Clawfinger is a nu metal band from Sweden. Clawfinger is known for aggressive but melodic music and tackling political and anti-racist themes in their songs.
The band’s origin dates back to mid-1989, when Zak Tell and Jocke Skog met while working together at Rosenlund Hospital in Stockholm. In 1990, they were joined by the Norwegian guitarists Bård Torstensen and Erlend Ottem who were also working at the hospital. The four soon realized their similar interests in music. Bård and Erlend played previously in a band called Theo in their hometown Arendal in Norway. They invested their free time exploring the musical world, composing and writing songs while eventually evolving into a band.
Their original demo comprising three tracks (“Waste of Time”, “Nigger” and “Profit Preacher”) quickly secured local radio airplay for them and consequently brought them to the attention of the music label MVG Records. “Nigger” is an anti-racism statement that caused quite a stir and was a massive success; it was also released as a single. By the beginning of the 1990s, Clawfinger self-released their debut Deaf Dumb Blind. This sold in over 600,000 copies worldwide and was critically acclaimed by the Swedish press. With the addition of André Skaug and drummer Morten Skaug, Clawfinger went on tour and played at European festivals, including opening for Anthrax and Alice in Chains.
The band received many awards, including two Grammies “at home” during the Swedish Grammy Awards in 1994 for best hard rock band and for best music video. After the subsequent touring, they went straight back in the studio to record their second album, Use Your Brain. The album was released 1995 and yet another touring campaign followed, most notably participating at Ozzy Osbourne’s Monsters of Rock Festival in Argentina, Brazil and Chile in that year, rocking alongside American metal counterparts like Megadeth, Faith No More, and Alice Cooper. Back in Europe they continued the touring campaign by taking part at festivals and countless gigs.
Their self-titled album Clawfinger was released in 1997. The first song on the album is “Two Sides”, which expanded the band’s reach by using female choir vocals and a Middle Eastern sound. The rest of the album continues with the band’s typical aggressive voice and socio-political lyrics.
Clawfinger contains 12 songs with an additional 3 bonus tracks on the limited edition. They released three singles and two videos (Biggest & the Best and Two Sides).
A Whole Lot of Nothing was the fourth album released on 23 July 2001. The music showcases the same aggressive guitars, with more distortion effects and sounds, adding a new level of diversification. Synthesizers are much more present on this particular album than on any other of Clawfinger’s works.
A Whole Lot of Nothing contains 13 tracks and 2 bonus tracks on the limited edition. Clawfinger also released four singles, two of which are limited editions.
Zeros & Heroes caused controversy upon its 2003 release in America due to open critique of former head of state George W. Bush and US military politics following the 11 September 2001 attacks, particularly in the song “Step Aside”. It offers yet another change of style for the listener. The electronic sound and synthesizers from A Whole Lot of Nothing are gone and replaced by a more complex and melodic guitar riffing.
Hate Yourself With Style was released in 2005. The album continued the path entered on Zeros & Heroes and is characterized by hard rock style melodic speedy guitar riffs. The keyboards which particularly characterized A Whole Lot of Nothing have completely disappeared.
Unlike previous albums, where the limited edition featured two or more bonus-tracks, the limited edition of this album features a DVD with live footage from the Greenfield festival and video clips of all singles up to Clawfinger’s third album.
Life Will Kill You was released in 2007. It has spawned three singles: “Prisoners”, “The Price We Pay”, and “Little Baby”.
Clawfinger had been working on a re-recording of their debut album Deaf Dumb Blind. The plan was to re-record all the album’s songs, additionally featuring guest musicians. Zak Tell has stated, that talks were held with members of Rammstein and Peter Tagtgren from the bands Pain and Hypocrisy.
In 2008 and 2009 the band played at the biggest open-air festival in Europe (400,000–500,000 rock fans every year)—Przystanek Woodstock in Poland.
On 24 August 2013 the band’s Facebook page announced that the group is disbanding.
On 5 October 2013, another announcement was made that Jocke Skog had joined the Swedish death metal band Feared as their new bassist.
In May 2014, the Facebook page of the band announced a one-off show at the ZAHID festival in Ukraine on 8 August 2014. The band has been occasional one-off reunion shows since then, performing two in 2015, two in 2016 for Denmark’s CopenHell Festival and Bulgaria’s Summer Chaos Festival, and most recently on the Irreversible Festival 2017 in Monthey, Switzerland.
On 4 August 2017, the band released the new single “Save Our Souls” via iTunes and YouTube.
Life Will Kill You / 2007
1. The Price We Pay
2. Life Will Kill You
4. Final Stand
5. None The Wiser
6. Little Baby
7. The Cure & The Poison
8. Where Can We Go From Here
9. It’s Your Life
12. Dying To Know
13. Picture Perfect Skies
Life Will Kill You is Clawfinger’s seventh studio album, released on 27 July 2007 through Nuclear Blast label.
