Though more well known for his main project Cynical Existence, Fredrik Croona has had a solo side project going since 2015. Debuting with his album The Grey Line, Croona would continue to produce enough material for a second album in 2016 titled Welcome Home. The dark electronic beast would not quiet down, and 2017 sees the release of his third solo album This Is Goodbye. A somewhat relevant title to the state of his solo project, we got an interview with this Swedish musician about his new album and more!
Hello there Fredrik! Welcome back to Brutal once again! I remember the last time I did an interview with you we cleared the air by asking which of your projects are currently active. Is it still only Cynical Existence and this solo outing? I think I remember seeing you post about wanting to start a new side project as well.
Fredrik: Thank you Steve, it's always nice to write with you and Brutal! At the moment the only active project is Cynical. This is due to a lot more going on with the band and with new members and style and what not. My solo is still active in the sense that a new album is just right around the corner, but I will take a small break from working on that to focus on other things. And yes! You read right, there are plans for something new, but we will see what happens.
Is this self-titled project still just you alone? Or have you brought along more band members?
Fredrik: The project is just myself and for every album I've always taken in different musicians to contribute with vocals and or musical parts. I always wanted this project to be just me trying different things and experimenting under industrial/EBM/futurepop. But it's nice to invite others into collaborating with you.
Let's just dive right into the thick of the album then. The album is titled This Is Goodbye. Is that because this is going to be a final album by this project, or does the album reflect something else in your life?
Fredrik: This is goodbye can be so much more than just quiting. In my case it's both goodbye in a sense that I'm leaving for a while, but maybe also saying goodbye to the style I've been making. A while ago I was certain that I was going to quit for good, but now I think it's just time to take a short break to gather more influences and inspiration to get back at it again in the future.
I know we've covered how you write your lyrics in the past, but did you write them out any differently this time around? Do any of the songs have personal, political, or social context to them?
Fredrik: I still write the way I've always done things because it's a habit of mine. The focus has always been to write personal things and reflect on experiences of the past. And of feelings that I might have .
And what of the music? You have been at this for quite some time. Do you think that the music present on “This Is Goodbye” is far better than your other endeavors, or does it all equal out in your own mind?
Fredrik: People might disagree, but I think both my albums have been very similar in terms of style and evenness. This new one has taken aspects and things from both previous albums and maybe a few things have been improved. Both in terms of production and way of writing. Wanting and trying to evolve is a big things I always aim for. Long story short, This Is Goodbye is more experimental but also more fun and better. This is just my opinion of course.
You've got four collaborators on this album – Worms of the Earth, Ruined Conflict, Adoration Destroyed, and Cold Therapy. Tell us, what did each of these individuals bring to the songs you have them on?
We have four very different bands, each with their own style of music and great musicians overall. Each band has made a song that glued the album together from beginning to the end. The opening track is made by Dan from Worms of the Earth and the intro he made ties straight into the featuring with Ruined Conflict, which is one of my favorite songs on the album. Xavier is awesome. Erik did guest vocals for 'Lies' which is a pretty dark, yet melodic track and his vocals were just perfect for it. And the last song of the album which features Cold Therapy is a really dark and creepy track which serves perfect as a outro.
And with this project, what else have you been working on? Do you have any singles, EPs, or remixes planned to go with the album? Or do you think it's finished the way it is for now?
Fredrik: As far as everything goes, I think that the album has to be the last piece we will hear from my solo stuff for a while now. Cynical takes up a lot of my creative energy and it's really what I want to focus mainly on. It's hard to have two projects where you write music, lyrics and vocals (even though I don't write all music for Cynical).
And what are your plans for the future in general? Do you have any upcoming gigs, live shows, or tours planned for this project or Cynical Existence?
Fredrik: Nothing planned for my solo, but for Cynical we have a lot of stuff in the works. New single and also a upcoming music video as well as a few shows. Really exciting stuff!
And here's a question out of curiosity. What bands have caught your interest more than anything as of late? Any new up and coming artists that you think the world should know about?
Fredrik: To be honest I haven't really been listening to industrial music for quite some time. Metal is something I mainly listen to, but if I have to choose one band that really caught my attention it's Miseria Ultima. A great Finnish aggrotech band.
Lastly, I wish to thank you for your time! We wish you luck with the album! Cheers!
Fredrik: Thank you for wanting to do a interview with me, it's always a pleasure to write with you!
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I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.
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