TNT (2005)

TNT: All The Way To Another Hit Album

TNT & Starbreaker frontman Tony Harnell talks about the latest TNT release and the work that went into getting it recorded and released.

So Tony, TNT time doesn't seem that long since My Religion - at least compared to the gap between that and Transistor! Was it a conscious decision by you and the band to try and keep the momentum rolling?
To some degree yes. We had an opportunity to keep things going, we felt creative and thought it would be nice for once to have two albums in two years. Something we have never done before in our career.

When did you start writing for this album and how long did the studio process take?
We started writing in December 2004 and a little more took place in early 2005 and then we had one false start in the studio before finally getting to work in February/March.

While the album has its own personality, I can hear similar production values to My Religion - did the recording process itself alter much between albums?
Not that much, I think this one came out better in that regard. Some small changes were made. I recorded half of the vocals on MR in Norway and half in New York, but on this one I did all my parts in New York and I used come different microphones and pre amps. But in general, it was the same approach with Ronni and I producing and Tommy mixing brilliantly.

The departure of bassist Morty had to be a blow for the band. Why did this come about?
It wasn't our decision for Morty to leave. He left of his own volition.
The fallout from this was that we don't have our classic line up in tact, but we no choice but to move onward and upward as they say.

And new boy Sid - how did you guys know him and draw him into the fold?
He's not our new boy actually. We tried him out on the album and he does an adequate job there, but overall he just wasn't the guy for us. We have a new, amazing bass player named Victor Borge. He's a killer player and a great guy, just the personality we needed right now! And he sings great. He's really happy to be in the band, he's enthusiastic and very talented. It's unfortunate we didn't find him before we recorded, but he'll be there for the next one and he will certainly make all the touring this year excellent.

I'll be honest with you - I think Morty's departure is noticeable on All The Way To The Sun. I miss his playing on there.
So do I a bit, but I don't think it affects the overall energy of the songs or the production.

Ok, so what else mate - what was the hardest aspect of making this album?
Some members of the band were going through some personal issues and changes but all that's been sorted now.

Have those hardships and challenges affected you in any way that would make you think twice about the next album and the process involved in writing and recording it?
At one point I would have said yes, but now I would say we are working through a lot of things because we believe in our music so much and in ourselves as a team.

After so long in the business, does the band still have any long term plans at this stage?
Of course we have lots of long term plans and that is why we are always looking for solutions to whatever problems we encounter. We are no different from any other band that has been together for 20+ years. We have our ups and downs and disagreements. Well, we are different actually because we have a band scattered across the planet and if you are Audioslave you have the recourses to deal with that, but if you are TNT you don't as much. It's no great controversy, its simple, normal stuff with our unique stuff added to it.

Ok, enough grilling for a the songs of All The Way To The Sun. There is a definite change in style for the band (again) here. Was that a conscious decision, or natural in that the songs were influenced by your surrounds at the time of writing?
The latter. We just write and don't over think things too much. That s the best way to be creative.

I detect a more aggressive approach overall - true?
Possibly. I thought we'd go a lot heavier, but it just didn't go that way. And in a way, I am happy for that. I think we did a pure TNT album. It's original and it's very us. I'm proud of that. But I think that people will have different views about the style or direction.

Having said that, the album contains a couple of the band's most commercial numbers ever - Sometimes and Driving. How has the response been to these tracks?
Very good actually. And I think that s because they are good songs. Good songs always get people no matter how pop they might be.

And how - so far to date - has the response to the album been as far as you have heard? There's always a lot of debate with any TNT release, but I felt that the My Religion feedback was overwhelmingly positive.
What is the vibe for All The Way To The Sun?

Actually, it seems to get more positive the longer it's on circulation. The overall feedback has been even better from many people and the sales are better so far. I think it s a bolder album and that can go either way, I think it's working for us right now.



