A Second Interview With : Arnor and Toti (Agent Fresco)
8th February 2016, 15:00
Posted by Tristan
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Releasing their fantastic album Destrier last year we caught up with Agent Fresco on their UK tour to speak about just what a whirlwind year they have had. With a fantastic performance at Tech Fest back in July followed by their brand new album launch where the band performed Destrier in it’s entirety backed with a full orchestra. Now in 2016 where the band have begun the year as main support with Coheed and Cambria in a string of shows it seems that the sky’s the limit for Arnor the band’s singer and Toti the band’s guitarist. However the story of the record that has propelled the band further was not necessarily an easy one…

So onto a bit more of a happier subject maybe, how was the writing and recording process for Destrier?

Arnor : That was quite terrible… Hahaha! There were huge delays and difficult topics to deal with and this problem as well just the workload, the balance, just dark days really… But we got through it of course and something really beautiful came out of it. Maybe it was a necessary experience and we can hopefully learn a lot from it but it wasn’t the most fun days for me but I was in a totally different mindset than Toti was or the other guys. I thought it would be easy to dig into the subjects that I wanted to dig into to but instead I just had writers block and then I didn’t really allow myself to do anything else try to get through it by writing more then I was just stuck for a long time and should have let it go, just give it space instead of like constantly trying to break through. 

I don’t have many happy memories of that period but that’s just part of the album and that’s why the lyrics are the way they are. It’s aggressive but the period was not fun for me. I’m just being totally honest! 

No, no please do! 

Arnor : That’s why we do it, so things can’t be fucking smooth all the time and if you’re not challenging yourself and going deeper like why you’re doing it then its quite pointless for me. 

Well you’ve just got to look at what has come out of it! There’s a lot of people smiling now! What was the writing process like for you (Toti) musically…

Toti : It was like 2011 I started writing for Destrier and finished like 2013-14 ’13 probably? Then we just went into recordings and got stuck on some points but it all went good and I am really happy with the results. That period that I was writing it and that long after the writing process, that it got released I still liked the musical ideas. I had time to process if they were good, so I’m still happy with the results even though it has been written quite some time ago, so I think that’s a good sign.  

Going back to Arnor, with songs like “Angst” and “Death Rattle” it goes really crazy at one point, is that trying to highlight the conceptual arc of the album? 

Arnor : For me personally it is. Me and Toti, just as persons we are, you know, very different, for instance the beginning track “Let Them See Us”. The overtones that Toti created he always felt like it was something being created, like a birth but I was always experiencing something really destructive so I found that to be a really beautiful aspect of the song writing with different angles.

Arnor : There’s always this contrast going on, in the lyrics or melodies that are quite uplifting or pop-y for lack of a better word will often be more aggressive or darker so that’s willingly done. I always wanted “Angst” to be a peak of that battle that’s going on but we weren’t thinking about it when it was written. We write the songs and then we figure out how we want to put it out as a conceptual album, not because we like the word concept we just enjoy making a bigger piece a unified piece of art, rather than separate songs.

It’s interesting to hear that you think that it’s more of a negative than a positive and I think that you two play off against each other very well.

Well that’s what I wanted to figure out it’s not me writing an album about something that I know about, it was me trying to figure out what I could learn of this experience and what I could figure out, why I was so angry and why I had so much anxiety. Trying to figure out how first and foremost to create something beautiful out of it but to really figure out why do I feel this way and why do other people feel this way as well and are we dealing with it in a proper way. The first album was about grief and me trying to explore that but with this album I was trying to figure out well love and hate, is that opposites really? And the conclusion was more like no, its more the fear that comes in and totally ruins every balance there is. So hatred is not a negative aspect in that sense, on the contrary its just part of this love story.

Listen to the full unedited interview with Arnor and Toti in our Soundcloud file below!

Destrier is out now.