Right at the beginning of Shaman Elephant's second seven-track album, the listener is put into a time machine: "Wide Awake But Still Asleep", the title of the album, rumbles away towards the late 60s and early 70s. We stop at early prog and wild psychedelic, at Scandinavian rock and bizarre dreamy Canterbury sound. "We play a rather crude style mix," keyboardist Jonas Særsten readily admits.
"For us in our mid-twenties it is a tremendous honour to see this combo in the tradition of classics like the early Pink Floyd, King Crimson, Soft Machine, Caravan or Burnin Red Ivanhoe. Whereby I would like to add that we have been tutored after we were regularly compared to Deep Purple, The Savage Rose or Hawkwind on our debut album. We had little knowledge of their music. But in the meantime we have caught up quite well, bought records and listened to them," assures Særsten. Some bands from the "crazy old days", as he calls them, "are however of central importance in view of our history of development", the man from Bergen admits without hesitation. These include the Mahavishnu Orchestra, The Jimi Hendrix Experience - and above all Steely Dan
The Norwegian quartet has even dedicated a title to them on the new album. "At first there was only one instrumental, which was named after this group," the likeable Norwegian recalls. "Simply because we all adore Steely Dan! Not even that much for the music. It's because of its high coolness factor. But at some point we wanted to sing something as part of this piece - and then, out of respect for the heroes' fathers, we didn't write anything of our own, but mixed different text phrases of our heroes together
Lyrics generally have a high value in the cosmos of the four. "The lyrics are definitely important. This is proven by the fact that each of us adds his or her mustard. And since we are pretty odd guys, you can easily imagine the end result: We have a strange view on this world. And we do not explain our perspective in any way. Everyone who listens to music has his own mind. And if someone feels like getting involved with our songs, he should just turn it on. I can only assure you, he will never be bored with us..."