So, 2021 is shaping up to be quite the hectic year indeed for Swedish trio Domkraft. Hot off the back of reviewing the latest release by the band, Seeds, I was given the opportunity to grill the band directly, and dig a little deeper into the thought processes, plans for the future, and just what’s in store for Domkraft. As we hit the second half of 2021, things seem to be a tad brighter, and far more promising, that’s for sure…
Post COVID, what are the bands plans, moving forward in the near future? Obviously, gigs are hopefully on the list, but what else?
It’s basically all about playing live to us. We’ve been able to keep the writing process going throughout this weirdness, and we’ve been able to record. So, the live thing is what we see at the end of the tunnel.
That said, the live circuit will be extremely oversaturated, with postponed tours from bigger acts just waiting to happen and most likely not all venues and clubs will have made it through the crisis. So, there are more challenges to come for sure. But, on a personal level, attending shows with other bands is also something I am aching to do.
As regards playing live, some bands have live streamed, and played without an audience, and some have waited until the time is right to go on the road again. How do you think it will be, playing to venues full of masked fans? Weirder, or less weird, then playing to an empty room, with only cameras for an audience?
Oh man, that has not even crossed my mind yet. Guess I am still not far enough into the tunnel. But, I guess the mask thing is something we’ll have to live with for a while, at least in big gatherings. And I’d take a masked crowd before an empty room any day of the week. The interaction will still be there.
It’s more about how it makes me feel, regardless of genre or style…
How do you feel about being compared with the likes of Windhand and Mastodon? Is it a fair comparison, or do you feel you’re more like other bands?
That is all up to the listener really. I would personally probably not use any of those two bands to describe our sound, but I also realize that I am way too close to the music to make any comparisons at all. Nor to question other people’s perception of our output.
If I just look at myself, I have learned that I have a very non-theoretic approach to music in general. Both as a listener and a performer. It’s more about how it makes me feel, regardless of genre or style, than that it has to be a certain kind of music. And I think most people function that way, but we all have different triggers and palettes. That is what makes music so interesting.
And as much as I also use comparisons to describe things I listen to, I am not the one to do it when it comes to music I myself have been a part in creating. But both the bands you mention are good, so I have no problem with hearing them mentioned.
Who are your influences? and why?
It’s this big, juicy cauldron of stuff we have listened to since we were kids up until today. Honestly, I think everything has left a mark somehow – some bands more than others. But we’ve been listening to a lot of heavy music, quite a lot of punk, loads of psychedelic stuff, classic rock, classic hard rock, kraut rock, minimalistic techno, film scores – all music that triggers us one way or another. We usually mention Black Sabbath as well as Spacemen 3, just to give a hint of what elements people can expect. Riff-driven, heavy, yet often minimalistic music, with a psychedelic edge.
As there has been a lot of talk about the evolution of the band regarding the latest release, what did you do differently this time round? Or did it all happen organically? Did you go into it actively trying to do things differently?
I do not think it is that different, really. The songs are just better constructed and more varied than on the previous releases. And the production is richer, with more attention to detail. So, yes, I guess you could say that it happened organically.
We worked a lot with getting each track to get its signature groove, and once that was locked in, we shifted focus to work more intensely with the details. Which also opened up for a bit more varied vocal lines and guitar parts. It’s an unintended chain reaction caused by having more time than usual to rehearse and get the songs ready before hitting the studio.
all music that triggers us one way or another…
With regards to ‘Seeds’, where did you find your ideas, and inspirations?
It started with us not wanting to do a third album on the apocalyptic theme. The current state of the world – even before COVID – has way too many of those elements as it is. So, instead we decided to do something on the vague theme of rebuilding and starting over.
With all that comes with that; reflecting over the past, shifting focus, and all the hard labour it will take to get there. That basically served as inspiration. Not so much for the riffs themselves, they sort of just appear like they always have, but more for lyrics, arrangements, and the general flow of the album.
There seems to be a big thing in Sweden for bands jumping on to that whole retro sound. While bands like Opeth and Katatonia are embracing evolving in a more grown-up prog way, Electric Hydra, Blues Pills, and Acid’s Trip are all very much on that 70s vibe. Is there any reason for that, and it being a Swedish thing particularly?
I have no idea, really. But there have always been bands like that over here. The garage/action rock thing has been around basically as way back as I can remember, at least since the mid-80s. And I can absolutely see the appeal. It’s energetic, catchy, seemingly careless and it has a pretty timeless aesthetic. And since many of these bands are so good at what they do, they serve as inspiration to others and suddenly you have a local scene. I think it is that simple.
And the prog thing seems like it has more to do with production and vibe. Who doesn’t love that rich, organic 70s sound that so amazing – but is so hard to reproduce? I can absolutely see why someone like Mikael Åkerfeldt holds that era so high – especially since Opeth are such an insanely skilled bunch of musicians. As far as it being a particularly Swedish thing – maybe? Aren’t there retro sounding bands almost everywhere? Just with different spins on it?
We want to keep recording albums and we want to play shows…
Commercial success, or underground stardom? Which is more important to yourselves? And for the future of the band?
I think we look at success as a measure for being able to do as many things we want to do as possible. We want to keep recording albums and we want to play shows. And, of course, the more people who listen to and like the music, the more and better opportunities. It’s as simple as that. We just want the wheel to keep spinning.
What’s next for Domkraft? Sit on ‘Seeds’ for a while, tour and promote it, or carry on creating, and see what comes next organically?
Most likely a combination of all of that. Nail the set and write new stuff in between. It all depends on what the rest of the year will look like. If we cannot play shows at all, we’ll definitely get some new material going. But no rush. We recorded a split LP a few weeks ago and that one will hit the shelves later this year, so we have already kept ourselves pretty busy. But then again, we have to do SOMETHING. We will just take is as it comes.
Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions, and please use this space for any final words…
Thanks for having us! It’s been amazing reading the reactions on the album this far and realizing that people actually take the time to give it several spins before summing up their thoughts. Which is not something one can take for granted these days. So, we are really humbled and happy.
Interviewed by: Lee Beamish