Kriget comes from another dimension via Stockholm, Sweden. This triage of corporeal tone shredders are turning music inside out and then re-constructing the rules into a new style that is fresh and exciting. Saxophonist Gustav Bendt, drummer Per Nordmark, and bassist Christoffer Roth will eat into your brain with their intense sound and driving rhythms. If this dystopian sound is the new religion then Dystopico! is the bible. Their songs are pure stimulation. Listen to the album once and shame on you. Listen to it often and you are getting the idea because each time, you will take something out of their music like a plunge into pure sound aesthetics. I talked to the band about how they got to this point and what the new album means to them.
Tell me a little about how you three met and the origins of Kriget.
We ended up in the same hunting team 4 years ago during moose hunting season. We discovered that we where in the same state of mind. Both musically and mentally.
Listening to your music, it reminds me of the saying, “In order for you to break the rules, you must learn the rules.” What musicial upbringing and training does the band have and how did that develop into the ideology behind Kriget?
Every time we play with Kriget it’s like starting all over again, but we all have a long musical background springing from punk rock, industrial, techno, classical music, death metal and jazz. Though we don’t believe this has anything to do with our sound.
I remember once being told a story about John Zorn and that in the early days of his career, he once billed a show at this jazz venue as “An Evening With John Zorn.” People showed up thinking it was a jazz concert, dressed to the nines. When he came out and began playing, people were making a beehive for the door. What are some of the reactions you recieve regarding your music? Is it culturally or geographically different?
In the beginning, Kriget was only a thing for ourselves. All three of us where in a very confused period of our lives and Kriget was some kind of self therapy. After playing live for the first time we could see that there was something missing in the live scene in Sweden. Everywhere we perform, whether it’s in a art gallery, fashion show or techno club people seem to love it in a kind of primal way.
Let’s talk about “Dystopico.” Can you tell me the concept behind it and how that developed?
It developed through confusion, anxiety, and hopelessness. Both personally and from how things are globally. The meaning of religion, money and human value.
How does the music tie into this concept and how is this a step forward for the band?
We believe music is a unique experience for every conscious mind. For us this is a natural step in the right direction.
For you, what has changed from the previous releases and how has the band adapted over time?
Nothing has really changed from the start. Of course we develop as we progress. We make music that are a reflection of the present state of mind.
You also are releasing a single for “Holy Mountain,” along with the intense video for it. What was your reason for plucking that song out for a single and how does that serve as a snapshot for what is going on with the band?
The idea for the video was already set and ‘Holy Mountain’ was a perfect match for the concept. In anxiety and the darkest places of the human soul there’s a lot of energy and we are trying to find something constructive and comforting within.
Your videos are always engaging. “What A Day” blew me into the next room with the mixing of visuals and music? What conscious effort or philosophy do you as a band have when conceptualizing your music of the visuals? Do you feel having both elements is important for understanding a band like this, or do you think the music can be self-contained in gauging a full understanding of what Kriget is about?zIn music and art there is no need to understand anything.
Just as long as the receiver gets a feeling from it, whether it’s good or bad. Using both visuals and music is the way we express ourselves and making the experience stronger. How people interpret our artform is strictly a personal reflexion. Let’s keep it that wayz
What would you say are influences to the development of this massive Kriget sound?
It’s more about what is happening inside ourselves and in our present world around us than musical influences.
We not only experience this intense drive within the sould of this band, but there is depth and space that flows throughout. To me, this seems easier said than done. How do you balance both form and function within the band’s sound?
We have a direct democracy in our band. When two of us agree in something the third person has to agree even more. Working like this is a good way for us to keep our balance.
How do you view the core of your music and what do you get out of this band; how it’s developed and expanded.
It’s about life and death. It’s the most important thing we have ever done and will always be. It develops as we develop.
Would you consider your music extreme? If not, how would you express it as?
Yes, it’s extremely good but most of all, it’s something new.
How does something like your music transform into a live setting?
Our music is made for playing live. Most of the songs on all three albums are live-recordings.
What is next for the band?
Except from touring we are working on our fourth album and a sideproject called “Bloody Mess” that includes swedish rappers Adam Tensta and Michel Didaz