Interview with Sjöberg (Ola) & Sundler (Erik) by Matt Frighetto
for Planet Fuzz (website)
2002

Hey how are you guys? Can you, Start with a brief bio and what "Space Probe Taurus" is all about?
Ola: We're fine, man! The real beginning of this band was back in late 1992 when Sundler and Boder formed theband Snake Machine, I got involved in early 1993 and from then we started trying to sound like we do today.In 1997 we changed the name to Space Probe Taurus and started playing shorter and faster songs (some Snake Machine songs could be 8-9 minutes) with real chorus parts. We recorded three demo tapes in 1997 - 1998.

Then in 1999 we were featured on a local compilation CD-single ("Vol. #2"), in the year 2000 we were featured on a Blue Cheer tribute CD, and in 2001 we released our debut 7" ("Insect City"), were featured on the "I Am Vengeance" soundtrack and the "Metalbox" compilation. In early 2001 we recorded the first record label promo entitled "2001" and then in November 2001 the second promo "2010" was recorded. Space Probe Taurus is for us all about having fun and making good music that we would listen to ourselves.Our mission is to spread our songs all over the worldand hopefully make people like 'em.

You have done a lot of demos and been featured on some cool compilations what is your discovery to date?
Ola: Our discovery is that there are too many labels that are all talk and no action. We've been in touch with too many labels that are so positive about us and tell us that we really must do something with them, and then...absolutely nothing! It's really frustrating to be in touch with a label that keeps telling us that we really must do something and then they never give us any offer.

Erik: Yes, one fine example is a label called M_ _´s R_ _n Records. They got in touch with us a couple years ago and wanted to do something with us and were going on about it and they liked the stuff we sent them...but nothing. Sometimes I think that we are cursed, but I guess that we're in the same position as about 1 million other bands out there trying to get record deals!

Space Probe Taurus always seems to be busy, with recording new music, what is the process of writing within the band?
Ola: Well, it starts with either me, Boder or Eronen writing the music at home or putting together the different parts (verse, chorus etc) into a song. Then it’s time for Sundler to work his magic behind the drums and make the song complete. It’s usually up to me to try and find out vocal harmonies for the song after that (if you can call shouting at high volume vocal harmonies). Both Per and I write the lyrics for our songs.

Erik: It's all about putting it together and makes a song as good as possible and all of us satisfied at the same time. Most of the time the songs are great and there's noting to argue about, but sometimes there is. If there's a part in a song that one or some of us doesn't like, then we try something else. So instead of arguing wether we should try something new or not, we try and hear right away if it works. That’s a real time saver and makes it real easy to get us to the next song. Of course there are songs that we discover are no good, after playing them a while. If that happens we throw them away and parts of them later appear in new songs.

What’s your favourite song to play?
Ola: That’s really hard, man… It’s either Snuffhouse, Dig the Lizard or Calling Cosmos (sorry, but it’s really hard to choose). I like playing these fast songs that gets your adrenaline pumping like crazy.

Erik: My favourites are the ones where I get to play groovy stuff, like Dancing Jupiter, Fireball 500 or Crystal Mountain Revolution. They don’t have to be fast or slow, just groovy.

Who are your main influences, which help you, produces such a cool fuzzy vibe?
Ola: Nowadays I’d say that my main influence is…Space Probe Taurus. It probably sounds really weird, but I look to our songs for inspiration to write new ones. But other than that I really like the music from biker-, drug- & hippie movies from the late 60s/early 70s. Then there’s of course cool bands like The Stooges, Mudhoney, Blue Cheer, Hawkwind etc. that gets my juices flowing.

Erik: Everything I listen to is a kind of influence to me. I have listened a lot to Ian Paice's drumming in the early DP songs, which I think is a cool drumming style and also Riot's "Fire Down Under". That together with Ola, Per and Magnus riffing makes everything sound like Space Probe Taurus - that "cool and fuzzy vibe" you were referring to.

The new recording "promo 2010" is a little different to the other sessions you have recorded. Was that intended?
Ola: I don’t think it’s that much different from our other stuff, but we chose to record stuff that didn’t sound too much like on the first promo ("2001"). The intention is to complement the first promo with this second one so people will be able to experience the whole spectrum of the Space Probe Taurus sound.

Erik: The songs are chosen in order to show a little bit more of the SPT spectra, perhaps that is why the songs seem a little different than for example "promo 2001". Other than that I think they're in the same vein as our other songs.

Are you happy with the new material?
Ola: Hell yeah!!! I think our new stuff shows people that the band is still getting better and haven't got stuck in the same rut and that all the songs sounds the same. I think that the new stuff is maybe a little bit heavier than our other songs (but we still crank out those fast fuzz rockers).

Erik: The new material rocks big time! We have improved and evolved a lot! I sometimes get surprised when I hear us and that we sound that good. We play the kind of music that I would go out and buy if I heard it on the radio.

How did the 7’ "Insect City" on Game Two records, come about?
Ola: I was reading a post on the Stoner Rock mailing list from Mike (of Game Two Records) to someone and in the post he was talking about our "Acid Worship" demo and why it was just only a demo and not a record. He also wrote that he had written a review of it in his and Conan's magazine SlowRide, so I contacted him as we're trying to get all reviews for our website and we got talking. I told him that there are too few labels around who wants to put out a 7" and he just told me: we want! 

