Last month we were lucky enough to go and see Truckfighters at their show at Patterns, Brighton and what a show it was! Before their set, we caught up with Mr. Dango and Mr. Ozo to talk ping-pong warm-ups, album artwork and Fuzzorama Records…
Broken Arrow: Hello gentleman, firstly I’d like to thank you for taking the time to sit down with Broken Arrow for this interview. How has the tour been so far for you guys?
Mr. Dango: Fat! It’s been really good, overall it’s been good. The crowd is always a bit crazy.
Broken Arrow: How have the crowds been outside of London? Have the crowds got bigger outside of the London scene for you guys at all?
Mr. Dango: I think the regional shows have been better than before overall. Birmingham wasn’t that good, the rest of the shows were fine.
Broken Arrow: So we’re talking to you at the very last stop of your European tour. Are you feeling the road miles of this tour or are you going to see it off with a bang?
Mr. Dango: A bang? Yeah, I think it’s going to be a very crazy evening! Of course we still have some energy left.
Broken Arrow: Did you do your warm up running before hand?
Mr. Dango: We played some ping pong actually! Hahaha.
Broken Arrow: So the tour is in support of your new album ‘V’. I’m sure fans we can expect to see a significant amount of songs from that album. But are there any deeper cuts from older albums or any surprises we can expect?
Mr. Dango: Yeah, you will actually get a lot of old stuff as well.
Broken Arrow: So we can expect quite a long set?
Mr. Ozo: I think it’s normal for us to play long sets. I mean we have 80 minutes on the schedule, so yeah we usually play around 70-80 minutes.
Broken Arrow:Which is a testament to your stamina as a band too.
Mr. Dango: It depends on how much we just wanna jam some night we do a bit more of that than others and it gets.. longer. Hahaha.
Broken Arrow:I was analysing the artwork for ‘V’ and the shape and formation of V seems to be a constant in the artwork with the peace sign, the 5 jets. I was curious if you were just playing with the shape or is there a deeper significance to that artwork.
Mr. Dango: The artwork has a lot of meaning, I would say. It’s like victory. Victory hopefully after the last war on the planet ever, or it’s another dimension where it’s ever continuing shit you know? It’s kind of reflecting the world today. There’s a lot of crisis going on here and there. People don’t really take care of each other, Europe don’t take as much refugees as we should and people are turning against each other in Europe as well. Closing borders and leaving the Union!
Broken Arrow:It feels like we’re regressing as a society right?
Mr. Dango: Yeah it’s going in the wrong direction. Yeah it sucks, so it’s kind of a reflection of that, and also on a personal level we have been a bit angry I guess.
Broken Arrow: So a lot of that spun into the lyrical content on the record as well then?
Mr. Ozo: Yeah, ‘The Contract’ is mainly, or only about the dispute we have with our management. And a lot of other things are more serious I guess.
Broken Arrow: That’s interesting to know because ‘The Contract’ is my favourite song on the album. So, musically speaking ‘V’ feels like a continuation of a lot of the musical themes from the ‘Mind Control’ (2014) record. Was it a conscious decision to continue that sort of style of songwriting?
Mr. Dango: No, we never really think about what we should do, we just do.
Mr. Ozo: Yeah, and we don’t really look back on the old stuff. We try to develop.
Mr. Dango: It’s nice with some progression I think.
Broken Arrow: Progression is definitely a keyword there. Have your musical influences changed at all?
Mr. Dango: No they stopped 10 years ago, haha! It’s like our brains, our universe has expanded a little bit. We see beyond our own little sphere.
Broken Arrow: So is that where the title for the track ‘Universe’ from 2014’s ‘Mind Control’ came from?
Mr. Ozo: No, that came from something different. It was like our Universe when we recorded that album. We were so in to it for so long, we kind of lost our minds. We lost everything outside.
Broken Arrow: Your documentary ‘Truckfighters: Fuzzomentary’ (2011) was an insightful and humbling look into your personal lives and your recording process. How long did the process take and is it something you’d consider following up on?
Mr. Dango: If someone would be crazy enough to do another movie, yeah sure. But we don’t really have time and energy to channel it into a music documentary I think. We prefer to make music.
Broken Arrow: Does it take away from that studio time as well? Was it sort of weird having that fly on the wall atmosphere?
Mr. Ozo: No, it didn’t really take from us this time. But that’s mainly because the filmmakers were doing almost everything.
Broken Arrow: The snippets of Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age, Kyuss) were great as well. And being a big fan of Kyuss, QOTSA and the Desert Rock scene in general, what was it like having him do commentary on your movie and how did that come about?
Mr. Ozo: It was nice of course.
Mr. Dango: For us we didn’t really react too much, like “oh that was fun!”
Broken Arrow:Did he approach you to do it or was it the other way around?
Mr. Ozo: No it was the filmmakers, they were going to interview him for another film I think, and then they did this as well.
Broken Arrow: Here’s a question for Mr. Dango. Tell us a bit about what kind of pedals and gear you’re using on this tour and has that expanded at all?
Mr. Dango: Uh I haven’t expanded in a while. I have two Fuzz pedals, one is a custom made one which is a copy of the Russian Big Muff, and then I have a Russian Big Muff also.
Broken Arrow: And they’re the ones made from the old WW2 Tank parts?
Mr. Dango: Yeah the left over military parts. And of course I have a Wahwah pedal, 2 delays, I have a phaser, I have a tuner, octaves and a booster. An A/B switch and a splitter. And the wireless system. It doesn’t look simple if you look at my board!
Broken Arrow: And you keep your set-up pretty simple bass-wise I guess Mr. Ozo?
Mr. Ozo: Yeah, tuner. Boom. Easy.
Broken Arrow: How is the Fuzzorama records camp doing?
Mr. Dango: It’s doing good! Except we lost our main act (Truckfighters) to Century Media, hahaha! No but we’re doing good, it seems like our bands get more and more involved in playing live and sell more records. It’s still fun to do it!
Broken Arrow: So I recently reviewed and have been listening to a lot of Asteroid and Witchrider, both bands on your Fuzzorama record’s label and they’ve been fantastic. Can we expect either of those bands, or any other bands from the label over in the UK anytime soon?
Mr. Dango: Nope. Hahaha.
Mr. Ozo: No I don’t think so. Asteroid were on the Snuff Fest I think. You just missed them. I think it will take a while before anyone will come here.
Broken Arrow: Well we’ll do the best we can to talk about these bands more.
Mr. Dango: Yeah, spread the word more!
Broken Arrow: I recently watched an interesting interview with Neil Fallon from Clutch. He was saying how things like Illegal downloads were a huge game changer for Clutch getting their music heard overseas and helped them get tours over here. Obviously it hurt CD sales. But have things like streaming services, or illegal downloads helped Truckfighters get their name out there?
Mr. Dango: Yeah of course. I mean we toured in South America twice but we never sell so many physical albums in South America, as an example.
Broken Arrow: So on the flip-side of free music. Vinyl sales for the first time this week finally over took digital sales in the UK. How has the revival of vinyl been for Truckfighters and Fuzzorama records?
Mr. Dango: Awesome. I think we sell double the amount of vinyl than CD’s nowadays.
Mr. Ozo: I think we sold equal amount of vinyl 5 years ago, but now we sell less CD’s.
Broken Arrow: But it’s increasing on tour and online?
Mr. Dango: Yeah!
Broken Arrow: Excellent, well I think other than that I don’t have any more questions. I’d like to thank you guys very much for taking the time to talk to me. I can’t wait for the show.
Mr. Dango & Mr. Ozo: And thank you very much!