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Truckfighters: Spinach Power

Twice already they were chosen, for good reasons, to accompany the legendary Fu Manchu on their tours through Europe. In doing so the Truckfighters from Sweden not only wowed their tour comrades but also one or the other new fan. In the interview one half of the “dynamic duo”, namely guitarist Dango, talks about life on the road, the new album “Phi” and why Polish passport checks can be a “border”line experience.

Hello, how´s it going?
Hi! It´s going just fine. Just finished our fifth week of touring.

I actually saw you playing support for Fu Manchu in Helsinki and was quite impressed. How did that support slot come about?
Actually nothing came about. Somehow the guys in Fu had gotten their hands on our record and thought that we´re the best European band around right now. So they invited us to their tour in May earlier this year. And when they planned their second European tour we were the first option.

How was the touring with those legends of stoner rock? Was there something exciting/funny happening on the road?
You know, when you tour as we do, in separate buses and stuff we don´t really have time for fun-crazy-lovin´ happenings. But the guys and their crew are awesome, fucking A!

Speaking of being on the road, you seem to be touring almost all the time. Is your home country Sweden such a bad place to be?
Yes. Gig-wise. We wanna play a lot. But we can´t do that in Sweden.

What´s for you great/shit about touring in general?
Great thing is being on stage every night. That´s almost it. The glamour is far away when you enter a Polish pass port check and you´re forced out to the cold winter road in the early morning in November and they´re going through the van with dogs looking for drugs.

The people in Helsinki, at least, were really into your music, there was some serious moshing going on. How are the reactions in other places?
Fucking A!! We´ve been to Finland a couple of times now and people are great over there! We love when the audience is reacting to the music, not like in England where they just stand and stare. Audiences shouldn´t look like a bunch of nesting boxes.

You yourself go pretty crazy on stage too, speaking of the “Truckfighters Energy” where do you draw that energy from?
It´s probably something you´re born with. My mother and father gave me a lot of spinach when I was a kid. And that´s what gets me going. I usually eat a bowl of spinach just before the show. I´ve tried honey, like Winnie The Poo, but that´s not my thing at all!

What happened at your worst show?
We played in a village in northern Italy when suddenly heavily armed police forced into the venue and shot a couple of warning signals. We could hardly hear it as our Hiwatt amps are pretty loud. But I heard afterwards that it was kinda loud.

When I heard your band name the first time, I was thinking rather of old men with long beards or something. How did the band name come about then?
My grandfather´s cousin´s daughter´s husband actually drives a truck back an forth to Moscow from Stockholm. And on that route they have this saying, that they are "truck fighting" when they´re passing each other on the highway. And we thought it was kinda cool. You know, the heaviness of a real big truck and the anger in fighting.

Your new album “Phi” will be released in October. What can you tell us about it? How was the writing, recording…? Why should people listen to it?
First of all, people need to listen to it. It should be like an IKEA sofa in your living room, every record collection should contain "Phi". How was the recording? It was a blast. Took us a lot of time but everything great takes time. Michelangelo for example, he didn´t paint the Jesus painting on the ceiling in one day. Not even a week, I think.

Some tracks sound a bit more calm on record than played live. Do you consider yourself rather a live band than a studio band?
Neither. A record is a piece of art that you cherish and love. It should be more dynamic than a live show. Although I think we´re a more dynamic live band than most other bands.

You also shot a video for the song “Traffic” recently in a forest in Sweden!? How was that?
It was a bit cold and wet but we managed. Everyone involved had a great time. And we really worked hard for it! We dragged our gear for like 170 meters from the van to the spot.

What´s your ambition with the band?
No real ambitions. But we´ve been doing this since we were kids. It´s natural that we want to make a living of our music. We don´t know anything else. We´ve been trying different careers but this is probably our call. As my mom said when I was young; "Don´t try to be anything you´re not!".

What are you doing when you´re not playing shows?
We´re pretty normal, you know. We have a couple of other interests too. Some of us have recently joined a boules club in our hometown so they´re pretty busy with that, playing tournaments and single matches. And we never say no to a glass of red wine with friends.

What are your future plans?
We´ll see. We would like to be able to continue as we´ve done before, but maybe earn more than a buck or two.

Thanks for the interview and good luck with the record!
Thanks man, appreciate it!

Author: Kathleen Gransalke, photos: Truckfighters
Date: 2007-12-10

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