From a land where electronica reigns supreme, Swedish melodic fuzz rock band Truckfighters have carved a path for a new wave in music.
Despite being from a country famous for snowcapped mountains and Abba, Truckfighters’ music is described as the ‘sounds of the desert, with grand open grooves, and dust-caked metal riffs’.
The three-piece band, made up of Niklas ‘Dango’ Källgren (guitar), Oskar ‘Ozo’ Cedermalm (bass/vocals) and Andre ‘Poncho’ Kvarnström (drums) will play at the Ramsgate Hotel on January 21st with Adelaide bands Filthy Lucre and Inwoods.
Chatting with us from the top of a mountain in Greece, guitarist Niklas says he’s looking forward to coming back to Australia, and visiting Adelaide for the first time.
“We were on tour in Australia two years ago. It was very fun. We were eager to get back. We were in Perth, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane but not Adelaide so that will be good,” he says.
“It seems like the rock is a bit more popular there in general than in Europe. People enjoy rock music in Australia.”
Truckfighters are famous for their fuzz rock and smooth melodies, which, in Sweden, is juxtaposed with a strong culture of club DJs and electronic music.
However, Niklas believes there are both positives and negatives to being so unique in the music industry in their country.
“Nowadays, more accepted is electronic music. The clubs play mostly electronica and in Europe it is more electronic than rock,” he says.
“I think it’s kind of challenging because it takes a lot for people to get into something new. Most people want to listen to something they recognise a little bit, but on the other hand I think it’s kind of nice because usually they get really, really into it instead. So if we don’t have so many fans, we think that’s ok because it’s like either people really like it or they don’t care about it.”
Over here in Australia, however, Truckfighters have a substantial following, and Niklas says audiences will be treated with one hell of a show.
“They cannot prepare for the crazy live show that we put on. They can expect something they’ve never experienced before. There are very few bands with as much energy, so you have to be there to experience it,” he says.
Touring on the back of Universe and their five EPs and three previous albums, Niklas says the band’s sound has evolved over the course of their career.
“The previous recordings have been a little more rough in the sound. I think the new one is different. The soft and melodic parts are more soft and melodic and I think the heavier parts are even more heavy,” he says.
“Some of our older fans think it sounds too much like classic stoner rock but we have evolved and we try not to do the same thing twice. For us it’s a natural thing to be a little bit different in every album.”
Although the guys try to write differently for each of their recordings, they are committed to never writing anything ‘hip’ in a pledge to stay timeless.
“Trying to be timeless in the music is all about staying away from doing something that is trending at the moment. Do something you like from the heart and if that, for some reason, becomes popular then you’ve done it with soul. I think people who do things just to be popular get forgotten quite fast. It’s about doing things your way and the way you love to do it,” Niklas says.
Truckfighters are touring across Australia before they head over to the USA and then back to Europe for the summer festival season.
“This summer we are booked for some really big festivals so that will be really fun. In Europe over summer it’s pretty much all festivals and not much clubs are open,” Nicklas says.
“Most bands play festivals over summer but it’s pretty hard to get into the big festivals. Everybody wants to play there, so we’re happy to be playing.”
But before the summer festivals, Truckfighters will be tearing up the stage with the likes of Filthy Lucre and Inwoods.
Both from Adelaide, the two support bands are very keen to play with the Swedish band, who they’ve admired for some time.
Luke Marsh from two-piece band Filthy Lucre says he is looking forward to seeing Truckfighters take the stage.
“I’m keen to see how the Swedish professionals do it. It would be interesting. We’ve never really played with a desert stoner band before so it’ll be really good,” he says.
Filthy Lucre are Luke Marsh on vocals, guitar and cigar-box guitar, and Ed Noble on drums and vocals, and came together as refugees from other bands.
“We’re only about three years old now. Me and Ed, the drummer, started this band because in other bands it was a bit complicated with other members, with musical clashes and that sort of thing. Me and Ed always had the same musical ideas and visions,” Luke says.
“So we used to jam before and after other band practices and came up with our own thing. That’s why we’re a two-piece, because we never felt like we needed anyone else. It’s just like a two way conversation every time we make music.”
For a two piece, Filthy Lucre are constantly experimenting to expand and build their sound and have evolved a lot since their beginnings three years ago.
“We started out garage bluesy, raw and stripped back; just guitar and drums with minimal effect. Then lately we’ve been going for more of the desert rock sound, similar to Truckfighters,” Luke says.
“We’re trying to expand the sound. At the moment with my guitar, I use three different amps at the same time to widen the sound. We’re always trying to push the boundaries of what two people can sound like.”
After the Truckfighters gig, Filthy Lucre will be working towards recording their first album.
Four-piece band, Inwoods are also looking forward to supporting Truckfighters at the Ramsgate Hotel.
Kif Kelly (bass), Tyson Mahoney (guitar/vocals), Jared Hunter (drums) and Jordan Buck (guitar) met through playing in different bands and came together to form Inwoods in 2012.
Jordan says they’re followers of Truckfighters and are pleased to be sharing the stage with them.
“We’ve been a fan of Truckfighters for many years. Especially me. I remember finding them on the Internet when I was 16 and really liking them so I’m stoked to be playing with them,” he says.
Inwoods are regulars on the gig circuit in Adelaide but are keen to play the Ramsgate on the 21st as they’re first timers there.
“I’ve never been to the Ramsgate, but I’ve heard really good things about it as a live music venue so I’m really keen to check it out,” Jordan says.
Having just released a clip for their song, “Djun”, Inwoods are looking towards 2015 as a year where things start moving forward for them as a band.
“After the Truckfighters’ gig, we’ll ride the wave and keep working towards bigger and better things. We’re playing quite a few shows for the Fringe and after that we’ll aim to get overseas and play some festivals. We’re recording a single in February and maybe another video and compile material for an album,” Jordan says.
The quirky video for “Djun” from the EP Slow Season was shot in an undisclosed, mysterious Adelaide venue and features the band’s friends and fans.
““Djun” was filmed by Brett Hookham. We sat down after rehearsal and mapped out the clip and decided to fit in as many in-jokes as we could and make a story out of a lot of random things we thought were funny,” says Jordan.
You can grab your tickets through Moshtix or from the venue, so get along for a fix of post-grunge, desert, stoner rock and check out some remarkably unique bands.
Story by Libby Parker
Photos courtesy of Truckfighters, Inwoods and Filthy Lucre