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The incredible Sound of Molosser CRUDE - "Bye Bye Grace"

Molosser

Swedish duo Molosser play their very own brand of alternative rock with two downtuned guitars and vocals. The band consists of Tess and Jahn, who share a life outside as well as inside the music and currently live at a (very) small farm in Uråsa, in the province of Småland. 
They met in the city of Gothenburg, where they both played in various bands and constellations ranging from noisecore and riff-heavy rock to improvised jazz. Molosser’s music is the fruit of these and other influences, combined with an inspiration from nature and the countryside, where the action is mostly on a more subtle level than in the city (but plain to see for anyone who’s looking closely).
The result is a kind of music where seemingly simple components – riffs, basslines, melodies – weave together to form a dynamic, vibrant texture with an abundance of detail for anyone who cares to listen a bit closer, and still make a strong, emotional whole that grabs the listener by the neck and won’t let go. 
Tess performs her lyrics about loss and being lost, about searching for the promised gold at the end of the rainbow and trying to make sense of the way there – all with a voice as naked as it is strong when it whirls and dances across the flowing guitar music.

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Q&A

Molosser are ...?

Molosser is a Swedish duo, consisting of me, Jahn, on guitar and Tess on guitar or drums and vocals. We started out playing songs that were originally meant for an electric band on a pair of downtuned acoustic guitars, then we realized that this format had enormous dynamic possibilities and decided to try to make something out of that. Working more with riffs and basslines and melodies than the way you usually play an acoustic.

Last spring we released our debut album, Appear, where we tried to get a full band sound with just the two acoustics and drums. Yes, I know, a totally moronic thing to try, but after a lot of hard work it actually turned out pretty good. There are a few overdubbed guitars on the album, but mostly it’s just the two of them, recorded with multiple mics and spread out around the soundscape.

This January, we followed this up with live recordings of four of the album tracks, the “Barebones Sessions” just the two guitars and vocals recorded at the same time. That turned out to be a great success, maybe because it sounds more like “normal” music and is more accessible than the sound we created on Appear.


We continued working along that purely acoustic line, making new songs that are a bit less complex and more inside what you might call a dark Americana vein, with strong influences of blues and jazz, but still, we think, a distinct Molosser sound.

At the same time we had started longing to play louder music again, so we dusted off the amps and pedals and electric guitars and drum kit – e-drums, to make it work in our narrow studio shed – and got rolling. And it was so fun! We tried out many of the same songs we play in the acoustic duo – they become radically different, but they work! If the acoustic duo is Americana, CRUDE is some kind of bluesy stoner rock with a lot of sixties groove thrown in, I suppose.


How did you get into music, was it a song, an artist, a concert or ....?

Tess is busy mixing the audio for the next CRUDE video right now, so I’ll have to answer for her. Her dad was – and is – a drummer, and she started playing the drums and singing like before she can remember. 
I was more of a late bloomer, starting with guitar in my early teens. To be totally honest, I think I started most of all because I wanted to be someone who played guitar, more than from a real urge to play. But it caught on pretty fast, and playing music became one of the most important parts of my life.


"Bye Bye Grace" sounds in this "Molosser CRUDE Version" extraordinarily brilliant and creates a powerful psychedelic mood, when did you say "let's try this out" or do you generally love to experiment with your songs?

We have always been pretty open-minded when it comes to what direction the songs should take, which is good in a way but also means it can take a while before a song comes out since there’s always another way to play it. 
We both come from a noisy, electric background, and however fun and challenging the acoustic project is, we still yearned for making some serious noise. Since most of the acoustic tracks are built on riffs and basslines they actually turn out really good in the new format, but we’re still surprised by how well it worked out with Bye Bye Grace.



Can we expect more songs in this direction?

Oh yes! We have already recorded a few more live in the studio videos which will be released soon, mostly of new tracks that we work with in acoustic versions in parallel. The CRUDE combo is such a cathartic experience, and there’s also a lot of cross-fertilization going on between that and the acoustic side.


If you take a look back in music history or music industry, what was in your opinion the last "big or groundbreaking thing/band/artist/Sound ... whatever"?

That would be Bach, wouldn’t it? No, really, it’s true that there sometimes emerges an artist or a scene that seems groundbreaking and new, but when you start picking at it, it soon turns out that they weren’t alone and that the “new” stuff consists of all these older components that have been rehashed and rearranged
Which is, I think, just how it’s supposed to be. People seem to need “the new Beatles” every now and then, but I think it’s better to think of music in terms of evolution rather than revolution. But of course there have been artists who have had a great influence with their particular recipe for the soup.


Do your fans have the chance to see you somewhere live on stage?

We’re working on that, but not right now, no.


...and last but not least, what's next?

Next is: more Molosser CRUDE live videos like Bye Bye Grace, but with brand new material. And we have recorded lots of new acoustic tracks as well that are waiting to be mixed and released. 
In the meantime, we’ll do simple live videos of newish versions of the old songswe got hold of a resonator guitar that opened up new possibilities in the acoustic department – and perhaps one or two new ones, to keep everyone happy until we can start releasing the studio recordings. 
Also, we plan to make studio recordings of CRUDE as well, based on the power duo format but maybe with a few overdubs – like, not have to play bass and solo at the same time, and adding backing vocals and stuff. We’ll see. Anyway, there’s plenty cooking in the Molosser pot!




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