Gaining Speed

Sweden’s Truckfighters Bring High-energy Fuzz Rock to Dayton

By Gary Spencer

In the dog-eat-dog world of music most bands never make it to a level of international acclaim and recognition, and even for the ones that do, to climb their way out of obscurity sometimes takes years.  One such band is Swedish trio Truckfighters, an underground group that after a decade of relative anonymity has slowly climbed their way into the spotlight and is finally reaching a wider audience for their brand of fuzz, pedal-soaked, psych-rock-influenced stoner-metal rock-and-roll that should whip fans who like artists such as Kyuss, Orange Goblin, Wolfmother and Pentagram into an immediate frenzy.

The band has always had a DIY attitude, from the day they started jamming together just for fun to when they recorded their first demo in 2001, or when playing local pubs in Sweden and even self-releasing nearly all of their own records and CDs via Fuzzorama Records over the years — with some of those releases being recorded in the band’s own personal studio.

“[In the beginning] the plan was only to have fun and jam,” explains bassist and vocalist Ozo. “I think that’s why the band name might not be the most well thought out name you could come up with.  In the beginning it wasn’t at all about ‘making it’ — just playing good and fun music.”

The recent success of the band is due in no small part to 35 dates of touring Europe with desert rock titans Fu Manchu in 2007, and perhaps even more so due to leader of alternative rock band Queens of the Stone Age and Truckfighters fan, Josh Homme, whose 2011 full-length documentary film Truckfighters (Fuzzomentary) was all about the band. In the film Homme declared that the Truckfighters were “the best that’s ever existed” and even put a link to the movie’s trailer on the QoTSA’s Facebook page.

“[The filmmakers] had an interview scheduled with [Josh Homme] for another project and I think they just asked if he wanted in on this film as well,” says Truckfighters guitarist Dango. “He’s a cool dude.”

The film documents the adventures of band members Ozo, Dango and drummer Pezo as regular everyday guys in Sweden as well as shining a light on when they come together as Truckfighters to play a gig or record music.

“It is a little bit like a mockumentary, but still not,” says Dango.  “I really like it.  Feedback’s been good — all reviews I’ve seen [have] been very cool.”

Because of all this exposure, Truckfighters became an overnight sensation, being exposed to thousands of music fans that otherwise may have never discovered this somewhat unknown fuzz rock machine.

“Yeah, you are not kidding!” remarks Dango.  “The moment QOTSA linked the trailer to their official FB site, the interest in our band exploded.  We have lots of fans that discovered us through this, for sure.”

This newfound interest in the Swedish ensemble gave them the incentive to book their very first tour of the United States in 2011, in which Truckfighters blew away unsuspecting audiences with their loud, sweaty, high-energy live show that left both new and longtime fans salivating for more.

“The tour was golden, counting in the fact that it was indeed our first US tour,” opines Dango.  “Good turnouts and very good live reviews. I think people were a bit shocked by our energetic live performance, though they had heard rumors from the countless gigs in Europe over the years.”

And now, the self-proclaimed “Probably the best band in the world” is coming to rock your face off once again at Blind Bob’s in downtown Dayton, the same venue that Truckfighters played last summer.

“We are already coming back so I’d say everyone was happy with the last tour … or maybe we just liked the fact that the pretty American girls liked us Swedish rockers so much,” jokes Dango.

At the moment, Truckfighters are also busy working on a new album that will see the light of day in late 2012 or early 2013.  According to the band, their newest opus may see the band exploring musical realms that the trio has yet to experiment with.

“We’re talking to a bunch of labels at the moment,” says Ozo.  “We’re currently recording our new album, and let me tell you, I’m surprised — it sounds like nothing we [have] ever done before and every song has its own story, mood and atmosphere. This is going to be our ‘Sgt. Pepper’ for sure.”

As for now, Truckfighters are concentrating on what they love and do best — rock the fuck out and make new fans along the way.  Dango sums up the Truckfighters’ one of a kind aesthetic like this: “Many of our fans describe the moment they discover us as almost a religious experience, as we play a special kind of rock they have been waiting for all their lives without even knowing it. We are probably the best live band in the world … almost certainly the most energetic live band you will ever see in your whole life.”

Truckfighters will perform at Blind Bobs, 430 E. Fifth Street, in downtown Dayton on Saturday March 3.  The Gates of Slumber, Neon Warship and Grand Mammoth are also on the bill.  The cover is $8 for admission and the doors open at 8pm.  For more information, visit www.blindbobs.com

Reach DCP freelance writer Gary Spencer at Gary Spencer@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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