Interview With Chrome Division Bassist Bjorn Luna
Band Photo: Chrome Division (?)
Chrome Division is a hard hitting rock and roll band with a heavy metal edge that focuses on all those things that make rock music so much fun, namely Booze, Broads, and Beelzebub, which just happens to also be the name of the band's latest album. Although the band is composed of members from more extreme outfits such as Dimmu Borgir and The Kovenant, Chrome Division has its own distinctive style that has been crafted specifically to get people taking shots and singing along. The band's bassist Bjorn Luna recently answered some questions about Chrome Division and their new album.
xFiruath: The e-mail I received from Nuclear Blast said you were a big fan of horror movies, so what’s your favorite horror flick and what do you like about it?
Bjorn: (laughs) Ok, my favorite horror movie is The Exorcist, and I think it’s because the first really scary movie I saw as a kid, and I was really scared when I saw it. It had so much nice effects and really cool atmosphere. It’s still my favorite movie from all these years.
xFiruath: You’ve got to love the little girl vomiting green pea soup there.
Bjorn: Yeah, absolutely.
xFiruath: When did you start playing music and what first made you want to be a musician?
Bjorn: I started when I think I was 16. First I was interested in rock music, and when you are at that age, it has a great impact on your life. It was coincidence that a couple of other guys already had parts to play, and I was lucky that they didn’t already have a bass player. So I bought my first guitar at that age, and I didn’t know how to play or anything. I have all kinds of demos from that time, and it was really horrible. You know it has to start from somewhere of course. From there I was involved with several bands, so know I have ended up in a rock band.
xFiruath: Chrome Division is a pretty different style from the other bands you and the other members have been in before. What made you guys want to do the whole rock and roll style?
Bjorn: I think it comes to the music we listened to growing up, and the feeling we had at that time, it’s so nice and so cool to have, and when we play in this band the feeling more or less comes back to you. We’re at the same age, everybody in the band had the same bands we listened to but there’s some difference in our favorites of course. So it’s natural that we started to make something different from the really hard metal stuff. It’s the kind of music we wanted to play, something different. We’re pretty much all agreeing on what kind of stuff we wanted.
xFiruath: So tell me a bit about “Booze, Broads, and Beelzebub” and what is different about it from the first album, “Doomsday Rock ‘n Roll?”
Bjorn: The difference is that it’s a bit more varied, I think. It’s more varied in the style, it’s not just rock and roll, but some punk stuff, and some metal stuff, and the sound is better. It’s more powerful, and the songs are more versatile in the choruses. It has more of something to hook you in and have you remember it and sing along to it.
xFiruath: So how did the ZZ Top cover of “Sharp Dressed Man” come to be?
Bjorn: Coincidence really, because everybody in the band wanted to do some covers, but we didn’t know what it should be. The only thing we wanted to do was have a classic rock song, and this particular track has been a classic for a long time now. We altered it a little bit, and the song is really cool, we put a bit more power than the original. I love the original, but you know sometimes you try to think of a really cool song and how it would be with a modern sound, and this is how it came up.
xFiruath: Now that you are in Chrome Division are you still playing with Ashes to Ashes?
Bjorn: Well Ashes to Ashes is put on ice. We have recorded a third album, but it has a lot of mixing to do and stuff that’s on hold, the whole band is put on ice. We’ll have to see what happens after awhile, but right now I’m focusing on Chrome Division.
xFiruath: Any plans for Chrome Division to go touring any time soon?
Bjorn: We have not really nailed any plans. We have told the record company and promoters and everybody that we are really eager to play, and there are some rumors of something happening this fall and winter, but it’s in the planning stages. It would be cool because almost every time Dimmu Borgir is standing in the way, if you could put it that way, because they are occupied with their touring and everything. When it comes to this winter they are going back to the planning stage for their next album, so they are going to slow down their touring and we will have the opportunity.
xFiruath: When you aren’t playing music, what album do you personally listen to most and what draws you back to it?
Bjorn: That differs a lot. I listen to all kinds of music really. It depends on the mood and the day and everything. One album I’m listening to frequently right now is the last album from Vader, the polish death metal band, that’s really cool. Otherwise it’s pretty varied, I mean the next day I could listen to Willy Nelson, it depends on the mood.
xFiruath: What do you think is the most silly or bizarre thing to happen in the history of metal?
Bjorn: (laughs) Silly or bizarre, now I’ll have to think about that. There’s a lot of things of course. When people try to copy things that are already there, you know and not have the real understanding of it. When the movement of the Norwegian black metal was really rising it had a lot of attention from all kinds of countries, and there was some band from Russia I think, and they were trying to do exactly the same thing. So they would try to write lyrics in Norwegian and have Norwegian names and characters, and for us that was so strange, the names were so strange. The language was completely misunderstood, so that was really funny. They took a common name here in Norway and added “Satanas.” So it was a normal name and then just Satanas, so it was really strange. They were really serious about it, it was no joke to them, and it was really strange.
xFiruath: Well that’s all my questions, so do you have any parting words for the fans?
Bjorn: Yeah of course, hopefully they are buying our album and have a blast with it. Drink a lot to this album and have a good time.
xFiruath: Thanks for your time Bjorn!
Bjorn: Yeah thanks!
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