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?
Traktor: The main reason is that we are really good friends from the beginning and as long as we feel there are new creative territories left to explore we will continue developing as a band and as friends.
Musicscan: Whether you’re going for hardcore, screamo or punk rock - it tends to be (or is told to be) a youth oriented movement. How do you stay young in the genre?
Traktor: It’s a difficult question. If you mean young in the sense of developing new sounds and forms we try to get our influences from new and cool upcoming bands. But we actually don’t think that we’re so young in our sound anymore. The new album is according to us a real mature one.
Musicscan: In general: Do you think it's more important for bands to observe the traditions of a style, or to push the genre's boundaries? Is there a way to achieve a balance between progression and tradition? How do you feel about the place of Traktor in the grand scheme?
Traktor: It’s important to know about the traditions, not necessary to observe and challenge them. As long as you as a band push your own boundaries instead of the genres it’s not really difficult to find your balance, whatever style you’re playing.
Musicscan: Many of today’s bands seem to miss passion and self confidence. You have lots of both and that's why I enjoy Early Adopter. Is it just a question of the right attitude towards music and being a band? In my mind your third album is a pretty courageous record. It´s intense and really shows what you guys want to do, no matter what listeners say or expect. What would you retort to that?
Traktor: Some bands maybe tend to work harder on getting famous than writing the music they really like and keeping the “band thing” being fun. Traktor as a band, is more a way for us four to meet and enjoy each other’s creative minds. We just make music for ourselves in the first part, that might be what makes us seem “courageous” but it’s actually just a matter of keeping it fun for ourselves.
Musicscan: Do you still remember when you wrote your first song for/with Traktor and what it felt like and how it feels like now when you finish a song? How has your relationship to the music and the band changed over time?
Traktor: The first song we did was called “Song Four” which later on ended up on our debut album “Lights”. The song making progress mostly has changed in that way that it takes much much longer to write and finish a song than before. But otherwise the creative process hasn’t changed from the first time we played together and now.
Musicscan: Is there something like a main idea that runs through all of your music, something that perhaps connects the individual songs you‘ve created over time?
Traktor: Lyrically it’s the “us vs them” mentality in lots of songs. We think that might apply to the music as well.
Musicscan: Do you sometimes feel the urge to write a gentle pop song but then dismiss this idea again, because you think it does not fit the Traktor aesthetic?
Traktor: If someone comes up with an idea for a song that everybody in the band can stand for we always work on getting the song finished. Even if it’s a pop song according to us, you would probably think it’s a common Traktor song.
Musicscan: How important are compromises in the context of Traktor? Should they play a major role at all? Listening to Early Adopter to me it seems that you are not willing to take compromises into consideration at all, even if you changed for a more balanced and easier to listen to song structures and sounds.
Traktor: We would never compromise in relation to our listeners; if we would write songs just to get more fans or record buyers the whole meaning with the band would be wasted. But when it comes to compromising in the writing or recording process we had to make some changes after discussions with our producer Marcus Sjöberg. But that only made things more interesting we think.
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 Traktor of course…
Traktor: We don’t draw any lines as long as the four of us are involved.
Musicscan: What lessons have you learned from being involved with the hardcore, screamo, punk rock underground for several years now? What has it done for you? Are there any principles you would never give up to as Traktor?
Traktor: Meat is murder and war is wrong! Hahaha. We’ve grown up with the harcore/punk scene in Sweden and here we have to back up for each other and support the bands that needs help. We’ve learned that if you help someone they will help you back. Touring around in Europe has made us meet other cultures and defferent kinds of people, and being open minded helps you on the way. We would for example never deny any band to use our backline or share the dressing room with us. Without the scene we would be totally different people and we would probably never have met.
Musicscan: How important is the improvisation factor to the single songs of Early Adapter?
Traktor: Maybe we’re not jamming for hours, but most “first ideas” are improvised. So maybe it’s really important, but we can’t say that it’s a decision breaker.
Musicscan: Can you take one „typical“ new Traktor song and explain what you hope people are getting out of it, please.
Traktor: We don’t want to tell people how they should feel when they listen to our music. Hopefully they can find the lyrics insightful and the music groovy.
Musicscan: What makes the band special to you? How would you describe the essence of Traktor?
Traktor: For us Traktor is family. We’re soon celebrating 10 years as a band and we see it as something we’ll keep doing until we die. No matter how successful or not the band will be we’ll always stay friends and play music together. Our main goal is to be the year 2050 version of Roling Stones.
Musicscan: Final thoughts?
Traktor: We hope that everybody that listen to the new album will like what they hear and come and se us when we go on european tour again in april 2011. Much love.