Gothenburg’s Chugger are a fast-moving and hardworking band. Only 6 years into their career and they’ve put out some top-quality music. Formed in 2012, this talented four-piece from Gothenburg, Sweden, delivers a characteristic and energetic Groove Death Metal sound that relentlessly pounds their audience with catchy riffs and memorable choruses.
Hi David, greetings and thank you for the interview for Rock Era Magazine. We’d like to get to know Chugger a bit more. Please tell me something about the history of the band, something about the members!
Hi there! This is David, I’m the lead vocalist of Chugger. In our merry band of freaks; there’s also Robert, who plays guitar and started this crazy project; Robin, the axeman with the masks; and Eric, our brilliant drummer. The idea of Chugger started in Robert’s head somewhere around 2006 but didn’t shape into a band until 2012. Right from the start, the focus has been to get out there and be a great live band, which resulted in the first EP and a European tour after only 7 months as a full band. With ambitions like this, it’s hard to find people with the time and energy to commit, but with the current lineup, we feel like we’ve found a great gang that all strive towards the same goal.
What is the meaning of Chugger? Does it represent the music you play today?
The name Chugger is meant to represent the chugging sound of a distorted guitar, or the relentless thunder of a massive freight train heading right for you. All in all, a good representation of how Chugger sounds, and how it feels going to one of our shows.
What is the metal scene like in within touring? Is it a big thing there?
The metal scene in Gothenburg, Sweden is pretty legendary. It’s the only city in the world with its own genre, and of course, that’s something you notice living here. There’s a lot of great musicians here, but that also means that the competition is fierce, and a lot of bands never make it. All of us have played in a several of these kinds of bands, and that’s an experience we’ve brought with us into Chugger.
In 2013 your band self-released your debut album “Scars”(EP) after that the second album ‘Human Plague‘ is released in 2015. How was this album received? Anything special you’d like to mention about this work?
‘Scars’ was very well received, especially for such a young band. We toured quite a lot following the release, and ended up with a record deal with Rambo Music, a sub-label to GAIN/Sony, which hosts one of our favorite bands Avatar. In hindsight, the recording and release of ‘Human Plague’ was a bit rushed, and it didn’t really reach the quality we aspired to. It was still very well received, with an average rating around 8.5/10, but being perfectionists we wanted it to be even better. This is something we’ve brought with us into the production and recording of Grinder and Through Suffering Reborn, and I think it shows.
Would you like to give us any information about the lyrical concept of your albums? Is any of them a concept work? Is there any deeper message inside the lyrics?
Much of the lyrics are based around the horrible things that humans do; to each other and to the world. We draw inspiration from serial killers, war crimes and just plain old vengeance. But we’re not throwing it in your face, it’s more about being subtle, sinister and twisted. It’s meant to be an outlet, a way for the listener to vent their frustration and anger in a creative way.
Do you plan to support and promote your album by touring? Are there any confirmed shows and dates you’d like to share?
Right now, the plan is to make the most out of Wacken, and then go into writing mode to finalize the next album. We hope to start recording early 2019, and do some heavy touring once the album is out. Our management is working hard to get us out there as much as possible during 2019.
You recently released your new music video for the song “Grinder”. Would you like to tell a few words about it? I find both your videos very good. Is there any new video prepared?
Thank you very much, it’s always great when people like what we do! With Grinder, we wanted to do something different, and take a step away from the standard format where the band plays and then maybe a small story is shown. We wanted to pay homage to family-friendly classics like Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Hills Have Eyes, and tell our version of the classic story of torture and murder. But maybe there’s more to the story? We already have a follow up planned…
Before that though, there’s our new single “Through Suffering Reborn”, that’s just been released.
This time we went with one of those lyrics videos that the kids like these days, but it’s still very much Chugger, blood, and gore.
You will participate in the best Metal Festival in the world ‘WACKEN OPEN AIR 2018, what is your feeling as you participate with the great rock / metal bands in the world?
It’s by far our largest gig, so obviously, we’re super stoked! We know by now that once people see us live, they tend to like what they see and hear, so to get the chance to meet and play for such a huge crowd is a big thing for us. But we’re also gonna stick around for the rest of the festival, and see some of the great bands that play this year. I’m especially looking forward to finally seeing Clawfinger and Arch Enemy.
How was 2018 for Chugger? Was it a good year for you guys?
I have to say it’s been a great year so far. The response to “Through Suffering Reborn” has been great, and we’ve made a ton of fans thanks to Wacken Metal Battle and Gefle Metal, and as I said before we have high hopes for Wacken Open Air. After a couple of chaotic years, it feels like things are starting to go our way, and we have high hopes for the future!
What other bands should we look out for over there in Sweden?
There’s a ton of great bands over here, but a few of them hold a special place to me. We’re very close friends with the members of Tragederia and Archaea, which are two great upcoming bands from Gothenburg. There’s also Saffire from Gothenburg, a fantastic AoR band with some of the most talented musicians in this town. And let’s not forget the other finalists in the Wacken Metal Battle: Orbit Culture, Sarea and This Ending.
How do you see the death metal scene in your country? Are there any bands you’d like to recommend? Is any of CHUGGER’s members involved in any other band too?
There are so many great bands it’s hard to even start naming bands, but I quite like the renewal of old school death that we’re seeing with new albums from The Crown and The Lurking Fear. Another favorite for me is Pagandom, one of the bands that were active when the Gothenburg scene started but never released an album. They reunited a couple of years ago and released a great album called “Hurt as a Shadow”.
Like I said earlier, we’ve all played in a bunch of bands before Chugger, some better than others. To name a few, there’s Taketh (David), Purified Hatred (Robin), Kapten Pirat (Robert) and Antione (Eric and Robin).
When will we see CHUGGER full-length album coming out bro?
People need to stop throwing huge gigs our way, so we can finally finish this album man! But on a more serious note, 2019 will be the year, mark my words!
If you had one wish, that you can jam with anyone one in the world who would that be and why?
For me, I would have to say; Devin Townsend. He’s just crazy talented and super funny, although I’m not sure what the hell I would do in that setup, probably just sit around with a stupid grin on my face.
Thank you, guys, so much for answering the question for Rock Era Magazine. Are there any last things you want to say to your fans out there?
Thank’s for the chat! And thank you, everyone for all your support, your kind words and for telling all your friends about us. We hope to see you out on the roads soon!
- David Dahl – Vocals
- Robert Bjärmyr – Lead guitars
- Robin Lagerborg – Rhythm guitars
- Eric Skjuttorp – Drums
Interviewed by Yassine Siyaf.
Edited by NJ Bakr.