Extremely proud and exited to share the ROCKNROLL MACHINE album today! All the songs on this record means a lot to us, and hopefully will for you as well! We´ll be back with detailed info on each and every track over the upcoming days.
Full album here: https://turbonegro.lnk.to/ROCKNROLLMACHINE
The official guide to ROCKNROLL MACHINE - Track 11.
Last song! Making you leave your seat in party mode. Released as a single in 2016, “Special Education” is here included in a rerecorded and slightly re-arranged version. The denim dudes put on their platform boots for this final, confetti-popping number; a song about a young male asking for guidance in lack of an inner compass. His strong sex drive, self-loathe and need for belonging comes together in his call for help: Show me how walk, show me how to talk!
Euroboy: - While we were recording the demo of this song, Tony showed us some old concert footage of Australian sharpies – a youth subculture that’s pretty obscure here, but was fashion style in Australia in the 1970s. It’s appears like a mix of glam rock and skinhead culture. That’s also a lesser known part of the 1970s rock history: between T.REX and Bowies glam rock hits in the early seventies and punk, there was a lot of transitional bands that combined that glittery party-feel with a massive proto-punk sound and sugary bubblegum pop. A new band that does this retro style in a good way, is Giuda from Italy. We’ve played with them a couple of times, and they are absolutely phenomenal. Consciously or not, “Special Education” might have been influenced by our meetings with Giuda.
Love that band! Yes, the Sharpies stuff Tony played for us is soooo Turbo! Dumb as a rock but brilliant and inescapable! It reminds me of a really old picture I saw of Judas Priest wearing rollerskates. We wanted a main theme with a dancy, very catchy almost Celtic guitar theme that sticks in your ear and a boot stomping beat and that’s what Euroboy came up with. And it was about time we had a song about a hot and strict school teacher getting down and dirty with the most acne-ridden kid in class, especially in the age of #metoo. Pluss it did really well in the focus groups. And we don’t argue with focus groups.
The official guide to ROCKNROLL MACHINE - Track 9.
Let The Punishment Fit The Behind
(Art by Branca Studio)
-Dude, where's my city? "Let the Punishment fit the Behind" deals with a well-known topic in punk: gentrification, inner city renewal and a new demography taking away all that once were yours. A song about loss, alienation and revenge - with a grin. Given to Turbonegro as a gift from the Almqvist-brothers in The Hives, "Let the Punishment fit the Behind" is the swedes tribute to Oslo's rock scene and their friends in Turbonegro. Entering the last part of the album like a pair of outworn, checkered Vans walking into Ridgemont High's slippery tiles, this song opens up like a new chapter.
Euroboy: We got this song from The Hives guys, and we all liked it - a cool and fun song. It has a bit of that New York powerpop/punk-sound of the Dictators, Ramones and Dead Boys. A big part of turbo's music in the past, but not really a dominant influence since Apocalypse Dudes. It's a good thing having different songwriters on a hard rock guitar album. Different writers have different tastes and sensibilities. A band's way of sounding and grooving might be similar from song to song. But with different writers you can get more variation, sometimes for better, sometimes for worse. When it works, it's always a good thing, adding extra layers and depth.
Howlin' Pelle sent us a mail with a MP3 attachment, "Hey guys, my brother and I wrote you a song, it's a true-to-form bona fide Turbo tune". We gave it a listen and lo and behold: it WAS a goddamn Turbo song! Soooo good, they outTurbo-ed us!
The official guide to ROCKNROLL MACHINE - Track 8.
On The Rag...
After the mystery introduction from someone claiming this song to be "especially written for this market - Sweden and Denmark" - "On The Rag"s gnarly opening show off Turbos roots in hardcore and punk. For the second time on the album (RockNRoll Machine being the first), the band use an evil-sounding tritonus/diminished fifth in the riff - famously used by Black Sabbath on the title track of their debut album.
