The groove death metal band Chugger is releasing a brand new album soon. So just before releasing ‘Of Man And machine’ I had the opportunity to ask the band some questions about their new album and how the band is doing.
So thank you very much Lars “Larza” Skjuttorp for being so kind to answer my questions!
First of all I will ask you to introduce yourself to the readers. Who are you (bandmembers, instruments you play and maybe something about the musical backgrounds), and something about the history of the band?
Chugger is a groove death metal band from Sweden. Our sound is best described as a mix of the American south, like Lamb of God and Pantera, and melodic death metal from Gothenburg, like Arch Enemy and In flames. The band was formed by guitarist Robert Bjärmyr in 2012. The other members are David Dahl (vocals), Lars “Larza” Skjuttorp (bass and backup vocals), Eric Skjuttorp (drums), and Robin Lagerborg (guitar). This line-up was formed in 2018 and since then Chugger has been an unstoppable freight train, performing at festivals like Wacken Open Air and Gefle Metal festival. At this moment we are preparing ourselves and our followers for our up-coming album “Of Man and Machine”.
My interest for music started at a very young age. I began playing bass when I was about 8 and was obsessed with learning all the Red Hot Chili Peppers songs and began studying music at our local music school. I later found myself studying music at collage level.
On Facebook I read that the band is build upon the foundation of ‘Gothenburgian metal’. Can you tell us what that is? We read it lots of times but not all of us don’t know what it means.
The Gothenburg sound is a genre that is a very melodic death metal. Layers and layers of leads that are resting on a thick bed of heavy rhythms. It’s also a very iconic production, founded more or less by Fredik Nordström at Studio Fredman, with the guitar-amp 5150.
I saw the band is influenced by bands as Lamb of God, Arch Enemy, Megadeth etc. Can we hear those influences in your music or is there a ‘Chugger ’sound?
You can definitely hear those influences in our songs, but we do have our own sound. Our sound has changed somewhat, as every member is bringing something new to the table. In the earlier recordings Robert was basically the only songwriter. Obviously our sound is bound to change when there are more songwriters who all have different preferences and taste. But our basic sound is that our music should be groovy and heavy, like the southern metal, but as melodic as the Gothenburg sound.
The new album ‘Of Man and Machine’ is your second album I think. What can you tell about the album?
As mentioned earlier, there have been more songwriters working on this album and therefore this album is going to be more diverse and experimental. There are more tricky but groovier rhythms and more elaborate guitars at work. Ever since I joined Chugger, I taken the roll as backup vocalist to complement Davids fantastic vocals. This has given the new album a great depth vocally with a ton of layers.
Who is responsible for the music and the lyrics?
Everyone is a part of the songwriting process, though the lyrics are mainly written by David.
Is there a message in the album, something you want to tell the people with your songs?
The album is about humanity´s self-destructive behavior and depravity alongside increasing technological advances. We think that our title “Of Man and Machine” really captures the essence of what we’re trying to mediate.
When will the album be released?
Of man and machine will be released on April the 24th and will be available at every major streaming service and will also be printed physically. We would love to print some vinyl’s as well, but it depends on the demand for it.
I just saw you released a first single ‘Turning Point’. Is this what we can expect when we listen to the hole album?
Yes and no. Every song has its own “Chugger-sound” to it, but still retaining the heaviness and groove like Turning Point has. Why don’t you wait and find out for yourself!
We will be releasing another single shortly which will have its own story video as well. We’re really excited to show you the whole album but unfortunately we have a timeline to follow.
Will there be a release party?
Of course there will be a release party! We’re having the party at Valand in Gothenburg on May the 1st with Tar and Despite.
Is there a difference between Chugger on album and Chugger on stage?
I would say that there is. We really love putting up a memorable show with theatrics and a bone-crushing atmosphere. The energy captured in the recordings absolutely come alive when we’re doing a show and we’re going all in at every concert.
Is there a tour after the release and yes, which countries will you be visiting?
We’re still in the process of planning a tour so I can’t give you a timeline regarding where this will happen, but it will happen!