Archive for TEOG

The End Of Grace – Infinite Shadows Of Memories

Posted in 'Core, CD, Metal with tags , , , , , on 9th May 2017 by Pieni

The End Of Grace
“Infinite Shadows Of Memories”
metalcore
Released: 10th May 2017
by Illumnirec

18268551_1450111981677758_1613674322985679302_n_zpsrjrhlus2

Where I come from there’s a saying that goes something like “who awaits always achieves”. And then someone twisted it, creating a new and pretty negative version, that says “who awaits gets desperate”. The latter translated my state of mind in the recent past regarding a full-length record by The End Of Grace, which I’ve been waiting for since the band got together. But it’s finally here and I’m living the original version of the saying, as waiting for “Infinite Shadows Of Memories” totally paid off. Between the two EPs “Lost In Transition” and “Unity”, there had already been an evolution in the songwriting, its features emboldened; but “Infinite…” is more than an upgrade of said features, it’s a new path straying away from the traditional metalcore they’ve begun with.

The crystal-clear clean tones have been replaced by somber, deep ones, still contrasting perfectly with Kriss’ growls; the focus on breakdowns is water under the bridge, the main priority now based on the musicality and not on sounding tougher than leather – even if they do sound relentless nevertheless. It’s just a whole new level of melody, more mature.

The ominous catchiness of “Life On The Line”, the yearning of the title-track, the collision of opposites of “Breathe”, the daring “Ride The Dark”… This record is a rollercoaster of emotions and shows TEoG pushing the proverbial envelope with their music. Hell, a whole stack of envelopes! It’s not even clear what it should be called anymore, but whether you go for “blues-core, deathcore or metalcore” (quoting the upbeat “We Really Don’t Know Yo”), this is The End Of Grace.

5/5

Renata “Pieni” Lino

The End Of Grace – Unity

Posted in 'Core, CD with tags , , , , , on 3rd June 2016 by Pieni

The End Of Grace
“Unity” [EP]
metalcore
Released: 3rd June 2016
Via Ilumnirec

 photo unity_zpsgfrwjfi9.jpg

If you know The End Of Grace and have been following their story, you may find this title a bit ironic, given the recent major line-up change in the band. I see it the other way around, a tribute to what makes us one and not what divides us (check the words on the artwork – they’re not exactly random). First of all, the departure of 3/5 of the band had nothing to do with falling outs – it’s just life and its usual way of forcing people to make hard choices; they may not partake in the songwriting and performance anymore but they’ll always be a part of TEoG. And then there’s founder Jimmy Bergman’s passion for this project, which will keep it alive no matter what – a true unity with music.

Now that you have my two pennies on the title, let’s go for what really matters. When I’ve last spoken to the boys (interview here) they told me there would be more breakdowns They weren’t fooling around! All songs are much richer in that department, making them sound heavier, thicker. Well, all except the ballad “Fighting For Another Day” (I still smile at the term “ballad” when Kriss Clark is busting up his throat to growl like that, but there’s no other thing to call such bleeding melody) – this one has its own heaviness and there’s no need for extra breakdowns for that.

There’s also more riffs/more elaborate guitar structure, more meaningful lyrics and a better complicity between the aforementioned growls of Kriss and the clean tones of Johan. I had the chance to see “The End Of Grace” (yes, they named a song after themselves) in concert (report here) and witness how such briskness works live. Well let me tell you that “If You Fall”, “Never Break” and “Trigger” will cause the same restless effect. This is what metalcore is all about.

It’s been already three years since the release of “Lost In Transition” but it seems like yesterday, as those songs keep rolling on my playlists. I’m pretty certain the same will happen with “Unity”.

5/5

Renata “Pieni” Lino

The End Of Grace recruits Andreas Hagman as their new drummer

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on 15th June 2015 by Pieni

It’s been announced today that Andreas Hagman is the new drummer in THE END OF GRACE, after Thomas Manell‘s departure in April. Andreas, who’s recently joined THROUGH THE CRACKS as a temporary replacement for Daniel Holmgren (currently studying in the USA), has found a permanent place among the metalcore band from Gothenburg.

