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Interview with CB3

by Vpower

The Band: CB3

Country: Sweden

Answers: Charlotta Andersson (guitar)



«Aeons» is the title of CB3’s (Charlottas Burning Trio) new full-length, an explosive rock jam experience that brings the spirit of psychedelic music to the 21st century. Special attention to Charlotta Andersson on guitars, a brilliant performance that made include her my all star for the current week. Give them an opportunity, they won’t dissapoint you, they are full of magic.

Hello Charlotta, «Aeons” will be release on February 28th, what are your expectations about it?

Hello! Well, we hope that people will like it. Hopefully it will reach a broader audience that’s into jambands like Earthless, the «jammy» liveverisons of Grateful Dead, Pink Floyd, Mahavishnu Orchestra. Or just a broader audience that enjoy drifting away to imaginary places. And in the future – That it can make us develope as a band. Take us to new venues. Playing more in Europe, festivals and more.

Hopefully so, your album deserves it. CB3 is a trio but listening to your compositions I have the feeling that there are some more guys hidden somewhere and even some kind of symphonic approach…, so many details in each song…

Yes, we aim for a big sound as a trio. We work and think a lot on using different frequencies, contrasts, odd and even rhythms combined when composing, playing together. When working on frequencies, we try to be like an orchestra, combine the lower, mids, higher sounds. Combined with contrasts, like first a broad spectrum of sound and then suddenly playing one riff together and so on. But the main goal is to make it «swing», can’t you headbang, can’t you drift away or can’t you feel it…then it’s not right.

Sometimes they refer to you as “The King Crimson of Malmö”, what do you think about it?

It’s kind of cool. I guess in some way it’s right. We don’t try to fit in to the general popular music scene. We just like to experiment, find new ways in combining improvised music with heavy rock music.

From the beginning you had clear that you wanted to be an instrumental project?

Yes exactly, from the absolute beginning we was actually a bebop/jazz trio. But then we started to combine more rock elements to our music, since we all have a rock/metal background. It was a natural progression, it also felt more true to ourselves.

Did you have the temptation to include voices in any song or you will reconsider it in the future?

Perhaps, it depends on how you do it. I like when bands uses voices like an effect, sound like Bell Witch, Sunn O))) – when it’s a part of the whole.

Instrumental music is not the most popular style, at least in terms of fans or sales, but you offer so many ingredients in every song than you even don’t think about it. Boring is not an option with CB3…

Thank you so much for mentioning it! It was exactly what we’ve been working towards with this album – to make instrumental music interesting, groovy, fun and spaced out and not a sleeping pill. Where it feels that there is no need for a singer with words to express. Or like an ABBA song is saying: «I let the MUSIC speak».

And yours speaks so loud. If you were to define yourselves, you would accept progressive as an concept to summarize your music?

Yes, but everyone nowadays calls their music progressive, so it’s kind of hard to define what progressive music means or is. In CB3 we are a bit like scientists, experimenting and don’t aim to sound like the masses. We combine improvisation, psychadelic sounds, space and odd rhythms in our own way. For me personally progressive is when you aim for experimenting with music, doing something outside the box or «safe place», when you don’t care what the popular is or what people tell you what to write. A bit like King Crimson, Mahavishnu Orchestra, the beginning of YES and Genesis, RUSH.

Awesome. How long have you worked in «Aeons” and how was the recording process?

We recorded it the autumn of 2018 live together in studio in Malmö – where we are based. We were very well-prepared and rehearsed, due to high-cost studiotime and not so much of a budget. All solos is live, in the moment. We dubbed some riffs to make it more big sounding, but not over-doing it because we wanted to have a live/organic feeling to it. It was recorded in like two and a half day. To be able to finish it we started a Kickstarter campaign, and it was a success. Then Joona Hassinen at Studio Underjord mixed and mastered it in the spring of 2019. He made true magic to the recordings, and we would love to collaborate more in the future. Then The Sign Records was interested in collaborating, we made a plan during the summer to the release in the end of February. Robin Gnista has made all artwork – he is like our fourth member. And Matteo Nobis Sandén has made the visual animations. We didn’t want to stress this, we wanted it to be well-organized and released with thought behind it.

There is a little of rock, jam, heavy, progressive… in your songs. How do you start writing a song? Do you have something like a conceptual idea that you try develop or it’s more like a jam session?

It starts with themes, and then when we play together it’s like a jam session. The themes can be feelings, colours or people I’ve met. What do I want to express in these tunes? Do I want it to be an explosive, angry tune? Is this a dark or bright collection of tunes? and so on.
When we made the darker tune «Acid Haze», I was inspired by Stonefields Bent albumcover – the slimey green colour. But also by the different shapes of anxiety can come in. Then it made me want to have only one heavy riff, which developed in different ways. We jammed on my ideas, Natanael came up with a break and so on.

Charlotta, how did you get that level of excelence playing guitar? How many hours or years of training? Any favorite guitarists?

Thanks for kind words. Well, it’s no talent, just hard work, practicing and playing together in a band. I come from the countryside in Sweden, in a traditional hard-working family, with no musical background – but the most important they supported me playing music. I started out playing folk music on violin, then discovered the electric guitar. I had a guitarteacher, who introduced me to metal music and then later a teacher who introduced me to Allan Holdsworth, Mahavishnu Orchestra, John McLaughlin. So I started out practicing jazz, bebop, transcribing solos – then when started CB3, I found my own musical voice I guess. But I am a curious person, and I’m never satisfied. I have many favourite guitar players, when I started I guess it was a bit more «technical-oriented» – nowadays I enjoy listening to guitarplayers that have a personality and is a bit like blues/roots oriented. Like Marisa Anderson, an amazing traditional blues guitarplayer, Josée Caron in Partner, Filippa Nässil in Thundermother, Nels Cline (RIP) in Circles of the Sun. Bluesgrassplayers like Molly Tuttle, Billy Strings and more.

Is not only a question of skills, Charlotta’s solos are full of inspiration, possibly the brightest part in the album

Thanks once again! My aim when soloing is to have a clear focused progression throughout the solo. I try to combine and experiment with rhythms and jazz tonality with rock. Listen to my bandmates, get inspired by what happens in the moment and embrace it.

Any favorite song in the album?

Hmm, hard, I think I like Sonic Blaze and Acid Haze the most.

On the final track you have counted with the cooperation of a saxophonist, which gives the song a special meaning

Yes, we wanted the song to have a bombastic ending. And we knew that our friend Marin Wirén was the right person to ask – he has the energy, knows what to play to suit the bombastic expression. He nailed it right away.

Sure. Planning to play live the full album?

Hopefully that would be cool, but right now we plan to play a few shows in Sweden and then go to Europe this spring. Have been writing a lot of new material also, so we will start experimenting with it. To be able to record in autumn or so.

Amazing. Thanks for your attention, if you wish to add something…

Thank you for reaching out! Well, check our new record out, we’ll have some new merch soon also. And all you music-enthusiasts, keep going to your local venues and support the bands and local scene.

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