INTERVIEW WITH PAULIE VERCOUTEREN intervista di Daniele Pietrini
MELODY LANE had a great interview with Paulie Vercouteren, singer of the norwegian "glam/punk/hard rock" band RAZORBATS. Paulie told us about his inspirations, RAZORBATS touring plans, bands that would be perfect for RAZORBATS to tour with...and a lot of other very interesting things.
If you like bands like Backyard Babies, Hardcore Superstar, Michael Monroe, New York Dolls, Quireboys and Pretty Boy Floyd then RAZORBATS is the band you are looking for!
Interview not to be missed!

MELODY LANE: Can you tell us where the name Razorbats comes from? Who's the founder of the band and where are you from?
Paulie Vercouteren: Well, I guess Kjetil can answer this one better but I think its just two words that go great together. It s catchy, dont you think? It has some sort of cartoonish ring to it. The aforementioned Kjetil is the founder. It was the band he wanted to have after Surferosa hung up their pink sneakers..! We re based in Oslo rock city, but I m from a small town called Trysil.

MELODY LANE: Which (bands) are/have been your main musical inspirations?
Paulie Vercouteren: I can only speak for myself of course, but my main inspirations are Alice Cooper, Ramones, Hanoi Rocks, Dogs ´d Amour , Rolling Stones and New York Dolls. But I will also have to throw in those great British glamrockbands; Sweet, Slade, T.Rex and so on..! Alot of wich you can hear seeping through the music of Razorbats!

MELODY LANE: The line-up of the band is the same from the beginning or have you had changes. The members in tour will be the same that played in the studio?
Paulie Vercouteren: The line up is drastically changed since the last record. Only Knut and Kjetil are original members. Chris and me came in from Kill City Bandits and then Asle was recruited from Babylon Bastards. The basic tracks of "Razorbats II" was recorded by the old line up, but I put my vocals on and the rest of the current line up plays their parts all over the album. Not to mention sings, with some friends also helping out to get the gangvocals right.. We like big, singalong choruses!

MELODY LANE: List 3 songs, from the Razorbats discography (including new album), that can define the sound of the band … 3 songs that can help our readers to know Razorbats at the best.
Paulie Vercouteren: Kids of the 70´s, Internal War and Bad Teacher, I guess. But that is just me picking´em at the top of my head. It is hard to choose, we have so many great tunes. But the point is, we can play punk, pop and old school hard rock just as good! 

MELODY LANE: Tell us something about the creative process of your music. Is there a main composer or we can talk about a team work? The songs come from ideas of a single member and then the band works on these ideas in the studio jamming together, or your songs are written in the studio and all the members compose together?Paulie Vercouteren: Kjetil is the main songwriter. He writes the basic songs and the band molds and finish them together in rehearsal. I will probably have much to do with how the melodies go on the future songs and albums. In the case of "II", I walked in on an already finished record, you know.

MELODY LANE: What are going to be the differences between your first release 'Camp Rock' and the new one 'Razorbats II'? After time, are you totally satisfied with your choices about sound and the writing of your first album?
Paulie Vercouteren: Again, this is something that Knut and Kjetil can dwell over. I came in as a fan of the band, so I think the previous albums and EP´s are great! I liked how Even sang, so I try to stay somewhere close to that but bring my own sense of melody to the songs. The sound is bigger and more refined now. A little less punk and more classic rock I guess you could say. No energy lost, though!

MELODY LANE: Will you tour in the next future? Already have dates planned? Any chance to see you live here in Europe during 2018?
Paulie Vercouteren: We are touring Norway in February, March and April. Gigs in England, Germany, Spain and Italy are in the planning stages. It comes down to time, funding and logistics, you see. We will make every effort to play everywhere we can! I for one, really wanna go around Europe in 2018..! 

MELODY LANE: Could you tell us two bands, from the actual scene, you'd like to tour with?... And why these bands?
Paulie Vercouteren: I guess it would be easy to say that we wanna tour with our grand old heroes, but it would be great to tour with current bands in the same genre. The Biters, Heavy Tiger or The Cry (they are still around, right..?).  But I could totally see us supporting Backyard Babies or my friends in Quireboys. Also one of my absolute fave bands. Or, Michael Monroe. Damn..! I like it when the support and main bands are somewhat musically connected so you get a full night out of it. Instead of this thing where the classic veterans bring shit nu metal bands to seem hip..!

MELODY LANE: As a musician and as a band, what has been your biggest achievement to date and what do you want to achieve in the near future?
Paulie Vercouteren: It´s the classical thing; we live in Norway, right? So we're not thinking in terms of having houses in the Hollywood hills. But; modesty? Fuck no! We are gonna take this as far as we can get. I want it all. I never ever saw playing in a band as a hobby. I wanna be known, I want people to hear our music and I wanna do this for a living. Do I wanna be a star? Yes! As far as "making it" financially, I see the band earning enough to put food on my table and having a roof over my head..! Anything beyond that is a bonus. In my old bands Hollywood Vampires and Kill City Bandits, we toured or supported a lot of my heroes. Faster Pussycat, Quireboys, Slade, Cinderella, Pretty Boy Floyd, Wildhearts and our fellow Norwegians Backstreet Girls. Some pretty big and cool gigs were played there. Sometimes it is the size of the place, but the sheer energy of the people is what I get off on..!

MELODY LANE: Up to now, could you tell us the best or a memorable concert for Razorbats?
Paulie Vercouteren: The Raumarock festival was a real high! Pouring rain, but a great number of people there. And a beatiful place! But we also did a gig in a basment in Trondheim at this ex pornstars place and that was a great deal of fun too. They also had a Jackuzzi backstage, wich is allways a good thing. The places rock n´roll takes ya..

MELODY LANE: In the end... a message from you to all MELODY LANE readers.
Paulie Vercouteren: Allways believe in yourself, never listen to anyone who tells you to not follow your dreams. Don´t compromise and go for what you want! It may be rough at times and you might feel like giving up, but it will pay in the end. If not in money terms, at least in soul! Rock n´roll not just all night, but for life! Cheers, folks!