The band has shared one of the tryout songs that convinced them Andreas was the right man for the job:

TEoG are working on their upcoming new release, which should be a 5-track EP. Now that the line-up is complete again, the process should be faster.

www.facebook.com/TheEndOfGrace

Skitarg w/ support – Gothenburg, Sweden

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , , , , , , on 14th April 2015 by Pieni

BatAAr, The End Of Grace, Skitarg
Sticky Fingers, Gothenburg (SE)
10th April 2015
Promoted by NEMIS GBG

 photo skitarg01_zpsdywxhoh1.jpg

Clown metal is a big thing in Sweden, at least when it comes down to Skitarg. But support acts BatAAr and The End Of Grace caused quite a fuss as well that night.

 photo bataar1_zpsvgxsjmry.jpgDespite my often trips to Sweden and the crash-course I’ve taken last year on its native language, I’m still not able to maintain a conversation in Swedish (reading is okay, talking not so much). This means I can’t tell you what BatAAr-Seb said to the screaming crowd that welcomed the band. But then again, it’s the music that counts, right? They themselves must think the same, as their borderline visual kei image is toned down once they’re on stage, in comparison to what you see in their videos and promo photos.
Between the exquisite prog of “Riskbreaker”, the spirited melodies of “The Distance” and “Owls And Snakes”, or the extremeness of “Refrain From Your Porcelain”, BatAAr’s sound may be hard to label in matters of genre, but pretty easy to do so in terms of quality: DAMN GOOD! Adding that to how comfortable they are on stage and how they give themselves to what they’re playing, it all can only result in a show worth attending to. (5/5)

 photo bataar2_zpsjrwq65nh.jpg

https://www.facebook.com/BatAAr

 photo teog1_zps52y9pbfy.jpgJust like BatAAr, The End Of Grace also come from Gothenburg, but since Kriss is British and addressed the audience in English, I can be a bit more thorough regarding the singer’s speech. For instance, I can tell you about the at least half a dozen times he said “oh my God you’re fucking crazy” and “we love you all”. If you’ve been following our posts on these guys, you know I’ve been to quite a few TEoG shows, so trust me when I say that Kriss wasn’t kissing ass – this crowd was the most vibrant I’ve ever seen on a TEoG show. There was even a wall of death at the beginning of “Beneath The Waves”, right after a cool, melodic new intro – guess they got inspired by Frodd‘s remix of it for the B-side of their latest single “Final Burden”.
They’ve been hard-working on their upcoming debut album and less than a month since the release of the aforementioned “Final Burden”, they were ready to introduce another new song – a song about being in a band, how that means “brotherhood”, and so it’s only natural that it was named after the band itself. The response to “The End Of Grace”, the song, was as massive as to the rest of the gig, which makes me believe the album will get a killer feedback once it’s finally out.
And because of that brotherhood, this being drummer Thomas last show felt like “losing an arm”. He got quite an ovation from the crowd and then BatAAr-Seb got on stage to help Kriss sing the last song “Fist Face Bleed”. Thomas couldn’t have asked for a better farewell show. (5/5)

 photo teog2_zpsdcvanp32.jpg

https://www.facebook.com/TheEndOfGrace

 photo skitarg3_zpsvsunz0yv.jpg

The house had been crowded for both supporting acts, but for Skitarg it was fully packed, leaving no doubt that they lived up to their headlining status.
Sure, their creepy-clown makeup and flashy outfits cause an impressive visual impact, but if we strip those away, we’re still left with a very active and powerful performance. So if you’re thinking that Skitarg’s popularity is only due to their looks, think again. And songs such as “Jag Bryter Nacken Av Din Häst”, “Du Har Keps Och Knarkar” or “Utvecklingsstörd” made the crowd go wild in mosh circles and loud sing-alongs, proving my point.
At some point, close to the end, TEoG-Kriss joined on stage, not to sing but just to fool around with Barnet. Sadly I had already put away the camera, as the aforementioned mosh was too vicious for my bones’ sake and I had retreated to a safe point at the back. Yeah, it was that kind of show, that kind of party. (5/5)

 photo skitarg2_zpscf22jnjz.jpg

https://www.facebook.com/skitarg

A big thanks to Martin Efternamn for the help with the Skitarg song-titles.

Text & photos by Renata “Pieni” Lino.

Thomas Manell leaves The End Of Grace

Posted in News with tags , , , , on 1st March 2015 by Pieni

On April 10th, The End Of Grace will support Skitarg at the legendary Sticky Fingers, Gothenburg. This will be drummer Thomas Manell‘s last show:

 photo _DSC0821_zpsef2a8dvs.jpg “Hey guys!

The time has come for me to move on in my musical endeavours. Metalcore was a new genre for me when I joined and as it has turned out its not what I’m looking for.

