A talk with
CHRISTER 'KRUNT' ANDERSSON (Guitar)
(Questionnaire by Stefan)
This Swedish Metal act earned a well deserved second place in my own favourite Top 20 album list of 2013! “Revenant” could convince me on all musical areas, to me a product that is ideally suited for every fancier of shiny Power/Heavy Metal music. Tad Morose was formed back in 1991 by three guys including guitarist Christer ‘Krunt’ Andersson, released several albums but unfortunately, they had to do several times with internal problems called line-up changes as well. Being a fan since the early days of Tad Morose, I’m honoured to have conversation with Krunt himself. The affairs inside the camp of a great band throughout two decades, I’d like to know some things during the following conversation.
Q: Hi Christer, I hope you're already recovered from the, filled with a whole lotta booze and food, Holiday Season – how did you get 2014 inaugurated?
A: Hello Stefan! Yeah, shure! No problem! I survived the festivities! I´m a veteran! He he he. Well, me and my family went over to Fredrik of Morgana LeFay´s house and celebrated new year´s eve there with a bunch of friends and their kids. Lots of fun as always!
Q: What are the intentions for this year Christer, any plans in mind that you want to accomplish?
A: Hell yeah! Tons of them! First and foremost we will play live as much as possible during 2014. However, we just split with our management, so this will take some time to re-organize these things. No hard feelings, kind of a mutual agreement. I mean, we have done our part of this as good as possible (making the best album we could) the record company has done a very good job in promoting the album but the management has not for some reason done as much as we expected. But I guess that it isn´t that easy to get the booking agencies attention for a band that hasn´t done much the last ten years. Ah, well, we are pretty much used to do more or less everything ourselves anyway. So back to the question!
We never played in Japan and that is something that I would really like accomplish this year! A decent European tour and a bunch of shows in USA would be nice too and of course a whole lot of festival shows would be awesome. We are also aiming at recording our next album sometime September / October or so. Lots of work to do in other words! Ha ha ha.
Q: Let’s get back to the early days of Tad Morose’s existence, as one of the original founders I’d like to ask how the band came about back in 1991. What were the predetermined ambitions those days?
A: I had been playing in several local bands for quite some time but nothing really happened. So I was just fed up with it and had my idea pretty clear. I mean, you really need to have a long term plan. You can´t always just get together, write a few songs, play a local show, do nothing for a while, write new songs and stop playing the old ones and so on. You really need to keep at it all the time and focus on what you are doing. But I guess that this is pretty common when you start to play in bands. It takes some time before everything feels right. I always wanted to try as hard as I could to get a record deal and get an album out. So I talked to some friends about this and off we went. It was just me, Danne and Rossi back then. Wispen (Anders Westlund) had already gone by then.
The three of us started from scratch. We rehearsed in an old house far outside of Bollnäs during the autumn and winter of -92 -93. By the spring of -93 we had a few songs that we liked and booked the studio and went there and recorded our first and only demo tape. While in the studio a friend of Danne showed up in the studio. It was Krille (Kristian Andrén) and since he could sing we just gave him the microphone and told him to sing! So he did and it turned out great. We sent the tape to some record labels and soon I had Börje Forsberg of Black Mark on my answering machine saying that he liked this and that he wanted to sign us. So, mission accomplished! Ha ha ha. So within a year we had gone from zero to a record deal. I knew that it was going to be hard but not impossible.
Q: What’s the story behind the name of the band, Tad Morose?
A: Well, a band needs a name, and no matter what cool name you might come up with you can always bet there a more bands with just that name. So I was looking for a name that was unusual but still cool if possible. I was reading a Guitar World Magazine and there was an interview with Michael Schenker. He used to be a pretty wild guy back in the day and so on but he had calmed done a bit lately.
At the end of that interview the journalist wrote:
"…perhaps he isn´t such a bad guy after all, just a tad morose” So that got stuck to me and I looked it up and the meaning of that expression kind of suited us I thought and I always liked band names with two words, like Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and so on. So far, I haven´t seen another band named the same thing either! So I guess it worked out after all. Tad Morose means “a bit grumpy”
Ha ha ha. Fit´s us perfect!
