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............WinterStrain............ "WE WILL BE THERE"

Lars Rikard Kvaal - Bass Guitar

Shifting Sands Band Interview
New album..........Shifting Sands
Shifting Sands Reviews
Polar Rock Festival
Geir Helge Fredheim - Vocals
Arnulf Øvre - Guitars
Karl Gudmund Birkely - Keyboards
Lars Rikard Kvaal - Bass Guitar
Rolf-Erik Nyland - Drums
Not any old backing vocalist....
My "Wee" brother
RTTM as described by Deenfan
Reviews of Return To The Mirror
Return To The Mirror Sound Samples + Downloads
My Review Of Return To The Mirror
Related Links
WinterStrain Pictures


My favourite bass playing is The Family Secret. What a riff Lars has come up with and it is so cool and addictive. Once you hear this song you wont get it out of your head.

Born 21st May 1973

Interview from January 2007

Hi Lars. Great to speak to you again !!  


Hi Cradle!! I´m sorry for being slow with replying but there are so many things going on in my life for the moment..


Not a problem Lars. I wish I was as popular as you :o)



So….The Polar Rock festival. Now the dust has settled what was your favourite memory of the concert/weekend/party/company ?


The best memory was meeting you, McCophie, and the Shy guys again, and then doing our most energetic performance so far in our career.



I believe you are just about to go into the studio to start recording your bass parts for Shifting Sands ??  


Yes, the next two weeks will be busy for me in studio and I already finished the first three songs. And I´m just so excited and happy about finishing my part on the songs.



Are you a quick worker when it comes to recording tracks for the album ?


With these first three songs it went very smoothly but even in studio I get new ideas so there you go.. :/ but this time I feel that the bass lines are far more ready for the songs.



Is there any song in particular that sticks out for you on the album ?


I think the album sticks out more as an entity than RTTM and I cant say I have “one favourite”. All the songs are strong by them self.




It’s very seldom that a bass line sticks in the mind during a song and not the guitars. The Family Secret reminds me of the bass guitar and that wonderful riff. Have you any more “Family Secret’s” on Shifting Sands ??


No, unfortunately no songs with that riff alike playing. But to pay Arnulf justice, the Family secret riff was his idea! But damn, how I love playing it live!!

And how we all love hearing the riff as well Lars !!


With Shifting Sands being released mid 2007 and Rolf having a back catalogue of songs, what are your long term hopes for WinterStrain ?

To continue making music that will make impact on some peoples life. That is a wonderful and special feeling!



WinterStrain seem to have struck up a friendly and working relationship with Tony Mills. It must be fantastic having a singer of Tony’s calibre on the cd’s and also giving a guiding hand in the future of WinterStrain !


His singing is outstanding but also as a person he´s just great



Let’s say I’m a genie and I grant you one wish for the new album. What would it be ?


That our fans will like it even more than RTTM



Are you working on anything else we should know about ?


Regarding music no..


To date, what has been the highlight for yourself regarding WinterStrain ?


The unique friendship and chemistry within the band.

Fantastic answer Lars !


And of course, the release of RTTM! The day I was holding a copy of the CD in my hand the tears were pushing..


I know how you feel. Just ask Rolf !!



Is there anything we should all know that you have not answered already ?




Oh you are such a tease ;o)



I believe you are heading off to Poland very soon. For how long and WHY !! ?


I AM…. J I met someone very,very special.. Heyyy, should´nt this be about music?? :D


I wrote that question before I knew the reason why you were heading to Poland !! So we shall leave it there.




And finally Lars. Is there any message you would like to give to the fans out there who are awaiting the new album??


The band is proud of our new songs and we hope you´ll be enjoying them just as much as us!


Lars. I can’t thank you enough for taking the time for another wee chat. As always it’s great to talk to you. Hopefully it wont be to long before we can meet again.

Take care and say HI to your special friend in Poland from Cradle :o) Good luck for the release of Shifting Sands later this year. 

Interview from April 2006




What a weekend  Lars !!!  Z Rock was a blast.


 As a musician and man,it was a wonderful experience.

Sad that time passes too fast..


How do you feel personally Z Rock went for you?


Two nights earlier at the gig at Notodden, Norway,

I wasn’t satisfied with my playing but in Crewe

I became very emotional with it and I had a really

great time on stage.


Do you believe it was worth the effort for the

band to travel such a long way for the gig ?


Definitely! As promotion and as live experience

playing abroad for the first  time. I almost can’t

wait for the next opportunity!!


