Saturday 1 December 2012

Interview with Truckfighters

Today on Sludgelord it is my great pleasure to be interviewing Swedish Stoner Rock Heroes – Truckfighters.

Truckfighters are a band that most of us have heard over the past few years. They have released 3 excellent studio albums. They even had their own documentary film released earlier this year to critical acclaim amongst the Stoner Rock Scene.

Truckfighters have been going since 2003 and have steadily been building their reputation as one of the best Stoner Rock Bands currently on the scene. Truckfighters have shifted towards a more Progressive Rock feel to their sound but still retain a great Stoner Rock vibe in their music.

So let's get down to business with the brilliant Truckfighters.

Q1 – Hi Guys, Thanks for doing this. How are things in the Truckfighters camp today.

Dango: Hmm I don't know really we are on a 40 hour trip home from our first South American tour, just landed form the first planeride that depated at 02:25 and landed att 06:30, now we have 10 hours of waiting at this airport (sao Paulo), then 12 hours in the air to Madrid, then a few more hours of waiting then 4 hours to stockholm then like 3 hours in bus then er are home. So my brain is kind of continuously set to a slow pace. Will be boring two days, ha ha. And Ozo also left his wallet on the plane so he is is running around now trying to retrieve it but it isn't that easy as people are not so good in English here and we don't know a single word of Portuguese.

Q2 – For people not in the know can you give them a brief history of the band and how it came about.

Dango: We started off in the legenadry year of 2001. We felt an urge fur fuzz flowing in the winds of Örebro. The first of us three Me, Ozo and a guy called Awe were all studying sound engineering then. Awe left shortly after the forming of the band (played just one gig) then the madman Pezo joined. He is in many ways considered the original drummer. In the beginning it was all about jamming and having fun. I worked in a really expensive and good studio at that time and we had a gap of 2 weeks with no bookings at all, so we all felt that was to good to be true. 

The problem was we just started the band so we really didn't have so many songs, ha ha. But it was good for us to have this goal cause we rehearsed a few times VERY intense with a creative flow constantly spinning, did 6 songs from scratch and recorded our first demo. It was to fun and way to good to just let it be a session/project, so I guess that was the real birth of something more than just getting together jamming for fun. We all felt the chemistry was 100% right. 

The first years with the band was very different than now though. I think in the first 4 years we did perhaps in total 25 live shows, but form the Release of Gravity X in 2005 we do an average of 40-50 each year. In 2007 we did something like 75 gigs and with the additional travel days / off days that is more than 3 months on the road. It is nice and once you get into that lifestyle if you are hooked you are in it for life. I guess it is like a drug somehow. 

The only drug we use. Kids, start playing music instead of doing drugs that is my best advice to you. Play some Truckfighters songs and you will feel high from the power and the melody and the magic vibe ;)

Pezo left the band in 2004 and Paco joined in and stayed until late 2007 when he had to quit due to medical reasons. After this drummers have been coming and going but the fuzz keeps flowing :)
The first years we also had a second guitar player, Mr. Fredo 2002-2007 but the core of the band both the creative art and the organizing part have always been me and Ozo so in many ways Truckfighters haven't changed much :)

Q3 – How would you describe your sound.

Dango: fat. A unique take on modern rock like "Kerrang!!!" once wrote It is good description. Nowadays we are kind of progressive from time to time but always have melodic stuff and a hell of a groove. I guess that is what it takes to be (probably) the best band in the world ;) Garcia: Listen and you will understand!

Q4 – Which bands and artists influence you directly as musicians.

Dango: Soundgarden, Tool, Pearl Jam, Kyuss, Nirvana and early QOTSA of course. I really love the new Soundgarden album it's like time stood still.

Q5 – Are you all full time musicians or do you have regular jobs to pay the bills.

Right now we manage to live on the music but we are not living in luxury. I only have 2 Ferraris and one jacuzzi no private jet as of yet ...

