Pink Floyd were once their initial spark. With their own songs the tribute band The Pink Floyd Experience became airbag from 2004 on. Since then, wonderfully floating sounds in the range between Floyd, Porcupine Tree and Talk Talk came from Oslo. Now, with "A Day At The Beach" the fans hold in their hands the first new sign of life since "Disconnected" (2016), recorded as a trio with singer/keyboardist Asle Tostrup, guitarist/keyboardist Bjørn Riis and drummer Henrik Fossum. Even before the Corona crisis the Norwegians finished their gloomy beach vision. How has their music changed and what is behind the harmless sounding album title?
eclipsed: Bassist Anders Hovdan and keyboarder Jørgen Hagen left the band already during the recordings for the predecessor "Disconnected". How did the work as a trio affect the approach to the new album?
Bjørn Riis: We have all been friends since schooldays, but of course priorities in life change, there is nothing dramatic about that. But we have already thought about how we want to sound now. On the other hand, the change has also given us the chance to try out new sounds and styles, and I think the current album bears witness to that.
eclipsed: You still play a mix of smooth guitar work, artrock in the manner of Archive and ambient pop à la Talk Talk. But now electronic means are more in the foreground
Riis: We always had a lot of that, but I think this time we managed to create the perfect fusion of rock and electronica. The electronic elements are now much more part of the songs, we have worked a lot on the arrangements in this respect.
eclipsed: Where do your inspirations come from in this field?
Riis: We have always been into the new wave sound of the eighties, but also into newer stuff like Massive Attack. Survive, who wrote the soundtrack to the Netflix series "Stranger Things", were also a huge influence (Survive again follows the sound of the Berlin school à la Tangerine Dream; author's note). And I myself am into Classic Rock. So airbags have always been more than a typical prog.