Erik: I didn't know that Ola, cool!

Have they shown any interest in more "Space Probe" recordings?
Ola: Well, they dig our new stuff as far as I know, but nothing has been said about doing something more at the moment. But it would be cool to do something more with those guys as they're two cool dudes with a cool label.

Erik: We would really be interested if they asked us.

Do you guy’s get out and do many gig’s around Sweden? And if so what is the response like from the audience?
Ola: Nope, we've only played live four times... But, this far people really seem to like our loud fuzz. I think we play music that is at its best when played live.

Erik: Not many at all, but if people want us to come and play, we'll come and play!

What has been your best gig of all time?
Ola: I think the two gigs we played at Kåren (a student house/pub for the local university) in Karlstad (our hometown) have been our best. I think we grooved on stage quite good at both those gigs and the songs were tighter than ever. The second of those gigs (in October 2001) is maybe the absolute favourite as it was the first gig with this line-up. 

Erik: The second gig at Kåren, the first with the new line-up rules so far! The audience seemed really into it (perhaps they were really drunk ;-))

What about your worse?
Ola: Our first one (there's no doubt about it :-))! We were a bunch of really nervous guys that night.

Erik: I agree to that, with Space Probe Taurus that is. But we were tight even though we were nervous. I have been playing live a lot with other bands and therefore done other gigs that have been really crappy!

There is an ever-growing music scene in Sweden it must be hard to get somewhere, given the talent that is around in your country?
Ola: Well, I think you have to find your own little niche. The music scene is really big so you really have to find your own sound a couple of years back it was easier as most bands competed with each other to be the new Kyuss.

Erik: You just have to hope that the right people hear your music at the right place and at the right time. It also helps if you take care of your opportunities.

How do you see the genre and where do you think it will go?
Ola: I believe that this genre will be as mainstream as most other genres in the future. It happened back in the mid 90's with death metal and in the early 90's with the grunge shit... 

Erik: Some bands will die and some will continue. It's like it always is. I think rock will always be popular no matter what shape or form

If you could have a jam with anyone who would that be?
Ola: It would be cool to jam with Ace Frehley (back in mid 70's before he got too involved with the bottle) as he's really my favourite guitarist. 

Erik: I really don't know. Perhaps Deep Purple.

Tell me your view on the ultimate band ever, if it could consist of anyone dead or alive?
Ola: Being mostly into punk music I would like to see Jerry Only (from the Misfits) on bass and backing vocals, Johnny Ramone on guitar, Robo (from Black Flag/Misfits) on drums, Leonard Graves Phillips (from the Dickies) on backing vocals and keyboard and of course the mighty Joey Ramone (R.I.P.) anno 1977 on vocals. It would have been fun to hear what these giants could have done together :-)

Erik: Definitely Ian Paice (Deep Purple) on drums. J Mascis (former Dinosaur JR) on guitar and vocals. Gene Simmons (Kiss) on bass and vocals. Ozzy on vocals and finally Jimi Hendrix on guitar and vocals. I would really have been interesting to see what those guys could have come up with!

What are your all time top 5 movies?
Ola: Ilsa – She Wolf of the SS
Halloween
Scream
L.A. Confidential
Psych-Out

Erik: Aliens
Jaws
The Sting
Highlander
Nobody's Fool

How about top 5 albums?
Ola: MISFITS – Walk Among Us
THE DICKIES – Dawn of the Dickies
RAMONES – Rocket to Russia
DEAD KENNEDYS – Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables
DELERIUM - Karma

Erik: RIOT - Fire down Under.
KISS - Dressed to Kill
MONSTER MAGNET - Spine of God
SLAYER - Seasons in the Abyss
TROUBLE - Trouble (-90)

What’s in your stereo at present?
Ola: DARK FUNERAL – Diabolis Interium (a brilliant CD!)

Erik: ENTOMBED - Morning Star.

What plans are in the future for " Space Probe Taurus"
Ola: Release a bunch of records, play live more, get a lot of cash, get millions of groupies, get hooked on drugs, break up, then when we need money - go on a reunion tour.... No, our plan is to keep spreading the sounds of Space Probe Taurus all over the world. Try to find labels that want to release stuff with us and play some more gigs.

Erik: I couldn't have said it better myself!

Will we be seeing many more recordings?
Ola: Yeah, I really hope so. If no labels are interested in us after this second promo we'll just record a new one until we find that label that is interested in us. I mean, we get a lot of good reviews all the time so someone somewhere must have a label and like our fuzz.

Erik: Yes, we will continue and continue and continue and continue... The best way to hear new stuff with SPT and to get the latest news is to check out our website. 

Well, I wish you guys all the best and hopefully a label will get off their ass and sign you guys real soon!! Thanks for your time and have a nice Christmas and a happy and safe New Year…
Ola: Thanks, man! And thanks alot for being such a good friend (helping us out and stuff). Good luck with the future of your website (which is a killer one!) and see ya next year in Sweden! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you too (and the people visiting this site). Be sure to check out our website at www.spaceprobetaurus.com !

Erik: Thanks a lot! Good luck with your website! Rock on!