Q6 – Are your family and friends supportive of your music.

Yes definitely. I think our friends might be a bit tired of us sometimes cause we are never home to hang out, we your so much but that is the price you pay when you choose to follow the path of fuzz for real. We have many friends all over the world but it is a different kind of friendship compared to your childhood friends or so. not saying less good, just different. To be honest many of our so called "friends" were more supportive the first years then some got jealous cause their bands didn't do as well as we or cause they had to have normal jobs while we tour Europe, but they are not the true friends. True friends are always there and always supportive. We also also thankful to our families that help put with taking care of our children when we are away, giving the flowers in our flats water etc etc.

Q7 – What is the song-writing process in the band. Is it a group collective or is just down to one individual

Group. First years more than now. From Mania and also on the forthcoming album it's been more or less Me+Ozo only. We did most of the stuff earlier as well but all members were always involved more or less and everyone has to like a songs for it to make it on an album. We've had the privilege to play with very good musicians over the years and they all give good input. Paco, Fredo, Pezo are all three very very talanted in more than just their prime instrument.

Q8 – Your finally starting to get major praise across the globe for your music. I bet your really pleased the way things are going

Of course, I have been playing guitar for 20 years with the ambition to be able to live on the music. Now I can do it , still it is a struggle but I do not complain. It is a lifestyle that I love and I hope I can bring my son on tour in a few years ;)

Q9 – Your all involved with other musical projects such as Greenleaf (Ozo), Witchcraft (Pezo) and Dango producing music. Is it hard for the band to get together at times. Or is Truckfighters your main purpose in your career.

Truckfighters is the main thing, not for Pezo perhaps that's why he is in and out of the band, ha ha. It is always hard to get the time together that we would like, when you are not a youngster any more it much things in life that you have to do. We do what we can as often as we can and hopefully the time between the coming album and the one after that won't be as long as the time that's passed now.

On the other hand we have been touring more or less constantly so it's not like we just been sitting on our fat asses doing nothing.

Q10 – I feel Mania is your best work to date. Mania has a more epic progressive feel to it. It still has elements of Desert/Stoner Rock but it feels something totally different compared to Phi. Was that your intent to make a different sounding album.

Yes and No, When we create music we never try to make a song in a certain way, what comes out is what we get. Of course in the end we choose to work on the ides that we feel fit together as a concept. 

Soundwise we had the ambition to make an album with a frequency range listenable for "normal" people as well as the stoner / hard rock fans. Naturally we want to be able to expand our fan base but we don't intentionally write songs that are "commercial" if you know what I mean. Not many 3 minute hits on our albums ;) We do not compromise music wise and we love the sound on Mania. It is my personal favourite TF album too!

Q11 – Your Documentary was released earlier this year to some critical acclaim. As it's a great film. How did you guys get involved with that. And were you happy with the final version.

Hey. All cred for this cool film goes to the filmmakers Jörg Steineck and Christian Macijewski. It was their idea and their production. Fuzzorama records helped out funding the physical pressing of the DVD otherwise it is a production about Truckfighters without Truckfighters taking part of producing it. 

We like the final result , love the way it is being told a movie with a sense of humor and self distance, just like we are persons with a similar view on life. I think it gives a very good view of how the TF life is. So you readers that haven't seen it yet take the time to check it out you will not be disappointed! 

Q12 – Do you feel the documentary successfully captures your actual image or were their parts you wish were done differently. I did love the fact that the film did make humour of Pezo leaving multiple times. That must have been hard to deal with at the time. Pezo is a fucking brilliant drummer. He makes you guys come alive.

Like stated in the previous question, I think the movie rocks. Surely the drummer dilemma is very hard for our minds and it is energy and time consuming, still it is the way things have been the past years like it or not.

Q13 – It must have been cool to see all the great artists in the film saying what they knew about Truckfighters especially Josh Homme. People you obviously admire and who influenced you in some way.

