Room Thirteen managed to catch up with Johan Frandsen (Guitar/Lead Vocals), between European legs of The Knockouts’ tour. This also coincides with the European release date of the band’s fantastic album 'Among The Vultures' of which you can read the review here.

R13: There have been some great bands to come out of Sweden. Why do you think that so many have become successful compared to bands from other Scandinavian countries?

JOHAN: Actually I have no idea. Maybe it´s just the fact that Stockholm once was the capital of Scandinavia. I mean Norway spend their time on the oil, Finland have their sauna thing going on and Denmark...hmmmm... Maybe we´ve just spent more time in recording and producing records haha. But Finland for example is GREAT! They have many good venues compared to Sweden. So the scene is much better there in many ways.

R13: What’s the Punk/Rock scene like in Sweden?

JOHAN: Like I said the scene is SO much better in Finland, for example. Maybe we have more bands, but all the good venues are long gone. In Sweden I think people rather start a band than to go to gigs and see other bands play.

R13: I see like me, you guys love tattoos. What’s your favourite and why?

JOHAN: I love my tattoos I think my favourite one is the Gretsch guitar I have. It´s like a woman, lovely curves and sound and feels fantastic. I can just speak for myself but tattoos are something personal you know. I love my tattoos but don´t care much about tattoos in general. Guess you get tired of hearing people talking bout their project and stuff.

R13: With your Punk Rock music having a rock’n’roll leaning, is there anything else about rock’n’roll that you like?

JOHAN: Rock n roll is a way of life I think... ”It´s only Rock n Roll but I like it” In the end it´s ALL about the music.

R13: Is there any band that you’d love to tour with?

JOHAN: We shared the stage with The Living End three times this year and supported their first club gig in Sweden. And they are great guys. Down to earth and great musicians. So I guess I would say TLE.

R13: Outside of music, what else do you guys like doing?

JOHAN: At the moment it´s like ALL about the band. And it´s been like that since day one. For me it´s like whatever I do it has something to do with music in one way or the other. And I like it that way. Ten years ago people were laughing saying ”hay man you wanna hang out next friday” and i said Naahh I´ll be home writting on some new songs hahah but today ten years after I find myself doing just the same thing. It´s just the way we roll.

R13: Which is your favourite Knockouts song, and why?

JOHAN: It´s always hard to pic one favourite song. When you´re writing the songs you always have like bits and pieces in every song that you like. I would say we really took it to the next level on this album (Among The Vultures), the songs were easy to write and I think we came up with the best material we´ve written so far. But songs like The Chimneys Of Chemnitz or Under the light are always alot of fun to play live.

R13: What’s the weirdest idea that you’ve ever had for a song? And has anyone written a song that the other guys have said, “Nah, we’re not doing that!”?

JOHAN: Not really. I think we spend much time on the material so we won´t need to say like ”Nah, we´re not doing that” . Personally I think you know if an idea will work or not from the minute you write it.

R13: Who are your musical influencies?

JOHAN: We like so many types and styles of music. And we get influenced from so many different styles. For us a good band means GOOD songs and GOOD musicians. We listen to everything from Glenn Miller Orchestra to the Ramones.We always try to mix things up you know. We don´t want a label as a punkrock band or a rockabilly band. We´ve always tried to make our own thing out of it. Mixing Rockabilly, punkrock, jazz, country you name it. For us it´s all about the music. There are so many bands out there with crazy haircuts that should have spent more time in the rehearsal studio than infront of the mirror haha.

R13: If the band was a car then what car would it be, and why?

JOHAN: hahah a Volkswagen Bus for sure! Would say pre -67 splitscreen model. Slammed to the ground on some sweet chrome rims. As a Vw bus owner I can´t really think of anything else. It´s simple... SIZE MATTERS!!!

R13: If Hollywood wanted to make a film about the band, which actors, or celebrities, would you want to play you and why?

vJOHAN Maybe it would be better if they didn´t make a movie at all haha, I mean to try to pick actors... Maybe Al Pachino could work.

R13: Have you ever thought of covering anther band’s song for an album? If so what one?

JOHAN: Not for an album, but for a b-side for a single. Usually we try to pick covers that no one play. We love to play Stray Cats ”Rock This Town” live, but we always do the Brian Setzer Orchestra version with all the flashy big band arrangements just because we can haha. It´s like a challange, and it´s fun to play!

R13: Have you got any funny stories from the road?

JOHAN: Well alot of people ask us about the song The Chimneys Of Chemnitz. And they always ask WHY CHEMNITZ? Haha. We´ve played a couple of times in Chemnitz in east-Germany and last time we were there it was a very gray, cold & rainy day. And we were making jokes in the tourbus about all those chimneys and industrial areas that are everywhere in the city. And we realized that no matter how gray it is we always come back once a year to play. The crowd has always been great. So we said let´s write a song about it. A tour song. I had this fast country lick and we started fooling around with it and it became The Chimneys Of Chemnitz.