What was your favorite memory of the WinterStrain gig ?



Playing in front of people  which knew the album

and who travelled  far to come to hear us. And even

better that we did a very good performance.


What was it like sharing the stage with Tony Mills ?


Before we went there I felt excited about meeting

him but he’s just a very laid back and friendly guy

so I felt totally relaxed in the same moment as we

shook hands. It felt a little strange when he entered

the stage thinking about  that 15 years ago as youngsters

we listened to his singing along with Geoff Tate,

Midnight etc. I´m looking very forward to Polar Rock to

be on the same stage once again. Then I hope the monitoring

is better because even Tony was standing only a meter from

me there was moments that I struggled to hear him. Might be

because of the little  Tinnitus on my ears...


Tony Mills sang backing vocals at Z  Rock for WinterStrain,

how does it make you feel that WinterStrain will back

Tony Mills at The Polar Rock Festival ??


That’s really a honor! I hope that he’ll select the set

soon so that  Ican start practicing. I always like to be

well prepared before a gig!


If I had to pick a songs I thought the band played  the

best I would say Mountain Inside The Stone. What was your

favorite song on the night?


A battle and the intro on Rumours at speak. Specially

Rumours at speak, I just love to play that song. But the

version of Mountain inside the Stone was also rocking.


I can’t take my eyes off of you when you are playing bass

guitar on The Family Secret. It is fast becoming my favorite

bass riff on the album.We had great fun all weekend playing

“Air Bass Guitar” to The Family Secret. Do you think I could

fill in for you one time……only for the air bass guitar though !!



Yeah, that´s a really cool riff from Mr Øvre. If you like I

can show you how it goes! It isn’t that difficult but it’s

groovy and cool indeed!


You may regret that offer Lars ;o)


So how much are you looking forward to playing the Polar

Rock Festival as this will be the biggest gig any of the band

have ever played in front of ?


It’ll be funny to play such a big gig here at home. I only

hope the good weather and the midnight sun will show up.

If so, I´m sure it’ll be quite crowded...


You guys were really tight as a band . Considering you have

only had 4 gigs and 3 rehearsals were you surprised by how

well you actually played ?


Honestly, no... The chemistry in the band after being friends

Since childhood is extremely good. Of course, nerves and

stuff can mess things up but I think all of us felt quite relaxed

before we entered the stage. We only wanted to do a good

show for all of you who’ve bought the record!


Any other gigs planned for WinterStrain other than the Polar

Rock Festival?


Not official. But all of us want to play more live

 so let’s see what happens..


Is there anything of the weekend in Crewe you would change ?




Just as well you never shared the room with Rolf then Lars….

that’s my only regret ;o) !!!  ha ha ha


Do you have any message to the fans who came along and

supported you at the Z Rock gig ?


Thanks a lot to all of you! I was excited about meeting

you and overwhelmed about  what kind of great persons you

all are! Thanks again for the support!!


I can’t thank you guys enough for taking me out  for my

dinner on the Saturday night. So again, for the record I thank

you all so much. Rolf’s face was a picture when the Italian

owner said his gold card was refused!!


Yes, his face in that  moment was one of the many highlights

of the trip..hehe


We had great fun at the hotel over the weekend. What was

your favorite memory of the stay at the hotel ?


You coming into our room on the Sunday morning describing

you´re “nightmarish”sleepless night..


Well Lars. Thanks again for a wonderful weekend and we will

catch up again when I am over in June. I am really looking

forward to going Mountain climbing as well as the festival !!


Looking very forward to see you again! I´ll let you choose

between two mountains and a peak, which to climb. The peak

is about 300m, the mountains 1000m and 1400m, but the view

is spectacular from all  of them! I hope you´re ankles are

fine by then..!


I am sure we will go for the big one Lars……as long as I

don’t have t wear the kilt so high up in the mountains where

it is much colder !!! ha ha. Cheers.


                           from November 2005

 It is now only 6 days to the release of “Return To The Mirror” Lars!. A major step towards your dream. Tell me, how does it feel to have recorded an album and after 15 years, finally getting to release it to the public!?


It fills me with happiness thinking about it! For a long time there have been comments from certain persons not taking us serious about the music. Record deal, releasing an album..dream on... you know? Well, now the album is available for the whole world and these persons now have closed their mouths.


What are your hopes for this release?


That the name Winterstrain will be a known name among the hardrock/metal audience and that it sells decently so z-records will get paid for believing in us.


How do you plan to celebrate the release next Monday?


