“We had a hell of a lot of ideas for a band name, but we all settled on and really liked the song title ‘The Crunge’. Or at least I did.” says Mathias Blomster, lead vocalist and guitarist in the Swedish, Stockholm based quartet that have taken their name in part from a song title by Led Zeppelin from their 1973 album “Houses of the Holy”.

“The 90’s are a very important part of our influences” Mathias admits, “the grunge era, stoner, bands like Foo Fighters, Metallica, Alice In Chains, Soundgarden. But also earlier stuff like Sabbath and Zeppelin of course”. Heavy but yet with a melody, those are words to live by in the world of Crunge.

“Hostile grounds and hell awaits again…” is the opening phrase on the first song ‘Days Left Behind’ that has also given the full length debut album released in February 2015 its title. Lyrically there’s a lot going on when it comes to the eleven tracks on the album, recorded and produced by Kristoffer Folin (Purple Skull Media) at Ramtitam Studios in Stockholm. Whether it be the all too familiar issue of being bullied as in the opening track, backstabbing and betrayal that is the central theme of the lead single ‘The Treason’ or dealing with loss as in the somber song ‘Out Of My Mind’.

“I guess I like telling stories first and foremost. It doesn’t necessarily need to be something you’ve gone through yourself, but rather something that appeals to people, something that they can recognize themselves in and do their own interpretation of.” Mathias emphasizes the importance of both a good lyric theme and good melodies as being the most important ingredients in the formula that is Crunge.

Heavy rockers Crunge from Stockholm, Sweden first saw the light of day in 2010 and consist of vocalist and guitarist Mathias Blomster, lead guitarist Jonathan Pennheim, bass player Peter Kjellin and drummer Richard Bång.  “He’s an animal” Mathias says of his drummer colleague Richard. “He’s actually a lot like Animal from The Muppet Show, totally crazy” he continues, “kind of like John Bonham too, he has an amazing groove like no one else” just to make the connection to the Mighty Zep even more obvious.

Lead guitarist Jonathan, also known as ‘Tanne’, gets a similar description with another well-known icon in mind. “He’s a spaceman in so many ways”, Ace Frehley from Kiss being one of Tanne’s favorite musicians hands down. So much so that he has even given his son the middle name Ace! But the spaceman analogy doesn’t end there. “There’s so much stuff going on in that brain of his that is out of this world, in a good way of course!” the front man laughs, “He’s a man with a lot of spaced out ideas, you just have to be prepared to filter through it. He’s also one of the kindest people I know.”

Rounding out the group is bass player Peter, described by Mathias as a very structured and accurate guy whose presence both musically and personality-wise builds the foundation on which the band stands on. “He’s the piece of the puzzle that connects many parts of the band, both in writing songs, lyrics and a lot of other stuff.” Mathias says pointing out that he’s not just playing a tuned down guitar with thicker strings. “He’s actually playing the bass, there is a huge difference”.

So what about Mathias himself then? “In all this chaos I guess I’m the engine and the hub, pushing it all forward” he speculates, “and the bull horn maybe!” he adds with a smile, describing himself as the force giving the band its forward motion while also being up front and the loudest!

For Mathias personally as a singer, people like Eddie Vedder, Layne Staley, James Hetfield and Phil Anselmo have been very influential in forming him, both in how he sings and how he moves and behaves on stage. But there’s also a lot of inspiration coming from other, more unexpected directions. Sting and Bono are also mentioned when he’s asked about his household gods.

So what’s the single most important thing for Crunge then? “Well the best thing with Crunge is playing together, whether it’s on stage or just the four of us in our rehearsal space. That’s the most fun part anyways!” laughs Mathias. “And if we can do that in front of a huge audience too, well, that’s pretty damn good if you ask me”.


MATHIAS BLOMSTERVocals and Guitars