Kraanium Interview


Way back in May I told the world about how amazingly good Post Mortal Coital Fixation” by Kraanium was.  I had that album since this past April, and for almost three months straight multiple songs from it have been firmly lodged inside of my brain.  In fact, all this time later the album still has not worn thin on me, making it one of the most crushing slamming brutal death metal records I have ever heard.  The only way that could have made it better was if I was able to see any of those memorable tracks performed in a live setting.  I think Kraanium and the rest of the good folks at Comatose Music were reading my mind, because it wasn’t too long after the fact when it was announced that the band would go on a tour alongside Atrocious Abnormality and Coathanger Abortion in what would be called Comatour 2012.

For nearly three weeks those three bands would trek across the United States and destroy each venue they would step into.  We were lucky enough to give this tour its very last show at Blind Bob’s in Dayton, OH on June 24th.  Not only would I be getting to see some of my favorite brutal death metal bands damage my hearing, but I was getting the chance to sit down and have a conversation with all of Kraanium.  The group stepped out into the fenced in patio and sat down, letting relaxation take over them after their adrenaline pumping performance.  In fact, most of our time setting up was just them cracking jokes and having a good time, and all of that good and positive energy transferred throughout our time together.

Metal Blast: I am here with the gentlemen of Kraanium who have just completed the very last date of Comatour 2012.  Now, obviously you guys killed it here in Dayton.  You were going alongside Atrocious Abnormality and Coathanger Abortion for nearly three weeks.  How has the U.S. been treating you guys so far?
Ian Slemming: It has been great.  We have played in a lot of different cities, met a whole lot of new people.  It was definitely a new experience.

MB: Have there been any moments that stuck out in any of your minds specifically?
Martin Funderud: Las Vegas Death Fest.  That was the highlight of the tour I would say.
Vidar Ermesjø: I liked the Tiki Bar in Shreveport, Louisiana.  Props to the bartender! [raises glass]

MB: Since you guys have gotten such a good reception on your first tour throughout the United States, can we expect you to come back in the future?
Mats Funderud: We have already talked to Steve [Green; owner of Comatose Music] about doing another tour possibly next year.  But yeah, we would love to come back.
Ian: We have some European shows booked, so hopefully we can come back after that, maybe 2014.
Vidar: If immigration is good to us then maybe we will come back. [laughs] Mats: We had some problems with immigration, so we barely got into the country.

MB: The band has been around for quite a while and has put out three-and-a-half albums, making sure to stick with the brutal slam style.  But, there was just something on “Post Mortal Coital Fixation” that really blew me away, making it by far my favorite brutal death metal album of 2012 so far.  Has there been anything you guys did differently as opposed to the other recordings?
Vidar: On this record we concentrated on doing everything wrong three times, that way we get everything right. [laughs] Ian: We had seven weeks in the studio, giving us the opportunity to use all the time we had to create three more songs with very little stress involved.
Vidar: We lost a drummer and gained a new one [Mitch Rider], tweaked them a bit and they came out perfect.
Ian: But this is our session drummer, Matthew [Green]! [laughs and jostles Matthew’s hair] Mats: I think that we took our time with this one, making sure not to stress too much about it.  We knew that our sound would naturally progress to what came out on the record.
Martin: As Ian said, we had some extra time to write more songs in the studio, which we had never done before, so that definitely helped out.
Ian: We also did everything ourselves, so it’s like four shitty brains working together and making this shit. [laughs]

MB: Well, what better guys are there to produce it than the ones who know what they want it to sound like?  That’s just a perfect storm of brutality.
Ian: [Mats] has his guitar sound, I have my bass sound, Mitch had his drums, and you decide what you want to make sure it works.
Martin: Vidar has done most of the sound since he knows exactly what we all wanted.
Vidar: It was real stressful towards the deadline, but we eventually got there, and here we are.
Ian: Steve Green has also been a huge help, as well.  Same goes for the entirety of Comatose Music.

MB: You talked about Mitch and how Matthew is the session drummer on this tour.  Obviously, you killed it up there, making it seem as if Mitch was never gone. [both Mats and Ian give him kudos] Ian: It only took him one month to learn fifteen songs.

MB: I was going to ask what the deciding factors in choosing him were, but obviously the results speak for themselves, right?
Martin: His dad [Steve Green] locked him in a room and would whip him until he knew the entire set. [laughs] Vidar: I don’t know if you heard his dad talking about him, but he does it all the time.

MB: Now Matt, you have been pretty silent thus far, so let me ask you; how does it feel to have travelled across the country with a band like Kraanium?
Matthew Green: I’m 19 years old and doing my first tour with a headlining band, it’s an honor.  There was a lot of farting though.  At every venue. [laughs]  I was also the Coma Slave as well.

