Musicscan: You guys have been around for some time now. What is behind bands longevity? What fuels the fire and keeps you guys interested in the music you create?
Kruger: It’s been almost ten years, indeed ! I think it’s the stage. It may sound like a terrible cheesy cliché, but playing shows is, for us at least, an overwhelming sensation that you won’t find anywhere else… Then, we’re lucky enough to get along together so appreciate the endless travels during tours. Finally, we never had real expectations for our band, which help appreciating anything showing up… !
Musicscan: Do you still remember when you wrote your first song with Kruger and what it felt like and how it feels like now when you finish a song? How has your relationship to music changed over time?
Kruger: We have become nerds ! Our first songs were much more direct and simpler than what we write down now. We’ve slowly developped a dreadful relentlessness to modify every detail of our songs over and over ! I guess It’s not a bad way to do, in the end, it might avoid us recycling too much of material… !
Musicscan: It seems that your sound is continually changing, while other bands are stagnant. Is it just me, or is there any truth to this? What are you looking for in a song?
Kruger: Nice to hear ! Actually, as far as I can remember, we’ve always described our music as “a mix of Breach and Entombed”- understand “raw and intense on one hand, thick, heavy and frontal on the other”… strangely enough, this definition has been true for all our albums until now, though each sounds a bit different from the previous one ! … I feel that the production, arrangements and circumstances of the recording have a lot of influence on the result, as I believe our songwriting is finally not very different from an album to the other.
Musicscan: Do you think it is reasonable to assume that the concept of an album will soon be a thing of the past and people will solely listen to certain songs? Will the songwriting and the music change as well because of that?
Kruger: Probably – I am personally too old to change my perception of music : I totally hate the way songs are divided up, isolated one from another in the current way to broadcast / play them on the net, but this will sure enough modify the way people born in the middle of this “revolution” feel about music… I like the album as a whole, with a tracklist, layout, packaging, coherent production, etc. I like vinyle too (I’m so behind the times, aren’t I?). But this is only a matter of custom : the standard passage from 7’’ to full -length album has changed the way to write songs in the other way half a century ago… !
Musicscan: Where do you guys see the line drawn between progressing on what you do well, and completely offering a new direction or sound? Especially in the context of Kruger…
Kruger: We do not think that much ! We write songs in a pretty messy, hazardous way : we jam on a riff, turn it upside down until we like how it sounds, and build up a song around it. We used to be afraid of sounding like one specific band or another, but now we clearly don’t care any more! Yes, we sound like Mastodon, like Neurosis, like Breach, like Entombed, but we’re aware of that, and that’s no problem with us !
Musicscan: Do you think there are still genuinely new sounds to be discovered or can modern music basically be said to be a recombination of already existing forms and elements?
Kruger: Difficult to say. New sounds are a bit difficult to create, since so much has been done already, but mixing together things that haven’t been mixed yet is kind of creating new sound. We’re far from that kind of approach, though : we don’t plan to revolutionize anything, but just create good songs which we try to pack with intensity and loudness. I personally need to recognize some familiar elements in music to like it, even if I truly respect people who’s goal is to experiment for the sake of it.
Musicscan: Right now, the harder music scene seems to go even more extreme than ever before. Bands are pushing the boundaries as far as complexity, technical approach and extreme arrangements are concerned. Do you agree? Where do you see the reasons?
Kruger: I’m not sure bands are more extreme now. Napalm Death “scum” was sheer brutality 20 years ago. Experimentation can push a bit the boundaries more than speed or heaviness : I think the sounds are moving, and can redefine the extreme; but the extreme is circumstantial, not absolute: see Robert Johnson or early Elvis, they were seen as demoniac, thought their music is pure pop music…
Musicscan: In addition to the just asked question: In a way you did the opposite as you are focussing on the heavy flow and the intensity of your tracks. Why did you go about writing your record this way?
Kruger: If we have a direction when it comes to writing songs, it might be, indeed, intensity. We need to be able to “drown” in the music (another terrible cliché…!), and if we like it very frontal on some tracks, the tension in noisy mid-tempo parts is probably what we enjoy the most !… even if some parts are pretty “atmospheric”, we try to never let the tension escape the song.
Musicscan: Musically, and especially lyrically, Kruger seems like a band fueled by raw emotion which is at the same time tempered by a “reflected” vibe. What are the motives behind writing in this style, what reactions are you seeking to evoke in your audience?
Kruger: Many people want to see reflection behind what we do, but it’s not really true… We try to make music to get sensations, almost physical sensations, I would say; we need our songs to do something to our guts, in a total, pathetic selfish way. Then, if other people get riveted to it as well, even better ! That might be the communication between us and the audience : enjoying the intensity of our shit the way we do. The rest is speculative.
Musicscan: Have you been surprised by the fact, that listeners from different musical tastes are getting Kruger? And is this something that matters to you?
Kruger: Are they ? I cannot really know what our typical audience looks like… If we have any ? … But I like the idea to gather people with different tastes, for sure. As you as someone shows up to one of our shows, I feel grateful, whatever records he or she has at home…!
Musicscan: With the direction of Kruger heading a certain way and fans growing with you over the years and releases, do you feel the fans can now relate to what you are feeling or at least understand what you are trying to tell them with your music?
Kruger: Basically, what we try to tell them is “this is the music out of which we get a real kick– if you feel the same, let’s share that” – quite a slender message, isn’t it ? Expecting clear messages from rock bands is often a load of nonsense, in my opinion – you can be genuine in your music just for the sake of it. “Medium is the message”, I would say if I wasn’t afraid of looking like a cheap intellectual prick.
Musicscan: What makes Kruger special to you? How would you describe the essence of the band?
Kruger: I like to think we write metal songs with a punk attitude, but that’s probably more a fantasy than reality !
Musicscan: Final thoughts?
Kruger: Thanks for taking time to discuss all this with us ! OK, I admit we think our music is good (like all musicians), but we are always amazed when people agree with that – we’re just another rock band, after all !