I want to thank the guys for a great time with everything I have experienced and lots of love to all the people I have met out there and through fb/instagram. I know that The End Of Grace is going to go far so support them just as awesome as you’ve done so far. smile emoticon

See you in Gothenburg- witch I will still attend on.

/Thomas

Thomas also recorded the band’s latest single, “Final Burden”, which will be released soon. The “B-side” for this single will be a remix of “Beneath The Waves” done by TEoG‘s friend Frodd.

www.facebook.com/TheEndOfGrace

One year later – interview with THE END OF GRACE

Posted in Interview with tags , , , , on 2nd December 2014 by Pieni

Formed in December 2012 between Stockholm and Gothenburg, THE END OF GRACE has been under my radar practically ever since. I made sure to be present on their live debut, at Rockbitch Boat 2013, and took the chance to interview them at the time (read it here). Now, exactly one year later, the boys played the same event… and there I went again, and had a chat with them, again. I sat down with Johan (clean vocals/bass), Jimmy (guitar) and Thomas (drums), and eventually Kriss (growls) joined us. And what was supposed to be just a quick catching-u, ended up being quite a long conversation, both riveting and amusing.

 photo _DSC0567_zps9b5a3eeb.jpg

Renata: It’s been exactly one year since your first show, but you’ve played quite a few meanwhile. What was the best and worst experience you’ve had so far?
Jimmy Bergman: The best experience was when we were on tour with OUTTRIGER. It was so much fun!
Thomas Manell: Actually… no! ‘Cause Johan wasn’t there!
Jimmy: Yeah, I know, but it was really amazing for us!
Thomas: What do you have to say about that, Johan?
Johan Hagman: Well, I had the best time of my life when you were out there touring, so… (laughs)

Renata: So for you, Johan, what was your best show?
Johan: It was NOT the OUTTRIGER tour… (laughs). I don’t know. It was really fun last night, actually. It really felt like people stepped out to the plate. After one year we’ve hopefully grown together that much, so it felt good, it felt cool. I think that was one of the best shows. But soundwise it must have been Sticky Fingers because they have the best sound. Now the worst show…
Jimmy: That was also the OUTTRIGER tour (laughs). There were like… four people!
Johan: Ha, now I get it. But we had so many shows with crappy sound…
Thomas: Kryptan…
Jimmy: Definitely Kryptan!
Johan: Oooooh! Sure, sure! Kryptan!
Thomas: It was very well set, we got hotel rooms, food, beer…
Johan: Too much beer…
Thomas: True, we had too much beer. Anyway, they took care of us but the show itself was just… terrible!
Johan: The sound was terrible and we got drunk. After that we decided not to drink again before shows.
 photo _DSC0040_zps5cfc20ac.jpgThomas: Robert (Åkerlund, guitar) was sooooo pissed, yelling at the sound guy. We had programmed all the sound before, the soundcheck took like one hour and a half, two hours – which is extremely long for a soundcheck – and then when we’re supposed to start playing, everything that they had memorized is gone! As for the funniest experience, I think it was with SEVENTRIBE. That tour we played in Linköping, Gothenburg and Stockholm? That was really much fun. And the Rockbitch Boat this year and last year. It’s a good event, there are lots of people… and we get to hang out.

Renata: I remember that last year, your first show was also the first time the five of you were playing together. That’s still your MO, rehearsing separately?
Johan: Didn’t you hear our soundcheck last night?
Thomas: That was rehearsal! (laughs)
Johan: That was the first time we’ve all played the new song (“Final Burden”) together, so that was rehearsal. We can’t rehearse but people can tell that we focus on the positive sides. We do what we do and it works.

Renata: Speaking about “Final Burden”, the reception by the crowd was so great! Were you expecting that?
Johan: I think people are embracing the new sound. That new song is harder and I think people like that. I saw what bands the kids out there had on their t-shirts and it’s right down our alley. And we’ve been talking about sounds for soooo long… So if one song, that no one ever heard, gets that reaction…
Thomas: It’s such a good thing!

Renata: Which reminds me that you, Johan, were afraid of ruining the TEoG sound given your hardcore preference/influence, but after listening both “Beneath The Waves” and now “Final Burden”, I don’t think anything’s ruined at all – just as I expected!
Johan: Ah, but “Beneath The Waves” was written long before!
Jimmy: It was maybe the first song we did with THE END OF GRACE.
Johan: Anyway, it was never a problem. We’re so open now, we have the sound that we’re aiming for. I was unsure at the time but it’s really never been a problem.