I'm sure you have heard a few it is not as good as My Religion comments - as well as some that like it even more. But on My Religion, you guys really had to make a classic didn't you?
I think this one is a classic and have heard so from reputable writers and long time fans. It's just another album in a long string of them and I just think we keep getting better with each one. Not everyone will like even the best things we do, but in some aspect of our writing and performing we always grow and for a band that's been around as long as we have that's a rare thing.
My Religion is a great album, no doubt, but we were a little bit conscious of keeping more of a classic TNT sound in there to bring everyone back, but we were still bold and mixed it up with modern elements. This one is just us being us without worrying about all that. To me, My Religion is a bit safer than this one and that is ok for what we needed to do on it. It would be natural for this one to be a little riskier, just shows we are following the path an artist should follow.

The most commented on song to date has to be What A Wonderful World! It's definitely a bold choice to cover, can you tell me a little about why and how?
We talked about covers, we didn't want to do the obvious, Ronni chose this one and I said go ahead and record the music and I will try it. If it works great if not we'll skip it. We were all happy with the result obviously and I love that it gets such a wide range of responses. It's great. People absolutely love it, they totally hate it. That's perfect. It's getting a response. Well, it's good enough for the largest TV channel in Norway-NRK-to make us the feature artist on this years Christmas Special and we are performing that song with the Oslo Symphony Orchestra and Gospell Choir! So that's pretty cool. This may not be happening, or likely would not be had we not done this song. So there you go!

That's pretty cool…What are your favourite tracks on the album?
That changes a lot but right now - A Fix, The Letter, Black Butterfly.

Something I made note of in the review - there was a definite move away from the immediate chorus hooks into something a little darker. Would you say that was true?
Yes and no. I think the hooks are there, just less obvious which is more pleasing to me right now and probably why it's like that. The songs still have a very positive feeling overall, but maybe a bit less of a HERE'S THE CHORUS, NOW SING ALONG 80s mentality. Which is also great sometimes, but right now this felt right. Maybe next time something else will feel right.

TNT - will you tour in support of this release and when/where?
Yes, we are working on a lot right now. Confirmed is of course a full Norway tour and Spain. Spain will be in March. We are lining up a lot of other things right now though and hope to fill in the year pretty nicely and go places we haven't been in awhile as well as new places.

You see posts to the message board from US fans - although it's logistically and financially near impossible - any chance of any US dates?
We are working on it. It is not impossible actually, we're trying to make it work. TNT is worth more than most people would imagine, even us!





Ok Tony...let's move on to something different - Starbreaker! You must be immensely proud of this release.
Of course, it was a great experience.

Did you anticipate how well this would be received?
Maybe not quite as much!

And you see a definite future for your partnership with Magnus Karlsson?
I would like to yes. He's a great guitarist and a great guy to work with.

Do you see Magnus' collaborations with other artists in a very similar vein to Starbreaker as a help or hindrance to creating longevity for your partnership?
A little of both maybe. This is a year where I have done the most and next year I am taking a totally different approach. I think I can get away with it for one year, but it won't continue. Most of the projects were great but the ones I was the least happy with are the ones I could control the least either during or after the vocals were done.

I think the vocal performance on this album is amazing and I think some of that flowed through to the vocals on the TNT album. Do you enjoy singing with that harder edge?
I like singing period. I like exploring new ways of using my voice and that's going to continue for as long as I sing.





You've also laid a vocal down for Liberty & Justice correct?

Are you amazed that you can have one of your busiest years in the business some 20 years after first entering the biz?!!
Yeah, I am very grateful for that. But as I said above, now I want to focus on what I really want to do. I am looking forward to this year more than any other I think.

No interview would be complete without asking after the much loved Westworld - what are the chances for a new album - perhaps in 2006 and would the line-up remain the same?
I was working on it, looking into it etc... But I think again have decided that it would be best for me to focus on my own music for awhile.