MB: [laughs] They made you the Coma Slave, the grunt, having you carry all their shit?
Ian: We also taught him to fuck very quickly, too. [laughs] Matthew: It was really fun, I am so glad that I have been able to do it.

MB: Throughout the tour, did you guys make sure to switch up the set every once in a while?
Martin: We changed it up a lot.  We had thirteen, fourteen songs that we would routinely run through and rotate.

MB: Are there any songs in particular that are your favorites to play live?
Ian: None. [laughs] Vidar: I like that we always start with the intro [‘Post Mortal Fixation’] and go into ‘Stillborn Neurotic Fuck Feast’.
Mats: I really enjoy the new songs the most because all the other ones have been done so many times.
Martin: I still like a lot of the old songs as well, like ‘Double Barrel Penetration’ and ‘Reverse Abortion’, but the new ones are definitely favorites as well.
Ian: Yeah, ‘Reverse Abortion’ is really cool, too.
Matthew: I like ‘Compulsive Mutilation Disorder’, as well as the old ones like Martin was saying.

MB: At the end of “Post Mortal Coital Fixation” there was a cover of ‘Entrails Full Of Vermin’, which is a fantastic song by Abominable Putridity.  What made you guys want to do that one?
Ian: To make it better! [laughs] Mats: We have always been a fan of Abominable Putridity, and I would talk to the guitarist [Sergey Beleyan] through Facebook, so I just asked him if he would mind if we did it, and he gave us his blessing.
Vidar: There are also no pinch harmonics in that song, either.

MB: Wow.  That is something I have never noticed.  That’s a pretty interesting bit of trivia there for the unobservant assholes such as me.  Now, going back to your music, after putting out three-and-a-half albums, where does the inspiration continue to come from?
Martin: It’s just there, really.  Obviously a lot of it comes from listening to other bands and hearing some great ideas being executed.  It’s all in our heads I guess.
Mats: I’m always walking around creating riffs in my head.  It just never stops.  Then we are able to get together and put up all of our ideas, but just the fact that my mind never stops is a huge factor for me.
Vidar: I like to work under pressure; it really helps.

MB: When you guys have come up with your music, there are a lot of inappropriate, violent, and overtly sexual themes.  Have there been any moments in your lives that drove you to make those type of lyrics, or is it purely fantasy?
Martin: We need to have something that goes with the music, as well as just play with ideas in our minds.
Ian: We also have a brutal and offensive sense of humor.  How much offensive shit can be put into the music and hopefully get arrested, you know?

MB: Has the group ever been met with resistance because of those lyrical themes?
Ian and Mats: No.

MB: Wow, really?
Martin: We have always been supported because of it since it pertains to others freedom of speech, too.  Besides, they don’t listen to our music anyway.

MB: “Post Mortal Coital Fixation” is the first album you guys have done for Comatose Music.  What was it that prompted this monstrous partnership to happen?
Mats: We just wanted to have a major label because we thought it would be easier to get us a tour over here.
Ian: Bigger is better when it comes to distribution, too.  It’s really cool, the label has been helping us without even asking anything in return.
Mats: We contacted Steve Green and he was interested.  Steve is the man!

MB: I want to change gears for a second.  A few of you are in an international band called Dragging Entrails with members from Devour The Unborn and Expurgate.  I am just really curious as to how this project came to be.
Martin: It was Jaymes [Grundmann] of Expurgate’s idea.  He contacted me and asked if I wanted to do an American and European connection.  Not too long after that the guys [Larry Overstreet and Joseph Carrillo] from Devour The Unborn asked if we needed any help, and it just goes on from there.  We already have a full-length recorded and ready to be mixed.
Mats: It will be released through Morbid Generation Records in Germany.  It was supposed to be out before the Las Vegas Death Fest, but we ran into some problems, which made its release get pushed back a bit.

MB: Are there any last words you would like to say to your fans here and across the world?
Martin: I just want to thank everyone who came out and saw us on the tour.  Thanks for supporting us!
Ian: It has just been a fucking great tour.  Thanks a lot for supporting us and what we do.
Vidar: We would like to thank Steve Green of Comatose Music, as well as the rest of the guys in Atrocious Abnormality and Coathanger Abortion.  They are awesome guys.  It’s all about the rednecks. [laughs]

We at Metal Blast would like to thank Steve Green of Comatose MusicClawHammer PR, and of course Martin FunderudMats FunderudVidar ErmesjøMatthew Green, and Ian Slemming of Kraanium!

Live photos from Las Vegas Death Fest taken and provided by DeAnna DeHaas of Lobotomy Productions.

-Jon Burkan