ARTCH was founded in Jan.-83 by Cato and myself (Bernt).We were 16 and 17 years old at the time. One year later we changed the line up. We teamed up with another local heavy metal group called "Oxygen" which featured Geir and Jørn.
We made a couple of demos, and made a (extremely) low budget video in mai-85. The song "Metal Life" was actually one of those songs. Until then, we had problems finding the right singer for the band. We needed a singer with a powerful voice and attitude. The singer we had at the time, Lars Fladeby, didn't quite fill those standards.
During summer -85, we did find a dude called Espen Hoff. He seemed to fit the band "like hand in glove". But this was never meant to be. Espen was tragically killed in a motorcycle-accident on his way to an ARTCH rehearsal in Oct.-85.
We spend eight months before we found another singer. His name is Eirikur Hauksson, and comes from Iceland. He just blew our minds when we first teamed up. He moved to Norway, and we started to work seriously together. We made a two-song demo and went to London to get a record-deal. We must have visited 40 or 50 companies during the week we spend there. We went home empty-handed. Of coarse no one would offer us a deal with a two-song demo. But that didn't stop us.
In Feb.-87 we got a deal with a local recording studio to be. We helped to build the studio, and in return we would get a free recording of a whole album. We recorded our first album " Another Return " in summer-87, but we didn't get a deal until the next year. Actually we had several offers. I remember we were thrilled to choose between record companies. Anyway, we made a one-album deal with Active records and a five-album deal with Metal Blade US.
We got reviews we never dreamed of in the English metal press. I remember Kerrang gave us 5 K's (top score) and Metal Forces 100 p. (top score) We thought we would be superstars.
But we were too reluctant. We never dared to trust anyone. The result was almost no touring, and as a metal band I think touring is the only way to go if you want to be successful. We had no management and a lack of communication with our record companies. (This was before the e-mail system)
We did a two-week tour in Norway, a couple of gigs in Iceland and we spend a lot of money. We had fun though)
We got our advance money for the next album, and we started to work with "For the sake of mankind" in spring-90. I remember we prepared very well before entering the studio.
We had all the songs ready, and we recorded the songs within a month.
We mixed the album in a different (and expensive) studio in Oslo during summer-90.
I remember we were very pleased with the result.
Unfortunately we had no deal in Europe at the time, and the album didn't sell too well. Grunge-metal was very "hot" this period, and we felt ARTCH was more or less a "has been band." The album was released in US, Japan and Norway, and we did a few gigs in Norway and Iceland.
During 1991 the band sort of faded out on it's own, and no one put any effort into the band anymore. We did our last gig in our hometown christmas-93, and already we had been split up for more or less two years.
In november-99 we got a call from Michael Trengert at Metal Blade EU. They were eager to release our two albums again. We were amazed and honored at the same time. We did a gig in Oslo regarding Scream's 50th. edition anniversary. We were overwhelmed with the response we got.
This time we need a replacement for our drummer Jørn, because he had a different situation now. We asked our long time friend Gudmund Bolsgård, and he fit perfectly in the band.
It took some time to dig up all the material for the re-release of our two albums, but finally they are due to be released in May-01. We also did two brand new songs for this release. In addition we are looking forward to do a gig at Wacken Open Air festival 2001. We are all thrilled to be back, and I hope ARTCH has much more to give in the years to come.