With Desertfest rapidly coming into view, Midlands Rocks has been busy speaking to a few of the acts heading to Camden Town in London over the Coronation weekend, kicking things off with Swedish Stoner renegades Dozer. Bass player (and appropriately named) Johan Rockner settles down for a rapid fire Q&A with Paul Castles.
MR: Hi Johan, congratulations on the new Dozer album Drifting In The Endless Void, superb… but why have we had to wait 10 years! I guess that’s the obvious opening question…
Thanks! Yea, I know…ten years, Jesus. But for us I guess, it wasn’t really like that. We never called it a quit; we just took a break for three years while Fredrik finished his studies. Then we played live almost every year after that. But in between, life took place for everybody so nobody really paid that much attention to it. We released some old songs (Vultures) and everyone did some other stuff on the side, and time passed on..
MR: Tommi has been busy with Greenleaf… was there a point when you all kind of accepted that Dozer had run its course – or was there always a drive to get the band back up?
No, we didn’t think about it all like that. When the stars are align again for the band, and for us, I guess that’s when it all just happened. It was nothing planned; it just felt good for everyone to get back and try to write music again.
MR: Was the approach to Drifting In The Endless Void in any way different from your previous work?
We didn’t know really what to expect and where the music will take us and in what direction. We just let it happen, and hoped for the best.
MR: Have you achieved the sound and atmospherics you were looking for?
We worked together once more with longtime friend and studio engineer Karl Daniel Lidén, and as always, he delivered a masterclass sound. I think the only sound idea we had was that we wanted it to be hard and heavy, with a big open sound.
MR: Was the studio process smooth or did you face any particular challenges?
Best studio time ever!! We had 10 days in the studio, for drums, bass and guitars and some extras. Then Fredrik did the vocals at home, in his garage… The recording process was a little different than before, that was new for us, but effective and fun. We set everything up, so everybody could record whenever they had the feeling. This made everyone a lot more part of the process in every way.
MR: It’s more than 25 years now for Dozer… did you expect that when the band first came together?
MR: You’re performing at Desertfest in May… What do you know about the festival?
We played Desertfest a couple of times in the past. A lot of fun. A great festival.
MR: How much does it mean to you to get the chance to play in London again?
London and the UK has always treated Dozer good through the years…it’s going to be nice to get back and rock again.
MR: Will you play some of the new material, mixed in with some of the older songs?
MR: Since Dozer started out in the 90s how do you feel the Stoner scene has grown and evolved?
It’s awesome that it’s grown to be this big…and still going.
MR: Is the fact that Desertfest now also takes place in Berlin and New York reflective of the popularity in this music? I know you’re also playing at Berlin DF.
I guess so. It’s the biggest underground scene, now going public, and it works! Fantastic!
MR: Anyone looking to catch you at the Electric Ballroom at Desertfest, what can they expect to see and hear?
A loud massive wall of sound, a high energy kick right in the nuts, and of course…these good looking gents on stage. What’s not to see!
- Dozer on Facebook
- Drifting In the Endless Void is released on 21 April via Blues Funeral Recordings. Pre-order here.
- For all the very latest ticket and line-up news for Desertfest click here.