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Zak Tell (Clawfinger)


SR: Tell us about what’s going on with Clawfinger nowadays. What projects are you working under and what’s on your schedule?
ZT: Well we’ve been touring since January more or less and we finished the last club dates at the end of May, now we have a couple of European festivals around Europe and then it’s time to start focusing on the new album which we hope we can have ready reasonably soon, recorded by Christmas is the plan although that may prove to be just a little bit too optimistic, time will tell when we manage to get enough new material together!

SR: What was the fans’ reaction at your song dedicated to World Cup 2006? That’s an awesome idea to make it available for free!
ZT: I don’t know, we haven’t recieved alot of reactions but the people who have said anything about it have said it’s a cool track and have liked it! I guess we should have released it earlier and done more promotion for it but we decided to let the song live a life of it’s own and we only made it for fun so whatever happens with it happens! I’m just happy to have made a track that is a bit more hardcoer than all the shitty poppy football songs that are out there!

SR: What would you like to mention about your latest trip to Russia? What’s left in yuor memory?
ZT: Amazing fans going fucking crazy & partying with us before show, during the show and after the show, we have nothing but love for the russian fans, they are very dedicated and together with them we always set the clubs on fire! Big respect to you all!

SR: You’re not new to Russia. So what’s changing with every time you come here?
ZT: Well as a band on the road you never have much time to really see what’s actually going on in the different cities & countries you visit but I have noticed that people seem more positive these days, there’s a larger varity of personalities that are allowed to be who they want to be, there is more colour & more hope but I still think there is alot of corruption going on behind the fasades! As long as the fans are good then we’re happy!:D

SR: On your latest album “Hate Yourself With Style” there are two catchy and speedy tracks such as “Hate Yourself With Style” and “Breakout”. Have you had any doubts and thoughts to come up with this kind of a music direction for the whole album?
ZT: We just go wherever the songs take us & try to make them as good as possible, if a song is fast, slow, hard or soft is nothing we worry or think about, whatever comes out of our heads comes out and depending on our mood it becomes what it becomes! Jocke was the mastermind behind this album and he’s always been more of a hardcore guy who has liked thrash metal and more hardcore stuff, this album was his moment to shine and he did one hell of a job! We just joined him and fed off his positive maniac energy!

SR: Could you tell us more about the tune called “Right To Rape”? And who made the decision for “Dirty Lies” to be the first single?
ZT: “Right to Rape” is about how men in society can get away with terrible crimes simply becos’ they have been the stronger sex throughout history! Any man with half a fucking brain will understand & respect when a woman says no and will be able to realize when a woman is not having fun anymore! There is no right to rape EVER! Unfortunetely alot of guys seem to think that the decision is theirs, that couldn’t be further from the truth! The record company decided that Dirty Lies was to be the first single, we let them have their way as we wanted to get off to a good start with the new lable and we figured they should know what is a good single, looking back at the decision I’m not sure they were right but such is life, win some lose some!

SR: How do you stimulate yourself in your everyday life and before you’re up on stage? What are your sources of energy – sport, relaxation, travelling, alcohol?
ZT: In everyday life I stimulate myself in different ways depending on what it is I want to achieve, I drink when partying with friends, watch alot of films when I need to relax & turn of my brain from the real world! Music is also an important escape for me and an inspiration and I can’t live without it! I don’t do any sports but I have a 4 year old son & he keeps me on my toes and we have a summer cottage that always needs to be fixed & improved and I enjoy doing practicle stuff around the place! Before I go on stage I just try and stretch my muscles a bit but mostly I just get nervous and go to the toilet all the time!:D Drink alot after the shows & never do sports although I do like swimming when given the chance!

SR: What do all of you do besides Clawfinger? Are there any priorities and something that you value besides making music?
ZT: My family & friends are what i treasure most alongside Clawfinger, they are both very important parts of my life in different ways and I need them both in order to feel like a whole & happy human being!

SR: What kind of music is most popular nowadays in Sweden? Do you listen to a radio?
ZT: I have no idea which music is most popular in Sweden right now, I don’t follow the charts and I don’t listen to the radio, I don’t have the time and I prefere to chose myself what I want to listen to!

SR: Tell us more about the recording studio you share together with Meshuggah?
ZT: Well it’s a nice corner of a nice building in a nice suburb and it’s our little hideaway where we can pretend it’s us against the rest of the world! Alot of male bonding is done there from time to time and it’s great to have our very own space & as much time as we need. We’ve just built a second office/recording room, rehearsal room in the basement and the bar & lounge room are almost ready as well, it’s a sweet place! Follow the link for tecnical info!

SR: What genre and music direction has the lack of attention and unpopular now but will strike back with a bigger bang in the near future?
ZT: Well, it seems that any band that is original enough to try and create something new always have a hard time getting any attention from the media and at the same time all the commercial bands that make shithits get all the space in papers & magazines! I think people are getting tired of this evolution and soon the listeners will start looking towards the more original stuff in order to stimulate the sides of themselves that demand more food for thought! I don’t think it will be one particular type of music, it will just be that people see through the plastic surface and want bands that write pop, rock that has a pulse and a heart to it!

SR: It’s tough enough to find most of your b-sides tracks so are there any plans to release all of your remixes, bonus tracks and b-sides as a Cd?
ZT: Well, in this time and age most of our stuff can be found on the internet so I’m not sure how much sense it would make to release a CD of b-sides and remixes but it is a fun idea and maybe when the time is right and it feels like a smart thing to do then we will! We’ll just have to wait and see how the filesharing, downloading evolution continues, who knows, maybe cd’s will cease to exist in the very near future!?

SR: What would you like to wish to those who’s eager to become musicians?
ZT: Good luck cos’ you’re going to need it! Stick to your guns, make music the way you hear it in your head and don’t try to sound like another band, originality and belief in your own visions is the key! Last but not least don’t expect to be able to make a living out of it, have a back up plan for when shit doesn’t work out….I wish I had one!;D Well thanx for having me for this interview, be cool, be yourself & remember that music is an eargasm, not a 3 minute video on MTV with girls in bikinis!

July 2006

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