Martin Rudefelt set up Cryo in the early years 2000. From start on this Swedish project dealt with a ‘different’ and clearly ‘intelligent’ electronic format. It’s hard to call it EBM in the truest sense of what we define as EBM, but let’s consider Cryo as a ‘futuristic sound made with vintage equipment’. Together with Torny Gottberg (still label owner of Progress Productions), Martin Rudefelt accomplished a new masterpiece entitled “The Fall Of Man”. I sincerely think if Front 242 would have been set up today, this is the kind of work they could have released. This album will be without a shadow of a doubt one of the 2019 major releases.
(Courtesy by Inferno Sound Diaries)
Q: Cryo is now active for several years and has just released its fifth full length album (including the mini-album “Beyond”). What have been the main themes and sonic ideas you tried to put in this album and how would you analyze the final result?
Martin: Oh I thought this was our fourth full-length album… I need to have a serious talk with Torny about releasing new albums without my knowledge (lol). Anyway, we are very happy with the result of the new album, many seem to consider it the best one so far and that makes me very happy. Five years since the previous album is a long time, but that’s the time it took to find my way to the sound I wanted. We could have released it after one year instead, but I would not have been happy with the result.
Torny: Also, I had this old-school idea that I wanted work around a few singles to lead up to the album. “Control” and “Sanitarium” both took quite some time to organize as it holds quite a lot of remixes etc. But I think it has been worth the wait. And it´s not like we have been lazy either. We have done shows during this time.
Q: Some artists compose songs and albums in a hurry, others consider that a song is never finished and can always be improved. What’s your state of mind about this topic and how do you look back at the writing- and recording process of “The Fall Of Man”?
Martin: I fully respect any writing- and recording process that an artist chooses, as long as the end result is interesting and original enough. Some artists create a song in a day, some need a year. Much song writing in the world is more of a mass-production industry according to preset recipes of what sells the most. This is perhaps not as prominent in the synth scene where there’s not much money to be made, but you can still hear a lot of it unfortunately. I consider such mass-produced songs as more of sound pollution than something that contributes to the scene and attracts new listeners. Once in a while, I do find new music that I enjoy, but as the bitter old man I am, I most often choose to go back to artists (other bitter old men) that I know put their hearts and souls into their songs.
Torny: I sort of feel the same. I have a hard time finding new stuff that I really like. There are some ‘new’ bands which I really think is great. Bands like Legend, Fix8:Sed8, Acretounge, Zynic and a few more I really like. But like Martin already pointed out, there are a lot of same-same as well. But then again music is a matter of taste. There is no wrong, there is no right. All a matter of opinions. I think this is the beauty of music.
Q: “The Fall Of Man” appears to be a truly dystopian title for an album. What did you try to express by this title and what does it say about the ëmení hiding behind the ëartistsí and their vision upon life, society, world etc?
Martin: The album title reflects the overall mood and messages of the songs, that faith in humanity has been lost (and needs to be recovered) and that the core nature of man is far from something to strive for.
Q: I think there’s an interesting duality running through your work; there clearly is a retro/vintage-like inspiration at one side, but still an explicit modern/progressive approach in the sound treatments/arrangements at the other side. Let’s talk about the Cryo ‘sound’, which seems to have a very proper DNA! What’s the focus? Equipment? Procedure to compose? Possible criteria you’re handling?
Martin: For this album we tried hard to make the songs simpler, much time was spent to redo details over and over again until they just had the core of what makes a cryo song interesting. For example “Valium” took almost two years to finish, with about 15-20 very different versions until we finally were happy with the result. We used older equipment even more than before, analog synths from the 70’s and 80’s create the foundation, tape delays and other vintage items for their unpredictability. This together with modern and precise production tools creates an interesting contrast, not just a tribute to the past.
Q: I always experienced Cryo as a band dealing with an intelligent and elaborated electronic format. But ‘intelligent’ music is not easy to ‘sell’ and ‘gain’ a wider recognition. Why is it people are more interested in ‘cheap’ standards without any creativity instead of real innovative bands such as Cryo? This must be frustrating or not?
Martin: Why do people prefer to go and stand in a queue to McDonald’s instead of visiting that nice little Italian restaurant next to it? One answer is, they know what they will get, a cheeseburger is always a cheeseburger. And yes we could write cheeseburger music, it would be easier and much quicker and the audience would love us for it. It’s very tempting and maybe I will do it as a side-project one day just for fun and to be allowed on stage more.
Q: A lot of bands dealing with EBM and dark-electro related music styles are still very busy with aspects such as image and social media. I don’t have the feeling these things are the most important aspects for Cryo! What does it evoke to you and do you think composing ‘good’ music is just enough?
Martin: If you want to become big, you need to focus a lot on image and to be seen everywhere. I wish I had that interest, and skills, to build such an image. But I just want to write songs and perform them on stage. So from that perspective, I’m quite a failed artist. The music of Cryo will still remain though, and we are very proud of it.
Torny: I also think that this hysteria of social media, being everywhere is sort of blahhhhh… I mean I can seriously get tired of the massive flow of things on Facebook etc. It just becomes like an overload of things. And sometimes I just want to shut it of. ALL OF IT. One should really focus on the music. Nothing else.