Crocell | Interview with Magnus Jørgensen


It can’t be denied there’s a Death-Metal revolution taking place in Denmark during these last few months, not only there’s a resurgence of old veterans getting back into combat like Illdisposed, Thorium and Konkhra there’s also a growing stream of fertile new blood spearheaded by groups like Dawn of Demise, The Burning, The Cleansing and Crocell reinvigorating a scene that was once extremely promising.
Do Crocell, whose debut record “The God We Drowned” is receiving accolades for being a surprising and solid Death-Metal release, see themselves as part of such enthusiastic movement that is arousing in their homeland?

“Danish death metal has definitely had resurgence in recent years and I can't remember the underground scene ever being as active as today. I don't know if we're part of a movement as such, even though we're friends with a lot of the guys from other Danish bands. We help each other out in various ways, get gigs, offer advice and comment on each others' music, but ultimately, the creative process is our own. I can't speak for the others, but the new Danish death metal scene, whatever you want to call it, hasn't been a source of inspiration for me at all I don't listen to a lot of death metal. However, I must say that the diversity of the bands is great; we've got NY-style (Dawn of Demise), mid-paced and groovy stuff (The Burning) and so on. I don't even know where we fit in, haha!”

What do you think of the current crop of death metal acts in Denmark? Which bands would you stand out right now?

“There's some good, very inspired stuff going on, the new Exmortem record “Funeral Phantoms” for instance is absolutely great, and everybody should check it out. The only real stand-out band, though, would be Crocell, I think.”

Having formed in 2007 by current and former members of acts like Compos Mentis, Slugs, Adversary and Demolition Inc. Crocell besides their short lifespan have found themselves receiving rave reactions, including a prize for "Metal Talent of the Year" at this year's Danish Metal Awards.
Do you think such accolade is bound to have a positive effect on Crocell’s popularity? How did the band react to the news they were winning?

“Yes, definitely, it's just about the best promotion we could possibly get for "The God We Drowned". We've had a lot of people going "why have I never heard of you before, this is great!" after winning the award. We weren't exactly taken aback by winning, some of the other nominees wrote us and said that they believed that we would win hands down but still, we were very happy to get the news.
As for the show and receiving the award, I've absolutely no recollection. Apparently, someone decided that the order of the day was intoxication. But we need to do a lot more promotion, top of the list being playing as many concerts as possible.”

Musically, the band bursts forth a blend of vicious influences ranging from the intricate Death-Metal brutality of Florida’s Morbid Angel and the pummelling drive of Sweden’s Unleashed to the melodious approach of Peter Tatgren’s Hypocrisy.
Clearly, Crocell have opted for a more brutal and complex path when compared to past ventures in Slugs, whose sonority had an increased focus on groove and straightforward riffs and Compos Mentis’ fusion of melodic Death-Metal and symphonic Black-Metal. What made the band delve deeper into a more brutal and old-school Death-Metal sonority?

“When Ken and I decided to start the band, all we knew was that we wanted to play pure death metal, but the exact style of the band has been formed pretty much by the chance meeting of our various musical ideas. When we're writing songs, there's only one rule: If we like something, we use it. We quickly found out that what we all really liked was the old-school, heavy stuff and Snaps.
We've got no main songwriter, Smukke Ken and Prinsessen write about half of the riffs each, which helps keep things varied and fresh. We've never decided on a song-writing concept or anything, it's all pretty random. We're making some pre-recordings for the next album and some of this stuff is unlike anything on "The God We Drowned". I'm working on the lyrics right now and I think they're going to be quite different to "The God We Drowned".”

Do you consider the names aforementioned to be influential for Crocell?

“For me as a singer, Peter Tägtgren and David Vincent are definitely influential, but our tastes in music are so varied that it would be hard to find a few main inspirations. Mor is into a lot of black metal, Onkel Kusse listens to all sorts of insane Swedish punk music, I'm into classic 70's and 80's heavy metal and so on.”

Even before Crocell inked a deal with Casket Music, a subsidiary of Copro Records, the band recorded their debut work on their own means without passing through the usual demo phase.
Do you believe there is still a true underground with demos circulating or nowadays is it based mostly around the internet? Do you think MySpace a big help for underground acts to reach a wider audience?

“The demo-tape trading days are over in most circles, which is pretty sad as it got a certain charm to it. Today, most people listen to new stuff on the Internet as it's the easiest way of checking something out. MySpace is an easy way of getting your music on the Internet without having to make your own webpage. Shame about the sound quality. But just putting your music on MySpace isn't gonna get people to listen to it, even if it's amazing. You need serious promotion.
We felt confident that our music was good and quickly decided to skip the demo phase as making a good demo is a lot of work and often without a lot of payoff. If we were going to record a demo with a proper sound why not just record an entire album? I'd definitely recommend any upcoming band to do it like that, but it does require that the band is confident in their qualities and willing to spend a lot of time and money.”

Now that “The God We Drowned” is out for purchase and is garnering excellent reviews in their homeland, what kind of plans Crocell have in mind to breakthrough their nation’s borders?

“Getting played by Bruce Dickinson on his BBC radio show has probably given us some attention in England. We're trying to arrange some gigs in Germany and England, but nothing is set in stone. Touring is very expensive, so the main obstacles are economical, but I'm sure we'll work it out and get out and meet some foreign fans and introduce them to the wonders of Danish metal and liquor.”

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