Sunday, April 21 2024

Today we’re chatting to Norwegian family band, Transcending Into the Unknown to delve into the shadows cast by their latest single, ‘Giants.’ A departure from their blues-rock roots, ‘Giants’ emerges as a darker, heavier, and more progressive venture, revealing the musical evolution of this talented trio – Filip, Robert, and Stian Dahl. Let’s find out more…

‘Giants’ is a darker and heavier style compared to your previous blues-rock-oriented release. What sparked the inspiration for this shift in musical direction?

Filip: Our first self-titled instrumental release was indeed quite different in musical style to ‘Giants’, even though that too was a song which was highly focused on, and dominated by our guitar playing and guitar solos. However, we are all three very big fans of heavy, guitar-based music in all forms, so the idea of going in a much darker and heavier direction and style for our next release seemed to be very appealing to try out. We did of course understand that it would be both a great experience and quite challenging to try to go in that direction, but that’s really how it should be when you are taking part in our ‘Transcending Into the Unknown’ project. Anyhow, the response on ‘Giant’ has really been overwhelming and also quite unexpected to be honest, as we assume that some of our listeners may have been taken a bit by surprise by the considerably harder, heavier and more experimental sound that we ended up with.

Could you elaborate on the central theme of the song and the emotions you hope to evoke in listeners?

Filip: Robert was in fact the one who came up with a great idea for the lyrics, and also the one of us who ended up writing them. The lyrics did in my opinion turn out to be such an essential part of ‘Giants’, and something which really makes it stand out in the way it does. So, I guess that he’s the best one to elaborate a bit more on the central theme and the emotions that we want to evoke in our listeners.

Robert: Lyrically, it started out as an exploration of the pressure we face when trying to live up to the achievements and expectations stemming from our “ancestors”, both literally and figuratively speaking. But, after a while I think it evolved to be more generally about all struggles people fight every day, mentally and physically. The central theme, and the feeling that we hope to inspire in our listeners, is that although facing a new day sometimes can feel like fighting a battle against ‘Giants’ – never lose your will to fight!

Transcending in the Unknown

Being a family band must introduce unique dynamics. What strengths and challenges arise in your collaborative process, and how do you navigate these dynamics to ensure a harmonious musical outcome?

Filip: It’s clearly a great advantage to know each other as good as we do when you are going to cooperate closely in a creative process. We were very well aware that our individual musical preferences and performing styles could be quite challenging to blend together, so we have to listen to the ideas that each brings forward, try them out in order to see if it works, and all the time have an open and honest discussion on how to proceed in the best possible way. We strongly believe that this is the best way to work when you want to achieve a goal with lots of musical dynamics. We have to mention that we can have a bit of teasing and joking going on between each other, like close relatives and siblings often have. However, in the end we do all respect and admire each other highly when it comes to guitar playing, which again helps a lot in order to being open minded and avoid being prejudiced. That’s clearly something which potentially could ruin such an exciting project. Taking part in Transcending Into the Unknown has luckily turned out to be an amazing experience for all of us and something that has given us so much inspiration and triggered many new ideas.

Transcending in the Unknown

Take us through the writing process for ‘Giants’. How did the song come together?

Robert: It started quite a while back when Filip sent us a song-idea, which actually ended up as the drums/bass and rhythm guitars on the finished recording. Although we didn’t do anything with it right away, it stuck in the back of my mind because I really liked it. So, I was really happy when we decided to do something with it, also because it was a great foundation to build a heavier and darker song on (which I like 😀). So, I may have been partly responsible for pulling it more towards a harder tone, but the great thing is the way we work together, where the diversity of our contributions makes the final result greater than its individual parts.

Filip: I often record just a basic drum, bass and rhythm guitar sketch when a new idea for a new song pops up in my mind, and that was, as explained by Robert, also how the initial idea for ‘Giants’ started. Both Robert and Stian liked the basic structure of ‘Giants’ very much, and we then started to write and add the various parts of the song bit by bit, almost like painting a picture on a blank canvas. There are as mentioned previously lots of guitars on ‘Giants’, but also some melodic and symphonic elements which are created by use of various keyboards and synthesizers. Personally, I love to incorporate these elements as it creates a broad musical landscape that supports and elevates the main elements in a song to a higher level. I guess that ‘Giants’ is a very good example of that as you will find loads of these layers behind the predominant guitars, bass, drums and lead vocals.

Transcending in the Unknown

During the production of the track, what proved to be the most challenging aspect, and how did the band overcome it? 

Filip: We ended up with so many recorded tracks containing the different musical elements. The song structure of ‘Giants’ is in addition quite complex with several, changing themes, so it turned out to be quite challenging to try to tie everything together in a well-balanced blend where every instrument and vocal could get its required space, in order to be perceived by the listener the way we wanted. Filip has an extensive background as engineer and record producer, which came in very handy here. He is the one who is responsible for mixing and producing our songs, but of course in a very close cooperation with Robert and Stian. The cooperation worked great and we ended up with a final master we all felt we could be proud of, after creating several mixes, listening to them, discussing them and making any required adjustments to them.

Transcending in the Unknown

Looking ahead, what aspirations or plans do you have for the future of ‘Transcending Into the Unknown’? Are there specific musical directions, projects, or goals that you’re particularly excited to explore as a band?

Filip: The great thing about TITU is that we are so free to try out whatever musical direction we want to go in next. With the different musical backgrounds and tastes we have, it’s always exciting to discover which ideas will suddenly “click” with all of us, and turn out to be our next song. We already have some new ideas, which currently consist of only basic drums, rhythm guitars and bass. They will be a great basis for creating new songs and it’s always so exiting to be able to start off with an almost blank canvas and then add bits and pieces bit by bit in the same manner as we did with ‘Giants.’ We will hopefully manage to have a new TITU release later in 2024, and we are really looking forward to continuing our journey into the unknown.

Fun Question: If ‘Giants’ were the soundtrack to a movie, what type of film or scene would it perfectly complement, and why?

Filip: Initially, with the clear ‘northern feel’ to the music and lyrics, (and indeed the aesthetic of the video), the obvious answer would probably be an epic historic viking-movie. But, you could also think about the song more in the context of a contemporary war-setting as well. It’s impossible to not be affected by the current state of the world. We can’t even begin to understand the horrors and struggles people in certain parts of the world have to endure today, and you can’t help but wonder how you would act faced with the same fears and situations. 

With that in mind ‘Giants’ would be a good fit for a modern war-movie. Not for a big fight/action-scene, but in some part that focuses on the people it affects, the (impossible) choices they have to make, how they think and behave in the face of terror and why someone becomes a hero while others are the villains.

That was actually an excellent question! Maybe our next step with ‘Transcending Into the Unknown’ should be to write a screenplay.

And there you have it, thanks so much Fillip and Robert for giving us the lowdown into ‘Giants’ by Transcending Into the Unknown. A testament to the band’s diverse musical influences and collaborative spirit, ‘Giants’ stands as a bold chapter in their musical narrative, and, as they continue transcending into the unknown, we eagerly await the next innovative and musical ideas to come from this dynamic family band.

Keep up to date with Transcending Into the Unknown via their social media channels. Until next time!

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About Author

Matt Warren

Matt Warren is a Cheshire based musician who studied contemporary music and composition. When not writing for The Indie Grid he enjoys watching 'Breaking Bad' on continuous loop and going to gigs. Since a youngster his fave band have been 'The Beatles' (with 'Cardiacs' in at a close second)... and this still applies to this day.

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