Renata: So in comparison to “Lost In Transition”, what can the fans expect from this upcoming new album? photo _DSC0291_zps8ea75ad2.jpg
Jimmy: Faster riffs. And more riffs in the songs.
Johan: Yes, much more riffs! More breakdowns too.
Jimmy: Really fast drums…
Thomas: Yeah, we’ll see about that… (laughs).
Johan: Cleaner. Better.
Jimmy: Harder.
Johan: More… us, in my opinion. More Kriss, more me, more Jimmy, more Robert, more Thomas… You know, we can send a metalcore song to Thomas and then he grooves it up. That’s the funny thing – we want the drums in a certain way but then he… I can’t explain it! It gets groovy! All of a sudden it’s groovy. What the fuck, this works! It’s not supposed to, it was supposed to be a drum machine! (laughs) But yeah, faster, heavier, and even more focused on the choruses.

Renata: On that first gig, Robert was still a stand-in guitarist, replacing Sulan Von Zoomlander. What did he bring to the band when he became a permanent member of TEoG?
Thomas: Yesterday me and Johan were talking about how Jimmy and Robert work together as guitarists. Not just how they play but what they do on stage – taking each side, jumping on the speakers and just giving it all to the audience. That’s one of the things that tells you how well they work together.
Johan: They have a healthy rivalry. If Jimmy does something, Robert has to do it too but he has to do it a bit better. And then Jimmy has to best him… you know?
Thomas: And you said that it makes YOU want to do better!
Johan: Exactly! Hopefully I can make them do what they do and feel comfortable around me, ‘cause I can’t play bass that well, I just focus on banging my head and then they can focus on doing their shit. And then all of a sudden they’re standing on speakers! (laughs) It feels like they get fired up from each other and it’s “fuck it, I have to do better than him”.

Renata: So you’re more consistent, more whole as a band?
Johan: I hope so! But it comes with baggage. We’ve been playing together for so long (Jimmy, Johan and Robert played in ROAD TO REPENT before THE END OF GRACE) and we all know each other so well that it’s easy to fall into the trap of doing it as we used to. The same problems, the same issues, same discussions… That hasn’t been a problem yet but I believe it won’t be as we’re more open now.
Renata: And you’ve been through that before, so now you know how to find a way.
Thomas: You’ve learnt from it.
Johan: And especially with this band, where we never see each other. With the other band it was three times a week, but this time we never see each other.
Renata: You don’t have time to get tired of each other.
Johan: Exactly! It’s a blessing and a curse (laughs).

 photo _DSC0245_zpsb1d08d31.jpg

Renata: Last time we also talked about making a video (which you ended up doing for “Beneath The Waves”) and how the budget was the biggest obstacle. What we didn’t talk about was – if you had an unlimited budget, how would you like to make a video?
Thomas: Personally, I’m not a big fans of videos where you just see the band standing and playing in a certain scenario. I’d like to try animations and stuff like that. Try to build a story – fiction or whatever. That would be cool.
Renata: Any special storyline in your head already?
Thomas: No, that would depend on the song.
Renata: Something according to the lyrics then. And you guys?
Jimmy: I’m with Thomas. I don’t like to see just the band, I want a story behind it. It’s more fun to see.
Renata: Animation too or… ?
Jimmy: I hope for a big production actually. Girls… cars… you name it.
Johan (while Thomas laughs): What the fuck?! Have you even heard what you’ve said? “We want girls, we want cars”… whaaat??? (laughs).
Thomas: One of my favorite bands nowadays, I think I actually like their videos more than their music… (pauses) well, they’re both good.
Johan: They are called THE END OF GRACE(laughs).
Thomas: They’re called OK GO – definitely no metalcore but I love their music videos. They’re in them themselves where they do all these fucked up things. In one (“This Too Shall Pass”) they have these Rube Goldberg machines and they jump from one to another, just like a domino. They drop one domino and it goes all the way around through the whole music video. That kind of things! So it’s interesting to see the video.
Renata: It catches your attention.
Jimmy: Girls… cars… (laughs).
Johan: BRUDAR (girls in Swedish)! Well I don’t have a problem with a performance video. I think it’s cool, more old-school-ish, but it depends on how you do it. it’s not good to see a performance video shot from one angle, you have to do something else, something special. Like in BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE’s video “Tears Don’t Fall” where they introduce the water, and then you have their song “Hand Of Blood” where they go SLAYER and it’s raining blood and shit like that. That’s cool. Of course I could see something with a storyline and I think lyrical meaning works really well.

