Danish rockers PANGEA recorded their third album several years ago, shopped it around but never got around to releasing it. Now in 2010, they have finally released the platter, but it has been a long battle. At some point, one of the guys left the band, but he has found his way back to Pangea again since then. It ain't easy to be a rock'n roller... Torben Lysholm answered our questions.

How has the reaction to your latest CD been?

Awesome. Everyone we talk to love it and apart from one or two lukewarm reviews they’re all great too.

RockUnited (yours truly) received and reviewed your third album "III" many years ago. It's now finally been released as "Retrospectacular" at LionMusic. Why the long delay?

Yes, Urban, I certainly do remember you from back then and Jan says hi. Well, it should have been much earlier but I left the band at some point and that whole period it was out of my hands really. I threw myself right at it when I was back in control.

Would you say it's extremely difficult to find a decent recording contract these days?

It is. But it’s always been difficult. It’s not very hard to get an album released. Heck, you can do that yourself. It’s not that complicated to get your stuff on iTunes, CD Baby and other download shops. The hard part is to sell the damn thing. Make people aware that you exist. That’s where it’s reeeaaaally nice to have a good label. Lion Music is doing a great job on for Retrospectacular.

Since I haven't heard this version - what kind of changes have you done music-wise to the album?

Some songs have been replaced and some removed completely. The songs themselves haven’t really changed.

Any favourite songs and lyrical highlights on "Retrospectacular" and why?

"Little By Little". It’s somehow both essential Pangea and something completely different. I love the many different flavours of it and it just kicks me in the nuts every time I hear it. Also it has some of the best “free association” lyrics I’ve written. Many have told me that it makes a lot of sense for them and with the Muhammed cartoon stuff that went on some time ago and again now here in little big Denmark it strikes a nerve with some people somehow. It was written looong before any of that stuff happened though and in my opinion has nothing to do with that topic…but it’s free association so anyone can read whatever they like into it.

What's your new CD like in comparison to your previous ones? (The First and Manchild)

Stylewise it’s tougher but it does kinda represent the whole era and thus isn’t that different from them at all. Soundwise it’s…erhmm…”juicier”. It’s fatter. Thumpier bassdrum and low end, thicker guitars…. But then again, someone else might have a different focus and judge it differently.

You decided to leave Pangea in 04, you're once again reunited as a power trio by now. I guess you simply just needed a break from each other?

I wanna give an in depth answer but reality is that I can’t give a better answer than: Maybe…!

I know Jan (Engstrom) and Tony (Olsen) at first tried to find a replacement. Did you audition any musicians we might recognize?

The guitarist was someone you’d reckognize but other than that I’m not sure. I think we’ll keep the names to ourselves unless they speak up about it themselves. It’s not a secret for us but we won’t disclose their names without prior consent from them.

How much of an influence has Van Halen had on your music?

A lot in the beginning and I’d say we were somewhat concious about it then. These days we don’t think about it and just play what we think sound good.

So, who are your influences and heroes? (music-wise)

We don’t have heroes anymore really… We’re in a genre and feel confident in what we do and how we do it. Having heroes and being influenced is super and it gave practising momentum and it helped make sense of some things and drive things forward, but it’s about something else for us now. It’s more introspective now. It’s more about what we want and not about how we can achieve what someone’s done before us.

What's the best/worst thing about being a musician?

Worst: The profit, until you start selling albums in bigger numbers.
Best: Living out a dream and being able to express something that you can never do in words.

What's the Danish/Denmark scene like for your type of music at the moment?

Crap and has been since some time in the nineties.

What's your favourite 1980's album(s)?

Van Halen – 1984
Michael Jackson – Thriller
Kiss – Unmasked
Honeymoon Suite – The Big Prize
…maaan there are so many…

You are in a balloon with Mike Tramp, Lars Ulrich, King Diamond and Jesper Binzer - who would you throw out as ballast and why?

You do realize that I might run into one or more of these guys?? Hehehe Well, let’s play… I’m truly not sure. I don’t know any of them personally but I wanna say I’m really not a fan of Mike’s voice or his music but I admire his drive and determination which is inspirational. I don’t care too much for the attitude Lars Ulrich has become known for (I have no idea if it’s just for the camera or not) but the drive he posesses is inspirational and I think he’s an awesome drummer. King Diamond kinda represents a lot of what’s the opposite of me in what we want to bring across to an audience but again he’s a guy that made things happen and he defined his own subgenre in which he’s truly King. Jesper Binzer shares the other’s drive and determination and he even has the ability to perform the most goofy lyrics in a convincing manner. If anything, Jesper ROCKS! So who would I through out? King Diamond. He’s the only one who would be safe. The Dark Prince would open up a big gap in the ground below and welcome King Diamond home at last!

What 3 words describe you best?

Patient, easy-to-be-with and funny.

What is your guilty secret?

I’m guilty of a lot of stuff, but none of it is a secret.

What song(s) do you identify with the most? (sorry, you can't pick one of your own)

Hmm…that’s a tough one… Van Halen – Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love springs to mind…

What are your future plans?

To make yet another awesome Pangea album. I’m finishing up productions for some other bands and artists and then we’ll start working on the next one. We’re eager to get one more out there so we can start building up renewed interest.

If there's anything you'd like to say, add, promote, please do:

Well, I’d just like to thank you for your interest and thank anyone who bothered reading this far down. We hope you enjoy “Retrospectacular” and are ready for a new chapter in the band’s story!

interview by Urban 'Wally' Wallstrom  urban@rockunited.com 
Photos from Lion Music.


22 October 2010
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