Back in 2013 I contacted what I think was the first or second band that I ever asked to do an interview with (the others I remember being Animal Faces and Amber). You can read it here, as it was a very surreal experience to ask a band that I loved my own questions. Now it's nearly half a decade later and I was lucky enough to help release what I believe is album of the year (thus far) with TRACHIMBROD's 2017 offering of their 'Leda' 12"LP. Released on my label, Zegema Beach Records, along with my German friend Paul and his Through Love Recs label as well as the illustrious UK-based Dog Knights Productions led by Darren (who I interviewed around the same time, here). It comes on a 12" of either black or a half green/half clear mix. It sounds like Suis La Lune meets Raein with an additional sprinkle of Via Fondo. It's fucking unbelievable. Here's a very quick rundown of the 9 songs.
1 "Rum utan fönster" sounds like majestic elves hopping through enchanted forests, screaming with love. It's so fucking chill. The guitars are airy and light but engaging as hell. The utilization of the flute is spot on and I hope it makes more appearances in the future. Unreal opener.
2 "All är som det alltid var" begins as probably the most accessible song, with sugary sweet singing that borders on a medieval, tribal chant. Screams are added later and the song is another very chill one that builds to a pretty steep cliff from the second to third minute and takes a breathtaking leap.
3 "Tärd" is my song of the year. Holy fuck. The opening 48 seconds is good and all, but from about one minute to two minutes the song boasts the catchiest riff of 2017. I love everything about this song, the vocals, the drums, the bass, the structure and transitions, but goddamn that guitar interplay and their chord progressions are, simply put, phenomenal. If you jam but one song from 'Leda' make it this. This was supposed to be the single from the record but the tracklisting got messed up and the track titles needed to be switched from tracks 2 and 3 so that led to this getting bumped in favor of track 2 due to the song title already being sent out as the premiere. That's a damn shame because this is the TRACHIMBROD song on this record.
4 "Begränsad" was the second single released (the first being track #2) and it is on par for the album. It is rooted in a descending/circling guitar riff that leads the track's parts and corrals everything together into a head bobbing amalgamation of awesomeness.
5 "Medskyldighet" is the heaviest and shortest song on here, and is easily one of my favourites. Opening with a incessant drum beat, the guitars swoop in and join the mix for a few bars before the drums, bass and outright screaming is poured on at around 25 seconds. This driving, thumping and engaging segment breaks at 1:12 and dissolves into a fantastic Swedish twinkle that brings Via Fondo to mind both instrumentally as well as vocally, as Lukas is able to perfectly balance a yell with a scream, much like Elina from the now defunct but forever adored Via Fondo did so well.
6 "Ett annat liv" is probably the most Suis La Lune sounding song on here. The chorus' have that spacey and playful guitar tone of Mr. Henning that even includes the solo-heavy guitars that sound like The Strokes. When the song is in verse and bridge, things tend to slow down and the listener is able to relax.
7 "Vi tå" begins like a shoegaze song, only to take a drastic turn at 30 seconds with more of The Strokes soloing and classic Swedish screaming and could have been housed on 'Riala'.
8 "Hjärnspöke" is very post-rocky and has a calm intro for about 50 seconds before a slight pick-up and a very sad sounding riff drop in and transition at 1:38. This new juncture is probably the softest instrumental moment on the record but Lukas layers in all in screaming, which I think is the right call, cuz it sounds awesome. The final minute of the song has the sad instrumental passage climaxing alongside those beautifully screamed vocals.
9 "Saker de säger"is the closer and a more apt one I could not suggest. The opening alone foreshadows big things in its future, although come 33 seconds and the song shifts to the chill mid-section, complete with soothing singing, continuously rolling bass and twinkly riffs. It isn't until two verses and choruses are complete when TRACHIMBROD decides to dip back to the opening riff and close the song in a circular fashion using a gaping riff at three minutes that sucks everything into it like a black hole. At 3:25 and again at 3:50 the void expels all it had consumed in a fantastical explosion of sounds, both bursting with a full spectrum of colors and also cowering in the deep, dark shadows.
EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW1) Dino and Lukas, what have you all been up to since our last interview back in June of 2013? (linked here)
It's been a while since we did that interview. All of us have mostly focused on things outside of Trachimbrod to eventually meet up when the time felt right and pour the new inspiration and perspectives we have gathered into this new record. The singer Lukas is active in a bunch of other bands, so is Kristoffer the bass player and the rest of us have been occupied with studies and other sorts of activities.
2) Was the writing process different for ‘Leda’ when compared to previous recordings?
Slightly different, we have never been a traditional band in that sense that we meet every Thursday to write new songs together because we live in different cities far away from each other. So we have adapted to this and created a method that works most of the times where usually Hannes or me writes the foundation for a song and while everyone else contributes with their unique touch to their instrument. In this sense it has not been that different in a practical way, but the introspective process for 'Leda' has been a far more challenging and rewarding process than any superficial mumbo jumbo. The process has taken a longer time than usual and it has been more difficult also due to life's creative ways of challenging your existence.
3) What are the lyrical themes for 'Leda'? Is there a general theme?