Renata: You’ve told me last year how the expression “deathcore popcorn” came about. Tell me now about the “angry pop” hashtag that I’ve been seeing in all your Instragram photos!
Jimmy: Yeaaaaah… that was me. Again (grins). There’s this band that I won’t say the name where the guy hates metalcore. He called it “angry pop”. But I actually think it’s perfect for us! We ARE an angry pop band! So I took it!

Thomas: And Kriss is here! We can do all the questions again… (laughs).

Renata: Is there anything about this past year that you want to share? Something that’s happened or that you’ve planned for the near future?
Jimmy: World domination! (laughs).
Thomas: Jimmy is moving to Gothenburg, close to Kriss, and I only have two hours of driving to Gothenburg from where I live…
Renata: So it’s not world domination, it’s world chaos…
Thomas: Ha ha, yeah, it’s world chaos! But I think that’s going to change a bit how we’ll work from now on. We will be able to rehearse and Johan and Robert can come down once in a while.
Kriss Panic: I happen to know a flashy new studio.
Johan: Progress! We’ve got a practice room! And we’ve got an album…
Renata: Any idea of when it’s going to be released?
Johan: Let’s say… we don’t. It’s better that way. We’ve got the songs. That’s it for now.

Renata: What about “Final Burden”? Will it be released as a single?
Johan: It’s just a new song. I don’t know about the other guys, we haven’t talked face-to-face about it yet, but in my opinion it’s just a new song.
Thomas: You’re so mysterious! (laughs)

Renata: I think it’s good to keep some things to yourselves. Nowadays things are posted on the internet so on-the-spot, every idea that later it doesn’t sound so good anymore or just can’t be fulfilled. I remember, for instance, someone posting “TEoG is so unstable!”, when Sulan left, because you’ve had all those line-up changes before. But that’s common in the beginning. So many major bands went through it but at the time there was no Facebook to post about it and so you’d only come to know the line-up that would be playing a show or recording an album.
 photo _DSC0559_zpsaf7a2a41.jpg
Johan: It’s so easy to post stuff on Facebook. It’s better to be a bit more careful. But when it comes to stability, this band it’s not unstable AT ALL. There will be no more line-up changes. I don’t think any of us would want to keep on playing if someone would quit right now. It’s a special feeling. If Kriss would leave, how would we ever find someone who could… what did Robert say? It was in Swedish and I can’t find the right words in English.
Thomas: Oh yeah, last night! It was so beautiful!
Renata: Call him!
Johan: He’s asleep, he’s hung-over (laughs). It was something like Kriss being able to suck the audience in and make them feel like they’re right there in your face.
Thomas: Exactly! Thar Kriss can make that person in the back of the room feel like he’s in front of the stage. His way of entertaining. He really REALLY entertains the audience. That is something that’s unique and it has become a sort of a trademark for us. We’re a live band after all.
Kriss: This is maybe weird for a singer to say, but my inspiration on stage isn’t any singer. It’s actually Jimi Hendrix. I see myself inside Jimi. I don’t always sing the same way ‘cause I think that makes a better show. If you’ve seen us a bunch of times, and you see the same thing over and over again, I think it gets boring. So I change it. Not all of the time, I’d say 90% of it it’s the same, but I switch things around a little bit. I think music is organic and you can change things, especially on a live show. When you write music, in your head it’s dead on. but once you’ve sung it or played a bunch of times, you think “oh, I wish I’ve done this way, I wish I’ve done it that way” and it’s always a kind of progression. Maybe not so much with the guitars, but with vocals it’s fun to do.
Johan: And there’s room for it.
Kriss: That’s why I love you guys because none of you goes “uh, what the fuck?”. It’s fun, you know? Have fun on the fucking stage! Enjoy what you do! That’s the more important thing. And the crowd sees you having fun and that you’re digging it… We’re on a journey for every show, so follow us!
Thomas: Like yesterday. I think we had a great crowd, considering the fact that we were the first band out and people were still drinking in their cabins or whatever. But we had a great crowd who built a fucking mosh pit! That gives you a special feeling.

