Rock fans in Europe are already aware of Crucified Barbara, but here in America the buzz is just starting to pick up. This weekend, Metalholic caught up with band members Mia Coldheart and Klara Force to talk about the band’s upcoming third album, their personal choice in axe weaponry, as well as personal passions in and out of the studio.
Crucified Barbara is an all-female Swedish hard rock and metal band that combines elements that cover the gamut of 70s, 80s, and 90s hard rock, and blend them into a modern edgy sound, with more than a hint of punk. The quartet’s third album, The Midnight Chase will hit North American shores on July 31.
Crucified Barbara was founded 14 years ago, in Stockholm. According to singer Mia Coldheart, the band takes its name from an incident at a concert years ago where they witnessed a blowup doll attached to a crucifix. In Sweden blowup dolls are called “Barbaras”.
“We started out as teenagers learning to play music,” recalled Coldheart. Mia, who was the last to join the Crucified Barbara, handles not only vocal duties for the band but lead guitar as well. Joining her are guitarist Klara Force, bassist Ida Evileye, and drummer Nicki Wicked.
Both Coldheart and Force point to Nirvana and 90s grunge for their early influence, and admit that grit carries over into their own sound. “We’ve never been into this clean, pure metal sound,” admits Coldheart. We always want to add some dirt to it. That’s the way we are. That’s what we play. So I think it’s from the grunge, from our roots, and I’m really grateful for that.”
The band’s first two albums, 2005’s In Distortion We Trust and 2009’s ’Til Death Do Us Party paved the way for what is easily the band’s most cohesive record to date. “It feels like a beginning,” enthused Coldheart. “It was a really special experience to record it. It was a lot of stress but it was so much more fun than the previous [albums]. We worked really hard, and I think we’ve become better song writers. I’m really proud of it, and it’s so much fun to play the songs. It feels more natural. I think we found our way to write songs, and working together, it was much easier. I think we learn something from every time we enter the studio.”
“Recording this album it felt like sound wise, song wise, like we were finding a home. We’re mature enough to know exactly what we’re doing. It turned out the way we wanted, and it’s sort of like we found the key on how to do it—and we did it. I think we were a little bit more daring with this album as well.”
Both guitarists agree that the best part of recording the new album had less to do with the music and more to do with the cuisine. “When one was recording the other had to cook dinner, said Mia. “We always made like really good food, every night and day because it’s really important. The sound engineer said ‘I have one rule, food first, recording second.’ So it was a lot of good food. Three of us our vegetarians, so it was a lot of green food.”
“We were working really hard, but the best part was all the great food we ate,” laughed Klara. “We are all food lovers, and we cooked amazing food every day. That was probably the best part of the recording.”
Mia and Klara agree that the band doesn’t have a particular formula for writing songs. Each tune comes together in its own way whether it’s each member bringing in bits and pieces or band members playing together. “We jam a lot,” shared Force, “rehearsing of course altogether. But I’ve been sitting here plenty of evenings in my kitchen with Nicki, the drummer. Just with an acoustic guitar and she’s banging on the kitchen table trying to find the beat, and I’m just strumming the guitar. And that works too. As long as it turns out okay you should just try to be creative and write all the time. It doesn’t matter how it happens, just that it happens.”
Mia is the band’s “shred Queen”, handling lead duties, while Force is the “riff Princess”. The two guitarists are equally fond of their Gibson guitars. Coldheart is never without her trademark Flying V, though it was not her first choice:
“I didn’t want a ‘V’ from the beginning. I thought they were not balanced and I didn’t like it. Then I tried one in a shop. It was like 2004, I think. It was like ‘ah, this is perfect.’ I knew it was the one. So that day I borrowed it and tried it at home, and I never gave it back. I kind of grew into it. I can’t leave the ‘V’. It’s a part of me.”
“For me there’s no other choice than Gibson,” declared Force. “I’ve tried to play like a Stratocaster for instance. It doesn’t work. I can’t even play it. So I’m sticking with my Gibson. And I really love the Explorer. I got it in like 2004 I think and it’s been my main guitar since.”
Outside of music each of the ladies has different pursuits. “I like horses a lot,” offered Mia. “I try to find some time to spend in the stables. And I do training to stay in shape. I like to draw a lot, and I used to be a painter.”
Force is a big fan of literature, and she enjoys a good debate about politics. She is also an occasional writer, and recently wrote a piece on the top 50 guitarists of all time for a European magazine. Topping her list; “Slash of course, was there, Tony Iommi. Jimmy Page of course. I love Michael Schenker from UFO. And I also put Criss Oliva from Savatage. Brian May was on the list. I could go on forever.” She is also a nurse for the elderly when not wielding her axe for the band.
The group is hoping to make its way to U.S. soil this fall. Both Force and Coldheart revealed that it’s been a big dream of the band’s to play in America. Who would they love to tour with? “It wouldn’t hurt to tour with Metallica,” laughed Force. “And Slayer of course. I’d love to play with Slayer.”
Check out the full Crucified Barbara interview with Mia and Klara below, and be sure to pick up the band’s new album when it hits stores July 31, on Nuclear Blast Records.