It was recorded by Clawfinger in Fear And Loathing Studios Spånga – Sweden, by themselves. The record is the last album released by the band before their hiatus in mid-2013.
Hate Yourself with Style / 2005
1. The Faggot In You
2. Hate Yourself With Style
3. Dirty Lies
4. The Best & The Worst
5. Breakout (Embrace The Child…)
6. Right To Rape
7. What We’ve Got Is What You’re Getting
8. Sick Of Myself
10. Without A Case
11. God Is Dead
Hate Yourself with Style is Clawfinger’s sixth album, released on 18 November 2005 via Nuclear Blast label.
Hate Yourself with Style continues the path entered on Zeros & Heroes and is characterized by speedy melodic hard rock guitar riffs. The keyboards which particularly characterized A Whole Lot of Nothing have completely disappeared.
Unlike the previous albums, where the limited edition version had two or more bonus-tracks, the limited edition of this album has a DVD with live footage from the Greenfield festival and videoclips of all singles up to Clawfinger’s third album.
Zeros & Heroes / 2003
1. Zeros & Heroes
2. Recipe For Hate
3. When Everything Crumbles
4. 15 Minutes Of Fame
5. World Domination
7. Four Letter Word
8. Money Power Glory
9. Kick It
10. Live Like A Man
11. Step Aside
13. Are You Talking To Me
14. Where Are You Now
15. Point Of No Return
Zeros & Heroes is Clawfinger’s fifth album, released on 26 May 2003 through GUN and Supersonic labels.
It offers yet another musical style change. The electronic sound and synthesizers from A Whole Lot of Nothing are replaced by a more complex and melodic guitar riffing.
A Whole Lot of Nothing / 2001
1. Two Steps Away
2. Out To Get Me
3. Nothing Going On
4. Are You Man Enough?
7. Don’t Look At Me
8. Simon Says
9. Burn In Hell
10. I Close My Eyes
11. Fool In Paradise
A Whole Lot of Nothing is the fourth studio album by Swedish group Clawfinger, released on 23 July 2001 through Supersonic Records label.
The music uses the same aggressive guitar sounds, with more distortion effects, adding a whole new level of diversification. The synthesizers are more present than on any of Clawfinger’s other works.
A Whole Lot of Nothing contains thirteen tracks and two bonus tracks on the limited edition. Clawfinger also released four singles, two of which are limited editions.
Clawfinger / 1997
1. Two Sides
2. Hold Your Head Up
3. Biggest & The Best
5. Don’t Wake Me Up
6. Not Even You
7. Nobody Knows
8. I Can See Them Coming
9. Wrong State Of Mind
10. I’m Your Life & Religion
12. I Guess I’ll Never Know
Clawfinger is Clawfinger’s third studio album, released on 29 September 1997 through WEA and MVG labels.
The first song on the album is “Two Sides”, which expanded the band’s reach by using female choir vocals and a Middle Eastern sound. The rest of the album continues with the band’s typical aggressive voice and socio-political lyrics.
Clawfinger contains twelve songs with an additional three bonus tracks on the limited edition. Three singles were released (detailed below) and two videos (“Biggest & the Best” and “Two Sides”).
The album was named after the band because the band members could not agree on a title. Zak Tell said in interviews that upon seeing the printed sleeve (when it was too late) he had the title idea “Third Time Lucky” and wished he had thought of it in time. This title was relevant as the cover depicts a gun’s barrel with a single bullet that would probably be fired on pulling the trigger for the third time, as well as the album being the band’s third album.
Use Your Brain / 1995
2. Pay The Bill
3. Pin Me Down
4. Waste My Time
5. Die High
7. Do What I Say
9. What Are You Afraid Of?
10. Back To The Basics
11. Easy Way Out
Use Your Brain is Clawfinger’s second album released in 1995 by MVG Records and Warner Music Group. It contains twelve tracks. Three bonus tracks were added to the 2004 re-release. Three singles and their accompanying videos were released from the album.
From Clawfinger’s Facebook page: “After a lot of touring with Just D, Alice in Chains, Anthrax and others, Clawfinger went back home and wrote Use Your Brain in less than two months.”
Deaf Dumb Blind / 1993
2. The Truth
4. Don’t Get Me Wrong
5. I Need You
6. Catch Me
8. Wonderful World
9. Sad To See Your Sorrow
10. I Don’t Care
Deaf Dumb Blind is the title of Clawfinger’s first album. It was released on 21 April 1993.
The musical content is mainly metal/hard rock modernized with a few electronic elements. The vocal approach is an aggressive flux of words sung in a rap style. The album has ten standard tracks; three bonus tracks were added to the re-release in 2004. Clawfinger also released four singles (detailed below) and three videos (“Nigger”, “The Truth” and “Warfair”).
The lyrics of “Catch Me” are translated from the Asta Kask song “Dom Får Aldrig Mig”.
From Clawfinger’s Facebook page: “The record company expected the album to sell around 5,000 copies. We were sure it would sell more, but no one expected it to sell nearly 700,000 copies.”
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