Ok, to finish up - reflections of the state of the music business. It's pretty much in the toilet don't you think? John Kalodner blames the MP3 and the inaction of labels to harness that power before it escaped into the free domain. What are your thoughts on the industry as you know it today and also the scene covered by me and this site?
That's pretty involved, I will make it brief and just say that I think there are many problems and they won't all get solved overnight. I am an optimist and I know it will work out for the artists in the end and therefore the fans too. You can't replace the singer, the songwriter and the musician so if the record industry really does fall flat we'll all have to boycott making records for a couple of years and play live! I am one of those that thinks downloading for free is stealing and there is no justification for it, though some try very hard to.

So what else do you have up your sleeve Tony? I know there's gotta be something?
You'll see:)

Anything you would like to add or something I have missed Tony?
Just that I really appreciate all the fans around the world and sites like yours. I love what I do and will never stop making music for people.

Many thanks for your valuable insights and patience in replying to this interview!!
Anytime Andrew.






TNT (2004)

TNT: Their religion is our religion.

Tony Harnell talks from his temporary base in Norway as the band continue to do press in support of the release of their classic My Religion album. Tony talks about the trials and tribulations of getting this album written, recorded and promoted.




G'Day Tony, thanks for talking TNT with me! I know you have seen my review already, but others seem just as enthusiastic for the My Religion album.
This must be very satisfying for all the guys?

Yes of course. Very much so!

My Religion has been some time in the making - all said and done - was the effort worth the result?
I believe it was. You know, some bumps along the way and I always think we can do better, but we did pretty well!

Could My Religion have been possible had it not been for Firefly and Transistor?
No, I don't think so. I think those albums were turning points creatively for Ronni and I and ushered in a new era of writing styles for us as a team.

Those albums have their fans - I rather like Transistor, but as a band, you really took some shit for their musical style didn't you?
We certainly did. A bone of contention between me and the fans for sure but I respect where they are coming from and it's not all of them either, just the real hard core conservatives. But hey, there was something they liked about us from another era and they want to hear more of that.

As you already know, I think My Religion is classic TNT, but with a healthy dose of modernism and a few new twists. But what was the catalyst for your guys sitting down and coming to the conclusion that a "classic" TNT album was really needed, or even wanted by you all?
Probably the response of the last two albums. We realized that if we were going to do this we had to get back in touch with the fans and what they wanted us to be. However, I stated clearly, and Ronni agreed, that we still had to find a way to move on and please ourselves musically and with the writing. I think somehow we managed to do that simply by staying focused during the writing and recording sessions.

Ok, so with that in mind...where did you guys start? How did you get the ball rolling?
We started by talking a lot on the phone and discussing the sound. Then we got together a few times and started writing. The result being the EP and of course that lead us to the album. I think the EP was an important process as well. It let us sort of find our footing so to speak.

Whose idea was the EP?
It sort of came about as an accident. I don't really know whose idea it was.

Did it serve its purpose?
I think it opened people up to what could be coming on the album and it created a buzz. So I think it was a good thing.

I see all but one of the songs were written by you and Ronni. How would you go about that process?
He'd send me music and I would come back with ideas for melodies and lyrics and I would also come with lyrics first and melodies. We have many ways of working and they are work well.





TNT is unique in that you reside in NYC and the rest of the guys are in Norway. I've read how you handled it in the 80's and 90's, but given the realities of hard rock in 2004, how difficult was getting this album recorded and just how was it done?!!
It is more difficult now of course. I hate to leave home. I just got married and I hate to leave my wife. But I love when I am working. I love being in the studio and finishing a new song. It's so satisfying. But back to your question, let s just say a lot of traveling was done by me!

You've privately praised the mix of Tommy Hansen to me - just how important was his role in making My Religion as good as it is?
Very important. We really just sent him files. Some from Norway and some from me in New York. I was so nervous it wouldn't all come together at the end and would sound weird or disconnected in some way. Tommy knew exactly what to do with everything. We did give him a lot of direction but he did a lot of things on his own and shocked us with his amazing sonic abilities. He really did make the album come together.