Q: Existed only one year, still you guys already played several gigs in Sweden. Due to the fact you was young and inexperienced, what about your first live experiences?
A: Nah, we had all been playing live before so it was nothing special. Just fun as hell as always! But the first time I personally played live I was terrified! Couldn´t move and though that I would pee in my pants! Ha ha ha. This was in high school, I was like 13 or so.
Q: In most cases, bands bring out a demo before doing some live gigs. You guys apparently thought differently about that - Tad Morose’s first demo has been recorded afterwards the live gigs. Do you have an explanation for this?
A: Well, that is how it usually works, at least here in Sweden when you are young and start to play in bands. First you play live then you do a demo. Back in those days we had an annual battle of the bands contest and a free of charge open air festival here in Bollnäs and all the local bands wanted to play. So it was a healthy climate for young and aspiring bands and a reason for young kids to start to play an instrument and start a band together with some friends. I guess all this has a lot to do with that there are many great bands coming from Bollnäs. I mean, this is a very small city.
Like 15 000 people or so and there are plenty of bands here, like Morgana Lefay, Gormathon, Bloodbound, Inmoria,Trail of Murder, Lady Die, and the list goes on and on. Everybody knows each other very well and there is a healthy competition between the bands. If some bands are gaining success it makes the other bands work harder. Still, all the bands have their own and unique sound. That is pretty unusual I think. So it is not at all that all the bands try to sound like the “flavour at the moment” so to say.
Q: Before the demo recordings took off, your first singer Anders Westlund decided to leave the ranks. Why did he called it quits – who was his deputy afterwards?
A: We really didn´t want to play the same kind of metal I guess. Back when he was in the band we sounded more “rock´n roll”. Ha ha ha. We had the name Tad Morose back then but we got the actual “sound” after he left. We never recorded anything with that line-up. However, there is a video shoot from a show here in Bollnäs from that time. I haven´t heard those songs since then. Ha ha ha, I better go look for that VHS tape then! Fun show! Morgana Lefay, Fantasmagoria and Overload played as well. Fantasmagoria is gone. Some member´s later joined Morgana Lefay. Overload turned into Gormathon later on.
Oh, well, I seem to get carried away here again! Sorry! Back to the question again!
Our next singer after Anders was Krille. He joined as I mentioned above when we recorded that demo tape.
Q: Along with this first and only demo recording ever, you had a bullseye shot, right? Was it all because of the new singer or the result of the entire band that was getting better and better?
A: I think it was all of that. Doesn´t matter how good the singer is if the songs suck.
Q: The demo fell into the hands of Borivoj Krgin, reporter of US based magazine called Metal Maniacs… in what ways he described he songs?
A: I don´t remember. He liked it. I think he stole the copy that I sent to Leif Edling (Candlemass) Leif worked for the National Radio back then and he had a weekly metal show, that´s why I sent him the tape. Later on I did a radio interview with Leif but I think he thought that I had a “bad language”, I do swear a lot, I know that, and after the interview Leif said something like this on the radio: “…well, Krunt, perhaps you should wash your mouth with soap” Ha ha ha.
Q: How would you define the style of Tad Morose during that period?
A: Half doomy soft trash! Ha ha ha. Actually, that is what some journalist described us as. Ha ha ha. I don´t know, to me it has always just been heavy metal. We have always been called “progressive” and “US Style Power Metal”. Perhaps due to that we don´t really know what we are doing which might lead to that it sounds weird and then people thinks it´s “progressive” and that we don´t sound all that “happy” as most of the “Euro Disney Metal Bands” do. He he he.
Q: Several record labels seemed interested in Tad Morose, even Black Mark Production’s CEO B. Forsberg showed up with a contract. You were ready to take the world by storm, isn’t it?
A: We are always ready for anything! One reason for choosing Black Mark was that Morgana LeFay and Overload was already signed to them and they said good things about them.
