Every Krux record is like an event. This doom “supergroup” took everyone by surprise with its impressive first album in 2002. The talent combination of Leif Edling (Candlemass), Jörgen Sandström (ex-Entombed, Torture Division, The Projecy Hate…), Peter Stjärnvind (Nifelheim), and of course Mats Léven (ex-Malmsteen, Therion…) worked out perfectly to produce that “magical” and immediate alchemy. Very shortly after that first record the line-up was completed with guitarist Fredrik Åkesson (Opeth, ex-Arch Enemy) and keyboardist Carl Westholm (who’d already played with Leif Edling in Candlemass).
The second record, “II”, came out 4 years later and I personally found it stronger. Krux had really found a unique personality, combining traditional doom with heavy riffing. Six years after “II”, the band is back with a new record, “III – He Who Sleeps Amongst The Stars”. And I do not need to tell you that you must grab it, because you already know that. “III” is another masterpiece by the band, albeit being different from the first two albums. It’s more psychedelic (just look at the cover to understand that) and a bit more epic as well.
Leif Edling more or less composed the entire record, and you can clearly hear the mastermind’s influence, as some passages resemble to the “Roberte Lowe-era” Candlemass. But this can’t possibly be a bad thing. Especially that Krux is totally different from Candlemass because of the more traditional doom and psychedelic approach.
No need for further introduction anyway, ladies and gentlemen, Jörgen Sandtröm will tell you everything you need to know about Krux and their new album.
I have a feeling this new album will sound very...psychedelic.
It took you more than 5 years to release your third CD. A matter of inspiration or is it the band members busy schedules?
Jörgen: The inspiration has been there and we have been talking about making this record for over two years and finally we all got some time off to put the songs on tape.
I see every record you release like an “event”, something pretty rare and very awaited. I guess it’s pretty cool to feel the fan’s demand for new music?
Jörgen: Yeah, when you put it that way I can see what you mean. It is pretty hard to get us all together to record and play live but when we do get the time over to do it… It is all fun! We just did a show here in Stockholm, we didn’t manage to get the whole band together even once for rehearsal but once upon stage we had so much fun and it all worked out just fine.
Krux is a genuine “supergroup”, is it easy to work with 5 other very talented and recognized musicians?
Jörgen: Are you kiddin’ me!? Working with these super-humans is fantastic. As I said, we didn’t manage to get the whole band to rehearse before the show I just mentioned. We didn’t rehearse AT ALL before we recorded the drums. Peter went into the studio without even having heard two of the songs and still he managed to record them the same session… Over a weekend. Theses guys are freaks of nature and it is a total honor to play with them!
The perfect line-up, right before your eyes
How do you compose and arrange the songs? I understood Leif comes up with most of the music?
Jörgen: After the last album we had some wishes within the band that we should get together and write the songs in the rehearsal room.. That didn’t happen unfortunatly. So Leif wrote all songs except one song that I did the music for. When we were in the studio we did re-arranged just small parts here but that was it I guess. Leif is a master songwriter!!!
Leif, you also play in Candlemass. Is it easy to separate the Candlemass and Krux composing? Aren’t you afraid sometimes both bands sounds might sound alike?
Jörgen: Leif says no.
Is there any particular theme on the new album? Who’s the one who sleeps amongst the stars anyway?
Leif: He who is at peace with the world and himself, and sees fulfillment.
I found it VERY psychedelic…
Leif: Yeah...it is zen metal!
I also found it more Metal and epic, in the sense of “heavy metal”…
Jörgen: We think so to. That was one of the first things we said when we heard the material come together.
What I really love about Krux, is that you guys manage to mix the rock vibe of doom with the heaviness and the epic of “Scandinavian” Metal. It’s like traditional doom but with a Scandinavian sound and personality.
Jörgen: I guess it shines through being in those other bands that we are in or have been in over the years.
I’m also annoyed by bands that play very heavy doom metal but without focusing on the “feeling” and the groove. You guys manage to inject a lot of feeling and groove. Do you specifically focus on that, or is it 100% instinctive?
Jörgen: When we started the band as Devil Sun we wanted to sound like the old school doom metal bands like Trouble, ST Vitus, Pentagram etc… All these bands had great songs. I do like some of the bands I guess you refer to but it is not what we wanted this band to be.
How did you guys end up working with Bruce Franklin from Trouble?
Jörgen: As I said, Trouble was a major influence on this band from day one. Rick and Bruce are fuckin’ phenomenal guitar players and to me they rank higher than KK and Glenn (from Judas Preist)… Adrian and Dave… (Iron “guess who” Maiden) etc... Leif have done a bunch of gigs with Candlemass and Trouble so I just dropped the idea on him and asked if he could ask Bruce to put down a solo on the album... Leif asked and Bruce was happy to do it. It gives me chills every time I hear it!
Do you have any “favorite” songs on the album? I know my favorites are “Hades Assembly” and of course “Prince Azaar”, very epic one!
Jörgen: If I have to pick one out then it would be Hades Assembly.
Now about the future: Are you going to tour, and any chance to see you in France?
Jörgen: I doubt there will be a full tour. It is hard enough to get us together for a few gigs you know, haha… We do get some good offers from festivals so I really hope that Hellfest will contact us! I love that festival!!
Any ideas about the next album yet? How do you guys “plan” things? Do you decide what you want the album to sound like before working on it?
Jörgen: No, it is to far away to even start thinking about one yet. We have made three albums and that was our initial goal. I am not saying that we will not do a fourth but at least we managed to make three as we hoped for!
I also saw that the record’s going to be released as a limited edition blue vinyl. Who’s handling this release?
Jörgen: True. It is out on Black, Blue and Blue/White vinyl through High Roller Rec. They look and sound fantastic!!!
Are there going to be any special CD editions as well?
Jörgen: No, just a regular CD.
Do you get involved in the design of these “special editions”? It seems important these days to offer collector records to make people actually buy the music…
Jörgen: I know. They package the music with all kinds of things nowadays to make people buy instead of download. I am not a big collector but I do buy albums that I like and support the bands that I want to support. I buy the vinyl if it is released on vinyl that is or I just take the CD that is in front of me. I don’t give much for the extra DVD when bands makes silly faces in the studio etc…
Any last words to our French fans? Like maybe to convince them that the best way to start 2012 is to listen to "He Who Sleeps Amongst The Stars"?
Jörgen: It is the best way to start any day from now on!!! Push the Hellfest promoters to book us, buy our albums and t-shirts, come to our shows! We are the Hades assembly and we rock!!
Million thanks to KRUX and to Lena for making this interview possible!