Yes of course.

Q14 – You have been touring constantly over the past 12 months in Europe and USA. Any interesting stories while on tour recently. Any personal highlights as well.

hmm hard question or maybe I am just a bit tired of writing! 

Usually touring is nice in general but what people might not think of is that is also lots and lots of time just hanging waiting for something to happen. This time is hard to make use of cause you have the tension in your system and a focus on the gig that will happen in X amount of hours. It is much more nice than not nice of course otherwise we wouldn't do it all the time.

We had a couple of car breakdowns, broken tires and stuff isn't fun but it has to happen sometime?;) Ozo forgot my passport travelling to the UK one time, that wasn't fun, we had to go to the embassy in a different country and then go back again, so we missed the first show. 

But if feels like you can laugh at every incident now with some distance to it. Once in the first years of Truckfighting we slept on a stone floor in Italy, that wasn't so fun then but is fun now. A detail that makes it more fun is that the people organizing the gig told us we would sleep in a big nice house just outside town. 

We drove for 1,5 hour in the middle of the night to get there, tired as FUCK we entered this big house, only problem was we weren't allowed in anywhere else than the ground floor cause someone's parent lived upstairs and it was just stone and wood benches down there. We didn't stay long, the sun was up just 2-3 hours later so we slept on the grass outside a while. Nowadays we are to old for this kind of shit so we require hotels. 

One of our coolest gigs ever was supporting Fu Manchu at the Islington Academy back in 2007. The backstage is like 3 floors down so we didn't have any feeling at all when it was time to enter the stage. Turns out the place was totally packed and a bunch of genuine TF fans in th front row. awesome. Gigs in UK are generally very good and I hope this tour won't be an exception.

Q15 – What are your favourite bands around at the moment. Do you listen to modern day rock/metal or do you just listen to the classic era of Stoner/Sludge/Doom Metal.

The new Soundgarden - King Animal! yeah fickin amazing. I also listen prettty much to the Katatonia album "The great cold distance" and I like the norwegian band Kvelertak very much. Tool is still a favourite, and lately I've been listening a lot to the first two QOTSA albums again actually, but maybe that counts for classic stoner in some sense? I have never listened to stoner much, just Kyuss and a bit of Fu Manchu. To be honest I do not like doom/sludge at all , ha ha ha.

Q16 - What are your future plans for the upcoming 12 months or so. Anything we should be excited about.

New album!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! - Even more touring all over the world!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(is that good enough? :)

Q17 – What are your views of blogs such reviewing your records, as opposed to mainstream music magazines? Has your music reached the mainstream mags, at home or around the world?

Not really, still only the music press, I mean we get reviewed in Kerrang, Metal Hammer etc but still they are rock/metal and not mainstream. We did have a small feature in the Brazilian version of Rolling Stone Mag just recently when we did out South American tour, that is kind of rad.

Q18 – What were your original aims and dreams for the band and have they been fully met yet.

At first we just wanted to have fun, but then we decided we wanted to be able to live on the music. Now we want to play venues with 5000 people or more capacity cause me and the old drummer Paco promised each other we would play naked the first time 5000 people come to a show JUST to see us, meaning not random festival audience but Headline TF gig. So I cannot quit until this happens now can I?

Q19 - Finally, Do you have anything to say your fans

Thanks for your support so far. Keep spreading the word. Keep coming to our shows. Keep supporting us. If you do we will keep doing what we do and hopefully you will like it 10 years from now as well.fuzz

Well guys thanks for doing this interview. Can't wait to see you guys in December for your forthcoming UK Tour. All the best from ourselves at Sludgelord we are all massive fans of your band. Cheers. Steve.


There you have it folks. A brilliant interview from one of the best Stoner Rock bands around. Thanks to Truckfighters to talking to us at Sludgelord. 

Check This Brilliant Band Below:

Check Out Their Fuzzomentary Here: