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:

Numbers regarding the Cashback Card!

After I posted the article about the Keep Of Kalessin Cashback Card earlier today, the response has been overwhelming! And I’m also starting to think how much this can actually benefit a small band like ours.

Check this out:

Spotify pays out around 0,003 euro per stream. This is divided between the record label and the band. So the band is left with around 0,001 – 0,002 euro per stream

If a holder of the Keep Of Kalessin Cashback Card buys something at Carrefour for just 1 euro, we get 0,005 euro! So it’s more than double what we get from a stream! The cardholder saves money, we make money. This is actually quite insane, but it’s brilliant!

Can this be a solution to small and medium sized bands struggling to make ends meet?

It’s no longer any secret that most bands out there are struggling to make ends meet.

We see bands of quite considerable size posting articles about their economic situation where band members are working two jobs to finance their musical passion in life. We see article upon article about bands calling it a day and choosing a secure economy instead of “living the dream” on the road.

As a touring musician for almost two decades I truly know the challenges a band faces when it comes to their economic situation in 2016.

In my 20’s it was cool to play in a touring band and it didn’t matter too much if I didn’t have money to pay my bills. It was so exciting to be on the road and play in front of thousands of fans that I didn’t even care about the bills stocking up at home.

But as life moves on, a stable economy becomes more and more important and not many artists manage to keep going through their 30’s when it’s not so cool to be broke and unable to support your family any more.

In the 80’s and 90’s bands for the most part had 3 sources of income:

  1. Album sales
  2. Merchandise sales
  3. Concerts / Live performances

As merchandise is mostly sold on shows, it’s important to understand that the only residual income of these three was in fact the album sales. You recorded the album once, and had royalty checks for those albums two to four times a year….every year for as long as the label was able to sell albums.

This meant that when you took time off touring to enter the studio, you still had something generating money. This is the beauty of residual income. Residual income is the only type of income that can generate some kind of freedom in life as it is not determined by the time you put into it, but it’s a job that you do once and get paid for over and over again.

And this is what makes it so damn hard for artists nowadays. It’s because the residual income is gone.

First you have to understand that ANY business that suddenly loose 1/3 of their income, normally go bankrupt in a very short time. Bands have lost one of the three income streams and it hasn’t really been replaced by anything else.

But you also have to consider the fact that this was the only source of RESIDUAL income! Which actually means that it’s more than a third of it. It was the only income that it was possible to build over time. You could record an album to start a residual income stream. Then when you recorded the next album, you started another income stream. And by the third album you would have a snowballing effect on it as for every album you released, you were able to sell a good amount of catalog releases.

Today you’re basically back to making money in “ordinary” terms like selling your time, however, as a band you have one hour a day where you are able to make all the money for you, your band, your crew and all tour expenses and on top of that make a living. All that income needs to be generated in the one hour you spend on stage + whatever you spend at the merchtable during the evening.

In the last couple of years I’ve made it my mission to study residual income. I’ve become quite obsessed with the thought of setting up income streams instead of selling my precious time in an ordinary job as I think this is the only way to freedom in life and as a musician it’s almost impossible to keep a job while having a fairly active band because you need to put time into the band and you need time off work sometimes for months if you’re going to keep touring. Not many jobs give you that option.

So there must be a way to fix this, right?

I think there are several ways for bands to increase their income, be smarter with the money they earn as well as investment options and possibilities out there, but there’s a huge lack of education in this area.

In later blog entries I’m going to talk more about the different types of options, but now I’m going to present one idea to you guys.

One idea that I’ve been thinking about for almost two years now and I feel that now is the time to let you in on it because as with all opportunity, there’s a window that is closing.

Check this out:

The Keep Of Kalessin Cashback Card!

In my mind, Cashback Solutions from the shopping community Lyoness is a brilliant way to generate residual income for bands, but I’d like to know if there’s something the fans would accept?

