Swedish blues rock trio, Kamchatka, released their sixth full-length studio recording, Long Road Made Of Gold, on May 22, 2015 via Napalm Records. The 10-song album was recorded in Kamchatka’s own studio and rehearsal room, the “Kamchatka shelter,” and mixed and mastered by Russ Russell (Napalm Death, Dimmu Borgir). Recently, we got to chat with guitarist and vocalist, Thomas “Juneor” Andersson, about not only the band and their history, but also this hot new rockers of a release.
For those not familiar with your band, can you tell us a little bit about yourselves?
Andersson: Yes, we are a rock trio from Sweden called Kamchatka consisting of Thomas “Juneor” Andersson on guitar and vocals, Per Wiberg on bass and vocals, and Tobias Strandvik on drums. We started this journey back in 2002 with former member Roger Öjesson 2002-2011 and released our 1st album Kamchatka on a small US label (Grooveyard Records) in 2005. The band started to tour in 2007 in Sweden as support for the band Clutch from the US and continued to support Clutch in the US in 2008 and Europe in 2009 and 2011. The band started to do headline shows around 2012. After the release of the first album, along came: Kamchatka Vol 2 2007 (Grooveyard records), Kamchatka Vol 3 2009 (Superpuma Records), Bury Your Roots 2011 (GMR Records), The Search Goes On 2014 (Despotz Records), and Long Road Made Of Gold 2015 (Despotz Records).
Your new disc, Long Road Made Of Gold, has just been released. Now that it is complete how do you feel about it, and what has been the response so far?
Andersson: We are very happy with how Long Road Made Of Gold came out and the response has been great so far with many fine reviews from all over the place.
What is your writing process like?
Andersson: I write music all the time, and when I have something to present to the other guys that I feel is worth a try, we go for it. Per also writes music all the time and he works in the same way… when he feels that he has something that he wants the band to try, we do just that. And when we feel like recording a album, we do that in our own studio “Kamchatka Shelter.”
You guys are a hard rock band, how does it make you feel when that power and energy you channeled in the studio comes to life in front of a crowd?
Andersson: That’s the greatest feeling of them all and what we live for as musicians. As a band, nothing beats that.
When you write, do you do so with the live setting in mind, or do you write a song just for the song’s sake?
Andersson: I always set out to write as good of songs as I have the capability to write, and somewhere in the back of my head I know how we are going to pull it off live as well.
Along those same lines, do you take advantage of technology and email riffs and parts back and forth, or do you get together in a room in a more traditional sense and write together?
Andersson: We work in all kinds of ways and sometimes modern technology is a helpful tool as well in that process.
Check out the song “Get Your Game On” here.
What’s the story behind the name of the band?
Andersson: We were talking about how a place on the planet would look like if it was our music and the Russian peninsula Kamchatka looked like what we felt when we played our music. With its dynamic features, hot and cold at the same time, erupting volcanoes, sulfur lakes and vast calm forests.
What is the story behind the name of the new record?
Andersson: Long Road Made Of Gold means the “Long Road” being a musician, learning your craft and traveling around the world with it and “Gold” is the reward consisting of music you make and playing live. Also, the many meetings with old and new friends along the way.
You have toured the world extensively. Is there anywhere you would like to go that you have not been?
Andersson: Yes there are many, many places left to play in and visit for us such as, Asia, Canada, Japan, South America and of course Kamchatka in Russia. 😉
What do you think of the current state of the rock/metal world?
Andersson: That’s a bit hard for me to say. There are so many different fields and sub genres at the same time. We just try to do the best we can with our music. The world of music is in constant change both with the way we consume music and what type of music that’s popular at a certain time. But Rock, Blues, Jazz, Folk are the traditional forms that will always be there no matter what’s hot or what’s not.
What are some of the newer rock/metal bands that you are listening to or enjoy?
Andersson: Clutch, Gov’t Mule, Danko Jones, Meshuggah, Foo Fighters, and many, many more.
What is the rock/heavy metal scene like over there in Sweden?
Andersson: It’s on export.
Do you receive a lot of support from your local scene and fans in general?
Andersson: Yes, we are lucky to have a cool fan base in our hometown Varberg, Sweden who supports and follows what we do and we are very grateful for that.
Do you have any rituals before you hit the stage? If so, what are they?
Andersson: Not really, we just focus and hit the stage.
Do you have any touring plans in support of the new recording?
Andersson: Yes, this summer will be European festivals and then we will tour in different ways with the new album in the fall/winter of 2015 and in the spring of 2016.
If you were stranded on a deserted island and could only take 3 CDs with you for eternity, assuming there was a solar powered CD player, what would they be?
Andersson: John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton from 1966, Jan Johansson Jazz på Svenska from 1963, Bobby “Blue” Bland and BB King Together again…. Live 1976.
What has been the most memorable moment of your career so far?
Andersson: The USA tour with Clutch in 2008 and Per Wiberg joining the band 2014.
What is the strangest thing that has happened to you on tour, or at one of your shows?
Andersson: There has been a lot of craziness over the years and the best parts are clouded for some strange reason. 😉