We’ve been loving Kriget’s new, thrashy, messy singles off their second album Dystopico, and apparently, so have their adoring fanbase. After a week-long battle, the Swedish trio with the batshit, electronics-free sound was ushered into MTV Iggy’s Artist of the Week slot.
Kriget doesn’t give a lot of detail about their group, and you probably won’t learn much in this interview, frankly, which at times sounds like a conversation with a 15-year-old pissed off skater kid. (I felt like “your MOM wants to interview me!” was coming at some point, though it never did.)
In the end, Kriget (which means “the war” in Swedish) is breaking new sonic and visual art ground, so it’s worth getting to know them. They started out with MCs. Now they’re frontman-less and crazier than ever, now standing on the verge of launching Dystopico in February. Their visuals are high-concept, at times disturbing, and rooted in real art knowhow. As members of the exalted INGRID collective, they’re going places.
So get to know Kriget, kind of.
Congratulations on your Artist of the Week win. Did you learn about the other artists at all? Any you like?
Nah. But thanks!
Did you set out to make the thrashy messy sound, or is it something you guys stumbled upon as a band?
Kriget’s original idea was to create an organic, soulful and uplifting atmosphere where love and understanding would bloom through the sound waves. Then the short Swedish summer ended and darkness came. I would still call the sound uplifting, though.
Why no MCs or singers in Kriget?
We’ve always wondered why ABBA had vocals.
How is Dystopico different from What A Day?
Dystopico is the new album. What A Day is the old album.
Why are we only allowed to see your feet?
Kriget don’t really live up to the high Scandinavian standard of facial features.
So no electronics, huh? What’s behind that decision? It seems like you’re pushing the limit of what real instruments can do.
Yeah, really? Maybe it’s you who push the limit!
What is your involvement in INGRID? What is your thought on the collective? Your sound kinda makes you the black sheep, no?
I would love to say it’s just an image, like with all the bands on the metal scene, however, I wouldn’t call Kriget the black sheep, since here in Sweden, the phrase has lost all its meaning. Today in 2012, a black sheep is just a friendly business man with an American accent who tries to sell you some kind of technology. Kriget takes no part in that, at least not until a good sponsor deal is secured. Kriget is more the whitewash of the INGRID collective. And yes, kids, you can look that word up in the dictionary.
I would imagine you can’t walk around in Stockholm without running into a musician. Tell me about the music atmosphere in the city. Why is it so prolific, and why so many exports?
Dunno. We’ve heard it’s something in the water. We just drink it. And bump in to a lot of people.
What inspired your video for “Holy Mountain?”
Watch their video for “Holy Mountain” off Dystopico
What is your art background? A lot of interesting themes in some of your videos…what artists (non-musicians) inspire you?
Tauba Auerbach, Douglas Gordon, Wolfgang Tillmans, Matthew Barney, Assume Vivid Astro Focus, Dan Colen, Thomas Ruff, Faile, Mike Kelley, Elmgreen & Dragset, The Chapman brothers, Martin Kippenberger and Montean & Rosenblum. These were the core of contemporary artists that Kriget started discussing with me when we started our collaborations. After that we tried to adopt the artistic direction in terms of graphic design and videos after those discussions. There is a strong interest in contemporary art for Kriget, and they also appear in a lot of art fairs and openings. We’re now in talks with some international art institutions about curating a whole concept for a kind of show/performance/exhibition in late 2013.
What is next for Kriget?
Kriget says “Surviving 2012 is a giant step for mankind. Now, let’s take small steps!”