As an example, I love the fact the dark and powerful songs like She Needs Me and My Religion - are still highly melodic and instantly catchy. As a song writer, how do you ensure that each song has something for the listener to grab on to?
I always just feel that if I like it, if I don't get sick of it then maybe it's a good one.
I usually put something away for a few days or so after writing it to give it a rest and then go back and if it grabs me on a fresh listen there is usually something there. I am not always right, but getting better at it.

I also love the pop sentiment of Everybody's Got A Secret and Satellite. Can you explain the sound of those tracks vs the almost opposite vibe of Live Today and Invisible Noise?
You nailed it. It's pop. Ronni and I love pop. Especially 70's pop. I think it's fun and lightens things up.

Something that was truly different for TNT was the haunting track Song 4 Dianne. How did this track evolve and how did the female vocal and Celtic influence get included?
It evolved over a late night writing session and grew from there. It's a song about my wife's mother who passed away from cancer last year. My wife (Amy) went through a very intense time caring for her mom the last 6 months of her life and I wanted to give her something to make her feel a little better about the whole thing. Also Amy and her mom are English and the song has this Celtic vibe that was just perfect. After we finished it Amy came over to Norway to visit me and I asked her if she wanted to sing and play recorder on the track. She loved the song and lyrics and she did a beautiful job on it. The song is one of the most popular on the album and I get positive comments all the time about it. There is even talk about it being used on a movie soundtrack in the future.

Everything U R was the last track added to the album's make up. How did that come to pass?
It was a leftover and it got resurrected at the very end of the recording. I think it adds something to the overall album.

Do you have any personal favorites from the new tracks and are there any you are really looking forward to playing live?
We have been touring now and playing quite a few of them. I would say that they all sound great live, I especially love She Needs Me, My Religion and Invisible Noise.

How about dealing with record labels and such in 2004 - how has the band had to change their approach?
It sucks actually. It's very different. Thank God for our label in Norway, Playground Music. They make it all worthwhile. You can look them in the eye and see honesty. They are genuine people with a solid plan. If there is anything that makes me not want to do this music anymore it is dealing with what is left of the business side of melodic rock.

Who chose what songs from the EP to be included on the various versions of the album?
The various labels.

Aside from Japan, no one is getting any "bonus" tracks, but why 3 versions of the album - Europe, USA and Japan?
I hate it. I think it cheats the fans somewhere in the world. But this is another effect of being an indie band with separate labels in each territory. The Japanese always get their bonus track. It's in the contract and has to do with their import problems. Europe and Japan often disagree about song styles so they each had their ideas about the EP songs and in the USA the EP never came out so it seemed natural to have all the songs on the new album as one whole piece of music.
It's frustrating as hell and we try to do out best with the situation. The fans sometimes suffer for all the business crap. Bottom line is that we have to let the labels do what they think is right for their markets.

The CD has some simply fantastic artwork! Tell us how that came to be and if there was any set plans in mind when having the artist start out on it?
Sort of. I mean, the title sort of naturally pushed him in the direction he took. I think it's the right cover for the music and seems to please the fans a lot.

What can a band with a history such as TNT do in today's music business set up do to get seen and get much deserved recognition?
We're trying to figure that out now. If we could do in every market what we do in Norway we'd be rocking. We do a lot of TV and tons of major press there from the national news papers to major fashion and music magazines. We're more of a pop/rock act on stature there than a has-been melodic rock band. But I think our songs warrant that kind of attention and unfortunately money needs to be spent on a grander scale to see even a glimmer of that elsewhere in the world. For now it's simply to show people how powerful we are live and keep pushing the album.

Does it frustrate you that an album of My Religion's fine calibre and major label sound might not reach its potential fan base due to the fact it may not be found in every record store and featured in every magazine such as many pop acts are?
Of course. Especially after the year I had making the album. But I sort of expected that. I know who and what we are dealing with, but we did choose to deal with it. People always have choices in life despite what some may have you think!

