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This our profession now: Truckfighters (Interview)

Many drummers, not so much partying, but plenty of fuzzy heads – Truckfighters

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wedish desert rockers, Truckfighters, blew into town lately, touring their album V for everything a good rock show should be.

Somehow they got Josh Homme to say that they were “One of the best bands that ever existed”, (he also said some stuff about trucks being nice to each other but thats not really the point). They supported Fu Manchu, featured in their own Fuzzomentary, and they have chewed up and spit out more drummers than spinal tap.

Mind-blowing fuzz, dynamic riffage, mosh pits left, right and centre.

Trebuchet talks to Oskar ‘Ozo’ Cedermalm and Niklas ‘Dango’ Källgren about getting serious with the sound, working with new drummer El Danno and how they ended up with their own documentary.

So, how are you doing guys? How’s the tour going?

Ozo – It’s been really consistent, all the shows have had a great energy and no shows have been a total disaster or anything like that. Yeah we’ve had a great attendance and good vibe.

Any crowds that have stood out?

O – Ah well…. Maybe tonight? Ha!

Dango – Two weeks ago we had a show that was maybe 450 people in capacity and it was sold out two or three weeks in advance, which was really cool. It was really loud as well which is always good.

Do you get the chance to party when you go on tour?

D – We don’t really do that so often any more.

O – At least for me, I kind of got tired of that, so it’s more like trying to do the job as well as possible and then relax.

D – I think for us, we have been touring so many years that if we party then the next day we just feel like ‘Arghh, why did we do that?’

O – I think we are more focused nowadays, this our profession now, this is what we do, and we want to do a really good job.

So this is a full time job now?

O – Yeah, since like five or six years back now.

Where’s your favourite place to play?

O – I like Australia in the summer, it’s really warm and the people are really happy. You can go to the beach and it has a really relaxing vibe to it. You can go to the beach!

D – For me, its countries where everyone speaks English, it’s easier because we can understand what everyone is saying. Or if they speak Swedish. I dunno, I mean the shows aren’t all that different where ever we go.

O – The crowd is always the same, you have a bunch of nut-heads in the front row that make all the head banging and mosh pits or whatever. We always have a good crowd.

So where’s your drummer tonight? Did you lose him already?

O – Ha! No, he’s out eating with the other guys.

D – Yeah, you know, drummers for us are like a totally separate chapter or book. At the moment we have session drummers, two of them, for the tours we have done this year. And next year in the States, we’re gonna play with another guy then!

How is it that in the whole country of Sweden you can’t find a drummer and make it work?Truckfighters

O – The older you get the harder it is to find a drummer, you need one that’s available all the time. Poncho (Andre Kvarnström) our old drummer was really really good, but after a while he joined Blues Pills because they were friends and they were the same age as well. If you find a drummer in their 30s then they probably have a family and a job.

I mean we don’t earn a lot doing what we do, but we earn a living. A lot of people prefer getting well paid and staying at home than going away from the family.

D – When you get older you kind get tricked into having a normal life and having the family, and the job, and the normal thing.

O – You kinda get sold on it.

D – People get a bit lazy when they get old and give up the dreams.. Except us! [Laughs]

O – We are crazy.

D – We have been playing for 15 years now, it must be really hard for a new guy to come into the band and feel even close to what we feel for the band, you know?

O – We understand that we are a little bit odd. We feel kind of normal but I would say someone from the outside would look at us and how we interact with each other…. We might be a bit weird I guess.

D – Probably!

How was it working with El Danno (Daniel Israelsson)? Was it hard to keep that same feel of the drums?

O – We are both sound engineers and we have been recording and producing since the start, so if we have a new drummer we will tweak the drums to almost the same thing each time.

D – We will tell him how to play, on a very tight scale actually. On the V album we produced El Danno extremely hard. We had to really push him to play our way.

O – Yeah he said stuff to us like “Drummers don’t play like this, I don’t play like this” or “How did you come up with this idea?” because our ideas were different. It’s a good thing that we are not drummers, but we think a lot about the sound and what it should be.

Tell me about the new album. Why such a serious tone?

D – I think the serious feel of the music comes from the way society is today and the rough climate of the world. Also, we had a rough time with our old management for a while.truckfighters

O – Yeah. I think the start of this project was more for fun, but when we tried to play with management a few years ago it didn’t work out at all. We got hit in the face by the reality of how things can work out for a band. It also gave us a reality and perspective to other things, like why we play music to begin with.

D – We are still having fights with that management and we fired them two and a half years ago. So yeah. It’s quite fucked up.

What did get you guys into playing?

D – I think for me what did it was Nirvana, Nevermind. It was the first album I bought with my own money.

O – I started listening to music when I was really really young, I was always listening to music. But then I could listen Elton John, Michael Jackson, Kiss. I was seven years old then, but when I started playing I was 17 years old. I started playing really late but I had a huge collection of records before that because I was really interested. Then when I started playing it just snapped into place. I learnt my first song with my cousin.

What song?

O – House of the Rising Sun, Animals. I was like ‘Wow, cool! I can play, no way!

D – I think I found Nirvana in school. Someone played it and I was hooked. My Mum, she listened to rock and she had lots of records like Jimi Hendrix, so when I was young they bought me records and tried to give me music taste.

O – They tried to give you music taste? They failed! [Laughs]

D – Well, they tried to.

What do you listen to now?

D – Not that much new stuff. We are too tired in our heads nowadays.

O – It can be something random, like on Spotify.

D – But I still like my old favourites, and they will stay my favourites. I mean, I like the new bands that we signed to Fuzzorama, but its not the same to hear a band now to when you were 20. But in the last few weeks I’ve been in the mood to listen to either Truckfighters or Tool before going to sleep.

O – So you cant get enough of Truckfighters?

D – No, obviously not.

So the Truckfighters Fuzzomentary, was it a bit weird making a documentary on yourselves?

D – Well we didn’t really understand what was happening.

O – We didn’t realise that this was going to be a full length documentary. They told us they wanted to document us and so they took a few gig shots, came to Sweden and did some shots there. We didn’t do anything. Suddenly, they sent us a link with an hour and a half to two hours of footage. They asked what we thought about this and we were like, ‘Wow what happened?’. So they are a little genius those two guys who did it, really nice guys.

Would you make a sequel?

D – It would be fun to do Truckfighters 2 of course.

O – We haven’t filmed that much.

D – We should start now.

O – We should hire actors.

D – Like a feature. That would be something. We will write a script.

I always ask for five great albums but there’s two of you, so give me three each.

D – Can we choose our own albums?

If you really want to.

D – Ok, ok. I would pick Lateralus by Tool, Superunknown by Soundgarden. The third is the tricky one, there’s so much you could pick from. I guess it would be Nevermind by Nirvana.

O – I would say Tool also, but Aenima. I think I always mix those albums up but that is my very favourite. I think Kyuss, And The Circus Leaves Town. That’s a really solid one. And Err… I could say a Black Keys albums, like, any of the latest.

D – Yeah three’s too hard. I could pick two or three of the Kyuss albums, and of the Queens Of The Stone Age. I like four Pearl Jam albums. Picking three is hard.


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