heroes & zeros

heroes & zeros


Imagine Spiritualized, Psychedelic Furs and Queens Of The Stoneage having a fight onstage backed by a Norwegian 3 piece power unit.



There is a myth in the rock-industry, which claims that the more hard work you put into it the more you deserve success. The number of gigs and miles in a rusty old van supposedly defines whether or not you deserve to be taken seriously. Heroes&Zeros deny this myth by throwing in the golden X-factor that many aspiring bands often are lacking. We are talking about something as simple as a talent for making classic rock-songs. In the course of their four-year existence Heroes&Zeros has shown that it need not take 15 years to break through as long as you underline amazing talent with hard work.

Hans Jørgen Undelstvedt, Lars Løberg Tofte and Arne Kjelsrud Mathisen climbed onto a stage together for the first time at Skuret in Oslo in 2005, after spending two years in a cramped rehearsing room deciding on which direction they wanted to go musically. A friend of the band once described the band and said: While the bass-player and drummer has both feet in American rock, the singer wants to sing in a British indie-band. When asked about important albums the trio mentions Radiohead, Sonic Youth, Flaming Lips, Motorpsycho and Indie-rock is heavily represented.
-Sebadoh and Pavement paved the way through lo-fi, and we have had long standing relationships with Pixies and Spiritualized, says singer Hans Jørgen.

The audience was quick to embrace the epic and melodic rock of Heroes&Zeros.
- On our first show 90 people showed up, on the next 180, we doubled our audience instantly, Arne says. After a couple of gigs the trio entered one of the local finals of Zoom, and won easily a spot on the coveted Zoom-tour which took them all over Norway.
- Ever since our very first gig we have focused on playing live as much as possible, it has snowballed from then on really, explains Lars

It snowballed quickly for Heroes&Zeros, who did not waste any time deciding what to do with their music.
- We recorded our first song “Cellophane” because we needed something to send off to by:Larm. That recording went on to win the “Urørt” final on the national radio station P3 and subsequent heavy rotation. In 2006 they released “Circles EP”, and the success on P3 secured Heroes&Zeros a spot on National Broadcasting’s annual P3 Sessions-tour that summer. Heroes&Zeros opened the event playing live for 5000 people at Youngstorget in Oslo. Once again Heroes&Zeros proved what they’re good for, even though the singer Hans Jørgen admits a black out for most of the half hour they were up on stage.
- I can barely remember a few faces upfront who sang along, other than that it’s all a blur to me, but it’s a handy experience I guess now that we’re lined up for this year’s summer-festivals

This year’s summer-festival-rounds is based upon ”Strange Constellations”,which is the result of three years of dedicated hard work and fine-tuning of the trio’s talent for writing songs. In a time when media proclaims Armageddon for the music-industry and others claim that the album-format is smothered by downloading of singles and an increasing focus on hits, “Strange Constellations” is proof that you ought to spend more than three or four minutes on an artist.
- I believe that the audience will make a return to the album. People really need that hour or so of music, and not just one song by an artist.
Creating a cohesive and complete album was a constant ambition for Heroes&Zeros when they recorded the ten songs on “Strange Constellations”.
- It’s important to have a plan in the studio. We have recorded a album, not just ten random rock-songs.

In this respect Heroes&Zeros is in a unique position as a Norwegian rock-band who both produces radio-hits and full-fledged solid albums. The single tracks “Cellophane” and “Into the Light” are already modern Petre-classis so to speak, whereas their latest single “A Strange Constellation” showcases a new side of the band.
- “Strange Constellations” does not rest on just a couple of tracks, there’s no fillers thrown in between a couple of singles. We’re definitely an album-band; that our songs works on the radio is a pleasant bonus.

The lyrics contrasts the epic rock on ”Strange Constellations”, however, opposed to the music the lyrical unity was discovered more by chance, according to the writer Hans Jørgen.
- We considered naming the record “Always Wanting More Than Enough”, which is a line from “Headlong Kicks”. It orbits around voracity, turmoil and restlessness, which reflects the lyrics on the album as a whole; insatiability towards people and experiences. When I discovered this I saw that it went as a red thread through all the lyrics.


"Circles" EP (Heroes & Zeros records 2006)
"Strange Constellations" Album (Nightliner / Universal)