What can we - as fans within this scene that do find out about this and other great albums - do about that?
Be more unified and demand better albums and music. Don't accept second or third rate music from the smaller labels. Don't buy it if it isn't good enough.
Force them sign better artists and make better albums. They can do it if they want to. Better music will lift the whole genre up and not make it a joke. I think this genre has to set higher standards for people to take it more seriously. Also, tell people outside our community about a great album that you discovered.
If there is something you love, send out e-mails or go to a website NOT connected to melodic rock music and talk about it. Get outside the melodic rock world to promote it more. This community is already sold on the style. We need the other people to know about it too. There is a huge untapped audience out there. They loved rock when they were young and they want new rock that sounds like the old rock now. They also have money. 30-50 year olds want to buy music! The question is how to get to them?

What are TNT's plans for world domination in 2004?
Touring and touring and getting people to hear this album.

You, yourself, are a busy man....what's coming up for you in 2004 - what are you working on?
I am working a lot on TNT of course. I am working on a solo album as always and various other things are in the pipeline. Harry Hess and I have been taking about doing something together as well so we will see.

What comes next for TNT - can you do this all over again next year for another record?
Oh man. I can't even think about that yet. One step at a time. We have some more TNT plans but I'll wait till they are secure.

What would you like to achieve on a future album - how can you top My Religion?
Ronni and I learned a lot from this one and we both feel we know what to do to make an even better album next time.

What are you currently listening to Tony?
Maria Mena from Norway, Sophia Ramos-an awesome singer from New York, and looking forward to the new Priest album!

Have I missed anything that you would like to add?
I love your site and thanks for creating it. Without your website the labels and bands would have very little in the way of a community. You created a whole world for everyone involved with melodic rock and a way to promote it better. You rock Andrew!

Thanks Tony, very kind! Thanks for taking the time to do this interview...much appreciated and once again, congratulations on a perfect record!
Thanks mate!




TNT Issue Statement In Response To Fan Reaction

To counter the overwhelming negative reaction to the new TNT track 'Are You Ready For Some Hard Rock', TNT guitarist Ronnie LeTekro has issued the following statement:
"The musical direction on the new album contains classic TNT songs and is generally very melodic. In that respect, ‘Get Ready For Some Hard Rock’ is kind of untypical for the album that mainly consists of melodic hard rock in the vein of '80s TNT, but we and Frontiers thought it would be a cool track as a teaser and a ‘message’ to rockers all over the world.
This album is as diverse as 'Tell No Tales' and we are very happy about it. Look out for the first proper 'single' "Tears In My Eyes" coming in May. It can’t sound more TNT than that one! :)
Haters and skeptics will be turned into LOVERS again. - Love & Respect, Ronni Tekro"
If you haven't already, check the song out for yourself:

TNT With New Vocalist To Release'XIII' June 8

TNT will release their new album, "XIII" on June 8. More details and first single COMING SOON!
XIII tracklisting:
10. 17th OF MAY

TNT Officially Welcome New Vocalist BAOL BARDOT BULSARA

News Feed

This will be a new chapter for TNT and we wish Baol Bardot Bulsara welcome as our new singer. A big thank you to all the people that welcomed him in Oslo Spektrum on Wednesday and for supporting us. We look forward to a new year with gigs and a new album coming up soon!

Here’s a personal message from Baol Bardot Bulsara - Singer to our fans!


TONY HARNELL Departs TNT (Again)(2017)

News Feed
October 11, 2017
Oslo, Norway / New York, New York

The News Today

After a 35-year career...with a few scattered breaks and temporary line-up changes in that time, it is with a heavy heart that the remaining original members of Norwegian rockers TNT have made the decision to move on in separate musical directions. The bands management team expressed how extremely difficult this decision was for the band... “There is no easy way to break up a family”

Being together for so long...even though separated by an ocean, they became brothers. Ronni, Tony and Diesel wish nothing but the best for each other and will always be there for each other...although not musically.

TNT will continue with a new vocalist and new release through Frontiers Records to be announced very soon. The band will then commence international touring in early 2018 in support of the new release.

