I had a nice chat with Christer "Krunt" Andersson, guitarist and founder of the Swedish heavy power metal band Tad Morose, and we talked about their ten years absence from the metal scene as well as their last album; the solid Revenant.
Luigi: Hi Christer. So, Modus Vivendi (ed. the band's last album before Revenant) was released back in 2003. Can you reveal us the reasons of this ten years hiatus?
Christer: It was pretty much due to all the line-up changes: first Urban left the band - or got fired, depending on how you like that, and then we came to the point where we couldn't work together anymore, so we just had to go separate ways. Of course, that set us back quite some time, until we could find the new singer. During those ten years, guitar players came and left, often due to personal issues. Some members left because they had to move to other cities due to work obligations, some perhaps left because not much was happening at the time. But, it's nice to have a line-up and to be back in the game again.
Luigi: In your earlier albums, Urban (ed. the band's previous singer) did a pretty good job. Did he leave the band or was it a full band decision?
Christer: He's always been different from the rest of us in the band, and the years prior to his departure he had kind of distanced himself more and more from us. He didn't answer the phone when you tried to get a hold of him, and he was impossible to work with him. The rest of us in the band came to the conclusion that we couldn't go on like this. Moreover, Urban was kind of disappointed with… whatever. Either way, he was better off without us and we were better off without him.
Luigi: Connecting to this: how did you get in touch with Ronny, the band's current singer?
Christer: I've known Ronny since way back. He lives really close by and he's always been singing in various heavy metal bands throughout the years, so every now and then we ended up playing at the same venues. So, we've known about each other for ages, I knew he was a very good singer, and this time around he had the time needed and everything, so when we asked him he just answered: "Hell Yeah!"
Luigi: Last year, also Kenneth (ed. second guitarist) joined the band. Did he have a particular role in Revenant?
Christer: Not really. By the time he joined the band, the complete album was recorded anyway. He played guitar solos in half of the songs.
Luigi: Revenant hit the stores two days ago. How would you describe the album to a potential customer?
Christer: Well, I think it's a very typical Tad Morose album. A bit darker, a bit heavier, a little bit more aggressive, but still very much Tad Morose.
Luigi: Do you feel particularly related to any of the songs in Revenant?
Christer: Well, all of them. We've been working on those songs for so long that they almost became a part of ourselves. I think all of us feel pretty much related to each and every song.
Luigi: How is Tad Morose's writing process? Are you the mastermind or does every member bring his own ideas and then you assemble the song ideas when the band members gathers together?
Christer: It's pretty much a band effort. Everybody came up with tons of ideas all the times. It can be just a fragment of a song; it can be a title, a guitar riff, a drum rhythm, or almost the complete song. It can be whatever, and then we put the songs together together.
Luigi: Has the evolution of technologies changed your way of working in any way?
Christer: We recorded this album all by ourselves, so all the new technologies make life a lot easier. Back in the days, if you came up with a cool guitar riff, you had to remember it to play it with the rest of the guys. But nowadays, everybody's got their own studios, so we record whatever and put it in our Dropbox accounts so that everybody can listen to it there. We're still pretty much an old-fashioned regular heavy metal band, because we meet for practice once or twice a week, so it's not just meeting on the Internet, or stuff like that.
Luigi: And that's not so common for bands these days, isn't it?
Christer: No, there's people living all over the world, they never meet, they barely know each other even though they're still in the same band. Of course, that might work for a lot of people, but we're pretty much a bunch of friends having fun together.
Luigi: Where do the ideas for the lyrics come out? Is there any kind of concept, or do you take inspiration from real life episodes?
Christer: I think our inspiration it's pretty much real life episodes: life, death and a few other tales. There's not a specific topic throughout the album.
Luigi: I was personally curious about the lyrics in "Millenium Lie". It is about the betrayal of the original Christian teachings operated by mankind, am I right?
Christer: Well, it's more like, perhaps not everyone should just believe in everything just because someone told them, or because they read about it in a very old book. That doesn't make it true. Truth has always been altered by mankind for his needs, so it's a healthy thing to question things.