"On The Rag" is about mid-life crisis, but written from the perspective of a middle aged woman. Desperate and depressed she's trying to keep up with the joneses, while her yoga pants are "crawling with ants". A holiday (in Cambodia?) is not going to save her, but she just found her relief: marihuana.
Euroboy: -We had a lot of fun making this one. There was at least twice as many verses, it was like a Dylan-song! The coughing at the end is not Ozzy, but Hillary Clinton, a good subject for the song! The song is arranged to sound very tense in the verses, and have a release of frustration in the choruses. The song is uptight and nasty, but when the song's character discover pot at the end, we needed something with a more cruising, groovy vibe to lift her off the misery, and came up with this cool neo-psychedelic surfpunk-riff. It reminds me of DEVO.
Our take on The Circle Jerks' "Beverly Hills", but with the most nihilistic riff ever, it just drains the life out of you and kicks you in the face at the same time. The modern upper middle-class woman's seemingly eternal search for self-actualization and stress & anxiety relief is quite a spectacle, and we wanted to recreate that musically, almost like a headache that explodes into a full-on migraine attack. She wants mindfulness but ends up smoking pot instead. I can't think of anything more ridiculous to sing than "smoke…pot…smoke…pot", Euro came up with that and we laughed for hours. He also came up with the outro guitar theme, which reminds me of the slightly gothy instrumentals you would hear on Bones Brigade skate videos, or something TSOL would dabble with, with the guitar drenched in flangy chorus and the tension building like a wave.
Oslo vi elsker deg, di gamle hore!
Vi sees i dette spritbassenget her ikveld.
DJ Pizzaslut kl 21, Turbo kl 22.
Å fredagskveill’n, å (post)ungdomstid, å Trøndelag du slætte tid, sees ikveld Samfundet. Crewet vårt har som dere ser INTEGRERT seg. (Imorgen: Rockefeller, kun få billetter igjen)
The official guide to ROCKNROLL MACHINE - Track 6.
Skinhead Rock & Roll...
Last song on SIDE A kicks in with a flashy synth-riff, played on the classic Oberheim OB-2 model – yes, the one Van Halen made famous with “Jump”. It’s easy to forget, these days, to what extent KEYBOARDS have been a main ingredient in a lot of great rock music. From Little Richard to the Doors, Elton John, Stooges and Rolling Stones to New Wave and Post Punk, even Guns ‘N Roses! The electric guitar might be the symbol of rock’n’roll, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t invite ebony and ivory to the party! Turbo reminds us that Saturday night still is alright for fighting. We’re taken back to a time where the youth were considered dangerous, and not the future. The generation gap where a young man and an old man hated each other. This pack of droogs you meet in “Skinhead Rock & Roll” are drunkenly making their way and wreaking havoc across town. Everyone over thirty: Get the hell out of their way!
Euroboy: Crown Prince Haakon-Marius started playing with us in 2015. He’s an extremely skilled and experienced musician, and very nice guy who instantly fit into the band. And that’s not easy, given that we’ve been a tight group of guys, developing codes and chemistry over decades. He just seemed to “get” Turbo and respect what we’re doing, and finding great ways to contribute to the sound.
-“Skinhead Rock & Roll” was a bit of soundcheck-jam we had going while recording the basic tracks. We asked H-M to come up with a catchy main riff to carry the chords, and he sure did! It sounded almost like a joke, putting a smile on everyone. But we realized it sounded really good, and it became a song on the album. It has nothing to do with neo nazi groups. The song takes inspiration from a classic image in rock: the brawling boys’ gang. Leather jackets, tight jeans, pool sticks and hard stares across the bar, is in fact very gay. Like Pete Townshend said of his solo single “Rough Boys” men do not behave that way to get girls, but for respect and admiration from other men.
Happy-Tom: I think of this as almost a musical tune, as if someone played a Sham 69 record for Andrew Lloyd Webber and asked him to write a song about early 1970s skinheads, and it was 1984 or 1985 and he had heard Van Halen on the radio on his way to Bernie Taupin’s house to have him write the lyrics and then there was some drinking. It’s basically our “Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting”. I really love the “Gimme Shelter” ambience in the outro, it’s kind of scary and creates the notion that violence is just a shot away.
