
I had this song lying around for ages. If you attended any of our shows many years ago and got to see a soundcheck or linecheck, then you may have heard this main riff as I used to soundcheck with it all the time. 🙂

Everyone who signed up for the Keep Of Kalessin Cashback Card will get this EP for free today!

If you didn’t manage to sign up and still wanna get it, no worries. Just head over to http://www.keepofkalessin.com/#!fanclub/cfvg to sign up and remember to also sign up for the Cashback Card after you get the registration e-mail.

Once you’ve signed up you will get the EP and all other items for 70% off from our webshop!

Hope you like it!

Blackhearts premiere

This Friday we attended the world premiere on the Blackhearts documentary during Kosmorama, Trondheim International Film Festival.

The documentary is a movie about some black metallers journey towards reaching their dream of putting out albums and playing shows in Norway.

I have a small role in the documentary and the contrast between us, combining quite normal lives with touring, and the fans from abroad living only for black metal is quite clear. And in fact quite funny at times as well. The creators in Gammaglimt have actually made a movie about black metal that is very different than what you have seen before..

Seeing my face on the big screen in Trondheim’s largest movie theater was a new experience and especially when it’s a documentary it was strange and quite embarrasing seeing myself in that perspective. So I sank down in my chair a few times for sure. But I also see that I’ve come a long way since 2012 when most of these clips were filmed.

Here are some photo’s from the premiere: