Interview with the Thrill Warriors!

Thrill Warriors is a band based in the rockier parts of Sweden. They first started out in 2007, and after numerous changes in their line-up, they’ve managed to have a relatively stable group consisting of Luvan Loud, Linda Lockdown, Fist for Fight, Jenna Jail and Honey Highway. With straight-forward bluesy rock ‘n roll carnage, they’ll continue to plow through the underground scene. Unfortunetly, they haven’t released any debutalbum yet, but in the future they’ll maybe consider it. I got the possibility to interview Luvan Loud, who told me all the great stories I needed to hear. Are you still reading this? Down with your eyes, focus – and see what she had to say!

Hey Thrill Warriors! Could you give me a brief history of your band?
– Thrill Warriors was formed back in the spring of 2007. The previous bass player (Mini Maneater) and Luvan (Loud, drums) knew each other from a previous band and after that band split up Mini suggested they’d start a new one. By Valborg (April 30th, big holiday here in Sweden. Basically just another reason to get shitfaced without feeling guilty about it) there were 4 members – Mini Maneater, Luvan Loud, Jenna Jail & FF Fight – and material was being written. Since then we’ve gone through quite a few line-up changes. Linda Lockdown has been with us on bass for about 2.5 years now.

What made you pick names like “Luvan Loud”, “Linda Lockdown”, “Fist For Fight”, “Jenna Jail” and “Honey Highway”? Are these names representing
different aspects matching the rock’n’roll attitude, or is it merely a reflection of your personal attributes?

– Well, it all started as a joke at some point way back. I can’t even remember now but surely we must have been quite drunk. It’s become a big part of what we are now though and these “characters” are our alter egos. We step into these roles when we hit the stage. Trust me, these alliteration-warriors are not people you’d like to meet in a dark alley at night. They’re violent, nasty and loud, but they put on a hell of a live show, so we’ve kept ’em.

It seems like you’ve drawn a lot of influence from the movie “The Warriors”, was this intentional or not?
– To be honest, we hadn’t even seen that movie when we formed the band and named it “Thrill Warriors” but a year or two ago we started getting alot of those “Oh, were you inspired by ‘The Warriors’?”-questions. We grew into what we are quite unintentionally. What we are and what we play comes from influences all over. It’s taken us 5 years to really understand what music we want to play. Today the whole ‘The Warriors’-influence is not so unintentional though, hehe. We do use a soundclip from the movie as our intro before we go on stage and a lot of our lyrics are influenced by gangs and all that may mean.

When I scoured the internet I didn’t find one single interview with you, how is this even possible when you play such awesome music?
– First off: thank you! We haven’t done a lot of interviews, really. Mainly for local news papers and such, I think.

I also saw that you’ve been played over at FatCat Radio, did they contact you or did you submit your music to them?
– I’m trying to remember how it started… I should mention I have the memory of a gold fish. I think we got contacted by Fat Cat… ‘The Swede’ has always been very supportive and has been playing us on there for years and for that we’re really grateful! Internet-radio is a great way to reach out to a lot of people and I think people (in bands) in general tend to underestimate that medium.

Are you still unsigned or have there been anyone that wants to sign you yet?
– We haven’t felt ready yet, but I guess you never do, haha!

What gig has been the best so far since you’ve started, and which one has been the worst?
– Best one is easy: We did a gig on ‘Alarmscenen’ at Sweden Rock ’09. Most fun gig to date, definitely! Really good crowd. The whole gig just had a very good vibe to it. Worst one is a bit more difficult but for us on stage, there was this one sound tech guy right when we had just started playing. Let’s just say… he was a bit of an ass. Lately we’ve been blessed with really good and kind sound-techs though.

I really dig your band-picture with the moustaches, how and why did you come up with that idea?
– We really dig mustaches. Most of us would probably grow one if we could. Unfortunately none of us were blessed with the genes for it though. There were a few different reasons for the mustaches. The first one being, well, we really dig mustaches. Another big one was we’re incredibly sick of being labeled as a ‘girl-band’ or ‘all-female metal band’ – those labels really say nothing about the music. We see ourselves as a heavy metal band.

What do you think about the current state of music, primarily in Sweden? Could you recommend some lesser known but rocking bands that you listen to yourself?
– Sweden has a really good music life. Always had and hopefully always will. There are so many good bands here just waiting for you to turn up at their gigs! Friends and favourites of ours from our old hometown are the ‘Pikkadolls’. Their singer really has an amazing voice! I usually describe their music as “doom punk”. (make sure to listen to ‘Diminished life expectance’ if you think doom punk sounds interesting) Some other bands we really dig are: Brutus, In Solitude, Bombus and Antichrist.

It’s really a shame that your Holland-tour didn’t go as predicted, you say you’ll be “back with a hell of a summer”, what do you mean by that? Will there be a new tour?
– Oh yeah, jeez. This was last year. A lot of people were really bummed that the tour got cancelled, as were we of course. There are no current tour plans for now.

Is the album “As heard from hell” your debutalbum or have you released material before that?
– ‘As hears from hell’ is actually the intro for ‘Witchin” which is on the ‘Fuel for rage’ cassette. We have yet to release an album.

You’ll be releasing new material this year, could you tell me more about it?
– We hope to! We have a few ideas in mind. Nothing big probably but we do have quite a lot of unreleased material. Best way to hear any of it is to catch us live because we’re always too broke to go into the studio, haha!

