Vennlige Våpen – Sondre og Hans Fenomenale Orkester

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Sondre & Hans fenomenale orkester was formed in early 2013 by the city councillor Sondre Båtstrand and the composer/producer Hans Petter Gundersen. The lyrics are mostly written by Båtstrand, and highlight moral dilemmas, relationships, and political awareness in a melancholic, black sense of humour. The high standards of moral crashes into everyday struggles and instincts, and the softness might be a sign of defeat, and love is seen as a threat to moral.

The first appearances was featuring only Båtstrand on vocal and rhythm guitar and Gundersen on pedal steel guitar. Soon, the band was to include model and actress Viktoria Winge on backing vocal, Nora Zheng on he chinese string instrument guzheng, and Maria Ramstad on bass. The first single and music video was released in 2014 and in 2015 the debut album was released, titled Vennlige våpen (which can be translated into Friendly weapons), with the title track mocking Norway’s image as a country of peace while exporting large amounts of weapons.

Båtstrand and Gundersen performed at the Bergen International Festival in June 2015. Here is the song «I mitt indre» (In my mind). The chorus can be translated into something like this: «I am afraid that the confidence is so high that I show who I am – I am afraid to have so much fun that I show my lust – for at the back of the closet with clothes, there is a loaded gun”.