I’m on job Tuesday but I guess it’s worth a beer or two.



What like is the feedback from friends and family towards the album which you no doubt have played to them?


My family are happy for us that we’ve made it this far after all these years. They didn’t really believe it until I gave them the date of the release. One friend from Sweden called me. He knew we were about to sign and he’d just heard Another time, “What a song, what a song! It’s some of the best I’ve heard from the hardrock seen in a very long time. I didn’t expect it to be THIS good!” He was talking non-stop. I think “thank you” was the only thing I managed to say during the 20minutes long conversation...


Do you hope for live gigs with WinterStrain to promote the album?


Definitely! Some of the songs is begging for being performed live and I want to see you  headbanging  on “In your world”! J

(that won't be a problem Lars ;o) )


With the new album already underway, don’t you think you should put your hunting gear away and start to concentrate on the recording again !!    he he he


You shouldn’t say things like that to an armed man..hehe I got two main interests, music and hunting. After a day in the wilderness I’m fit for some bass practicing and after hours in studio my ears and the rest of me eager for exercises and fresh air. By the way, I´ve put away my hunting gear!


On a personal note, how long (on average) does it take for you to record a song.? Are you a fast worker or a “Picky” worker like Animus ;o)


I’m picky too, on behalf on my own playing. I never want to leave a song until I’m 110% satisfied. The artistically problem is that new ideas always turns up and a week after finishing the bass take, other solutions shows up..



Why do you think he keeps breaking a string every session !! he he he. I think Animus might ask for a loan of your gun and go hunting in Scotland !! he he


He’s  chosen the wrong string-instrument! I´ve never broken a string I think. The basstrings are stronger than on a guitar, the bass makes a more likeable sound and not all that  noise..  God I’m happy!


And on a final note is there anything you would like to say to the fans out there awaiting the release of Return To The Mirror!!




Thank's Lars. Great to chat with you again.....without the hunting gear !!  he he

1st interview from August 2005

We all know you as Salmon RUSHdie on the forum. Obviously you are a Rush fan !! Impossible to ask, but what is your favourite Rush memory and

This is an easy one. After 15 years as Rushfanatics it was an
moment last year when Karl and I went to Stockholm and saw Rush live on
their 30th Anniversary tour. I hope it wont be 25 years until next time
they’ll come to Scandinavia..

What is your favourite drink ??

Non alcoholic, it’s milk.. Stupid, but I can’t imagine a breakfast without a glass of milk. Alcoholic drink, is beer. Preferable, Carlsberg sort guld (black gold) but unfortunately you can’t get it here in Norway.

Who is your ideal woman ??

God how lucky I am who don’t have to answer my wife or my girlfriend. For the moment I’m single so any good looking woman will do. Anna Kournikova, the Russian ex-tennis player, is gorgeous!

Yes indeed Lars.....a very good choice !!  I wish I was single as well with the whole world of beautiful women at my beconing call !!   slap..thwack.....ouch. Sorry dear, you know I was only joking. That was the wife who caught me writing that there !!  :o(

If you had one wish, what would you wish for ??

A new studio-CD from Rush.

Which band member has the most annoying habit ?? And what is it !!!

I wonder if anyone in the band is not saying Arnulf and his pickyness. But after 15 years with it I think it would be very wrong if he stopped being picky.

What is the most frightening thing ever to have happened to you ??

The first time I woke up and saw there were no milk in the refrigerator.

Tea or coffee ??

With our relatively small population Norway is the most coffee drinking country in the world and I’m doing my best to keep up the statistic. Coffee..

I you had the chance to play one gig in your life and have one support act play for you, who would you pick and where would it be ??

Winterstrain in front of a sold out Maracaná, Rio, would be a utopia come true. ‘Til now, A-Ha is the only Norwegian act who’ve made that. As support, Id choose some new and upcoming band as we are now. It’s an incredible feeling when all your efforts finally get paid.

What are your dislikes ??

Avarice, narrow-minded persons, poverty, torture, wars and everything else that’s not helping humanity in a positive way.

If you could turn back the clock and change one thing…what would it be ??

Arnulf has a good answer here.

You are a very keen hunter. What is the biggest "Victim" you have caught and have you ever been the hunted !!

Once some cows chased me badly.. I thought Id caught my biggest "victim" when I fell in love with and later married a south-American beauty. After a year we did the only right thing and divorced.

Thanks for your help Lars. I hope I never meet you in the Forrest when you are hunting, just in case you mistake me for a haggis !!  ;o))