Utkast 45301062

We give you this card for free. All holders of this membership will recieve 20% off on any item in our webshop, concert tickets and merch as well as a free song when you sign up to our fanclub which is powered by Lyoness, the world’s biggest shopping community.

In addition to this, you can use this membership on about 400 000 shops worldwide. Especially in Poland, Austria, Italy and Estonia, the network of shops is beginning to be in great number. You can use this card on all Carrefour in Poland and get 5% cashback + shopping points on all your daily groceries which should be enough incentive on it’s own. But more than that, you know that every time you save money on shopping your daily needs of gas, groceries, clothes, music, web shopping and more…..you support the band!

At the time of writing this post there are almost 400 000 shops worldwide where you can use this membership to save money. We’re talking about big chains like Carrefour, Lidl, Sears, iHop, Applebee’s, Red Lobster, Statoil, Shell, McDonalds and more. Many of them are still on giftcard solution, but more and more are moving over to the cashback card in the months to come. In addition to this there are more than 50 000 small and medium sized enterprises and the community is growing with a new SME every 10 minutes! As if this was not enough, you can save money on more than 5000 online shops worldwide incl. Nelly.com, Boozt,com, Rock.com, Platekompaniet.no, AliExpress.com, Zalando.com, Hotels.com and many, many more.

So, the fans gets a whole bunch of benefits like mentioned above and the bands start making residual money on their fans saving money! It’s brilliant! Instead of being stuck with making money only on music and merchandise, we can now tap into the whole household economy of our fans. But not by adding to their household, but by helping them SAVE money on their household!

This also means that when you have a good fanbase that is supportive of the band by choosing to save money, the band will start to have a very solid income stream because people need to shop their daily groceries every day, every week, every year, no matter if we release a new album, a shirt or go on tour.

The amount of shops in the community is growing rapidly so there will be more and more options out there, but for now the four countries mentioned are the ones that are starting to set up big chains of gasoline and groceries, but more countries are coming in 2016 and 2017 so I truly believe that this can have a huge impact on the economy of small and medium sized bands! For sure, we should be open to look into possibilities like this in the market that is changing so rapidly.

Do you see the bigger picture here?

Your fans travel to your show, they fill up their car with gas and they use your bands cashback card to save 5-10% on gas. They go to hotels.com and book their hotel for the night. They save money on the hotel and you make money by them saving money! Your band is now making money not only on the show, but from their entire trip and their entire household.

Here’s an example of what’s possible to earn from these cashback-cards.

Let’s say that your band issues 1000 cards. It’s all free for the fans and we give away benefits in our webshops and on tour.

In the norwegian market we expect to be able to see an average of 5000 NOK to 10 000 NOK a month on these memberships when the infrastructure is up and running which is about 600 to 1200 euro.

But let’s keep it to a european standard and say that you’re able to issue 1000 of these cards and fans shop on average for 300 euro per month on groceries, gasoline, restaurants, bars, clothes, hairdressers, insurance, mobile phones, electronics and more through these memberships. The fans save 10-30% on their own shopping. The band makes up to 1% on their shopping volume. So in this case the band would make between 1500 and 3000 euro a month from these fans saving money. And this is still when you’re not touring!

Imagine if you as a band are able to issue 3000 cards, 5000 cards or even 10 000 cards?

More residual income means more time to focus on producing music, more time to go on the road, more money to put into shows etc. So this is a big WIN – WIN for bands and fans!

Morningstar Music is the acting management for Keep Of Kalessin and will be running a pilot for this project with 100 limited cards that can be used to save money on more than 500 big chains, 50 000 SME and more than 5000 online shops worldwide.

If you’d like to read more about it and participate in this pilot project, please go to http://www.keepofkalessin.com/#!fanclub/cfvg and apply! It’s 100% free and you’ll get our new digital EP for free on top of that! You can then also download the app to see all the shops in your area where you can save money.

Also, if you’re a band, label or management interested in more information about this project, please just drop us a line on mail@morningstarmusic.no and we’ll be happy to provide you with more information.

Hope you guys liked this post and feel free to comment! 🙂