Q: “Leaving The Past Behind” saw daylight on the first of November 1993 and got fantastic feedback from the worldwide press. Rock Hard spread the word as an incredible mixture of Metallica and Dream Theater, yet a stunning description right?
A: Well, I don´t now, but it was a bit overwhelming to see that. We were really surprised about all the good reviews we got. This was also the first time for us so we didn´t know what to expect. I mean, this album went on to be “Record of the Month” in Rock Hard. That is pretty cool for a first release from a totally new band I think.
Q: Back in the days, how this debut album was provided with promotion?
A: Not as much as we wanted! Ha ha ha. Not that much happened after the release. So for us it was just back to normal again. We of course thought that after all the great reviews that we would hit the road and become filthy rich rockstars! Ha ha ha. Well, that didn´t happen! We were very naive I guess but we learned a lot of things the hard way. Can´t blame Black Mark, they did what any other label would do for a new band I guess. But as a band member you always think that they don´t do enough.
Q: Do you consider “LTPB” as the absolute breakthrough for Tad Morose?
A: I guess. Before that nobody knew about us outside of our hometown and all of a sudden we start to get fan mail from as far away as USA and Australia.
Q: First album was a big success so the plans to create a second one were made shortly after, once again one of the members stepped out of the core. Losing a member right before the start of a new album is a far from comfortable situation. What happened with leaving musician Danne and which effect this has had on the recordings of your second effort “Sender Of Thoughts”?
A: Danne just got fed up with everything. He also had some health issues. I think the doctor told him that he had to stop smoking and stop playing drums if he wanted to stay alive. It was sad I think, I mean, we started this together, but not much to do about really. Much later on Danne started Inmoria, he still smokes but he play keyboards now and is obviously alive! Peter had just moved to Bollnäs so we asked him and he joined right away. He has been in the band ever since. I guess this led to that our second album is perhaps more “progressive”. Peter is a much more technical drummer and he is really into weird drumming, Danne was more of a straightforward drummer.
Q: Would you compare both first and second album with each other, musical seen?
A: First one is more straightforward. Young guys that perhaps want´s more than they can actually deliver? Second one, almost same guys, been around for a while by now and definitely want´s more than they can deliver! Ha ha ha.
Q: After your own homeland Sweden, Tad Morose also conquered Germany as you were playing loads of gigs as support of bands line Cemetary, Morgana Lefay and Memento Mori. Feel free to tell me about that period.
A: It was fun times! We did our first shows outside Sweden and that was an amazing experience for us. First show on that tour the audience shouted for an encore in German when we left the stage. We didn´t know what the hell they shouted for. I mean, they seemed to enjoy our show but to us that “one more time” in German sounded like they screamed “you suck” or something. Ha ha ha. So I think it was our guitar roadie that told us what they were shouting and he pushed us back onto the stage. Ha ha ha. So being on this tour we learned a lot! It was incredible to travel in a nightliner tour bus for the first time across Europe and go to new places every day. I remember calling my girlfriend back home and she told me that it snowed. I was sitting by a pool, drinking beer in southern Germany! That felt good! He he he.
Q: How was Touring across the USA, what’s the difference with playing on European ground?
A: Well, we never actually “toured” in USA. We´ve done a couple of shows there. But that was interesting! I mean, playing in USA is a pretty big thing for a Swedish musician so it felt unreal really. First time, we played a festival in Milwaukee. It was an indoor festival in a huge arena! So that was cool! We stayed there for a week and played a 45 min set! Ha ha ha. Fortunately we found a Hooters bar! We had a very nice time there, many party´s and lots of beer! The biggest difference compared to Europe is that being in a band over there and especially in a foreign band seems to be really cool to them. He he he.
Q: The next following years, Tad Morose released more albums, over and over again you had to do with line-up changes. Thus, it turned out to be a serious problem – do you have an explanation for this.
A: Things change, people change, it is always sad when a member leaves but if someone lose the spirit it is not much to do about it. It doesn´t make things easier for the rest of the band members either since you get hold up until you find a replacement. But then again, new members bring in new blood and fresh ideas to band too and who knows, without all our line-up changes we might not have been here today? I kind of try to believe that things happen for a reason.
