RockMyMonkey.com recently conducted and interview with TROUBLE/RETRO GRAVE drummer Jeff "Oly" Olson. An excerpt from the chat follows:Rock My Monkey: What's the schedule for TROUBLE look like as far as touring? Do you guys think you guys might jump on a U.S. tour anytime soon? Jeff Olson: Yeah. They're talking about… We went out for a small amount of time in the winter in the U.S. Nice club-type tour. Around February, that kind of a thing. And then gearing more towards the festivals for next summer. And then there's a few things under the wings of touring in March and stuff. And that could be here and abroad. Rock My Monkey: Call it still-negotiating-a-U.S.-label-deal tour? Jeff Olson: Yeah. (both laugh) But you know, it's really tough to say, you know? Rock My Monkey: When people see RETRO GRAVE live — you mentioned a little bit of theatrics, like maybe a broadcast screen, or something like that — how much of it is going to be those extras, how much is going to be the stripped down rock and roll? What can people expect from that? Jeff Olson: Well, I really want it to be quality, to really enjoy the show. And I want it to have that old, retro performance, meaning, you know — it's almost like, the other night we saw OGRE. And it's just good — they're still like BUDGIE. They just come right out, three-piece, rocking it down. Just slammin'. Just, it was really great. It was exciting. So I kind of want that. But at that the same time I like a little bit of humor in things that go on. Not necessarily SPINAL TAP, but TV sets with atomic bombs going off for the flash pots, crazy antics maybe going on in the stage with mirrors and things like that. Just something that makes people remember the show, but also can bang their head and close their eyes and just rock, too. Rock My Monkey: What song on "Simple Mind Condition" do you find is your most personal song? The song that you relate to the most? Jeff Olson: The one I most relate to the most is probably the one I wrote, "Beginning Of Sorrow". But the one that I gravitate to the most, as far as heavy-sounding, is "Mind Bender". I really like the unconventional tuning. It has a very low six-string, and the rest of the guitar is tuned standard, just creating a really great, kind of tone, TROUBLE-esque tone. And it also has that old powerful TROUBLE sound to it. Rock My Monkey: Many people have often called TROUBLE a "white metal" band. How do you feel about that, and do you feel you guys have more of a connection to bands like DOWN and PANTERA, or do you have more in connection with some of the Christian metal bands? Jeff Olson: I think more towards DOWN and PANTERA, over the history of the band's lyrics and ideology, so to speak. There's many phases of TROUBLE. You have the first two records, and then you have "Run to the Light" stuck sort of on its own. And then you have the (Rick) Rubin years. And then you have another awakening at "Plastic Green Head". And then you have another pause. It's almost like you these four phases of the group. You have a psychedelic phase on "Plastic Green Head", sort of in the end. And "Manic Frustration" through this psychedelic phase. And I think in the early days, Eric [Wagner, vocals] took music about life and death out of the bible because it was really in your face as a, say, antiquity almost. The words are mystical because they've been written, they're so old. So he would pull those storylines and bring them into a modern perspective in life and death, in real life. And at the time, you know, things were like, the more evil you were, the more heavy you were. And this is the first two records. And I think that he really doesn't like to conform to anything. He didn't want to conform that we have to be a horror show. We can be more about peace or maybe political. So he chose that path I think that way in his lyrics. As things changed, he got maybe more angry, or more free on drugs, or whatever it was, so his lyrics changed. I think the group still wanted to remain not a shock fest group, just a good rocking old band, a good old rocking hard rock band. Acid rock, heavy metal band. Rock My Monkey: So it could be that people, a lot of the people misinterpreted those somewhat Christian-type lyrics incorrectly, and the band is actually much more secular than a lot of the white metal fans would like it to be? Jeff Olson: Yes. Yeah, I would say that. And I think it's just each person's individual faith or ideology again would call for that. The majority of the group, we're not biblical evangelicals or anything like that. Like STRYPER was more of a deep… There was a purpose to bringing troubled youth to Christianity. Almost prostelytizing. Rock My Monkey: And TROUBLE would never throw a bible at an audience member. Jeff Olson: No. (both laugh) Not a BARREN CROSS or an evangelical group at all. Just a good-time rock band. I mean, heavy group. The thing that's funny that puts TROUBLE sort of in a hard position for people to coin who we are, was we love like CAPTAIN BEYOND, like ALICE COOPER, but ALICE COOPER was the modern-day shock rocker, you know? Incredible antics of "You're not supposed to do that." But the music of ALICE COOPER was what TROUBLE loved. Dueling guitars, leads, and heavy riffs, you know? The entire interview is available in text and audio format at this location.
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