KONGH (Eng.)

– Hi, thanks for your time. What are you currently up to? How is everything doing right now with KONGH?

Hello! Right now we are enjoying the calm before it’s album release time. It’s been a hectic year full of songwriting, recording and planning for the new release, so now we’re just taking it easy and getting ready to get to work again once the album is out!

– You will soon release your new album, entitled «Sole Creation». The first thing that caught my attention was its cover artwork (beside the drawing itself, it has a different vibe to covers of your previous albums). Is the band’s name related to King Kong?

Yes, the earlier albums have had a more abstract and landscape oriented approach. With this album we wanted to do something that felt new, but still had a feel to it that fits good with our music and general atmosphere, and I think the result turned out amazing. Yes, the bands name is a reference to King Kong. If there’s one living kind of creature we do associate with out music, it is a big brutal ape.

 

– Getting a bit into this new record, what’s the main concept/lyrical ideas behind it?

I tried to keep a solid theme in all the lyrics and they are meant to feel a bit like a story. It’s the first time we included the lyrics in the album artwork for everybody to read. However, I don’t want to go into detail and explain the lyrical themes further, as I think it would ruin it. I prefer if those who are interested sits down with the lyrics, listens to the music and tries to build their own song meanings. That’s the way I want the concept to be experienced, in an individual way, open for peoples own interpretations.

 

– After reading the own band thinks «Sole Creation» is your best effort to date, I guess you may have high expectations on it, don’t you?

Yes and no. We consider it to be our best album to date and we couldn’t be more happy with it. However, we don’t expect everybody else to think that just because we do it. I believe it’s gonna be well received but we have no guarantees either. So we’ll just wait and see, hoping for the best!

 

– Your previous «Shadows of the Shapeless» was released in 2009, so I guess you may have been working on «Sole Creation» throughout these years. Due to this, could you tell us how was the songwriting process for this new record like?

The process of writing songs is long and sometimes complicated. Basically we have a library of riffs and ideas which we are happy with and wants to use. Since our songs are quite long, they take some time to assemble. We don’t like rushing things, so basically we try out ideas, thinking about how to improve or progress things and working until a song is finished. That usually takes months, or even years for a song to progress from a single riff to a full 12 minute song. However, we usually work with several songs simultaneously so each album has probably taken 2-3 years to write. The writing of this album has taken some time, and I think that is good, because it has a natural progression which I don’t think would have turned out as natural if we had tried to write the whole album in.. say, a year. We want each of our releases to be different and that’s why we’re not afraid to let some time pass between them.

 

– «Sole Creation» is your most powerful opus to date, but also really dynamic, creating a perfect balance between slow and heavy parts with some faster moments. Is this balance something easy to get? I mean, do you plan every step of the songwriting and know since the beginning how do you want each record to sound like or do you just let things flow naturally?

It is a very long process where we let everything happen naturally. When we started working with the first fragments of the songs, years ago, we didn’t have anything in mind other than a few riffs. As time goes by and the songs are getting more meat on them, a better and more complete vision of the full album starts to take shape. That way, it also gets easier to fill in the gaps to find the right dynamics and atmospheres. For example, at the moment we don’t have a single clue how our next album is going to be. But that’s part of what keeps it interesting for us to create music too, we see the result growing slowly and we have the freedom to do whatever we want with it. We do change our minds about things a great lot of times during the writing process. Each song have probably existed in a hundred different versions before we find the final one.

 

– As I said, one of the highlights on this CD I could say is its versatility. Is this something important for you? As I personally think this helps getting a more enjoyable final outcome, which I guess may also keep things interesting for yourself.

Absolutely. Like I said, we never rush the song writing. It’s very important for us that everything feels right in the end. And finding the perfect versatility and sense of dynamics is a big part of that.

 

– All this being said; could you say «Sole Creation» is the album which describes the best what’s KONGH all about? Is this the best mirror/description of your sound and personality?

I think so, yes. At least where we’re standing today, you know? When we were a new band, releasing our debut album «Counting Heartbeats», then that album was a mirror/description of what we wanted to express back then. But we’ve progressed, both as musicians and individuals, and that of course affects the music too. We never decide how an album is about to sound in advance. However, with this new album, I think we reached our true potential in a way that we never really succeeded with before.

 

– This is also a shorter album than your previous ones; was this something planned? This, along with the dynamism the album has, could help having bigger impact on the listener.

It was something we decided in early 2012, I remember. Both our previous albums has been 55 or 60 minutes. Meaning they’ve been quite long, and the vinyl editions needed to be double LP sets, with the result of only having one song per track. Then with this album, we came to the conclusion that we wanted it to be more «direct» than the previous ones, and focusing on 45 minutes of music instead of 60 minutes also left us with a much bigger chance to truly focus on the recording. Quality instead of quantity.

 

– Veteran Magnus Lindberg (CULT OF LUNA) took mixing and mastering duties for the album. Are you satisfied with the work done by him?

Absolutely, very satisfied. He is a real audio professional with loads of experience producing dynamic and heavy music, and therefore we felt he was the right one for us. And it proved to be true.

 

– This has also been your first album with Agonia Records after leaving Trust No One Recordings. Agonia is a bigger label into the extreme Metal so, has this change been for the better?

We’ve been very happy with how everything has been going with Agonia so far. Very professional, friendly and co-operative fellows. Trust No One is a great label as well, but they’re operating a bit differently. Agonia are doing this full time, has employees etc, while Trust No One is a label that’s basically being run by one single person in his free time. Both labels are absolutely great, just different.

 

– You have also had John Doe (CRAFT) as guest artist. Could you please tell us how did this arise and what has he brought with his cooperation?

We are friends since before, and while we were in the studio we were thinking about bringing some guest on the recording. The third song on the album, «The Portals», had this instrumental outro part with a fast and heavy guitar riff, perfect spot for a solo. John Doe is a great guitar player, so we asked him to play a solo there and he did.

 

– All this about «Sole Creation» being said; how could you describe it in just 3 words?

Our third album.

 

– If I’m not mistaken, after recording your previous album former bass player left the band, but his replacement also left last year. Are you cursed with bass players? Anyway you are now with Olle Hedenström as live bass player but, do you have plans of having him as full time member or looking for any other musician to fill this rank?

Actually, we are not in need of a «full» third member as that is not how we work. Most of this new album was written by myself in my home and

that’s how I like to work. Then I’ve sent the riffs/ideas/songs to Tomas, so he can work out his drumming parts and share ideas with me. This has always been the creative formula for Kongh, and we see no need to change it. Olle is a great musician, and we’re happy to have him playing shows with us.

 

– As 2012 is about to end; could you please tell us what are your 3 favourite albums of the year as well as the least favourite one?

Switchblade – S/T 2012

Brian Eno – Lux

Witchcraft – Legend

Sorry, no bad ones comes to mind.

 

– And finally; what are your near-future plans?

The album is coming out in February. We will see what the future holds after that!

 

– That’s all, thank you once more for answering our questions. If you want to add some final words; feel free to do it.

Thanks for doing the interview, you support is highly appreciated. Glad you enjoyed our new album. Cheers!

 

Sergio Fernández

sergio@queensofsteel.com

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