Renata: That thing you’ve said of “enjoying what you do” being the most important thing. I totally agree. I think you have to please yourselves first. It pisses me off when some people accuse a band of disregarding their fans just because they wanted to try something new.
 photo _DSC0251_zpsb1e38e02.jpgKriss: I think it’s a fine line. As a band, from a business side – which I deal with (Kriss is a promoter and band booker for Klubb Defused at Sticky Fingers) – sometimes you have to put yourself out for others. We are a metalcore band, by definition, and within those boundaries you can mess around but… SLIPKNOT have made pretty much the same album for four albums but they love it. They’ve now changed their sound and developed it. I think that’s the way forward. I don’t think we’ll be needing to make a radical departure from our sound, we’re not going to turn into SABATON anytime soon, but you can evolve, you can grow the music. And for us, the way we’re set up – living in different parts of the country – we do our best to put up the best possible show that we can. But I think that from day one it’s just been about the energy. Pure pure energy. I believe that if you’re going to do a show and people come and pay money to see that shit, you’re not going to just stand there. We’re not a dance band, we’re not going to be still… we get into it, it’s fuckin metal! You shake your head and jump around the stage. That makes for a great show, it’s what people want to see. If you’re on a boat like this, with 30 bands, how do you separate yourself from the others? I figure you just go in the attitude “I’m going to blow everyone away in this fucking killer live show”. And I also think heavy metal fans are very forgiving about certain things. To me the most important thing is to see a killer live show, people giving it all. I think the crowd respects that more. I know a lot of bands who can stand there and be super tight but that’s not a live show to me, that’s listening to a cd. And if I want to listen to a cd, I can do that back home. I want to see some guys shake their heads up and down. I had my club night and I saw I KILLED THE PROM QUEEN. They played at Sticky Fingers at the small stage and I’ve never seen a band make that stage look so big. It’s the tiniest stage, you’ve seen us on there, and they just made it seem huge. And I think that’s the key, if you can nail that. Last night the stage was really small but we made it look fucking huge. We opened up. We’ve played with some bands and they’ve not learned how to use the stage yet, while we just kind of go in and… If there’s something to jump on, we’re on it! If something provides me a fucking hangoff, I’m doing it! I’m going to bring this fucking whole show into your face. Jump into the audience… I’ll join your moshing! You know, let’s do this!
Thomas: It gets more natural to do that because we’re not getting together that often. So every time we meet for a gig it’s like… I’m going to be super Swedish now, but it’s like when you let the cows out in the spring, they go super happy. photo _DSC0075_zps7968191c.jpg
Johan: We’re like cattle, that’s what you’re saying…
Thomas: Yeah, we’re like cattle, man (laughs). I love these guys, both as persons and as my fellow musicians. Being up on stage and playing with them it’s the best thing I know. And that reflects itself, people can tell. You can go up and do a great show as a band but it can be fake, like a built-up show. But it comes natural for us. Being us is enough. (Addressing Kriss) what was it that you said about a year ago, in Stockholm, at Pub Anchor? “I’m just being me” or something.
Kriss: Oh, right! “I don’t do pressure, I just do me”. In the beginning I had nerves doing shows with the boys, but now it’s just a relaxed and calm feeling. It’s like a relationship you have with someone, in a sense that when you first start you’re always a bit tentative but then, after a certain amount of time… It’s like my relationship with my girlfriend, I wake up in the morning and it’s just natural. And that’s what it’s like being on stage. Right now it’s just natural, everyone’s very comfortable with what’s going on. I have to say I’m super stoked that Johan’s back ‘cause he’s poured the energy back into the band, especially on this boat. We just missed that, it’s just not the same. Niklas (Aggemyr, THROUGH THE CRACKS) did a great job but we can’t replicate Johan. He’s that little bit of glue that binds us together.
Thomas: And for those of you who can’t see it, Johan has a tear in his eye. (laughs)

