How did you songwriting and recording process for The Midnight Chase compare to your previous albums?
We have become better songwriters and we work better and more focused all together now. We don’t need to change riffs and parts hundreds of times anymore like we did before. We learned to trust the first instinct and to listen to what’s good or bad directly and either go for it or just leave it. It was also a year shorter this time between the last one so we’re going in the right direction!
This time the studio recording was just as much hard work as the last one, but we were less stressed and could enjoy the time in the studio more this time. Even though the songs are quite dark on the album, my feeling about the whole process and the result is that there were more positive vibes making this one than on the previous ones.
How would you describe the style/sound of this one?
It’s quite difficult to describe your own music, especially for me because I never have an idea about genres or styles… even when I listen to music myself. But I would say it’s a straight forward album that mixes rock’n’roll and metal with a lot of adrenaline. We wanted a raw and natural sound - rock’n’roll but with a metal bite in it - and I think we got it this time.
And I’m so proud of my Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier! So far it has never let me down. First it blew me away in rehearsals and live; now I also use it in the studio. It’s useful in so many ways. I love this amp. We’re like this annoying couple that always has to kiss in the street and tell everybody how much they love each other - all the time - until people’s ears are bleeding.
What inspired your lyrics?
Life. A lot of emotions. Anger, disappointments, revenge, love, hate, jealousy, denial, loneliness, fears. Because of the music we play, it’s natural to use it to express strong feelings like anger and revenge (“Crucifier”) or being betrayed (“Shut Your Mouth”). There’s also a song for all the people who have the excellent taste to like us (“Everything We Need”). But we always try to have a winning atmosphere in our music. We don’t want to make people depressed, we want you to feel you can win every round and get back on track if you’re feeling low.
I get inspired for lyrics both from my own experiences and thoughts, but also from what I see around me that pisses me off. For example, I wrote “Kid From The Upperclass” when I was frustrated about a friend’s relationship that wasn’t good for her. To write down those lyrics helped me let go of some of those constant, stressful feelings about something that wasn’t really my business.
What has been the response to the album so far?
We have gotten amazing responses from everywhere! It’s really a great satisfaction to feel that it’s so warmly welcomed by our fans who have been waiting patiently for three years. And because of the great result, we also got some new great label deals that will help us to reach out to new territories like North and South America and more people. To get so great a response from the fans, the companies in the business, and even media/press, it’s such a great reward for us after all these years, because we have been dealing with interested major labels telling us to work with their songwriters and producers and this and that if we want to get anywhere and “go big.”
But we have always been an independent band going our own way and we won’t sell our souls to sell more albums. We know our capacity and we have become better songwriters along the way. I’m happy that we stuck to our plan and did it our way also this time. It seems we’ve improved so the quality of our work finally reached the same level where our big egos have always been! (laughs)
How did you come to sign with Nuclear Blast USA?
Nuclear Blast has always been a dream label for us. Not only because it’s a huge metal label, but also because we’ve heard only great things about them over the years from friends like Meshuggah and other bands signed to them. And with this third album, we finally succeeded to get their full attention. We have been working together for some months now and I feel privileged to belong to this label that has not only the capacity to make things happen, but also has the heart in the right place.
What are your expectations for the U.S. release?
I hope that the album will be successful and that we can come over and introduce ourselves live. We have always gotten a lot of requests from fans in the U.S. over the years, wanting us to come out and play… but we have never been able to do it. So my expectations for the new album are that it will be the next great chapter for us and the beginning of a great adventure.
What are your upcoming tour plans?
We have some great festivals in Sweden, Italy, and France this summer. In the fall, we have a tour in Germany and Switzerland coming up. We’re also planning a tour in South America - and hopefully we will go to the U.S., too, before the end of the year.
What has been your most memorable Crucified Barbara live show?
There are many, but Sweden Rock Festival has always had a special place in our hearts. It’s a great festival and it feels like being a part of a big rock’n’roll family. We’ve played there four times now. I especially remember our second time in 2006. We were playing a really big stage, but early in the morning, and we didn’t expect any people to be awake. We did the line check and there were a couple of people already at the barriers but not many.
But 15 minutes later when we got back out on-stage for the gig, it was packed! We set the record for that festival stage at that early hour, with almost 10,000 people. I was in shock the whole gig! To see all those fans and friends from all the club tours we’d done the past two years in Sweden, standing side-by-side as a big happy family, singing along with us… that was really a big moment that I will never forget.
What's the craziest thing that's happened on the road?
