Musicscan: Your fans had to wait some time for 333, your new 10inch. What happened to the band since the release of For Death, Glory And The End Of The World?
Kruger: We toured mostly in Europe and did one week in Quebec. We tried to write some new matrerial during summer 2011. We had hired a rock club near our hometown for a week to just jam and see if we could come up with interesting new ideas. But one week before, Jak (one of the guitarist) told us he had no time for that, felt burnt out and needed a break. Sinice everything was already booked, we called our former guitarist Ian and asked him if he would be interested to fill in. During the fall of 2011, Margo (the other guitarist) told us he had less time to rehearse and we basically did nothing but messing around shitty material with three guitarists not showing all the time at the few rehearsals we managed to do and it went on like for one year. In june 2012, Jak told us he was leaving the band and Ian officially became the second guitarist until he also chose to quit five months later. After all that mess, we just managed to write two decent new songs and decided to record them and release that 10'' vinyl just to show the band was not dead yet. And luckily we almost immediately found a motivated guy to replace Ian and Jak. From january to march we spent time rehearsing a new live set and then went on tour for 10 days with Gojira and played some shows here and there, including the Pelagic Fest in Berlin with The Ocean and Cult of Luna.
After all that, we're kind of ready to start writing some new music with a stable line-up and hopefully come up with decent material in a not so near future (we're slow as hell when it comes to writing new stuff)
Musicscan: What fuels the fire and keeps you guys interested in the music you create? What philosophy is the basis for what you are doing with Kruger, and what makes you continuing?
Kruger: I don't really know. I guess everybody in the band could have a different answer. Personnally, I need to be creative in most of my activities, that's why all my life kind of revolves around music, be it as a drummer or a sound engineer. There's no conscious philosophy behind the creative process. We basically try to gather riffs and build arrangements that feel "right" for us and eventually make songs out of them after nitpicking on every little details for weeks. The process is slow because nobody writes at home and since we don't rehearse that much, it takes quite a bit of time just to build a solid basis for a song. We've been doing our thing that way since the very beginning and it's a bit harder nowadays cause some of us have kids and families to take care of, energy-consuming dayjobs and the band is may be less "vital" than it could have for its members some years ago. I guess we'll go on as long as there's enough will, fun and creativity to keep the whole thing interesting.
Musicscan: Do you still remember when you wrote your first song for/with Kruger and what it felt like and how it feels now when you finish a song? How has your relationship to music and the band changed over the years?
Kruger: We were maybe a bit more easily enthusiastic at the time. Kruger was not our first band but we had that kind of naïve feeling of joy just starting a new project and jamming a new song (it was "Weight" if I remember well). After 4 records and a 10'', some line-up changes, many shows with many great bands, we've achieved more than we ever thought possible in the first place but we're less easily satisfied with the music we create. We've never been that good at writing songs (in my opinion) but always kind of managed to save the day with interesting enough arrangements. We're no better today but certainly became more picky and perfectionnist.
Musicscan: Your style of playing covers a lot of bases - there's something for everyone within the heavy underground in between dark hardcore, noise, sludge and so called post metal - Were you going for a more inclusive approach or is it just the result of your progression and diverse interests? Or do you like the challenge?
Kruger: We've never thought about Kruger in terms of style. We just like some bands more than others and are influenced by them. The first record had a more rockish vibe, we were all listenning to Entombed, Refused, Breach... Then Isis released "Oceanic" and we digged a lot into that kind of sound, and bands like Tool and Mastodon and that brought "Cattle Truck" which is torn between straight rocking metal and more progressive elements. Then we chose to depart a bit from that post-hardcore scene and write faster stuff but still keeping the progressive side on "Redemption Through Losseness" and trid to perfect the formula on "For Death..." which is in my opinion the best record we've done when it comes to songwriting and production.
Musicscan: Which scene - if any - you feel connected with?
Kruger: Well... Don't really know. And don't really care either. The post-hardcore scene would be the logical answer, but I never think too much about that. Music is more interesting to me than the scene to which some people tend to put it.
Musicscan: And how has the songwriting approach evolved since you started years ago? What has taken the music of Kruger to where it is now on 333?
Kruger: The "rock" elements of the beginnings are almost gone completely, it's darker and more intricate. We've been progressively getting more and more focused on the details. Sometimes it drives us insane but that's the way we do it. We're often trying to avoid too predictable and linear structures and add some weird arrangements here and there. The two songs on "333" are a bit special for us since we completed them just afterJak left and before Raul (the new guitarist) came in. They were composed in a period of confusion and doubt in which we were just trying to keep the band alive. I don't know if it shows musically, but they are "transition songs" I would say.
Musicscan: Are there bands you consider to be truly inspiring to you? Do you think that your songwriting is affected by music you hear, or do you try not to be influenced by that?
Kruger: We love "Breach". It's been the one and most obvious inspiration for us during all these years. We don't really sound like them at all but they've always been in a corner of our mind. Nowadays we're less influenced by what we hear than before. Most of us don't really listen as much to heavy bands than we used to in the past. So when it comes to metal, I'm not really sure any specific bands inspire us in particular. I've always seen influences as something really beneficial when you're aware of how they effect what you're doing. Just make sure they're not gonna transform you in some sort of copycat.
Musicscan: What are you looking for in a song in general? Have you ever achieved something like a perfect song in your opinion? How would you define such a perfect song?
Kruger: That's a tough question. If I had the answer, I'm sure the writing process would be way easier for us. We're looking for something that "works" and that we like enough to defend on stage. We've written a bunch of good songs and some weaker ones. I couldn't define the perfect Kruger song at all but tracks like "Anthem Of Pretended Glory", "The Drive Run" and "Hummers VS Pedestrians" stand among my favourite. They're more on the melodic/epic side, which I like a lot.
Musicscan: What are the feelings you get out of your music and is there something you want the people / listeners to leave with?
Kruger: Nothing pretty original to say I fear. Kruger is mostly about energy and honesty, if that really means something. Just trying to channel intensity and deliver it as it is without too much artifice.
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: We're not trying to tell anyone anything. Kruger has always been our little personnal pleasure and if people dig it, we're all the more happy but it has no real impact on the way we run the band. We have no particular message (the lyrics are quite silly to say the least). We just like to play heavy music, rock as much as we can on stage and keep things honest and simple. We hide our lack of pretentions behind some silly humor sometimes but that's all. If you like us, come have a beer with us. If you hate us, write the most pissed off review of our records or shows and we'll be fine as well. It's just music. As important or futile as you want it to be.
Musicscan: Did you already start to work on a new full length album? What is the time frame?
Kruger: As told previously we're painfully slow at writing new stuff. We've just started jamming some new riffs and ideas for a new song. It sounds dark and twisted as fuck and we seem to like it. The time frame will be long I guess, tough it may be a bit early to tell. That's all I can say for now.
Musicscan: Last question: What is the idea behind 333? Why not full 666? ,-)
333 is the exact number of vinyl that were pressed. By the way 666 was obviously too cliché. We like clichés in the metal scene and we also like to emphasize or make fun of them from time to time. "333" seemed like a good compromise.
Musicscan: Final thoughts?
Kruger: Thanks for the interview. There should definitely be some new Kruger music coming in the future but you'll have to be patient. If you don't know the band, come visit our facebook or bandcamp page and let us know if you like us better than Celtic Frost or Justin Bieber (or anyone else). Cheers.