Things really got hard around 2005 when things came to that we no longer could work with Urban. We got Joe Comeau in for a while on vocals but that didn´t work out either. Good singer and a very nice guy, but it was hard for us to try to move forward and get things going since Joe lives in USA. Then Danne Olsson, (guitars) leaves the band due to personal reasons and that not much was happening with Tad Morose at that time.
Then also Anders Modd (Bass) leaves the band. He moved from Bollnäs due to work and he also had started to play live with Wolf after they fired their bass player and Anders thought that he could not contribute as much as he wanted to Tad Morose. So he felt that we would be better off with another bass player. So at this time it was just me and Peter in the band for a while. It was real close to that we just gave up all this. But Peter just said: “Well, what the hell should we do instead of this then?” I couldn´t come up with an answer so we just agreed to keep at it. Ha ha ha.
Q: Remarkable fact is that you won’t back down. Each and every time a particular member decided to leave the band, a replacement has been found very quickly. What’s the story behind?
A: Ha ha ha, no, we never give up! I guess any ordinary human being would have given up a long time ago. I don´t know really but having connections and knowing a lot of musicians of course helps. But it isn´t all that easy really, I mean, to us you have to be a nice person too and not just a great musician. Doesn´t matter how good you might be if you are an asshole. You also got to have what it takes to be in a metal band. It is not a “walk in the park on a sunny Sunday afternoon” so to say. It is a lot of hard work, long hours and lots of traveling so you really need to love what you are doing and enjoy the company of your band members. Otherwise it just will not work.
Q: Can you tell me some more of all the past singers Tad Morose collaborate with? Which one was the most talented one – why did he left the ranks?
A: That is Ronny and he is still in the band! Ha ha ha. Honestly, I think that Ronny is the best singer we ever had. He has an incredible voice! He got it all! Our first singer, Anders “Wispen” Westlund, was more like a sleeze rock´n roll singer. He had a very limited range and not that accurate. Nice guy though! And if he had kept on singing he would probably have been a good singer. He had plenty of attitude! That is also important. The reason we parted ways was as I mentioned before that we wanted to play different kinds of metal. Our next singer, Kristian “Krille” Andrén was a way better singer, a very talented guy, very melodic.
The reason he left was that he was asked to join Memento Mori and that he had moved to Stockholm for work. Our third singer, Urban Breed, was a really great singer, an incredible voice and a very talented musician. He left the band simply because we couldn´t work together any more. He had always been different from the rest of us. Which is totally fine, but towards the end he had become really weird if you ask me. I think he was just simply hit by “Lead singer syndrome” After a tour we did with Edguy and Nocturnal Rites he started to act really “rockstar-ish”. This is my opinion and I bet he has his version of this too.
Our fourth singer, Joe Comeau,(ex Liege Lord, Annihilator, Overkill) was in the band for a short time. We did some live shows and some demo recordings with him. A very good singer and a totally professional musician! A very nice guy and I felt like a jerk when I gave him the call and told him that we wanted to move on with another singer. He understood our point of view though.
Q: Personal question Christer: may I ask which album (without taking the new album “Revenant” into consideration) is an absolute priority over the rest for you? Why do you prefer this one?
A: Easy, Modus Vivendi. As a musician you tend to like your newest album more and since I couldn´t pick Revenant I had to go for the one before that! He he he. It is not really that strange, I mean, you always try to improve and get better at everything as you go along. So far I think we have managed to do that for every album.
Q: Between the mighty big “Modus Vivendi” and “Revenant” 10 years have passed by. Like a bolt from a blue sky, Tad Morose was back in business and with a renewed line-up. I honestly thought you guys had given up the Metal fight but that’s was fortunately wrong. After a hiatus of let’s say, one decade, Tad Morose was back with a vengeance and a brand new album. What happened during the past ten years, what kept you busy?
