How hard can it get? Part 1 in which we woo our fav punk

We challenge our favorite song writers to join MGP and let them carry on the challenge to their favorites.


Let’s forget about the phantom of the opera. This year Norway needs to punk things up a little with someone already knowing their way around Germany. Null$katte$nylterne and their fab lead singer Torkil Torsvik might actually consider the job.

He’s one of the coolest Norwegians we know with a rough, dirty, but still very honest punk rocker style. He is Torkil Torsvik, aka Torkil the Reptile, and how can we not crave for him to rip off his shirt at the Eurovision stage in Germany next year? Wouldn’t that be fun, Reptile? “Well, I’ve never really considered participation”, he admits. “As a rocker, I’ve kinda thought of MGP as a phenomenon pretty far away from what I am doing. But since you ask me so directly, I might actually consider it. Some metal from Keep of Kalessin didn’t hurt this year, so maybe a little Trønder punk would shake things up a little next year?”

Trønder punk in their own dialect
Torkil and his band Nullskattesnylterne, translating to something as untranslatable as zerotaxcheaters, represent what we in Norway like to call Trønder rock. Trøndelag is the name of the counties in the middle of the country, around the cities Trondheim and, not the least, Namsos – the official rock capital of Norway and home city of Torkil and his buddies (although for connoisseurs, Torkil grew up in Kolvereid, a recruitment base for Namsos). A lot of good rock music has originated from this town, with Nullskattesnylterne being among the best. And of course they all sing in their own fab dialect, so no English and a lot of great guitar riffs for MGP there. We couldn’t think of a better contender for Helene Bøksle, whom we know Per Sundnes wants for next year. No nonsense Trønder punk over family friendly folklore pop anytime.

Sing-a-long and choir chicks unleashed
But what does Torkil think is a good song? “It’s the one tune people can’t listen to without moving their body and perhaps also sing along”, he describes. “Our band loves sing-a-long and party atmosphere. But a song is also good if it can hit a certain mood in people, and then both text and melody is important. I also guess if you are to make a typical Eurovision-song, then the sense of recognition is important. And it should fit the concept of a gigantic stage, pyro effects and 3 choir chicks unleashed”, he upholds.

Well, so far we’re even more certain this man could make a great song for us. When we contacted Torkil, we kinda didn’t expect him to digg Eurovision, but he ensures us he gets the good entertainment of it all. “I did love Jan Teigen in the 80s. It was heating up a little with Glasnost, but it was cold war, goddamnit. Romeo by Ketil Stokkan was also lovely”, Torkil says. The problem is more the fact that he doesn’t like to compete in music, which he thinks is a general opinion among musicians. Along with the fear of being labeled as a Eurovision artist, similar to how Idol participants gets their Idol prefix, he predicts this to be the reason established artists stay away from MGP.

“Hey, Per, we’d show Europe the real pyro”

No more playback, please
Nonetheless, Torkil thinks it could be good PR for a band to participate as long as it is carefully planned. Although if he were to adjust the competition, he would lose the chairs in the arena, make the stage smaller and more intimate plus get rid of choir chicks and playback music. “Today this is a competition in studio production and costumes more than being able to actually play a decent song. That’s more about hitting the right trends in Europe”, he nags.

Torkil’s main concern along with only being able to play one single song is having to perform with playback. If he were to contribute a song for MGP, he would prefer for him and Nullskattesnylterne to perform it. “But not with costumes and choreography. We would play live, but suspect it’s not allowed? That would be a reason for not participating. And I would only play our own song with my band. I’m a vocalist in Nullskattesnylterne, not a solo artist”, he maintains. Well, no problem for GEE, that, as we also love the rest of this tight band with their great guitars and drums. And we are very sure the MGP and Eurovision crowds would love these hunky men’s tendency of ripping of their shirts and lighting up their pyros, so not much more choreography needed there. This is the whole package on a silver platter, maybe even for Mr. Sundnes?

So, when Nullskattesnylterne win MGP 2011, what would be their preferred destination for Eurovision in Germany? “Nürnberg”, Torkil replies instantly. “It’s a great city, and we have many fans there after touring a lot in that area. The historical context also adds to the greatness”, he finishes. And GEE can’t wait to see him there.

Our hard verdict:
Sing-a-long and party mood, pyromaniacs and ripping off your shirt. This certainly evokes dreams in GEE’s hearts. As for playback, NRK won’t give us a decent answer, but most playbacks are due to the rule of only six people on stage, we think. And Nullskattesnylterne will follow that rule. Dear Torkil with friends. We want you in MGP. And we would be so happy to escort you to Germany. There’s really nothing else to say except when can we expect your song to be finished?

Up next: Lars Vaular
It’s time for Torkil to pass on the challenge to someone he would like to see in MGP. What’s his hard choice? “I would like to challenge Lars Vaular to give it a try”, he says. “Norwegian lyrics are far too few in MGP, and in Norwegian music in general. Besides Lars Vaular has a cool attitude that could be a hit in Europe.” Well, we couldn’t disagree on that one, so let’s see if we can find him in the summer heat.

In the meantime, follow them on TV and get up and dance to the Norwegian kind of punk, aka Null$katte$nylterne:

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