Tony will immediately start work on a new Starbreaker album, its third, also through Frontiers Records. A solo release is also in the works. Tony will start touring worldwide early in the new year, with Starbreaker shows planned after a solo tour.

You will all be hearing great music from them again very soon!!

Takk og god natt!!
Thank you and good night!!
Anata to yoi yoru o origato!!

Ronnie Le Tekro
Tony Harnell
Diesel Dahl

New TNT Album Due In Early 2017

Release Year: 
News Feed
Frontiers Music Srl is delighted to welcome TNT to the label for a release of the band’s forthcoming brand new studio album in spring 2017!
Earlier in 2016, singer Tony Harnell and guitarist Ronni Le Tekrø started writing new TNT material together for the first time in over 10 years. The music is truly exciting and the new record promises to be a landmark release for the band!
Ronni says: "We have made our best album to date, and are excited to work with Frontiers to get it out to our fans!"
Tony adds: "We are looking forward to tour worldwide in 2017/18 and to play in as many places as we can."
The band’s lineup is now completed by drummer Diesel Dahl, Ove Husemoen on bass and Roger Gilton on keyboards.
TNT have already set a few shows to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their classic album “Tell No Tales”, with more planned after the new album’s release.
Confirmed shows include:
12 January – Gjøvik Studenthus, Gjøvik
13 January – Rockfeller, Oslo
14 January - Union Scene, Drammen
20 January - Royal Garden, Trondheim
21 January - Hurtigrutas Hus, Stockmarknes
28 January - Kongesalen, Bergen
2-7 February – Monsters of Rock Cruise, USA
TNT was formed in Norway back in 1982, releasing their eponymous debut album the following year. After some changes in the line up, the now classic "Knights Of The New Thunder" was released in the fall of 1984, with a lineup consisting of extremely talented guitar player Ronni Le Tekrø, drummer Diesel Dahl, American singer Tony Harnell, and bass player Morty Black.
Throughout the eighties, the band released the melodic hard rock gems "Tell No Tales" and "Intuition", while building a fan base in Europe, America and Japan, where "Intuition" became a massive hit.
In the early nineties the band broke up, but TNT returned with a couple more albums later in the decade, before disappearing again. At the turn of the millennium, TNT slowly began to rise once more, and came back full force when "My Religion" was released to rave reviews in 2004. The band then went through several line-up and stylistic changes, but they are now ready to take the hard rock world by storm with their new album.
Follow the band for updates on the new album:  and



TNT Once Again Featuring TONY HARNELL

Release Year: 
News Feed
"TNT announces that Tony Harnell and Ronni Le Tekrø will start writing new material together for the first time in over 10 years and that the Norwegian/American band plans to enter the studio to start recording new music this summer. The new line up will be announced soon. We're happy to be working together creatively again and hope our fans are are as excited as we are. We're already booking shows in the U.S. and across the world in 2017 and also hope to play in as many countries as possible over the next couple of years. Hopefully many countries that we haven't been to in a long time or perhaps ever! Stay tuned for more news soon!"
Stay tuned!


Monday, February 16, 2015
News Feed
TNT guitarist Ronni Le Tekrø spoke to Norway Rock Magazine last week for an interview that will be published later this month in Norway.
With thanks to the Magazine, I can post this preview of the interview and yes, the question everyone wants to know…
NR: So what's happening to TNT these days, after losing two Tony's in two years?
Ronnie:  We won't retire just because a singer quits. People have tried to break the band previously on those terms. But they can't - we'll go on! We are searching for a new singer now, and will hold auditions shortly. I haven't told the press about this yet, you are the first one to know. We'll find a singer who is even better! And also able to reproduce what our previous singers did.
NR: What were the reasons for the Tony’s leaving?
Ronnie: Nothing dramatic, Mills had been with us for 8 years and we are still on speaking terms. Harnell leaving, well, that was almost expected. I have no desire to Discover exactly why. Those who want to leave the band may leave the band. We'll continue no matter what.


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