Date : 23rd September, 2016 // From the INTERVIEWS section of MetalRulz, we are showcasing CHUGGER – a groove metal band from Gothenburg, Sweden.
MetalRulz in conversation with Henrik Östlund (Bass player) of Chugger :
MetalRulz – Tell us how and when was this band formed?
Chugger – Chugger in its current form was formed in 2013. It was actually formed in 2012 but since then almost all members except Dave the singer and Robert has been exchanged, in 2013 we decided the concept, me and Dave the drummer joined in and also Fredrik on lead guitar.
MetalRulz – Introduce us to your current band members.
Chugger – We are Robert Bjärmyr, guitarist, who also writes most of our songs, David Dahl on vocals, and Henrik Östlund on bass. We’re currently with a temporary drummer and looking for a new lead guitarist as well.
MetalRulz – Henrik, you are the Bass player of the band. What kind of music did you grow up listening to and the artists that inspired you to play guitar?
Chugger – My first album was Clawfinger – Deaf Dumb Blind, my father bought it to me after I pointed out that I thought they were cool on TV. Then I listened to all kinds of music, mostly alternative pop from 70s and 80s since that’s what my father was listening to (Bands like Morrissey, Echo and the Bunnymen, Pixies). When I was thirteen a friend of mine in school gave me an album that changed my life, it was At The Gates – Slaughter of the Soul, after that I discovered Dimmu Borgir and it’s been metal ever since.
MetalRulz – Chugger released their debut album ‘Scars‘ during the winter of 2013. Please take us through the making of the album …
Chugger – The guitars, bass and vocals were all recorded in our respective homes. When I was recording the bass in Robert’s apartment, his one year old daughter joined us and was determined to sit on his lap throughout the recording, and would not take no for an answer. It made for a good memory on my part! The drums were then recorded in Endarker studio, which is run by Devo of Marduk, who also mixed and mastered the album. He’s a super cool guy and listening to his tricks and stories from touring with Marduk had me all starstruck!
MetalRulz – In 2015, the band returned with their second album ‘Human Plague‘. This is an album which is brutal, energetic and full of power. How did the sound of the band evolve during this period?
Chugger – We signed an endorsement deal with Mesa Boogie and got in touch with Daniel Antonsson (Prev. Dark Tranquility and Soilwork, currently Akani). Daniel runs Gothenburg Rock studios and knew exactly what sound we wanted to reach with ‘Human Plague‘. Since lots of huge metal acts come from Sweden, finding inspiration and places to record isn’t that hard, it’s mostly a matter of choice and how you like to work with music.
MetalRulz – Which record label signed Chugger on these albums?
Chugger – ‘Scars‘ was released independently, ‘Human Plague‘ was released on Rambo, but we went back to working independently again, and next few singles and albums will be released independently unless someone offers us a really good deal.
MetalRulz – Videos of ‘Art of Science‘ and ‘Virus’ have been getting good views on YouTube. Any insight on the making of these videos!!
Chugger – ‘Art of Science‘ took us two nights to record. It’s recorded in a skate hall in Gothenburg after closing hours; we all had day jobs to go to in the morning and recording the video took all night, it was super cold in the facility and we all got a cold afterwards. ‘Virus‘ was recorded in the warehouse of our sponsors Nzone, it’s a professional recording done by René at Greenworks. Who also produced the video afterwards. Working with René was super fluent, he works with Backyard Babies, Anvil and other big artists so he knew very well what he was doing.
MetalRulz – The band has been active in various tours in Europe. Tell us about your experiences as a live band and how has been the crowd reaction to your songs live?
Chugger – It’s amazing. People are always super excited about an exotic metal act coming to town to perform. Vigo in Spain was a particularly good gig, it took me the good part of a half hour to go from the stage to the outside to smoke just from the sheer mass of people that came to see us, the audience was bouncing with raw energy to our music, it was magical!
MetalRulz – How is the ‘Underground Metal’ scene at Sweden?
Chugger – In Gothenburg alone there are three good metal bars and a few that run big metal clubs from time to time and plenty of bands. I read somewhere that a big majority of all metal acts come from Scandinavia, I think Finland had the most and then came Sweden in second place so there is plenty to choose from. Usually when we try to find a good date to arrange a gig on our own locally there is always something else going on that you have to compete with.
MetalRulz – What is the road ahead for Chugger … plans to come up with a new album in the near future.
Chugger – We’re going into recording and finishing up writing our new material. And we have a tour planned through Eastern Europe in November, while taking the occasional gig here and there.
MetalRulz – Our bloggers on MetalRulz would like to follow your band on social websites. Let us know the social websites where the band is active and as well as Chugger’s official website.
Chugger – We’re most active on Facebook, we also have an Instagram account that’s mostly for fun, behind the scenes, stupid pictures of our adventures from the road, our videos are on YouTube.
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/chuggerband/
Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/chuggerband/
YouTube Official Channel : https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKuaTVObYkjovMoW2k6Ku5Q
MetalRulz – Henrik, it was a pleasure talking to you and wish Chugger scale greater heights in the years ahead.