Swedish experimental electro-pop artist CRONICLE - real name Melanie Mohlkert - was formerly the singer in pop punk band Tantrum to Blind and now she has stepped out of her comfort zone and launched a solo career, with debut single 'Head Up And High' released last year.
Melanie returned with her exceptional second single 'Fools' last month, and here she talks to Lizzie's Lowdown about wanting to "create a space for people to meet, connect and feel warm in this lonely cold world", why it was important that her rock roots were still woven throughout her 90s' house-influenced tunes and how her band's split in 2015 led her to electronic music.
Tell us about the inspiration behind your recent song 'Fools' and why it was important to get those feelings off your chest?
Lyrically the inspiration came from seeing friends in destructive relationships at the time, something I can really relate to myself.
Everything I write for CRONICLE is important to me, it always comes from a place of truth.
I find that when writing about something sad and hurtful, you kind of make something beautiful out of something bad that has happened to you.
It’s really empowering.
Has it been a freeing experience experimenting with different sounds? Definitely. It’s one of my favourite parts in the writing process. It’s like putting layers of cream and sweet stuff on a cake. A cake no one’s ever tried before. Have you learnt anything new about yourself since embarking on your solo career? Haha - yeah - that I’m stubborn as hell and I really suck at vital things, such as planning and making decisions. Was it daunting going solo after being in a band? Terrifying. Although you have shifted genres there is still an element of rock to your music. Was that important? It’s important to me that the music is great and rock is the greatest genre of music so yeah, very important. Coming from Sweden and having such a euphoric sound, Robyn was always going to be a big influence. If the opportunity came up, would you like to work with her one day? If that opportunity came up I’d probably die from a stroke.
Who are your vocal heroes? P!nk, Kurt Cobian and Amanda Marshall. I don’t sound anything like them though </3 How did you first discover your talent for singing? I can’t remember, it’s just something I’ve always loved doing and it’s always been there.
But it feels weird calling it a talent, I’ve never had much confidence when it comes to my singing. It’s something I constantly need to work on. Who did you grow up listening to and how has your music taste changed over the years? When I was a kid my mom listened to a lot of Elton John and Celine Dion and I remember singing along to their records loads.
My dad always played Pink Floyd, Santana and Supertramp. Then I loved pop and R&B like Destiny’s Child, Spice Girls, Robyn etc.
So I feel like I had a pretty solid (very random) foundation of great music of a pretty wide range from the start.
Then in my teenage years, I fell in love with grunge, pop punk and emo.
Nirvana, Sum 41 and Taking Back Sunday were my favourite bands.
It wasn’t until my 20s, when my band had split up, that I started listen to a lot of electronic music.
You are close friends with Becca from Marmozets (UK rockers) and had a side project going for fun. Do you think any of the stuff you did will get released one day? Haha - no, her brothers laptop crashed and everything we had done died with it. RIP.
Can we expect any EP anytime soon? Are the two singles a good indicator of what’s to come? It’s on it’s way. It’ll get a little bit darker, moodier and heavier, but you wont be disappointed if you like what you’ve heard so far, I promise. What has been inspiring you lyrically lately? My heart and brain, they keep failing me.
If you could work with any producer who would you pick? Klas Åhlund. (Robyn, Teddybears) Last year you got to open for Dan Lancaster - who has gone from producing for bands like Bring Me The Horizon and Don Broco to being the artist.
Has he been a mentor to you and have you worked on anything together as that seems like a natural fit? No, we haven’t, and I ask myself why sometimes because we’ve been friends for a long time. But I guess we’re both busy people and whenever we get the chance to hang out we like to skate, eat sweets and talk about other stuff.
What are your hopes and dreams for CRONICLE? My dream is to continue making music I love and to see the world through it.
Whenever I’ve made CRONICLE strong enough, I hope I can create a space for people to meet, connect and feel warm in this lonely cold world.
Listen to Fools: