by Steve Weatherholt

From the back streets of Oslo, Norway, comes forth a dark rubber-burning force of alcohol-fueled funny car extravaganza: Gluecifer. Blowing the stagnant punk rock charts out of whack, Gluecifer, along with Turbonegro (R.I.P.) and The Hellacopters, force-feed the world the "Scandinavian thing" full throttle with no hope of lettin' up. These bands have placed their boots straight in the face of '90s punk. They are ushering in the new breed of the way things are to be done. You can take whatever great American band of the '90s and put them back into their graves. The Scandinavians are just the type to shake up the slam-ass garbage that has been passed off as good music.

Gluecifer are here to rock hard and to rock your grandmother's socks off. Don't be fooled by their mild-mannered looks, because when given the chance they'll let loose their fury like a steel-capped boot to the crotch that will get your ass rockin' hard. These boys from Norway may not get enough vitamin D conversion, err...sunlight, to lift their mood but after a few go-arounds (plus tons of booze) of their releases like 19 Inches of Rock, Riding the Tiger, Soaring with Eagles at Night to Rise with the Pigs in the Morning and their forthcoming LP on Sub Pop and White Jazz Records, Tender is the Savage, Gluecifer add a meth-induced increase in your heart rate and have your air guitar wailing. The new CD is due out in May in Europe and will be released Stateside in the fall.

[ gluecifer - photo by craig young ]
photo by craig young

While they were in Seattle finishing up their tour with Gaza Strippers, Earpollution Editor-In-Chief Craig Young and I got a chance to take a peek under the hood of this nitro-burning rampage that is Gluecifer with the help of their singer Biff Malibu. I would like to thank Chris from Sub Pop for setting this up and, as a disclaimer, I must say that the background noise at the club washed many of Craig's questions and some of the conversation away, but with a little backtracking I managed to properly piece parts of this interview together.

Steve Weatherholt: Give me a little bit of your history. Who started out in the band, who is in the band now and how long have you been together?

Biff Malibu: We started in 1994 in Oslo, Norway. Guitar player Captain Poon and I are the only original members still in the band. We took some time to get our second guitar player Raldo Useless. Our original drummer left in 1997 and now plays in Euroboys with Euroboy from Turbonegro. He was replaced with Danny Young. Stu, our new bass player, just joined the band due to our old bassist's wife expecting a baby in June. He thought that it would not work out with all the traveling and such. All of us have played in different bands before we started Gluecifer. We got together and got a real rock band. We'll see what will happen with this: So here we are.

Steve: Were you inspired at all by the likes of Turbonegro?

Biff: Turbonegro have been on the Oslo scene since 1988. I wouldn't say we were inspired because they were doing all kinds of different things back then. All of our friends started playing basic rock 'n' roll stuff. Some of us have played hardcore music and some have played psychedelic stuff. We found out that we wanted to make a simple straightforward band. After we played a few local shows and made a few singles, we met the Hellacopters when they played in town and became friends with them. We went to Stockholm to record and suddenly we got a record deal and it just evolved.

[ nineteen inches of rock ]

"Under My Hood" MP3

Steve: How is this tour going; is this the last show and how long have you been out on the road?

Biff: Yeah, this is the last show except that we are playing a Sub Pop party tomorrow night, but tonight is the last real show. The tour has been really good. We have been out for about three weeks. The shows have been great with good turnouts. I'm in awe sometimes that so many people come out and know the words to our songs. Steve: Are there any surprises, disappointments, or anything more about your reception in America?

Biff: No disappointments, it's been really cool. I'm a bit surprised that there is so much interest going on because our records are so hard to get and we haven't any new stuff out. We have the Get the Horn thing, but it is kind of old and people that have known us from before already have those songs. The new record we have is coming out later this year. I'm quite surprised so many people come out and like our stuff!

Steve: I don't blame them for liking your stuff. How do you like the U.S.?

Biff: I really like it, I really do. I've been through Europe quite a lot. The U.S. is different and I really like being here.

Steve: I have heard a rumor that you were receiving offers from several labels. How did the signing with Sub Pop come about and how does this work with White Jazz Records?

Biff: When we played SXSW last year on the Man's Ruin showcase, because we have done some things for them. They invited us to come over and luckily we were able to do that. After the show went really well, lots of people were interested and wanted to talk with us. When we came home we tried to check with as many people as possible about what we should do or what is the way to do this. How do we deal with the big country, what labels are good and what is the reputation of the labels. The Hellacopters were on Sub Pop, so we checked with them a little bit. To us it seemed like Sub Pop was a very good label. We knew they had the money and managed to survive even though they were on their pinnacle some time ago and they had had a downfall. If they could survive that and still wanted to be in the business, it seemed good to us. We felt they were really into the music we played and it has worked out good so far.

[ biff malibu - photo by craig young ]
photo by craig young

Steve: Is White Jazz out of the picture or are they the European connection?

Biff: White Jazz does the European stuff and Sub Pop does North America. A bigger Swedish label called MNW has just bought White Jazz.

Steve: You started out as a punk rock metal hybrid with tons of energy, then it evolved into Soaring with Eagles... How did the evolution of that take place?

Biff: We got older and fatter. [Laughter] I don't know, we were all into classic type rock bands like AC/DC, The Rolling Stones and older stuff like that. After a while you start to write different types of songs. You want to check out if you can do some other stuff. Maybe slow it down a little. It is kinda pointless to me to go on forever playing the same kind of music, so Soaring is extreme in some places. Our new record is more right on, a little faster sometimes and a little wilder. To me it is what you get off on. The energy will always be there, that's the driving force. We try to put a lot of energy into it.

Steve: Have you found the music you want to play as a group?

Biff: I guess so, we like playing together. I don't know, maybe we'll always try to do different stuff, but then again on some songs it just didn't work out.

Steve: Describe your music for us?

Biff: To me it's pretty straightforward hard rock. That is the point we always try to aim at. When people go to our shows they should have a good time. A few laughs maybe, get the beat going and get the body moving. To me the goal is pretty simple, play straightforward rock 'n' roll, but it is hard to do. It sounds so simple, but it's hard to not make it cheesy or boring.

[ soaring with eagles at night to rise with the pigs in the morning ]

"Boss Headed" MP3

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