A: We were here all the time, trying to get this album done and trying to build a new steady line-up. We have been playing live as much as possible too. Most of us has also been involved in Inmoria. So far recording two albums and playing live with that band too. So we have been busy all the time. It feels unbelievably awesome to finally have Revenant released! There were times when I really doubted that would happen throughout this long period of time.
Q: Will you introduce all of the current band members plus a few words on their musical background history would be good to know. With all respect for the rest of the band, especially the new singer stole my complete attention!
A: Ok, well, let´s start with Peter then. He has been in the band since -94. He grew up in Gävle and played drums in various local bands there before he moved to Bollnäs and joined Tad Morose. He also plays drums in Inmoria, which is the band that Danne Eriksson, our first drummer, started, that nowadays includes 4 out of 5 Tad Morose members! Yeah I know, inbreed deluxe! Ha ha ha. Small town you know! Peter also played drums on an album with Steel Attack, the band that Ronny sang in before he joined Tad Morose. Steel Attack had fired their drummer and Ronny asked Peter to fill in on drums on some live shows and to play on their up and coming album.
Since both Peter and Ronny grew up in Gävle they know each other well. So it was Peter that asked Ronny to join Tad Morse with the words: “Hey, I played drums on your god damned album so you better sing on our new album!” Ha ha ha. In fact, we asked Ronny to join after Urban left but he was too occupied with Steel Attack back then. Peter is a typical drummer. He is never quiet! Unless he has some Jaegermeister to drink, then he talks like hell until the bottle is empty and then he falls asleep. He is a very hard hitting drummer, very accurate and technical. Very interested in drums and drumming in general. Then we got Tommi Karppanen on bass. He grew up and still lives here in Bollnäs and I have known him since we were like 13 years old. We have been playing in bands together before, for instance in a band called Sefer Jezirah which also included Charles Rytkönen of Morgana LeFay on vocals. This was late 80´s I guess. Tommi also played guitars on the early Morgana LeFay albums. He also plays bass in Inmoria.
Peter asked him to join Tad Morose on a party at my place like 5 years or so ago and he responded with the words: “Yeah, bloody fucking time you asked me!” Ha ha ha. Tommi is a typical bass player, steady, accurate. He is calm and full of wisdom off stage. On stage he is pretty wild and careless! Ha ha ha. Then we have Kenneth Jonsson on guitars, the newest member in the band. He lives like 2,5 hours north of Bollnäs in the middle of nowhere. Again, it was Peter who asked him. Kenneth has played with The Citadell and with Torch and has been recording albums at Studio Soundcreation, which is in the same house as our rehearsal studio in Bollnäs, so we have met Kenneth back and forth throughout the years. Kenneth asked Peter to fill in on drums on some live shows with Torch so he did and then Peter asked him to join Tad Morose.
So you see, Peter steals the members we need from other bands! Ha ha ha. Kenneth is a very talented guitar player but completely useless when it comes to keep track of things! Ha ha ha. Always seem to lose gear along the way. A cable here, a strap there and so on. Ok, on to the singer then, Ronny Hemlin. He grew up and still lives in Gävle, which is 1 hour south of Bollnäs, and has been singing in local bands all the time, we have played at the same shows every now and then throughout the years, so we knew each other well. Ronny sang in Lack of Faith and Steel Attack before he joined. He is a really great singer with an incredible range and a really talented musician. He likes to party as much as the rest of us too! Ronny also sing in Inmoria nowadays. He is very interested in cars, movies and technical things. A typical singer, he always seems to get more shitfaced than the rest of us when we party.
He he he. And then it is me, Christer “Krunt” Andersson, a stubborn bastard who play guitar and started this band almost a quarter of a century ago. I grew up and still live here in Bollnäs.
Q: Who was in charge for the production, who wrote the lyrics and where the title stands for?