Where will you be playing this year and what do you have in mind for the future?
– Well, right now we’re trying out stand-in guitarists for Fight who’s backpacking her way through South America all throughout the summer. As soon as we’ve found the perfect stad-in-warrior we’ll start booking gigs again. Everywhere and anywhere! We love to play.

Do you have any last words of wis(beer)dom?
– You get what you deserve, not what you want. So fight for what you want until you deserve it.

Here’s the Thrill Warriors with the song I Do:

You can find them rocking out over here:

Official homepage: http://www.thrillwarriors.com/

Facebook: http://sv-se.facebook.com/thrillwarriors

MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/thrillwarriors

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Mini-interview with Clara Engel!

With raving reviews from blogs and poets, comes an all-in-all brighter shining star. Her name is Clara Engel and she is an independent Toronto-based multi-talent and singer. She’s currently signed to the independent label Vox Humana, based in the UK. They released her first EP called Madagascar in November of 2011, which included the three songs: Blind Me, Madagascar and Accompanied By Dreams. She’s currently working on a new album that will be finished in late spring. I took some time to ask her a few questions, about the beginning of her career, up until now and what more she’s got in store for us in the future.

Hello Clara! Tell us more about yourself?
– I am an artist working in the medium of song. I live in Canada. I’ve made seven albums independently. I’ve also had a few releases via independent labels: Vox Humana, Backwards Music, Tapemancy, and the now defunct Corps-Morts Records. Beyond that… I’m a warm blooded human creature who performs and creates. This question is hard for me. I seem to enter a wordless, fractured mental state when I’m put on the spot to describe myself or my work.

What got you into making music and how did you find my blog?
– To answer your second question first: I stumble upon blogs by looking up other artists who I either feel a slight kinship with, or curiosity about. I can’t remember which artist led me to your blog, but I’m glad I stumbled upon it. To answer your first question, I don’t really know. For better or worse I picked up a classical guitar when I was about 12, as if in a trance, and just set about learning to play it, in my own way. I started writing songs a year or two later. I can’t seem to stop. Even when I give up and completely loose faith in my abilities, there’s a deeper and more steel-willed part of me that keeps going. It’s mysterious to me.

I’ve researched a little bit more and found out that you also have an album released called “Secret Beasts”, on cassette, tell me more about the process involved in making that album?
– I first released Secret Beasts myself in 2009, on pressed CDs, then digitally via Bandcamp in 2010. Then, in 2011, I connected with an Italian label, Tapemancy, and they released it on cassette. It was a very limited run, but they did quite a beautiful job. The album was recorded in two days at the very beginning of 2009. I have a very limited budget, so I have very limited chunks of studio-time. I have to go in there and deliver. It is stressful, but I’d say it also brings a certain urgency to all of my recordings.

Where have you been performing since you started and where can we see you in the near future?
– I’m from Toronto, and I only performed here at first, because it’s all I knew. A chance to play my songs for people was a thrill in and of itself. I play fairly often in Montreal, I love playing there. I often tour around the East Coast of the USA. I have another tour there soon, in March, with Valerie Kuehne. I’m really hoping to make it to Europe soon, I’ve been saying that for ages. I just can’t afford airfare at this point.

Why have you been getting more praise from poets rather than music-critics? Could it be because your music is more poetic than most of the music out there today?
– I prefer the company of poets and artists to that of music-critics, so I consider it a good thing. It probably is more poetic. I almost always write words before music, and I wrote poetry before I wrote songs. I read a fair bit of poetry. A lot of music-criticism leans heavily on comparison. I find it boring, reductive, formulaic, and lazy. Writing about music is a very difficult endeavor – the medium defies articulation. It would be better to acknowledge that fact, and then get creative.

– Better to risk being ridiculous or going out on a limb, both are so much more enlivening than being reductive, lazy, and boring. Also, I don’t think what I’m doing is particularly trendy, and contemporary poets are often painted as a dying breed. I relate strongly to that. Much new media I come across favors the byte size, flashy, and ironic, and I’d like to make songs that are more timeless and could move someone from a different era, if they stumbled upon it… because that’s the kind of work I’m most drawn to. I was an isolated kid when I fell in love with music and writing songs, it was a very vital, earnest, no-frills relationship I had to the music I loved. The antithesis of hipster.

Where can we find you in cyberspace?
– You can find me on bandcamp, facebook, twitter, tumblr, myspace (if anyone still uses that one).

Do you have any last words of wisdom?
– I don’t have any wisdom. Actually, my words of wisdom are: withhold your words of wisdom, they make my blood boil. I am getting sick of advice. When people tell me how to go about my life, my ‘career’ and I can’t stand it. My goal is to continue writing and singing, living, loving. Like Otis Redding says: “I can’t do what ten people tell me to do, so I guess I’ll remain the same.” Those are some wise words perhaps. In lieu of wisdom, I would like to let people know I’m working on a new album called Ashes and Tangerines, and they can pre-order a copy if they would like: http://www.kapipal.com/claraengel

Here’s a free sample from her album Secret Beasts, a song called Lick My Fins:

And here’s a clip of Clara performing her song Heaven and Hell:

You can also find her here:

Bandcamp: http://claraengel.bandcamp.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/claraengelmusic

Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/clara_engel

Tumblr: http://claraengelmusic.tumblr.com/

MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/claraengel