While Norwegian pop-metallers Kvelertak continue to enthral audiences worldwide, guitarist Vidar Landa and bassist Marvin Nygaard found themselves contemplating altogether more indie pursuits, a dream they realised with Beachheads.
Joined by fellow Stavanger locals, frontman Børild Haughom and drummer Espen Kvaløy, the group's self-titled debut has a sunnier disposition than Vidar and Landa's day job, full of edge-of-break-up guitar tones and power-pop choruses destined for festival singalongs.
As the group unleash their debut on the world, we caught up with Vidar to get the lowdown on his playing background, top advice for guitarists and one extremely painful onstage injury…
1. What was your first guitar and when did you get it?
“My first real guitar was a black Fender Stratocaster copy, a Big Sound YJ 1982 that I shared with my older brother. It came together with a little combo amp. I think I was about seven or eight years old.”
2. The building’s burning down – what one guitar do you save?
“I have been playing a Nik Huber Krautster the last couple of years, and it has been with me on the road around the world and in the studio. Very versatile and I can always trust it.”
3. Is there a guitar, or piece of gear, that you regret letting go?
“The first real good amplifier I bought was a used Marshall Super Lead - I can't remember the model at the moment, but I think it was from '78. I needed a new guitar and traded it in for a Flying V.
“The Marshall has been in a studio in Oslo ever since and has been used on a lot of recordings. We actually borrowed it when we recorded the latest Kvelertak album. I would like to see that amp back in our rehearsal space one day.”
4. And what's the next piece of gear you’d like to acquire?
“Not missing any gear at the moment, but I played a Fender Princeton the other day and loved it.”
5. When did you last practice and what did you play?
“Today! We are rehearsing with Beachheads at the moment, and we haven’t played together in months.”
6. Is there an aspect of guitar playing that you'd like to be better at?
7. If you could have a guitar lesson from one guitarist, dead or alive, who would it be?
“Rory Gallagher. I don’t even come close to anything similar to his technique and talent, but I love his playing and songwriting. The solo in I Fall Apart is the most beautiful thing I've ever heard.”
8. What item of gear would you take with you to a desert island?
“I would probably bring an acoustic guitar. That's what I play the most when I am at home.”
9. What’s the worst thing that’s ever happened to you on stage?
“I broke my knee after slipping on some beer on stage in Sydney. It took me over a year to recover, and it has made me way more conscious about how I move on stage.”
10. What advice would you give your younger self about playing the guitar?
“Looking back, I wish I took it more seriously and learned more theory and technique. But I never had the concentration, and after discovering powerchords and punk-rock I was pretty happy with where I was.
“I always had a lot fun playing guitar, especially with other people, even though I never really got any good. And that is my best advice: have fun and the rest will come naturally the more you play.”
Beachheads' self-titled debut album is out now via Fysisk Format.