A: We did this album all by ourselves. We wrote the songs, arranged them. Recorded and mixed it at Ronny´s studio. Most of the guitars are recorded in my studio. This is also one reason that Revenant took almost three years to record, much due to missing files, crashed computers and so on. When you got your own studio you seem to never get it done, there is always something that you want to change or re-record and so on. We learned a lot by doing all this by our own. I think it turned out pretty good any way. We had Johan Löfgren (ex bass player of Steel Attack) to come in with a set of fresh ears and help out during mixing. The only thing we handed over was the mastering.
That was done by Per Ryberg at Studio Soundcreation here in Bollnäs. The cover artwork and layout was done by Isis Sousa. That turned out very nice! I think it fits this album just perfect! The title “Revenant” was Peter´s idea and that is a fitting title to this album I think. Kind of: “We´re back from the dead to haunt you yet again, he he he” The lyrics are mainly Ronny´s thing. They are mostly about life death and other morbid things in life in general. Read them and make up your own mind about what they mean! He he he.
Q: How did you end up with Despotz Records actually?
A: That was our management´s idea. They seemed to be a small, but hard working and modern record company that really knew what they were doing. So that and the fact that they are a Swedish label, which makes things easier, made us feel comfortable with them. So far they have done a very good job!
Q: “Revenant” has a dark character and sounds really beautiful. That’s why I gave you guys a second place in my 2013 Top 20 album list! What about the real content of the songs, where are the titles and content based?
A: Oh, thanx! Well I don´t know, we just do what feels good to us there and then. So they are based on how we felt when we wrote that particular song. It is kind of hard to explain, but that´s about it, really.
Q: Do you have any preferred tracks to announce?
A: Nah, I don´t know. As a guitarist you kind of like the songs that are fun to play more than others. Usually that turns out to be the total opposite to what the public think. Ha ha ha. Ah, what the hell, they are all actually pretty fun to play! Ha ha ha.
Q: Speak for yourself - Would “Revenant” may be the best Tad Morose album so far? In what ways this album differs from the rest?
A: Yes of course! If we didn´t think that, it would never have been recorded. I think that we have come closer to what we are striving for on this album than ever before. The sound is by far the best we´ve had too.
Q: To whom would you recommend this fantastic album?
A: To all! He he he. To be honest, I think you would like this album very much if you are into powerful heavy metal music with raw power but still with good melodies and no “dragons in the night” lyrics! Ha ha ha.
Q: I can not imagine that you have received one single negative review. Am I right or not?
A: Ha ha ha, well, we got one so far! I guess that was from something like: angrymetalguy.com or something. He totally chain sawed this album to pieces! Ha ha ha. But he seems to not like a lot of bands and albums. For some reason he really likes everything that Urban Breed sings on…..hmmmm. Check it out for yourself! Fun reading!
But apart from that I think we have only gotten great reviews everywhere! That feels really, really good! We did not expect that at all!
Q: As for me, with an album of this caliber you deserve a place on many festivals this summer. What are the plans?
A: Our plan is to play us much live as possible. But as I mention in the begging of this interview we have just split with our management so it is unfortunately back to scratch for us with all this. We honestly thought that this was being taken care of…. And now most of the festivals seem to be fully booked, but we´ll try our best to get on as many festivals as possible. I mean, we worked hard for a long time with this album and now we want to go out and play live god damned it! Arrghh!
Q: Well, I always been a fan of Tad Morose but your latest album “Revenant” defies every imagination and fills in all my expectations mercilessly. All the musicians are in extreme great condition, this could be start of another brilliant career to me. What’s your opinion on this?
A: Wow, thanks! Nice words! Well, I don´t know, and you never know, do you? But it will not take another ten years until the next album! We didn´t fight for ten years just to make one more album and then call it quits. We are here for the long run and I hope you are right!
Q: I’m fully satisfied/overwhelmed on all areas with the new album and it feels really creditable to have you here on Metal To Infinity webzine doing this interview. May I thank you for the valued collaboration and please, don’t let us wait for another ten years brother. Maybe some last remarks before leaving? Thanks for your time – cheers !
A: Nice to hear that you like our new album! Thank YOU for doing this interview!
I hope to see you and you readers somewhere on the road in the near future!
Take care and play LOUD!
Krunt / Tad Morose