Kaizers Orchestra sign major deal

They sing in Norwegian, they bang oil-barrels like there’s no tomorrow, they write quirky lyrics on weird characters and strange stories. Kaizers Orchestra might seem like an unlikely export success, but now they’re on their way to a wider audience abroad with their recently signed contract with Universal Germany.

Kaizers Orchestra 2003 S/V (Foto: Paal Audestad/kaisers.no)

Universal Germany is now responsible for bringing out one of Norwegian rock’s biggest domestic successes, Kaizers Orchestra, out to a wider audience. The German giant has signed a three-album licensing deal that includes world-wide rights with the exception of Norway (Universal Norway is rumoured to be the domestic label though).

On the domestic market, Kaizers Orchestra have enjoyed rave reviews, platinum sales, sold-out tours and a loyal audience in the years following their break-through in 2001/2002. The band’s transition to a bigger European audience came after spirited and well-received appearances at the Eurosonic and Roskilde festivals. Kaizers were formerly signed to Norwegian indie Farmen, but chose not to renew their contract with the label earlier this year.

Says Kaizers front-man Janove ‘Kaizer’ Ottesen on the recent signing: “Very exciting, we go from the world’s smallest to the world’s biggest record label. I’ve always had a thing for contrasts.”

Kaizers Orchestra join another major Norwegian export success, a-ha, on the Universal Germany roster. Says director of rock/progressive department of Universal Germany Daniel Lieberberg: “The Norwegian lyrics are part of what makes the band interesting and unique. I would never recommend Kaizers Orchestra to switch to English to get more accessible. I like the music, I like the guys, I like the live show and I want to work hard at bringing this band out to a larger European audience. I have a great belief in this act.”

Says Kaizer Orchestra songwriter and guitarist Geir Zahl: “This is an amazing opportunity for us. It is up to us to make great albums and do kick-ass live shows, and that is what we want to focus on. It becomes easier knowing that we have professional assistance on all that other stuff that comes with the job of spreading our music. We’re very excited about this whole thing, and we have a genuinely good feeling about Daniel Lieberberg and Universal Germany.”

Kaizers Orchestra will return to Bergen producer Jørgen Træen and his Duper Studios to record their third album in early 2005. The album is scheduled for release in Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Holland, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland and Austria in early September 2005. The album release in the remaining European countries will take place in early 2006.

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