An interview with Cult of Luna’s vocalist from when they played with Thrice and Poison the Well at the Garage in September 2003. Interviewed for Rancid News #4.
RN: So how’s the tour [with Poison the Well & Thrice] been going, cause it seems like a strange line up?!?
V: Yeah. It’s been pretty good! I mean we’ve been on tour with The Haunted, once. But the metal crowd is really like this [making narrow minded symbol]. The Hardcore crowd is the Hardcore crowd though! I know we have had fans at shows on this tour that have been there to see just us, and that’s something new. It’s pretty cool.
RN: Yeah I mean cause you guys came from the Hardcore scene is it weird kind of going back to it?!?
V: Yeah going back to it! (laughs) It is actually a bit difficult.
RN: Are you finding it difficult having only a half hour set?
V: Actually yeah we’re trying to sort out right now whether we can get a slightly longer set. Maybe forty minutes!
RN: Apparently you have a new song where…
V: Yup it’s true. We’ve been playing the same set the whole tour long. So we’ve been playing for fifty minutes each night. I think that’s what we need to get five songs in.
RN: So if you’ve written a new song are you working on any new material for like an EP or something?
V: No not really. Nothing in particular. We’re just writing new material. We haven’t done that much rehearsal this summer, but we always have a lot of new ideas.
RN: Do you get much time to rehearse when you get home? Do you have work or uni?!?
V: Yeah everyone’s in school and has a job I think.
RN: Yeah apparently you go to Uni, have a job and do the band. It’s a pretty hectic lifestyle.
V: (laughs) Well yeah. For me, I have my work, and I have my band. It’s good, my work, my job is cool about me going out touring and stuff
RN: What do you do as a job?
V: I just work in a warehouse.
RN: Are you happy with the old album’s re-release on Earache?
V: Yeah, its been cool, I like it.
RN: Are you happy that it’s getting out to far more people than it did before?
V: Yeah of course, that’s good, it’s a good thing.
RN: Have you been surprised by how well Cult of Luna have done, being from Europe and a relatively difficult band to get hold of?
V: I’m always stunned by all the the reviews we get, the worst we got was 3/5 in some magazine, somewhere, but the reviews so far have been amazing, it stuns me everytime
RN: Last time I saw you you’d only done 20 lives shows with Isis, have you had more practice since then?
V: Yeah, of course, we’re still working on our live show, how to rock harder live, how to get that intensity
RN: Your live shows are very theatrical, lots of light and everything.
V: Yes, but we still have a lot of work to do I think and right now I think we’ve played almost 50 shows in total,.and most of that was this year
RN: Was the Isis tour good for you because the crowd kind of expected you, being that 27, Isis and you were all vaguely similar. That was your first full tour as well wasn’t it
V: Well we played just four gigs with Isis, and of course it’s easy to play with Isis cos it’s the same crowd, but still it was the first time in the UK and everything so it was just a good experience.
RN: So hows it been with Earache so far?
V: It’s been cool
RN: Do you find it wierd that they’ve started to move towards your type of band in terms of some of the new bands they’ve signed – like Ephel Duath.
V: I don’t know that they’re type of music exactly, I actually haven’t heard the album, but I’ve seen them live, they’re more kind of jazzy. I don’t know what kind of bands Earache are after though
RN: Coming from Umea there’s the highest percentage young people, and lots of different bands, so was it tough to break out and do something new?
V: Not at that point no, it’s a universtiy town, that’s why everybody’s so young. No it wasn’t hard, all the bands right now are doing a whole lot of different things. We have [The International] Noise Conspiracy and a band called Isolation Years, doing some kind of folk/country thing and a band called the Persias who our drummer right now plays in, they play like a slow indie pop, pretty calm music and us, so, I don’t know it was just a new way to explore music I guess.
RN: Is there a positve kind of atmosphere, is everyone trying to help bands out, get music out?
V: No, for us it was really difficult, it comes down to magazines and stuff back home, they don’t care less about us, y’know, a couple days before we were meant to play the biggest club in sweden, and the local magazine came out and they didn’t know a shit about us, but in the UK it’s great. RN: Yeah, Rocksound really picked up on you.
RN: So know that you’ve got recognition in the UK do you reckon Sweden will pick up on you?
V: Yeah, we’ve done some shows in Sweden and it’s been immense, but it’s just in our home town there’s not that many fans.
RN: Have you guys had any line up changes since the last tour?
V: Yeah, one new drummer
RN: Is it difficult keeping everyone together cos there’s quite a lot of you?
V: Yeah, well we’re a six piece band right now, live and that’s how it’s going to stick I guess
RN: So how did you guys get on this tour?
V: Andreas Nilsson recorded their album in our home town so we got it that way.
RN: Do you like Poison the Well and Thrice and stuff?
V: That’s not my kind of music, no, but I’ve seen them live and everything, and it’s really energetic so that’s cool.
RN: What kind of music do you listen to?
V: I like every kind of music! As far as rock and metal’s concerned I listen to a lot of stoner stuff like Godsmack and old Black Sabbath and all that, also I listen to a little bit of country too, and Queens of the Stone Age are my favourite band I guess.
RN: Do the other band members have similar music taste?
V: No, we all have different music tastes
RN: Does that mean though that some people want to go in different directions to others?
V: Well, I can’t really say, because I don’t have that much of an influence music wise, I just sing, I can’t play any instruments or anything, the two guitarists work it out.
RN: Do you have anything outside of music and work?
V: Yeah, me and my girlfriend have a dog, so that takes a bit of time, and I just love being with my dog, taking it for long walks and everything. I don’t have that much spare time though cos I’m working shifts and everything, so the time I get off I spend with my girlfriend and my dog I guess, watch movies, whatever.
RN: Do you think it is difficult being a Swedish band as opposed to being a British, German or American band where there’s a bigger music scene?
V: I guess so, it would have been much easier to get out, touring and everything, it’d be much easier if we lived here or in the States. It’s just financially difficult to get round Europe coming from Sweeden.
RN: Do you think there’s also the problem of Swedish music getting pidgeon holded because of In Flames and Refused becuse you’re either one or the other?
V: Yeah, that’s true
RN: Are there lots of bands in Sweden that sound like those two bands now?
V: I don’t think there’s much of a hardcore scene now in Sweden, you got the big metal scene that’s for sure but no one really sounds like Refused, no.