There is a band making some noise here in Sweden today, and it’s Knogjärn (=Knuckleduster) from the town of Karlstad. One reason for that is an acclaimed video that deals with recent refugee influx. I saw that video and got very interested in the band and the band’s music, listened a lot to their debut-album that is out now. I really think that this is of the most interesting bands in Sweden right now!
So I rang up the singer, Kim who suffered from a big cold, and were on the way with the band for a gig in Gothenburg at Sticky Fingers.
Hi Kim! What’s up?
“Got a nasty cold, otherwise it’s pretty good. We’re on our way to Sticky Fingers for a gig together with Kill the kong!”
Sweet! But maybe you could introduce yourself and the band for those who haven’t heard you before?
(Here it got a bit crazy, some bad connection so my recording of this first question is kind of bad, but I will try to summon what was said)
“Well, we are Knogjärn, we play metal core and we’re from Karlstad. The band consists of me, Kim on vocals, Rasmus on the bass, Markus on guitar and Johan on drums.
We actually called us In Spite when we started, and we played the same kind of music as we do today, but with English lyrics. Then we made a song called Knogjärn, and then we also decided to switch name. That song was in Swedish, and we all thought that, that was our thing, it was really fun to sing in Swedish and play the same music. Maybe not unique, but not that common.
We thought that Knogjärn (Knuckleduster) was a really fitting name. It kind of spoke. And people would know that we don’t actually play dance-music!”
Yes, that is kind of unusual, and actually my next question, the fact that you chose to sing in Swedish?
“We felt that it was really fun, and it sounded good. But it’s damn difficult, you can’t hide that much. And there is a risk in the fact that it could be a lot of nonsense if people understand the lyrics. In English you can always write something that sounds cool, and then build from that. But with Swedish we really have to stand for our lyrics, and that’s also very fun!”
Well, you have, in fact, unlike many other bands that sing about dragons and demons, lyrics that says something…
“We try anyway. People can interpret any way of course, but we try, it’s in Swedish it has to be real as well. So I guess that’s why.”
I like it, it easier for us ordinary to relate to the lyrics.
“I’m glad you like it!”
I don’t know what goals and plans you have for the band, but won’t this do it harder to reach outside the borders?
“Well, it is. We haven’t really thought so much about it. We’re pretty happy if we just get the opportunity to travel around and play. But of course, the goal is to be able to not have another job. But it can still work, there are countries where we can play anyway. But it isn’t something we’ve thought a lot of so far.”
You are quite new in my book. I met with Incarnit 1½ month ago and that was the first time I heard about you guys. But it kind of feels like things are picking up for you now?
“Yes I think it has. First of all, when we changed our name and separated us from the crowd, and from there it has only grew. And after the release of the video “Fly för ditt liv” (=Run for your life), it had a great impact, so it’s been a lot in a short time.”
Yes, the video, you took a pretty clear position there… There are not so many who take the position today.
“No, we wanted… It’s difficult, it could very easily be misunderstood, and we were kind of afraid it would be. But the response has been great! We got what we wanted. It’s very easy to paint yourself into a corner, get a label, but we just wanted to call attention to a problem, we wanted to something about things that actually is going on and that is real. Many people who are very vulnerable. There aren’t that many, especially in this genre that does. It felt like the right thing to do. That someone does it, even in this forum.”
Yeah, I liked that you did! I showed the video for my girlfriend, she was really excited over it. First of all, a damn good song and then a really nice looking video.
“Cool! Really great to hear! “
I think it’s really cool with the news-anchor and then that rather brutal screaming voice… How was recording the video?
“It was so damn funny! We didn’t know what it would be like. First of all, this rather serious thing with the refugees, and then, the recording was pretty fun… try to be all serious and pretend to be an anchorman…. I was kind of torn in parts. But it was fun as hell, recorded with green-screen, so I felt kind of stupid, sitting there being a serious newsman that sang, then the verse, then talking and then screaming and all of a sudden a lot of clips where I just go bananas!”
Yeah, I actually could see that you had a blast!
“I never done any acting before… so it was kind of out there! It’s our guitar-player that makes the videos, he’s made a lot of videos to a lot of bands in Karlstad.”
There seems to be a big market in Karlstad for that, a lot of bands…
“Yes, well it’s expensive to do a video, and everybody wants a good price. And he just stumbled in to it when he did our videos, and many people has realized that he can do it. He is a teacher so he can “use” students for these recordings. So it’s just luck really.”
This is your debut album?
“It’s not the first thing we’ve released but it is our first… or… yes it’s our first debut-album!! Hahaha! First real album.”
A lot of times when I listen to bands in your genre I think that after maybe three songs it gets kind of tiresome. I don’t feel that when I listen to your album… Think you have a great mix of songs. Is that something you work on?
“Great to hear! We’ve had a lot of songs to choose from. But we’ve removed some of them. We do want a variation and thread and still sound a bit the same. It is deliberate, but also just coincidental. We don’t want it to be boring. It can’t get to straight forward, but we like it simple. So, deliberate in some ways.”
Then you have a song-title which also is the name of the band, and I for one really like that!
“That’s actually the first song we made.”
So it’s kind of your signature-song now?
“Yeah, that’s exactly what it got!”
And now you’re on the way to Gothenburg and Sticky Fingers! (Kim; it’s going to awesome!). Do you get any other gigs?
“Pretty much actually. We have a new booking-guy. Maybe not every weekend, but it keeps coming in.”
I got a tip that you will do a show with Incarnit in December…
“Well, I’m not sure if we can do it. A bit unsure. We hope to, it depends.”
I don’t really have that much more to ask you for the time being, just… who of you are uncle to Jakob?
“Ehh… it’s Markus! I think…
(Mumble in the background)-… yeah it’s Markus… ehhh why…?
I looked up your album on Ginza.se (webstore in Sweden), and in the review section I saw that, some Jakob wrote: “I’m so proud of you uncle!”
“Hahaha…. Yeah, that’s really sweet! J”
Well, that’s all I had right now. Thank you so much for taking the time. Good luck tonight, and maybe we’ll see each other in the future!
“We will! Have a great time!”
That’s the end of my interview with Kim. Looking forward to hear more from the band. Fucking love the music! Before I give you the Spotify-link to the album, I have to show you the video for the song “När du ljuger” (=”When you lie”), such amazing song that almost makes me cry evertime I hear it!
Here you can find Knogjärn:
And here is the debut-album!