METALSUCKS EXCLUSIVE: THE CROWN’S JOHAN LINDSTRAND TALKS NEW ALBUM, FIRST REUNION SHOW, AND ONE MAN ARMY & THE UNDEAD QUARTET
Photos by kind permission of Daniel Falk // FramedNoise.com
This isn’t the classiest thing to write, but the re-return of awesome Sweden death-thrashers The Crown causes my pants to fly off and my hands to, y’know, go to town down there. It’s been a weekly occurrence since their reformation with a new screamer (for 2009’s Doomsday King), and only got more sweaty and compulsive upon the return of original frontman Johan Lindstrand (One Man Army & The Undead Quartet). Upon Lindstrand’s re-enlistment in September, guitarist/producer Marko Tervonen told me of plans to again write songs, record, and maybe tour a bit; fans like me prepared to stand by and hope for what we now can call a Refused-style collection of overdue super-acclaim. Fucking awesome band! Holy shit!
And it now has begun: A couple Saturdays ago, The Crown played their first show with Lindstrand at stage center since like 2004. At that point it seemed like justifiably tardy superfans would never get a chance to party with these awesomes: Band members alluded to screwed-up tours, shitty pay, and fatigue. But here in 2012 we are grinding ever closer to redemption! They’re back! It’s a wonder we ever lived without them.
I wanted to hear all about this first “proper reunion” show for The Crown, and a cheery, chill Johan Lindstrand, once-again the newest member of The Crown lol, commented generously via email. He also detailed his vibe on this new phase for his band, about the coming album for which Tervonen predicted awesome results, and the fate of his post-Crown band, One Man Army & The Undead Quartet.
On The Crown’s May 5 show in Gothenburg, their first with Lindstrand since 2004:
“Well, the show in Gothenburg was better than everyone’s expectations. Great turnout and awesome response. We haven’t played in Gothenburg for 12 years, and now with this line-up, it felt like pure magic.”
On “getting back into the groove” with The Crown on stage after a nine-year break:
“It wasn’t hard getting the old feeling back. I mean, I had only spoken and met some of the guys on a few occasions since 2004, but I always felt very close to them despite only talking to them every third year, you know? And I was a bit nervous at the first rehearsal, but not long after meeting, all five of us felt like time had stood still I guess. Rehearsals with this band are always easygoing.”
On grading the Gothenburg show:
“The performance was a ten when it comes to the whole atmosphere: audience, connection, vibe, etc. — but since this was the first show for me in nine years with this band, I know I can do even better at the next two upcoming shows. But by saying that, I don’t mean I sucked on May 5th. I totally rocked the house. We all did. :-) It was a great night to remember. Gothenburg still burns!!”
On progress of the new Crown record since this March update:
“Well, there’s not much new to say about this matter. We have material for a whole album, except for some lyrics to be written, but we had to put the whole process aside because of these three reunion shows. And the plan is to start working hard again in June, and hopefully record the album sometime in the fall. When I rejoined, I think
the original plan was to release it this summer, but time wasn’t on our side — we even had a late deadline in August to make a release this year possible… But we realized that we couldn’t make that happen as well, so a more realistic plan is definitely Spring 2013.”
On his excitement for the new Crown material:
“The new material will definitely be the best music this band has created in a long time. I mean, the standard has always been very high obviously, but the new stuff has all the ingredients that the old classic stuff had — namely, more of a five-piece unit mixture. Doomsday King , which is an awesome album, mainly had Magnus’ vision written all over it, and he created some real killer stuff. But now you have great stuff from Marko as well, which gives the big picture a bit more variety. I’m extremely excited to play this for the fans. I think they will love it.”
On the future of One Man Army & The Undead Quartet, his rad post-Crown band:
“I really don’t know what will become of that band. The feelings I have now are to be totally exclusive to The Crown. I realized how much I needed The Crown during the first rehearsal. I will be 110% into this band until the day I retire from death metal. For me, The Crown is pure love.
One Man Army as a band is long dead. I have never told anyone this, but half of the band decided to leave when I rejoined The Crown, which I totally understand. Why should they wait? And I simply don’t know if I want to go back and start over with new guys. That shit doesn’t appeal to me anymore. But time will tell. It would be nice to get some sort of closure and release one final One Man Army album. Maybe on the tenth anniversary, which is 2014. I’m still in contact with the drummer and the bass player, so we’ll see.”