Luigi: You are the only original member left in the band. For you, both as a person and as a musician, how is it working together with different musicians, different personalities and their different musical backgrounds?
Christer: It's just ... nice. What can I say? It's never been really a problem, because if there would be a problem they wouldn't be in the band. Everyone needs certain qualities as a musician but first of all you have to be a very nice guy. It doesn't really matter how talented you are as a musician, if you are a complete asshole then you're not gonna play in Tad Morose; that's for sure. Being in a band, you spend so unbelievably much time together that you had better have a good time together, otherwise, there wouldn't be any fun.
Luigi: Looking back, do you have any regret about a band member which is no longer with you, that you would have preferred to stay?
Christer: No, actually not really. I even talk every now and then with Urban, even if we have different opinions on almost everything. Since he lives in America, I used to meet him once or twice a year, so there are really no bad feelings between us. With the rest of the band members that left, we're still friends. Most of them came to our release party last week. Life changes people, you get fed up with what you do and want to try something new. We're just human beings, everyone has to follow his own road, what he believes in. Some just lost the interest in playing with Tad Morose, for one reason or the other, so of course they had to try to do something else.
Luigi: How did the signing with Despotz Records happen and how is the "environment" inside of the label?
Christer: We're fairly new to that label, but it was our manager that brought us that contact, and I was like: "Maybe we should talk to them". I actually never heard about Despotz Records before we signed. I went to check them out a little bit; it's kind of a small, Swedish label, pretty new - at least as far as I know, but that was one of the things that made us decide to sign with them. I mean,first of all, they're Swedish, and the guys seem to be very talented in what they're doing, they know all the marketing skills and everything. That was a really vital thing for us and convinced us to sign with them. So far so good; I think they're doing an unbelievably good job.
Luigi: Do you have an album in your discography that's your personal favorite?
Christer: That one. Well, as a band you always like the newest album the most, so I have to say Revenant.
Luigi: In regards to your background, your influences; which bands have formed you as a musician?
Crister: I grew up listening to Kiss. When I was a really young kid, in the late Seventies, when I started listening to music; back then it was ONLY Kiss. And then I started listening to all the NWOBHM bands: Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, and also a lot of American bands, like Crimson Glory; they all just played good heavy metal.
Luigi: So, the new album is out, as well as the signing with a record company; can fans expect a tour now?
Christer: Hopefully yes, I know our management is discussing right now with various booking agents, but nothing that we know that is settled. But of course there will be shows, tours, festivals and whatever during the next year.
Luigi: So you're not sure about any plan for the future, right?
Crister: Right, there's nothing we now know, like going touring with this and that band or something like that. But of course there will be Tad Morose live on stage during 2014.
Luigi: In 2008 you started playing in Inmoria. How do you manage being in two bands at the same time, and what is the status with Inmoria?
Christer: The four of us in Tad Morose also play in Inmoria, so it's kind of an in-breed extra deluxe style. We live in a small city, so there's just a limited amount of musicians available. You have to have a clear border between the bands to make it work. In Tad Morose everybody is involved in everything, but while in Inmoria the four of us who also are also in Tad Morose, merely play their instruments, record albums, play live, or whatever. The keyboard player, Dan, who writes all the music, runs the band and such things, because I just don't have the time to really do this in two bands.
However, as long as I can pick up my guitar and play a gig, that's fine, cause we have a lot of fun together as well. We don't sit down and write for Inmoria and such things, that would take time away from Tad Morose, and I don't like that. I spend my time with Tad Morose and whenever we've got time to do something outside the band, then we go with Inmoria and do a tour, or a show, or whatever.
Luigi: I see; now any last message for the readers of Metal Storm?
Christer: Yeah. I hope you like our new album Revenant. And when you listen to it, play it loud, because it sounds way better when you play it that way. Metal is supposed to be played loud, so open a big bottle of beer and play it loud - and enjoy!
(ed.This interviewer totally agrees)
Posted on 25.11.2013 by
Hopefully you won't agree with me, diversity of opinions is what makes metal so beautiful and varied.
So... critics and advices absolutely welcome.