Saturday 23 July 2022

Exploring New Sounds With CB3: An Interview With Charlotta Andersson From CB3

CB3 upcoming album Exploration surprised me greatly with it's highly original use of Space Rock, Doom Rock, Shoegaze and Stoner Rock environments. The album is the first to feature Charlotta's vocals and it brings an earthly "POP" feel to the album even with the heavy DOOMED OUT sounds appearing in the background. 

CB3 have signed to Majestic Mountain Records for the release of Exploration and the album has made me a huge fan of the band. I wanted to find out more about CB3 and I caught up with Charlotta Andersson (Guitar/Vocals) from the band to discuss the new album and the surprising heavier influences they used for when making the new album.

So read on for a great interview and perhaps discover your new "favourite" band.

Hi Charlotta. How’s it going? Thanks for doing the interview.

Thank you for having us! And awesome questions.

For folks not in the know, can you give a brief history of the band and where it is today.

CB3 started in 2013 in Malmö, Sweden. We started out as a jazz trio, playing my weird jazzy songs, all instrumental. Played at jazzclubs, supporting some big Swedish jazzp layers, festivals, showcases. Then gradually became more and more of an experimental rock band, mixing improvisation and heavy rock. Since then we have shared stages with Kikagaku Moyo, Hällas, Monolord and more.

How would you describe your music in your own words?

Experimental Rock. Or in more detail it is maybe Experimental Rock with Space-, Shoegaze and Psychedelic influences.

We’re here to talk about your upcoming new album Explorations. What can people expect
for this album?

Explorations is a wild, beautiful and dynamic space adventure. It’s about a daydreaming character, whose dreams become reality.

It is experimental rock with dreamy vocals, atmospheric landscapes and spaced out fuzz. If you are a fan of heavy and experimental music like Kikagaku Moyo, Osees, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, Slift, Elder you might like this. You will get some weird mixture of that and with female vocals.

I'm just recently discovered the joys of CB3 and my first experience with your music was through Explorations. After listening to that brilliant album, I went back to check out your whole discography. And I love the creative path CB3 has followed with each album. Everything sounds so vivid and different to each other. Looking back at your first release, did you expect to move into a more Psychedelic Doom/Spaced Out Stoner Rock vibe compared to your Jazz Rock sounds?

Thanks for digging into the whole discography! Going from Jazz, Jazz Rock, Psych/Spaced out Stoner Rock has been very natural progress actually. When we started playing together we all were studying jazz at a school, but then we discovered that what we collectively were into heavier music. So we started to incorporate that into our sound, mixing improvisation with heavier music and started to be more true to ourselves.

Has that always been CB3’s philosophy to release something different that came before it?

No. But one important thing with CB3 as a band is that we always experiment, improvise with our music. We will always try to develop and explore, that makes doing music interesting and fun for us both live and rehearsal and I think for our listeners too. I think that what we have found with Explorations is a nice result of recent years.

It seems the Psych/Stoner Rock underground has been really appreciative of your music throughout the years. Has that surprised you or do you focus upon making music how you want to make it?

We make music as we want to and I’m always blown away by the support. I think we have people that have been following us from the beginning that like jazz, jazz rock, prog rock, experimental music and later stoner/space rock.

With Aeons and Explorations I think we’ve found a nice mixture of what we like musically.

My other favourite album of CB3 is perhaps AEONS. As you brought a more Psychedelic Spaced Out Sound to CB3 whilst still remaining true to your original sound. Was that album the creative turning point for CB3 to try a heavier style of Sonic based Stoner sounds?

Yes absolutely. We wanted to do what we do, the intention was to go heavier, more intense with more dynamic structures in the songs. We had supported Monolord, Firebreather at the time and I was heavily influenced by Monolord's heaviness and dynamic song structures.

Exploration is the first album that features your own vocals. How daunting was that for you to
do this for CB3 after all this time. Why did you decide to sing on this album?

It all began with me starting my work as a guitar teacher. I had to sing different songs everyday, when teaching guitar to kids. In the beginning it felt daunting but then more and more natural.

That’s when the idea of singing emerged and this was during the pandemic. So at the time I was bored by playing endless guitar solos, repeating myself. I wanted to tell a story with words not just with melodies.

My band mates were very encouraging and we jammed so I could practice singing in a microphone, to get used to it. And by practicing I also found what singing style worked for me.

Who wrote all the lyrics? Was this yourself or was it a group effort?

I wrote all the lyrics. I presented it to the band and also the story/idea of a space adventure.

Is this the first album that features your vocals or have you sung on other records before Exploration?

This is the first record.

Who influenced your vocals and lyrics for Exploration?

My vocals are influenced by dreamy Shoegaze vocals. Also chilled/laid back vocals like Courtney Barnett. The sound of Dorthia Cottrell in Windhand also.

The lyrics are influenced by the weird and colorful Book/Disney-movie Alice in Wonderland and the Grateful Dead lyrics. The lyrics are also inspired by poetic structures with a minimalistic approach to it. All in a mixture, in a space context.

You’ve teamed up for Majestic Mountain Records for Exploration. How did that come about?
A great label in their own right.

I actually met Marco years ago at an underground doom/stoner festival and Svempa when he was doing a podcast. So I’ve been familiar with Majestic Mountain Records and been a fan of their work. Because they work closely with their bands and are active in the scene. Then when the time arose we felt that Majestic Mountains' vision and ours was alike so it felt and feels great to do this together.

Did you have offers from other labels to release Exploration?

Much had happened in our lives in the band, studies, moving and so on. We had other priorities and also the pandemic was going on. We didn’t reach out to any at the time, we hoped that Majestic Mountain wanted to work with us, because we wanted to work with them.

The artwork is wonderful and matches the surreal spaced out nature of the album. Who designed the artwork and how much input did you have into the final design?

The artist is called Robin Gnista and we have collaborated with him since the beginning, so for 10 years.

When we collaborate I only give him the music, the title and what colors and themes we think about. Then he is free doing his thing. He always does awesome work.

Will you be touring and promoting Exploration in the coming months at home or abroad?

During the autumn we have a release show in our hometown and a couple of more gigs in Sweden. Then for the spring we plan to tour Europe.

How did you get involved with music. Was it a particular album, group or artist that made you want to write and play your own music.

I started playing violin and Swedish folk music as a kid. Then later electric guitar and improvisation. Allan Holdsworth, John McLaughlin of Mahavishnu Orchestra were my first inspiration when it comes to guitar playing and when it comes to influence the music I do.

Thanks for doing the interview. Before you go, do you have anything to say to your fans?

Thank you for your support and spreading the word. Hope to see you all on any of our upcoming gigs! Also thanks to the Majestic Mountain crew and bands for being nice, supportive and a pleasure to work with.

Words by Steve Howe and Charlotta Andersson

Thanks to Richard at Sheltered Life PR for arranging the interview and thanks to Charlotta for doing the interview.

Exploration will be available to buy on DD/Vinyl via Majestic Mountain Records from August 26th 2022.


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