Kriss: One thing I love is watching all of us develop as human beings, not just as musicians. Like Johan getting married, I’m getting married next year… we are all in a different place, we’re not that band just going out trying to score chicks. We’re just about playing music, literally. And I think that’s more positive. We’ll have a drink, as we did last night, have some fun, but it’s more focused on the music. And I think that’s a more positive thing for us because that really comes out. We’re not worrying about other shit and we’re more together as a band because of that.
Johan: We want to be positive. We are all positive beings. photo _DSC0200_zps5588e570.jpg
Kriss: We were talking about lyrics… how do you write metal that’s positive? It’s quite a difficult thing! ‘Cause the way I sing it’s pretty brutal at times, so how do you turn that into positivity? Me and Johan had talked about it and I think you can still be angry but positive at the same time. Obviously it’s metal, we’re not going to sit and write love songs in that way. We ain’t gonna be Barry White(laughs)
Johan: As Kriss said, metal, traditionally, is angry and it’s a great way to get all your frustrations out. And most lyrics are kind of negative. And I think the future is being able to write songs about positive things because, like I said, no one in this band is a bad dude.
Kriss: I’m a badass dude, what are you talking about? (laughs)
Thomas: But he has a big heart.
Johan: That’s the thing! Everyone has a big heart! Why should we not show that in our lyrics? There’s not a song in the new album that involves anything negative.
Kriss: I think we’ve developed. It’s still angry but we’re just taking a different perspective on things. We’ve changed as human beings since the first stuff came out. I think we’re just trying to connect with people from a different angle, it’s more about personal experiences than anything else.
Johan: Just take “Final Burden”. It’s an angry song but it’s anger towards yourself, to what you’ve done, what you have to become to be a better person. We all want to be better persons, we all NEED to be better persons. Why not write music about that instead of “I wanna fucking kill you”? (starts singing SLIPKNOT’s “Disasterpiece”). Nothing wrong with that, but… I’m really really proud of the lyrical meaning for all of the songs now because we’re all positive dudes, we should make music about positive messages.

TEoG official Facebook

Text & photos by Renata “Pieni” Lino

Interview with Jimmy Bergman of Through The Cracks

Posted in Interview with tags , , , , , , , , on 4th August 2014 by Pieni

There’s a brand new soulful rock project blossoming in Stockholm, courtesy of Jimmy Bergman and Tillie Grundel. The duo has just released their first single, the beautiful “Breathless”, and as I went to Gothenburg to see Jimmy’s other band, The End Of Grace, I arranged a little meeting with the talented musician. He was tired from the show on the previous night, and had an almost-five-hour roadtrip back to Stockholm ahead of him – from where he would drive to Berlin the following day – meaning he really needed to rest. But still he took his time to talk to me about Through The Cracks, always with a smile on his face.

 photo ttc_zps61c35b51.jpg

RL: You’re a very creative person and I know you’re writing stuff all the time, not always for The End Of Grace, not always metal. What made you get serious with this project in particular?

JB: I’ve always thought of making another project, something rock or more acoustic… a different music style for me to play. I had some ideas, been thinking about them for a while, and then I met Tillie. I showed her my stuff and she really liked it, so I told her “hey, put some vocals on it!”. From there we created Through The Cracks and… yeah, it got serious.

RL: Tillie isn’t here, so tell me a bit about her!

JB: She’s studied music for a while and she’s a really talented girl. And that’s the thing between Tillie and me – Tillie has studied a lot in music and I’ve never done any of that. So I think we’re a cool match! It sounds so good what we’re doing together! We have so many ideas and Tillie’s a great singer, really great singer, she was a stand-in in… (tries to remember the name)

RL: Karmic Link. I was surprised to see that it’s a symphonic/gothic metal band! I thought of her more like a jazz/soul kind of girl.

JB: Yeah, but she can do everything with her vocals. She has a great soul voice and it’s the perfect match for the sound we have. I think it’s kind of unique, really interesting. People really love her voice. I have a lot of fans and friends saying they don’t like female vocals but they love Tillie’s voice.

RL: Like me! Nowadays talking of “female vocals” is associated precisely with symphonic, high-pitched vocal ranges, which I’m tired of. But her voice is sweet and strong at the same time!

JB: Exactly. I really love her voice. It’s so fucking good I don’t even have the words for it. And she’s a great girl.

RL: And how did you feel when you heard “Breathless” for the first time with her vocals on it and the lyrics she wrote?

JB: We were at my little home studio, ready to record everything, and before starting the recording she just sang it to me. I was, “what the fuck? This is really good!” She asked if I wanted to change something and I said “Noooo! Just do what you want!” (laughs) We did some producing stuff and yeah, she’s really amazing, like I said before. I was in love with her vocals and her work.

RL: What about the name? I love how it sounds, Through The Cracks. How hard was it to choose?

JB: (Laughs) It was really hard! I think me and Tilllie spent three weeks, maybe four, thinking about the name.  We were working with the song at the same time, so I went through Spotify and I got some ideas, looking for song names. Through The Cracks came up, I showed it to Tillie, she liked it… we still thought about it for a while more, we had a lot of choices, but we went with Through The Cracks. I think it’s easy to say! People love it! When I played with The End Of Grace yesterday people came up to me and asked “what the fuck is Through The Cracks?”. “It’s my other project”. “It sounds really good!” “I know.” (laughs) So people know Through The Cracks already, it’s an easy name. It’s like The End Of Grace – it’s easy to say, easy to remember.

