by David Maloney
Hello guys, first I would like to thank you and say we are very excited to have you join us here today for a discussion with METALHEADS FOREVER MAGAZINE. Without a doubt you guys have a very unique style and sound all your own while being mentioned in the same breath with bands such as Kyuss, Dozer and Fu Manchu. That’s some impressive company while maintaining your own Identity. I’m personally not a fan of genre mongering and have read that in some circles Truckfighters are considered Stoner/Desert Rock or Metal with an Alternative vibe and feel. This leads me to my first question without digging too deep into the genre based questions. How do you guys feel about genres? How would you describe your sound to the average fan? Do you feel it’s the fans creating such labels? or management/record companies? Or both? What do you think of all the labels and categories given to bands? It seems when a band fuses one sound or experiments with another, the next day we have a new sub-Genre of metal created. How do you feel about such thinking and the idea of having Genres generated and idealized for what appears to be for the sole intent and purpose of marketing? Genres categorizing of bands for the purpose of helping management to generate and make more money, as opposed to having the band’s interest. Is this fair to say?
Ha ha, no I don’t agree at all that genres is something that’s created to make money. Putting things into genres is a normal thing to do for the human brain, generalising and categorizing is what makes us being able to handle all impressions without losing our minds. Thus said it’s often not the best thing when someone else decides what to think, I mean every listener should make his/her own opinion but in the general scheme of things in the world we do need to put things in categories that how our brains work. I don’t really care what genre people think we are in but yes it is not good when you get put in a certain genre and it potentially limits the appeal for new listeners, I mean if you listen to classic stoner rock we are very far from that and maybe someone who has heard ‘bad’ Stoner rock will not listen to Truckfighters when it’s described as Stoner rock. On the other hand maybe some people will check it out just because of this description so it’s the sides of the coin for sure.
I’ve read from your biography that Josh Hommes stated that you guys were “The best band that ever existed” How do you guys feel about that tongue in cheek remark? and do you guys see yourselves as one of the best bands or have the potential to be considered one of the best at some point in the future?
That statement should be seen with the flash of the eye, I mean it’ obviously said with a bit of irony. I think we are best in doing our thing for sure, doing our songs, our sound. We try to be different and do whatever we feel like not caring for what would be accepted within the ‘genre’ etc. It’s a nice quote though no matter how you see it.
Can you tell our readers a little about the band? I must confess I love the name “TRUCKFIGHTERS”. I don’t want to be so generic with my questions but TRUCKFIGHTERS is a very unique and very fun and very cool. How did this name come to fruition? is there a story as to how it was decided?
It comes from a book series written for kids. Ozo and I both went to a music engineering school together for a year and the year after this he went to another similar course in a town nearby. There he and a guy called AWE needed to record something to practice the recording process so they did a mini demo with two songs, put it on a cassette and stole the album cover from the front cover of one episode of the series called Truckfighters, a book they had found on a flea market. It’s from the early 80’s and it has a cool cover with a nice logo and a truck! I got to hear the songs and instantly thought they sounded better than Ozo’s ‘real’ band at that time, Firestone. So I said that we really should start a band and play something similar. A bit later that year the studio where I worked had like 2-3 weeks open so we could use it for free. That was like the carrot we needed for creation. It was a creative boom. We wrote 5 songs did two live shows and recorded our first demo in about one month’s time. That was rad times. From there it’s just been rolling, exfoot for the drummers who obviously isn’t as good rolling rocks as me and Ozo.
You guys have 5 full length albums on your resume, you can hear a change in sound from one album to the next, especially on your latest release “V”. Are these gradual changes on the first four albums a soundtrack to you guys maturing and changing as individuals and as a band?
Yes that’s a very good description. As we grow older we become a bit more progressive I recall. It feels like we have followed a path evolving gradually for each album. It’s not like we sit down and say hey let’s play another kind of music suddenly, ha ha. We still have the basic sound and feel that we had then it is just in a different form.
As mentioned earlier on your most recent release “V” you intermingle your trademark Desert Rock/Metal with more lengthy and complex atmospheric structured sections. Were these changes by design or a natural organic evolution in the band’s sound and style?
