úterý 3. září 2019

Home » » Interview - TURBOCHARGED - Metal has always been somewhat an escape from the miserable daily life.

Interview - TURBOCHARGED - Metal has always been somewhat an escape from the miserable daily life.

Interview with death/thrash/punk metal band from Sweden - TURBOCHARGED.

Answered by Ronnie Ripper, thank you!

Translated by Duzl, thank you!

Questions prepared Jakub Asphyx.

Recenze/review - TURBOCHARGED - Above Lords, Below Earth (2019):


Greetings to Sweden. I have to say that since you released the new album “Above Lords, Below Lords” in June, it has become an integral part of my most listened albums. I often play it in my car, I just have to be careful not to exceed the speed limit on the road. I've even been stopped by the police once. I didn't get a fine, but when they catch me again and I will get it, you'll have to pay me! I'm joking, but how satisfied are you with the new album? What about feedbacks? 

Awesome to hear that, when an album poses a threat to your driving license it’s a good sign! We’re happy about the way it turned out, we tried some new angles in the production this time and it really panned out as we hoped! The material almost wrote itself this time, we went with the flow and didn’t think too much into it and I believe it shows even for the listener. The feedback has been good so far, there’s always the usual “There are bands who do this better” and all but you can’t win them all. 

Even on “Above Lords, Below Lords” you play classic Swedish death metal influenced by old bands like MOTORHEAD, VENOM, SODOM. It's just old honest metal with great sound. Where did you record and who is behind the mastering? 

I think that is a fair review indeed, we never aim to be this or that but with our backgrounds it kinda leans towards death metal I guess and the influences comes both from bands we grew up with and bands we have toured with or just are closely connected to. Everything is already done so you just have to find what you like playing and make the best of it really. The drums were recorded at Decibel Hell, the rehearsal place next to us by Johan Sundström, and the rest was recorded here in my hobby room at home. I did the mixing and also decided to give it a try to learn mastering and the result is what you can hear on this album. DIY all the way, dude! 

Your music is also much influenced by punk. But this is a broad term. Which punk bands do you like and which have had the greatest impact on you? Do you listen to any nowadays bands or you stick just to the proven names? 

I think this one would be answered differently depending which one of us would answer it but speaking for myself I’d mention The Exploited, The Casualites, The Dead Kennedys, Anti-Cimex, Wolfbrigade, Skitsystem, etc. As always there are too many to mention but the punk vibe is coming more from Motörhead, Warfare and bands like that than the actual punk scene. In my opinion you can’t have real metal without a certain punk vibe to it but also I don’t want the political shit from that scene spilling over to the metal scene. I embrace the punk legacy regarding music but I am not very comfortable in relating too much to the scene itself since I am a narrowminded jerk who lets the world burn without trying to make it better, in lack of better words. 

You're a band that can literally chop it up in clubs. I saw you years ago in the Czech Republic together with INFEST. My friend and I drove a lot of kilometers back then to enjoy music. It was excellent, thank you very much again. How are you enjoying the tour? Where did you had the biggest audience and where were the craziest fans? Do you see any differences between the fans regarding the countries you have visited? Do you have any funny story? 

Thanks, we like to think we cause a bit of a chaos on stage but it’s all in the eye of the beholder, we can only deliver what we brought and hope for the best. It’s really hard to say which audience was the biggest or the craziest, it’s all about the feeling of the gig. Every gig is unique and sometimes you are struggling uphill and sometimes it just explodes and sometimes a crowd of 15 people can outshine one of 300 people so I can’t really say which ones has been the best. We do make a lot of friends and tend to return to the same places now and then and since we are a small fairly unknown band we are still open for the loudest and craziest crowd yet. Our gigs among people we know are quite special since it’s more a common experience for us and the spectators, not really a band playing for unknown faces. It’s more a party on stage than a business transaction, you know. We used to think that all crowds are better than our swedish scene but in recent years we have realised that there still is some life in this corpse too. 

Personally, I like bands that don't take themselves so seriously. I am an old metal dog and I remember a time when this music was mainly fun. We can clearly see how you enjoy your concerts and everything what belong to this. What does metal music really mean to you? 

Everything! If I want to feel like shit I just look at my bank account and listen to the radio but that is not what you need in life, right? Metal has always been somewhat an escape from the miserable daily life in places where you were expected to walk in the same footsteps as your surroundings, both Black Sabbath and Sodom were spawned as a way out of the inherited boredom so I consider it’s what metal still is all about. It’s not a question of belonging, it’s more how to relate to the other outcasts who never felt alive among non-metal people and to erase distances between us and our peers. There is no other scene that has so little regards to how far you would travel to see a band or to play yourself and there is no other scene that is so dedicated that their lives are based on the music, it’s simply created as a lifestyle and if you wouldn’t understand it you simply don’t belong. 

You come from Sweden, which in our view is the land of death metal and other extreme styles. This is how it looks like a little metal paradise. But how is it in reality? Do people really go to concerts in large numbers, do they support bands, buy music? And what differences do you see between the old fan and the young? In our country, young people usually just stream music on social networks. Is it possible to make music for a living in Sweden? 

