Knogjärn is a band from Karlstad (Sweden) who plays brutal music. During last year they drew a lot of attention with their songs "Fly för ditt liv" and "Nej nu jävlar" together with several festival gigs. Now the time has come for their second album release; Marscherar & Förstör. Svip.se rang Kim in the band and asked a few curious questions.
You released your second full length album at the beginning of June; will there be a physical album or just the digital one?
Both. There will be “real” albums as well; we did the same thing with our first.
You are playing at Sweden Rock Festival, is it your first time there?
Yes, our first time this year. It will be awesome and so much fun to be able to tick that one off the list.
Your lyrics are in Swedish, but you aim to reach outside of Sweden as well?
Yes that would work too but foremost it’s Sweden we aim for. Singing in Swedish might make it a little tough to reach out to a wider audience but I know it’s worked in Mexico for whatever reason (laughter). If we can reach a larger market, naturally we’d like to.
Which one of you is behind the songs?
Most of the time it’s Markus and Johan making the music and me and Rasmus behind the lyrics. Sometimes we just sit and write and it just fit with one of the songs. Me and Rasmus usually have a storage of lyrics. I feel it’s more fun when all of us sit down and write.
So you are a bit democratic within the band?
We do try to get everyone involved in the musical process. So we can avoid the scenario of just one person making all the decisions. It’s not as fun.
You write in Swedish, do you feel it’s easier or harder than if you would write in English?
Everything becomes more naked. You can’t just say something in Swedish and make it sound cool, in the way you can in English. If we would have sung in English we would have been able to sing nearly anything since nobody really listens to the lyrics, but there’s nothing that sounds cool in Swedish, so you have to really mean what you say. There has to be a connection or it would just be nonsense. It’s very difficult to write in Swedish. But it makes it a lot of fun.
You are more than happy with the result?
I suppose so. We have sung in English as well, we had another band prior to Knogjärn that was called In Spite with the same band members. But we only just hit the larger market when we started to sing in Swedish, everything became rougher in Swedish.
Especially with a Värmland accent?
That’s what brings it down a bit (laughter). It becomes a bit softer.
According to your press release you (the band) are as tough as your name (knuckle duster) suggests, but you really don’t sound that bad when I speak to you from a safe distance…
(laughter) One is aloud a fib or two. It’s more the music. As persons we’re not that tough and I don’t think most musicians in this genre are. It is probably one reason why one can stay as calm as one are. You are able to let the aggressions out through the music. It might sound like a cliché but it’s true. To be able to write about stuff that bugs you.
Do you guys in the band listen to artist such as Pantera?
It depends. I grew up with a lot of skate punk like Millencollin. I listen to a lot of metal and hard rock as long as I feel its good music, but it doesn’t matter as long as it’s good. I believe it’s like that for all of us in the band. My opinion is that if you get inspiration from many different genres, the result of your own music is a lot better. I feel that you can’t listen to the same thing without your own music sounding exactly the same. So if you appreciate many different styles of music, there’s a better chance of developing yourself and your writing.
Do you remember the first album you bought?
I think it must have been Millencollin’s debut album. There’s one called Tiny Tunes, but Warner stopped them from releasing it. So they released it under the name Same Old Tunes and I bought it. The first album I received as a gift was probably Ace Of Base (laughter). I listened to that one because it was the only album I had. After that I think it was a friend of my mum’s who thought I should listen to some real music, and I was given a Greatest Hits album by Kiss. So I listened to that one and I thought it was awesome. When you’re young, everything is good.
How do you feel about the digital development?
The advantage is that it’s easily accessible. But when looking at the full length albums that are released today there are often just two really strong songs and the rest is just fillers, it didn’t used to be like that. I still listen to the full album when I’m driving for example and I will listen until I get tired of it, like I used to do. I like the fact to open an album with a booklet when you can read the lyrics, look at pictures and read all the thank you lines and all that.
So that is how it will be on your album?
Yes, exactly. We have always done it like that, even if we haven’t done so many just yet. You always want to say thanks to the people who helped you.