This summer, Sweden’s Crucified Barbara will return with its fourth studio album, In the Red. The all-female Swedish hard rock and metal quartet combines musical elements covering the gamut of 70s, 80s, and 90s hard rock, blending them into a modern edgy sound, with more than a hint of punk. This week, frontwoman Mia Coldheart checked in with The Examiner/AXS to talk about making the new record and offering some insight into some of the album’s notable lyrical content.
Crucified Barbara was founded 16 years ago, in Stockholm. “We started out as teenagers learning to play music,” recalled Coldheart on the band's beginnings. Mia, who was the last to join the band, handles not only vocal duties but lead guitar as well. Joining her are guitarist Klara Force, bassist Ida Evileye, and drummer Nicki Wicked.
Coldheart points to Nirvana and 90s grunge for the band’s early influence, and admits that grit carries over into their own sound. “We’ve never been into this clean, pure metal sound. We always want to add some dirt to it. That’s the way we are. That’s what we play. So I think it’s from the grunge, from our roots, and I’m really grateful for that.”
Crucified Barbara’s first two albums, 2005’s In Distortion We Trust and 2009’s ’Til Death Do Us Party paved the way for the band’s breakout third album; 2012’s The Midnight Chase. The time between albums gets shorter as they grow as musicians, and as Coldheart offered in our interview above, they are now wise enough to set time aside to write and record rather than staying on the road too long for any one album. Each album finds the ladies becoming stronger more consistent songwriters, and the proof of that bears fruit on the new record, In the Red.
"We've become better songwriters. I really think this is our best album. I really love the way we have worked on this and wrote the songs together. We wrote all the songs together in rehearsal. We wrote them one by one and we didn't leave anything until we were really, really satisfied with the song."
On In the Red, the band strikes out lyrically to talk about troubling topics such as misogyny, animal rights and cyber bullying. “To Kill a Man” was based on a Swedish police official who spent his career supporting women’s rights, only to be arrested for rape. The topic struck home with Force, who penned the song’s lyrics. Coldheart tackled the troubling topic of kids who define what they are supposed to look and be like from magazines and pop culture on the track, “The Ghost Inside".
"I'm getting really heartbroke every time I hear about these young girls and boys who are so affected by the fashion industry, the magazines, and the internet bullying--telling you that you're not okay. The song is about that voice inside confirming that you can't live up to all those expectations."
Coldheart also spoke about recording the band’s debut album a decade ago, sharing her memories of their first time in the studio, and much more. In The Red will be released September 15 on Despotz Records and much touring shall ensue.