True, we do have a lot of groundbreaking killer bands here but for many years the scene has been barely alive, just ask any Swedish band and they will tell you they’d rather play abroad than here. However, it seems like something has happened lately, I get the feeling that the old Metalheads has dusted off their old Nihilist shirts and their kids are old enough to understand the good things in life so there might be a revival in the making. To have a gig in weekdays is still quite a financial suicide since people will not show up on a night followed by work in the morning but the weekends are a bit better now than it has been in years. When I started playing everyone came to the gigs regardless of who was playing and now people don’t go if they don’t know the band in forehand I think, at least to some extent. This also causes the promoters to basically only book the bands people already know since they want to secure the ticket sales. We are still outside this safe zone so we don’t play much here in Sweden. Making music for a living is probably damn near impossible in any music style these days and as an extreme metal band you should be happy if you get more than three beer tickets each, food and gas money for a gig but that’s why we all have day jobs. 

Ronnie, you played with VOMITORY, GEHENNAH, what are big, established bands. Why did you actually leave them? Was it because of TURBOCHAGED? If I'm not mistaken, it was originally just a side project? 

True, I was part of both bands in the early versions of their crusades. I left Vomitory in 1997 due to personal differences really, we grew apart and I felt I had done my share there. No animosity, the moment had simply passed. Gehennah was put on ice for a few years after Osmose dropped us and I couldn’t stand being without an active band so Turbocharged was formed during some drunken nights to fill the gap. One think lead to another and eventually I found myself 100% committed to the Turbo Clan and that was more fulfilling than to go around playing old songs over and over again in Gehennah, I simply didn’t have another 100% to give there so I decided to not be the one pulling the brakes for the band. Luckily both bands decided to go on without me, which they did with style, so I am only the guy who left and not the guy who broke up the bands. Turbocharged is the result of everything I previously did and this is what I always wanted so no wonder it turned into my only band in the end. 

I've heard something about your Ronnie Ripper's Private War project, but I don't know what to imagine. Can you tell us something about? 

That stuff was never even meant to heard in public, it was me trying to document all the ideas I had spinning in my mind but as everything else with me it kinda spun out of control and turned into a full scale production. I sent a few tracks to a guy in Poland just to see what he thought about it and he ended up releasing a CD with 20 of the tracks and from that it turned into a thing. It will never become a real band but some Danish friends of mine decided to put together a band so we could play three gigs and by the sound of it people really enjoyed hearing that shit from the stage. If there will ever be another sign of life from this project or not? Your guess is as good as mine. 

I admit I really like your video clips - especially "Dark Era" from "Militant" 2015 is very successful. Do you enjoy recording video clips? Are you planning some even for a new album? 

Awesome, this proves some people actually has noticed our efforts! I am the guy behind the shooting and editing the videos, I am somewhat a nerd when it comes to movies and cinematic stuff and I spend countless hours researching techniques and ways of creating visuals. I have also spent way too much money on gear so we do have everything we need to make a video for every song we ever record but it falls flat when time and effort is not in our favor. I’ve had ideas for at least 5-6 videos for tracks that are now too old to make something of, it sucks major donkey genitals but what can you do? I hope this will change though, we have everything set for anything we want so I hope we will get off our asses and be smart about it eventually. 

I don't think I'm going to talk to the wind when I write that you're a band that honors Lemmy's famous slogan - "We want to play fast, loud and kick your asses". Yet like every band you are going through some development. What direction will TURBOCHARGED take in the future? 

Every band with a common sense of self-respect should honor those words if you ask me! Yes, we want to deliver a kick to the face rather than show we are skilled musicians so it’s just logic that we play fast and hard. If we didn’t develop at all we might as well release the same record over and over again so there has to be some change but we also don’t want to be progressive and lose our energy. Between every album our influences grow, there are new killer albums released and you also discover old bands that were too obscure to know earlier, etc,so you do build up a slightly different approach to the same recipe from year to year. You also become a slightly better musician and can play a bit faster or have more demanding songs so yes, the changes come whether you like it or not. We never aim for anything more than to stay true to our own legacy so within our small frame of reference we flow freely into the next album, so to speak. Someone gave us the best compliment you can get as an underground band like ourselves: “I listened to the new album… I have to say you are a strange band. For every album you dive deeper and deeper into the underground”. That sums it up perfectly, we are too old for glitter and fancy shit and we like the dirty backstreet clubs so why should we try and become something we can’t do with a straight face? 

What are TURBOCHARGED plans for upcoming months? Will you support the new album with some European tour? I think to connect again with INFEST would be excellent! Are you coming to the Czech Republic? 

We have no real plans at the moment but we are in no way standing still. There are some plans in the making but I can’t tell just yet what’s up, we will make it official as it comes together. We did a tour with INFEST this year already so that’s already sorted out but there’s more where that came from so we are always open for another one! We hope to return to Czech Republic as soon as someone books us, that’s for sure! 

Thank you very much for the interview and for your music. I wish you great sales and a lot of loyal fans and good luck in your personal lives. 

Thank YOU for showing interest! We will go on as long as we have the stamina and whatever that may bring is all good fun! Take care and keep your eyes open for updates about our efforts!


Recenze/review - TURBOCHARGED - Above Lords, Below Earth (2019)

Recenze/review - TURBOCHARGED – Militant (2015):

Report, photos, video - Death Storm Across Europe Tour 2016 – TURBOCHARGED, INFEST, MALLEPHYR, CRYSTALEPSY – 15 minut music club, Olomouc - 18. 9. 2016:

Photos - Death Storm Across Europe Tour 2016 – TURBOCHARGED, INFEST, MALLEPHYR, CRYSTALEPSY – 15 minut music club, Olomouc - 18. 9. 2016

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