Nor-way! Coleraine 'take on' hip band John Snow

COLERAINE has become the unlikely recording venue for a young band tipped as the biggest thing to come out of Norway since A-Ha!

Members of the intriguingly named John Snow have moved to the borough to record their next record in studios at Loughanhill Industrial Estate.

The alternative rock band has just completed an all Ireland tour with General Fiasco and will return to Coleraine next week after a short break back home in Norway this week.

Hailing from Skien, in the Telmark region of Norway, the band are Petter Trdal (19), lead vocals, Ole Henrik Dyrseth (18), guitar, Vetle Gundersen (17), guitar, Martin Marker (19) bass, Christer Gundersen (20) drums) and Bjrnar Christiansen (19), keyboard.

After forming in a McDonald’s restaurant in Prague in summer 2008, the boys quickly caught the attention of Philip Simpson and Fersk Management after they won a local band competition.

They initially called themselves New York Nightmare, but decided to change their name to John Snow early last year.

Simpson, who now manages the band, booked them for a week in Zero Hour studios in Coleraine with the songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer and mix engineer Tre Sheppard.

Sheppard has written or performed with Daniel Bedingfield, Tommy Sims (Bruce Springsteen), Kiki Sheard, Kathryn Scott, Graham Kendrick, Nathan Dantlzer and many others.

He was so impressed with the mp3’s sent to him by Philip Simpson that the band joined him in November last year for six days to co write together and track and mix a demo EP which was mastered by the Grammy award winning engineer Nathan Dantzler at thehitlab in Nashville, Tennessee.

Their EP is now available digitally on iTunes and record stores all over Norway. The four songs produced from that session garnered praise and national airplay in Norway.

Three of the songs have already received regular airplay on radio stations in the United States.

The band is being touted as one of the biggest to come out of Norway since A-Ha, who had an enormous hit with Take On Me in the 1980s.

Sat Bisla of A&R Worldwide heard the demo EP via Fersk and quickly partnered with the band, resulting in immediately increased airplay and invitations to play at gigs as varied as Lollapalooza in the USA showcases in the UK and Ireland.

The band’s first single “Supersonic” also received rave reviews and acclaim at the “Play Us Your Hits” seminar at Musexpo recently in London.

Their current EP project is being overseen by Tre Sheppard from his private studio,, Zero Hour, based in Coleraine.

The band has been living in Portrush in between live shows - and are loving life in Northern Ireland.

They have played to great acclaim in Belfast, Londonderry, Dublin, Limerick and Galway.

And they have already garnered over 3,000 fans on Facebook.

The boys have had a great reception from locals and a visit to the Ground coffee shop in Portrush was leaked on the internet.

They have also been out and about buying guitar strings and drumsticks in the Trevor Keys shop in Coleraine.

Speaking of their first recording work keyboard player Bjrnar Christiansen said: “Part of that was a really busy schedule leading up to recording within our day to day lives. Sometimes it doesn't allow much time for writing.

“However the end result, of the songs reflect things we as a band individually have been going through and that makes it feel like more of a project that is ‘ours’. We have explored some different sounds and styles and had a lot of fun doing it.”

“We wanted to make an important debut EP, Petter Trdal emphasizes. “You get the sense that maybe something really big is going to happen soon, that maybe the way we enjoy things isn’t always going to be that way.”

“We had that in mind as we wrote songs like Good enough for me and Supersonic; we want to write songs that are up to date, no matter how things are going.”