I would say that the main theme for the lyrics and music follows a path of delivering a portion of criticism to the negative byproduct from the nihilistic ideas and values we are left with to deal with our selves in todays post-modern secular society. Hopelessness, confusion and fatigue over the lack of truth, community values and meaning in a spiritually empty individualistic consumer society and material worldview. A concern for the unsettling fascist, totalitarian values that are growing because of the neglecting side of our culture. Trachimbrod is nothing more than a tool of projecting these thoughts and feelings in a constructive way.
4) What were your musical influences on this record?
When we first got together to talk about ideas for this new record we shared a common notion of exploring a more minimalistic approach this time around. Exploring the foundation of our songwriting and sound. Pealing of the layers of the onion, examining them more carefully before putting them into the pan, so to speak. Being more conscious and deliberate in our use of effects and pedals to discard the excessive and keeping the essential. Leaning towards a kraut-rock vibe to some extent and adding more layers of synthesizers in some of the songs. All of us in the band have rather different taste in music which always has been to our common advantage, it has enabled us to blend more freely and without holding that strongly to ideas that we are supposed to sound a certain way. The goal has always been to make the most rewarding musical experience for ourselves and then when we are satisfied we can present it to everyone else.
5) Do you feel like TRACHIMBROD’s sound has changed or evolved over time, and specifically from the Sore Eyelids split to ‘Leda’?
The sound of Trachimbrod has always balanced between two extremes of chaos and order, uniting these two elements on a playground where they can sort of have a go with each other, explore each other and whatever comes out of it speaks for itself. I think that we found something we liked when we did the split with Sore Eyelids and that thing has evolved by itself up til now and is continuing to evolve.
The sound is a mere reflection of what is inside of us and the music as result is the physical constitution of this, don’t get caught up in superficial things like appearance or hypes, look beyond this and I'm sure you can sense when something feels genuine to you. When music taps into that place inside of you, the music is good.
Music can in some ways be a catharsis of the divine yet tragic circumstances of human existence. If you know that life can be exhilarating at times and excruciating terrible at others you know that it's working properly. Be sad, or happy and allow yourself to feel these feelings fully, don't become a corporate zombie and don't take out your frustration on others in destructive ways. Sometimes we need something to remind us of this and shake us up from our slumber. To be awake is to see things for what they really are.
6) How would you describe 'Leda' to someone? Do you think it fits into any specific genres? Did any of your musical influences shine through on the final recordings?
I guess there is a lot of ways to describe 'Leda', it's hard to describe something you have experienced from a different point of view. I would go with this one: “Do you know the feeling of when you are falling in love with someone? When you go from the sense of that reality you experience is one way and then all of a sudden you walk across an invisible line when everything is different, your senses are stronger the colors around you are brighter and all the things you thought were problems are now vanquished, well 'Leda' is like that part in the middle, the split second of that transformation, one foot in the grey and one in colors.” To put this album in one genre doesn't work, because it's a mix of a lot of things and also because I personally find genres kind of deceiving in a way. It's more of a marketing thing in my book and therefore a question for the label minded. The self titled album by the band True Widow is something I listened to a lot during the recording phase but I don't think it really shined through on 'Leda'.
7) What led you to the labels you are releasing 'Leda' on? How did you come into contact with Dog Knights, Through Love and Tokyo Jupiter Records?
Tokyo Jupiter Records was the first label we got signed on to when we first started and they released two demos on cd. Then in 2012 Through Love Rec. got in touch with us and released our debut album 'A Collection of Hidden Sketches' on vinyl. Together with Zegema Beach Records they have helped us with releasing and spreading our music ever since. Our singer Lukas plays in emo/pop band I Love Your Lifestyle who are signed to Dog Knights Productions, so that connection came from there.
8) You are supporting 'Leda' initially via a tour in April with Nionde Plagan, the band which Lukas also plays drums for and my band The World That Summer is releasing a split 10" with this month. Did this come about because of the sharing of Lukas between both bands? What is your tour route, why did you choose those cities?
Most of our touring and live gigs have something to do with Lukas. He is the one pulling all of his strings and giving most energy into getting Trachimbrod on the road. This tour though is fully booked by his band mate Jonathan who's the singer in Nionde Plågan. We're doing one gig in Gothenburg and after that we're heading to Hamburg where we've played a couple of times before so it's always fun to come back. Nionde Plågan had connections with two promoters in Italy so we're doing two shows there which both bands look forward to very much since it will be the first time. Same thing with Amsterdam.
9) Speaking of touring, what has been your best show and/or tour to date?
That's really hard to say i guess. Our last gig was two years ago in Stockholm and before that it was in 2013. So we've done one gig in four yours which is really weird. But i think our two weeks long tour with german hardcore/screamo band Fjørt in 2013 included our best shows so far.
10) Besides the upcoming Nionde Plågan and Trachimbrod tour, do you have anything else planned as a band, or individually?
We are playing on this years Miss The stars fest in Berlin in May which will be great because of the amazing line up. None of us have been there before but we've heard really good things about it. There are some loose plans on Asia this summer but nothing confirmed yet. We have also started to talk about ideas for new songs but we will see what happens in the future.