RL: One thing I’ve been wanting to ask you for a while is about your writing process. Do you wake up in the morning and think “today is a good day to write (insert musical style here)” or you just let your creativity run free?

 photo _DSC0002copy_zpsf876199e.jpgJB: I’m playing every day. I pick up the guitar and just play. And if it’s a great metalcore riff, then it’s for The End Of Grace. If it’s not so The End Of Grace style, like Through The Cracks, then it’s for Through The Cracks. I never focus on one band, I just let it flow.

RL: And sometimes you come up with totally different things, like punk rock songs…

JB: Yeah, it’s really crazy. I even made some “Turkish stuff” too. (laughs) I’m doing a lot of music, actually. I’m doing it with my friends – like that punk rock song you’ve just talked about. It’s just fun! I’m playing music every day, I love it. This is why I’m doing this.

RL: And do you look at someone or something for inspiration?

JB: No. I think it’s just my passion for music.  I’m working and listening to music, and then I come home and I start playing music. I don’t have just one band or one artist that inspires me so… I think I’m my own inspiration. (smiles)

RL: And what do you do when you’re not inspired at all?

JB: Hmm… hang around with friends… (pauses, thinking)

RL: Pick up girls…

JB: Pick up girls (laughs), have some fun… I don’t know. I’m doing stuff all the time, I’m never at one place. That’s why I’m going to Germany tomorrow – to clear my head. And then I come back and go into the studio and do stuff for Through The Cracks and The End Of Grace.

RL: You’re in charge of all instruments here but you’re a guitar player. How old were you when you discovered this passion for the guitar? When did you start dreaming of becoming a rockstar?

JB: I’ve always been dreaming of being a rockstar, since I was a kid (smiles). I think I played some guitars when I was 12 but I was so bad that it wasn’t fun anymore and I stopped playing. I started again when I was about 15, maybe, ‘cause my uncle is a guitar player and I was a lot with him, playing with his guitars all the time. I really wanted to be cool, really wanted to be a rock star, and more than that, I wanted people to like my songs. And to be on stage. Stage is the main thing, I love to be up there. It’s  a child dream and now it’s something that’s going forward. (smiles)

RL: And you want to play live with Through The Cracks. How will that happen – session musicians or you want this to become a full band?  photo 10580125_656118814483566_906789451208994489_n_zps7ee631d3.jpg

JB: Me and Tillie were talking about having stand-in players. I have some guys I’d like to have in Through The Cracks but I can’t tell anything about it right now ‘cause nothing is official yet. But if we were to have a show now we would get stand-ins for the drums and the bass, maybe another guitarist, and maybe also some female backing vocals… Then we have backtracks, of course, for the keys. We were thinking of having a guy doing that too, but it would be too much. Yeah, we will play live…

RL: I will be there!

JB: I am sure you will. (smiles). We have some new songs on the way, we’re going to release an EP. We have another product for Through The Cracks, but I can’t tell anything about that, but we’re working on it now and we’ll see what happens. I think the EP will be out maybe in November.

RL: You produced “Breathless” but now you’re working with someone else…

JB: Yes, he’s a great guy, a friend of mine, Niklas Aggemyr, and a really good musician. We were drinking some beers, I showed him Through The Cracks and he really liked it. So I showed him the new song too, told him what I wanted to do and he was really stoked, really wanted to help producing it. So we’re in his studio in Södertälje Sweden, called Musikaffär’n, and he’s helping me making the song sound really really good. It’s just one song we’re doing, so we’ll see what happens with that.

RL: I was going to ask what are the plans for the near future, but I guess you’ve answered that already – EP in November?

JB: November – yeah, I hope so. We just need to get it done, that’s the first thing. I really want to release it but things go really slow sometimes… But we have some songs in our minds and I think we’ll make something good. Then release it and play some shows, some kind of release party, maybe… I don’t know. Actually Sticky Fingers wanted to book us… yesterday! But we have just one song done, so… But it’s a possibility for when the EP is out. We’re a new band, everything takes time – write and practice the songs, get shows… it’s a lot of work. And I need to do The End Of Grace work too. But it will be done.

RL: Of course it will! Wish you all the luck with that. Have fun in Berlin!

JB: Thanks!

Through The Cracks Official Facebook

Interview by Renata “Pieni” Lino