We never ‘design’ what kind of songs to write, what comes out is what you get. No master plan at all, it just happens the way we feel like doing it at the time we do it.
It’s known that Truckfighters are a hard working band and have toured extensively and have played over 500 shows since 2011, Is this a accurate count?
Probably, it’s more than 700 shows in total for sure.
What keeps you energized and motivated to keep such torrid pace?
It’s all about the money. No we love to play live, it’s more of a lifestyle to be a touring band than a job. And it doesn’t pay that well either (yet) if someone think so they should reconsider. You’d have to be HUGE to make a lot of money as an underground band. It’s probably a bit different when it comes to more mainstream music styles but to us it’s hard work for not a lot of money but we do what we love and are glad we can keep doing this.
Are there any signs of slowing down?
How do you feel about being on the road for so long and how do you stay focused mentally and keep sharpe physically?
It’s of course split emotions, being away from family etc. At the same time we do what we believe in, we spread proper music fighting the flood of the mainstream shit.
Where are you at the moment of this interview?
On the tour bus in between Milan och Bologna, Italy.
Where are you heading next on your current tour?
France, Spain, Portugal, Netherlands…
You guys are not only stars of the Metal music scene but are stars of sorts in a documentative style “Fuzzomentary film” that incorporates various interviews with you and follows you working day to day and recording your album “MANIA” and recording you on tour in Europe, the film is a Satirical insight into a double tracked lifestyle brought on by common issues of a band that is often stereotyped by said Genre of Stoner Rock/metal. How did this project happen and how was the experience for you during it’s filming and afterwards?
The film was not the band’s idea, it was Joerg Steineck and Christian Maciejewski who took the initiative and executed the project. They interview with us for another project they have. At the same occasion they saw us live for the first time and was totally blown away, to the extent that they asked us if they could make a movie about us. Kind of cool. Of course we didn’t know what to expect at all and I don’t think we understood that it would be a ´real´serious movie until very late in the process. We helped out with what we could but were not involved in the process more than recording some lines of speech overdubs when they asked us etc. It turned out great. It’s fun, entertaining and gives a good view of how things were at that time. The movie is very special as it doesn’t glorify the band it shows the normal way of things. Sometimes hard work, sometimes crazy fun, always with the glimpse of the eye.
Would you consider the experience a success?
Yeah the movie is great but as an independent film production it’s not like it’s become a success on a bigger scale. Would be cool if more people got to see it, it’s a very entertaining movie even if you are not a fan of the band or if you haven’t heard about the band beforehand.
Would you like to do it again at some point?
Sure it would be rad with a sequel but it takes a lot of work and time so we either need to find someone crazy enough to do it for free like Jörg n Christian or we need to become rich rock stars so we can hire a film crew.
Did you feel discredited by this satire in anyway?and are you happy with the final product?
No no, It’s a great movie, we love it.
Can you tell us a little about your Spinal Tappish history with drummers?
Ha ha not really they all disappear for various reasons. How about this: Mr. Pezo (2001-2004) Mr. Paco (2004-2007) Mr. Pezo (2008) Mr. Pedro (2009) Mr.Frongo (2010) mr. Pezo (2011-2012) Mc.Kenzo (2012) Poncho (2013) Enzo (2014-2015) El Danno (2016) mr.Taco + mr.Maco current dudes
Do you feel you finally found a solution to this issue?
Yes and No. The solution is to have session drummers at the moment so we don’t need to feel it’s working out 100%.
Can you tell our readers a little bit about each band member to conclude our interview and can you tell us the role of each member within the band in terms of writing and artistic direction, is it a shared process or a individualized process?
Not really. Me (Dango) and Ozo does everything on all levels for the past 7-8 years or so. Before this the creative process was more shared in the band but still me and Ozo being the main forces.
Random question before we go, Are there any routine Rituals or superstitions before each show?
Not exactly the same but I usually do physical warm up like before a big physical exercise or a sports game. Ozo warms up his voice.
Any closing words for your fans and readers of MHF Magazine?
May the FUZZ be with you.
Thanks so much for taking the time to speak with us, all the best with future endeavors. We look forward to talking with TRUCKFIGHTERS again in the very near future.
David Maloney/Metalheads Forever Magazine