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Take Five: An Interview with Truckfighters

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Hailing from Sweden and formed in 2001, Truckfighters play stoner rock, which they have called desert rock. The band have released various EPs and full-length studio albums, the latest of which is titled Universe. Take Five caught up with guitarist Niklas “Dango” Källgren, who had the following to report.

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Tell me how you came to form Truckfighters and explain your musical approach.

Niklas “Dango” Källgren: “The band was formed a bit out of the blue. We were a bunch of friends who had a period where we listened quite a lot to fuzzy bands like Kyuss, Fu Manchu, and Queens of the Stone Age. One day Ozo [vocals and bass] found a book at a flea marked with a cool logo and a cool name—Truckfighters. At that time, he was studying sound engineering and needed to record something. These songs ended up on a cassette demo and got the name Truckfighters. A few weeks later I got to see and hear the tape, and liked it a lot, so I said that we really should start the band in a little bit more serious way. But we were not so serious in the early day—it was just for fun, and that is still the most important matter.”

Tell me about your new full-length studio CD, Universe. What can fans expect to hear?

Dango Källgren: “Hopefully, the best album they’ve ever heard! (laughs) It’s a groovy album full of nice riffs, sweet melodies, and a hell of a fuzzy sound. It’s the most dynamic album we’ve done so far, for sure.”

How did you become the subject of the movie Truckfighters by Joerg Steineck and Christian Maciejewski? Did you enjoy participating in the film? Provide a synopsis of what viewers can expect to see.

Dango Källgren: “Joerg and Christian did an interview with us for another project they have. At the same occasion, they saw us live for the first time and were totally blown away, to the extent that they asked us if they could make a movie about us. Kind of cool. Of course, we didn’t know what to expect at all, and I don’t think we understood that it would be a real ‘serious’ movie until very late in the process. It was very fun to be in the making of the movie, even though we were not really involved much.

“We do love the result though: it’s fun, entertaining, and gives a good view of how things were at that time. The movie is very special, as it doesn’t glorify the band. It shows the normal way of things. Sometimes hard work, sometimes crazy fun, always with the glimpse of the eye. It also gives a bit of insight in the problems a band faces with members (drummers) and internal fights, etc. Well worth watching!”

Which do you prefer: playing live or working in the studio? Why?

Dango Källgren: “Tricky questions, but I think I have to choose live. The live shows are where we go crazy; it is very fun and relieving to play live. On the other hand, I love to record and compose stuff as well, and one thing wouldn’t work without the other. Live is also where you meet fans and people and interact—that is also important to me.”

You performed at Albuquerque’s Launchpad on March 16. Have you ever been through New Mexico before? Were you excited to be in the desert, given that your sound has been sometimes called “desert rock”?

Dango Källgren: “First time in New Mexico, yes! It was rad, and yes, we looked forward of course, though we’ve been in the Californian desert and in Arizona before. The desert is a special surrounding; it’s very exotic for us Swedes.”

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