Fredrik Croona has had his many projects' albums reviewed on the site for a while now. From Menschdefekt to Projet Rotten, they've been on here (what can we say - we must love the guy and his music). Today's talk involves his more well known project, Cynical Existence, whose album "We Are the Violence" which released not too long ago via Alfa Matrix. Given the fact that I reviewed the album and gave it a 7.5 out of 10, I got the time to chat with Croona and discuss the album, the new members of his band, and his new solo project.
Hello again! Two years has passed
since you were interviewed on this site and it's about time we give
you another shot at it. Before I begin anything, though, you have
been involved in a number of projects in the past, and have a couple
out now. To clear up the air, which projects have died off, and which
ones are still active?
Croona - "Haha I'm pretty much known for
keeping myself busy with side projects aren't I? But in all honesty the only active
bands at the moment are Cynical and my own self titled project. Menschdefekt
isn't dead , but currently we aren't really producing anything."
Today, of course, we're going to be discussing Cynical Existence and the new album you released, "We Are The Violence". When you wrote out the lyrics for "We Are The Violence", were you releasing any one emotion or another? Did any themes erupt as you went along with writing the lyrics?
Croona - "Most of the time I just write whatever pops up in my head at the moment, but I'd like to think that there's a reason as to why my brain comes up with the lyrics it does. There aren't any specific themes per say, but there are always similarities in what I write about. As for the song 'We are the violence' it's more like a state of mind, you know when you are just tired and your brain keeps messing with you and your demons just wont leave you the fuck alone."
Now, when it came to music production and involvement, things have changed a lot. Rather than going solo on this album, you had both George Klontzas of PreEmptive Strike 0.1 on production, and Filip Lonnqvist of Rave The Reqviem on guitars. Starting with the first name, how did Klontzas effect the overall sound of the album?
Croona - "Yes, things have changed a lot for sure. But to be honest, George has been with me since “Erase, Evolve and Rebuild” and we have collaborated before. In terms of the changes he's added , it can easily be heard. A few songs we've worked together on and a few songs have been made by me entirely or him entirely. George has a very typical 'trancy' sound to the stuff he makes for CE. For example 'Sovereign', 'Afflication of self torture' etc.. In short terms , he made the album more clubby. Haha."
And, the same question for Lonnqvist: What did he bring to Cynical Existence that you were not expecting?
Croona - "Filip is a skilled guitarrist and so of course he added the awesome guitars that you can hear on a few tracks like 'We are the violence', 'The kill' etc. His work gives those track the little extra edginess and raw power."
Having three minds involved rather than one on a project that used to be a one-man-band could be disastrous in the beginning. Did you ever get overwhelmed or upset in transitioning Cynical Existence from just your hand to a total of three men on the job?
Croona - "Not at all, it's been a blessing in a way cause both guys are very easy to work with. Basically I start with an idea and send it to George and he adds some stuff and sends it back to me. Then if the song works with guitars, I'll send it over to Filip and he records stuff and sends it back. Simple stuff really."
Following on that last question, how has working with both Klontzas and Lonnqvist been? Have you enjoyed your time with them? Has there been any mishaps?
Croona - "It's been an easy ride, maybe one or two bumps on the way. We all have our little disputes sometimes but its nothing major and it always works out. Not all songs can be one hundred percent, and we will never agree on how everything will sound, that's just the way it is. But since I'm the boss , I always have the last word. Haha."
You also had a collaboration with Wojciech Krol of Controlled Collapse on the track 'Stains that never fade'. Tell me, how did this collaboration come to life? And were you pleased with the final results?
Croona - "Funny story, it actually began when I first heard the band a few years ago and reviewed it for Brutal Resonance. I really like Krol's vocals and I love to collaborate with people so I just asked him and he agreed. He's a talented and easy going guy so it's perfect to work with him."
I personally reviewed the album
and have enjoyed it. And, I'd like to know, how has your album been
with other critics? Have they torn it apart or given it praise? And
do you ever really take to heart what critics say?
Croona - "So far the few reviews I've seen have been overall positive and I'm really happy with them.This album has been a lot of fun to produce and it's the best work done to date. It's a cliché to say it , but its also actually true. It's taken me over 3 years to finally be able to produce something decent. 'Erase, Evolve and Rebuild' had some good stuff too but it's hard to compare."
And what about live gigs? Will you
be going on any tours or committing to any live shows in support of
"We Are The Violence"?
Croona - "I've actually just gotten back again after having played a few shows this spring/summer. I even did two shows over in the US. I'm always looking for shows of course and hopefully one or two will turn up this fall."
In other news, I know that you
recently started a new, solo project. It takes after your own name.
Why did you decide to create this project?
Croona - "We all come to a point where we need to choose which direction to take. With Cynical no longer a solo project and taking a turn to become a bit darker (oops spoiler), I wanted to try and test something a little bit different and out of my comfort zone. I've recently started taking singing lessons and wanted to incorporate that into something more personal and a mix between styles."
You have a release coming out at
the end of August. What's it called and what can you tell us about
Croona - "It's called “The grey line”. Basically it's a mix of futurepop, trance and aggrotech. The sound is a bit more bright compared to Cynical and as stated before I sing on a few tracks and there are also a few guests. As time progress there will be even more clean vocals, or at least that's my plan. But for now there's still a lot of screaming going on."
You got signed to Advoxya Records
for this release. How did you get partnered up with them? Did you
shop to the label or did they pick you up themselves?
Croona - "Back in 2011 the old band I was part of released an album on Advoxya. I've known the label for quite a few years and it's boss. Basically I just sent him a mail and asked if he was interested in my release and he said yes."
Is there anything that I didn't
cover that you would wish to mention at this time?
Croona - "You made me fill out a lot of text so I think you pretty much covered everything. Haha."
And, now that the interview is
over, the space below is yours, and I thank you for your time!
Croona - "It's been a pleasure answering your questions and I hope you and the readers look forward to the upcoming releases!"