Don’t know if it’s the craziest, but at least, it’s the most stupid thing we’ve done. We played at the great Rock Hard Festival in Germany - in 2006 I think it was - and we met our Swedish colleagues Hammerfall for the first time and had a great evening partying with them in their tour bus. They were leaving for Sweden in the night and they offered us a ride in their tour bus... to drop us off at our German hotel that was several kilometers away.
When the bus stopped, we all felt we didn’t want to end this fun party and they told us, “Go with us to Sweden! You’re going there tomorrow anyway - and you will be there tomorrow!” Of course, we said yes, trying to forget that they were going to the south of Sweden and not to Stockholm where we live – a problem to solve later. So we had fun for some more hours and then in the morning we woke up in the freezing cold bus, hungry, thirsty, and hung over wondering what the hell we had done.
Instead of waking up at a comfortable hotel, getting a shuttle to the airport and being home in Stockholm in two hours after a nice breakfast, we still had a whole day in that bus with people we didn’t really know that well in sober daylight. When we arrived in the town where Hammerfall would play their next gig, we couldn't get back home to Stockholm. All the trains had already left. Finally we managed to get a rental car and since I’m the only one with a drivers license, I had to drive –with a bad headache– for six hours in the night.
Two hours from Stockholm, we hit a huge wild pig with the car! It was a true nightmare. It survived, lucky enough, and I got an adrenaline rush enough to keep me awake to drive the last hours. The rental car was really expensive, we hurt a pig, and we learned a lesson – never get on the Hammerfall bus again!
How did you get started in music?
I applied for a music school when I was 9. I don’t know, why but it was just an option. I tried and got in; it was mostly choir singing. Then my mom bought me an accordion for Christmas when I was 10. I wasn’t too excited about it, but I learned to play it and I carried that heavy piece of monster back and forth to the class for years, summer and winter. Then my sister got a guitar. I was really jealous and I kind of took over it and kept it in my room and learned how to play it.
Not very nice thing to do looking back at it, but that’s the privilege of being the oldest one - you’re in command! When I was 13, me and my three friends discovered Nirvana and a whole new world opened for us. We decided to start our own band and we played Nirvana and Hole covers and started to write our own songs. We performed in school to begin with and then at youth places in Stockholm. That’s how my rock’n’roll life started – with an unwanted accordion, my sister’s guitar, and Nirvana.
Who were your influences and inspirations?
First, Nirvana changed my life completely and my first goal was to play guitar as good as Courtney Love. I remember how proud I was when I figured out how to play some of the melodies from my favorite Hole songs. Then my best friend introduced me to metal and my self confidence totally sank because I realized then I wasn’t a great guitarist only because I knew some Hole songs! He introduced me to a lot of different bands and we used to stay up late at night playing Megadeth songs and look at John Petrucci and Yngwie Malmsteen videos together. It was such a great time.
Megadeth meant a lot for me and my playing; I really love the melodic language in the riffs and solos and it affects me even today when I write and play music. I was also extremely inspired by Phantom Blue and especially Michelle Meldrum (R.I.P.), who I could talk about for hours. But my main role model is Jerry Cantrell. From the first time I heard Alice In Chains when I was 14 until today, their music touches me the same way and I still discover new things when I listen to their music. I love Jerry Cantrell’s cool guitar riffs, his honest and touching voice, and his characteristic melodies in both singing and playing. To play a gig with Alice In Chains is still my big dream.
When did you know you wanted to make your living as a musician?
When I picked up the guitar and learned how to play “Smells Like Teen Spirit” on one string!
Was your family supportive?
I was always a nice kid and didn’t fight much with my parents like most teenagers do. But my mom was nagging a lot because I stayed up late every night practicing guitar instead of doing homework. One day, I had enough and yelled at her: “This is my passion and dream, let me play because this is something I really want to do!” It was the first time I really stood up for myself and at that moment, it was like I made a statement also for myself - I’m really doing this. I think I was 15 years old.
After that, she changed and began to be interested in my progress when she understood how much it meant for me. My family has always supported me and my work with Crucified Barbara. They think it’s exciting to follow our career.
Who are the top 5 Swedish bands of all time?
Abba, Roxette, In Flames, Meshuggah and Crucified Barbara!
Anything else you'd like to mention or promote?
Yes! My Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier, again! I love it, I think I want to marry it, but I don’t know if it’s legal. And I have to mention some cool Swedish bands worth checking out right now: Bullet, Frantic Amber, Nale and CB Murdoc.