As a guide to the vast array of bands in this universe I present to you an interview with CRUENTUS. Anders Ekdahl ©2021
We all come into music with our own baggage. We want different things from the music. How does the vision you had for the band when you started compare to the vision you have for the band today? What is this band really all about? What do you want with your music?
-I think we have the same intent with our music today that we had initially. We want to create music that both ourselves and hopefully some other people can enjoy and feel inspired by. This has not really changed although you gradually put a bit more pressure on yourself to create better songs and to evolve as a band.
Is there a difference in people’s attitude towards you if you don’t come from a cool place like LA or NY or London?
-I have not thought about that really. I believe most people don’t care that much where a band is from. Credibility wise I believe it is also somewhat depending on the genre. In the black metal genre for example I think people would find it “cooler” if you have a band and live in Bergen than L.A.
When you release an album that get pretty good feedback, how do you follow up on that? How important is that I as a fan can identify album to album?
-Of course, we prefer to get good feedback, but we still make the music mainly for ourselves. If someone like it it’s a cool bonus, but I don’t think we would do it differently if people said it was bad (or good for that matter).
If people could identify us and instantly hear that it is Cruentus playing, that would be a nice compliment. But, with that said, we don’t want to repeat ourselves so every record sound the same. That’s only OK if your band is AC/DC, Motörhead or Slayer.
What is the biggest challenge in the creation of an album? How do you write the really cool songs?
-One big challenge with a whole album is knowing when the project is finished. It is easy to look at details and discuss adjustments etc. and never feel completely satisfied, but at one point it has to be decided that this is it. Songwise it starts with a guitar riff, and usually all riffs are written before the rehearsal with drums starts. Sometimes the creativity and inspiration flows and it feels easy to make good riffs and put them together to build a song. Other times you can have a couple of good riffs but it seems impossible to put them together or find a way to continue on them, and sometimes it feels like the riffs themselves are just not good. Personally then I just need to wait a bit for that inspiration to come.
I saw Dave Grohl’s documentary about Sound City and it made me wonder what it is about analogue recording that you don’t get with digital? Have you ever recorded analogue?
-I know what you mean. It’s usually a different feeling with an analogue recording, just listen to those records from the 1970s! These days we record digitally, but our first 2 demos was analogue recordings. But that was quite simple recordings with us playing live and just added second guitars and vocals afterwards. 5 songs in 4 hours or something like that.
What is it like to sit there with a finished album? Do you think much what people will think of it?
-At first it’s a great feeling of accomplishment. It takes a lot of time to write songs, talk them through and change and/or add some minor details, rehearse them, write lyrics, record them… It’s basically a lot of work, but at the same time it’s a lot of fun and that’s why we keep on going.
We would like people to like our music, but we would do it the same way either way.
How important are the lyrics and what message do you want to purvey?
-I would say that the lyrics in the type of music we’re playing, are not that important. There are bands out there with great lyricists, but that usually don’t come through because of the growling. And then there are other bands that don’t spend as much time on the lyrics, and that’s also fine!
Our lyrics are about human behaviour and fates. We don’t really have an agenda that we want to get through to people, we write lyrics that we feel matches the music and that we find interesting and good.
Ever since I first got into metal the art work has been a main motivator in buying a record. What part does art work for album covers play in the world of the band?
-I think the artwork is important! I remember when I first got into metal, before Spotify and all that, back then you would buy records just based on the artwork! Not always, of course, but every now and then. Sometimes you found a new favourite band and that was part of the fun. These days you don’t do that! The kids have no clue what they’re missing!
The artwork for Night Embrace Me was made by William Persson Öberg of Obscenum Art and we are super happy with it. It’s not clear what it is, and that is good! I like album covers that makes you think and wonder. We both think of it as a melting face, but who knows? William is truly talented and a really nice guy and will do the artwork for our next album as well.
When you play live do you notice a degree of greater recognition from the fans with each new time you pass through town?
-Since we’re just two members in the band we don’t play live. If it works for Darkthrone, it works for us… We have played a few shows, but that’s a long time ago.
What do you see in the future?
-At the moment we are working on our second album which I believe will be an improved continuation of the first release, so that is the near future. Beyond that I hope to see this work go on and I believe it’s that feeling of never being completely satisfied that drives you to try even harder the next time.