The official guide to ROCKNROLL MACHINE - Track 5.
Controlled aggression is the order of the day for “Fist City” – a tight and disciplined stomp that brings to mind chest-banging biker-rock from MTVs golden era. Turbo goes into the field where modern-day showdowns happens: On social media and in commentary sections. It’s easy to be tough guy on your phone, but this time you’ll be taken down to Fist City for some good old spanking. With a construction worker helmet on his head and city plan-papers under his arm, the character of this song is going to show you what the map of Fist City is going to look like. You’ll be left black and blue.
Euroboy: -Even though we were listening to alternative music in our teens, the big rock hits of the day were all around us – you heard it in cars, bars, at parties and even the school canteen. In the late 1980s, hard rock and heavy metal was a pop genre – many of the number one hits was hair metal bands and related stuff: Bon Jovi, Billy Idol, David Lee Roth and Alice Cooper. We might not openly like it at the time, but I guess we learned to appreciate it over time. Some of that stuff are amazing productions, very open and clear, and a lot more hi fi than the 70s rock. And with that big “cocaine”-snare! The songwriters, producers and musicians were like the top dogs of the music industry: Desmond Child, Mutt Lange and Steve Vai. I remember how a song like Disneyland After Dark´s “Sleeping my day away” sounded really good and filled the room of some “music bar” in a small Norwegian town. But we liked Mudhoney. Rick Rubin was a good middle ground in this case – his 1980s rock productions for Danzig and The Cult have a great sound, and are something we obviously took inspiration from on this track.
Yes, very dry and Rubinesque indeed, yummy. And an awesome riff we’ve had on the drawing board forever that needed the right context. A classic Turbo ambivalence in here, the obvious Loretta Lynn ode to jealousy and female-on-female violence aside (one of Tony’s country favorites), is it about fighting or is it about fisting? This could be a great MMA / UFC walk-on tune.
The official guide to ROCKNROLL MACHINE - Track 4.
Hurry Up & Die...
After the opening suite comes a fast and powerful number with the fun and excitement that brings back the spirit of classic Turbonegro. Western Culture encourage their young to live on the edge, push the limits and live life to the maximum. Contradictory to this, we worship health and quality of life in a secular culture where your time here on earth is all you got. Extreme sport-performers might think they rule as they slide down hills and soar the valleys, but guess what? They’re actually buying a one-way ticket from heaven to Hell (a real place in rural Norway). In this song, Turbo is saying: Your sponsors are not going to save you this time. If anything, YOU’RE dying for THEM! Nobody’s going to see your Instagram-photos again in the future. So, go ahead, jump off that cliff, all we’re saying is HURRY UP & DIE!
Euroboy: -This song comes from Happy-Tom’s idea to have a classic, “timeless” turbo track on the album, something that would stand up well against the Apocalypse Dudes -anniversary. But it couldn’t just be a full-on, maximum energy kind of song. It needed dynamics and space, because times have changed over the last twenty years, and that’s not only because we’re older. It has to do with how music is recorded and mixed, or performed on a festival stage rather than a small club with no P.A. You have to write and perform music that fits the formats of your day, you have to somehow adapt. A haircut is going to look corny if you exactly repeat it ten or twenty years later. “Hurry Up & Die” ended up as a good mix of old and new turbo, without compromising neither ambitions.
We have so many friends who have been or still are professional board sports athletes, and for years we wanted to write a labor protest song about how they get exploited by their sponsors, who want them to do dangerous shit like every single day. When Knut, Tommy and I had a band with Nick Oliveri in 2010 called The Germans we came up with this song with the chorus «DIE FOR YOUR SPONSORS». So that was the thematic theme. It ended up being a piss-take on how all things «XTREME» became a dominant commercial paradigm. (Also the backwards part is soooo classic, it mentions a timeless quote from that documentary about when Metallica bring in the family therapist, «Some Kind Of Monster».)