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A chat with CRANEIUM | What makes them stand apart from the crowd?

Turku, Finland is the home of yet another great new discovery. While obvious comparisons to established artists Fu Manchu and Nebula come to mind, Craneium also features a unique amalgam of Psychedelia, Desert Rock, and the surreal. None of these things are new, mind you, but the guys have honed it all into a sound of their own.

Their third album, ‘Unknown Heights,’ was recently released on The Sign Records. I have listened to it several times in doing research, but even more times just for my own edification. It’s just that good.

We had the chance to ask them a few questions. Gentlemen…

Welcome to Metal Digest!

Thank you for taking a bit of time out of your day. Congratulations on the new album.  How are things in your part of the world?

Thank you very much. We are just starting to slowly open up here in Finland. This last weekend we had our first indoor shows since the early spring of 2020. It was just incredible to see loads of people showing up and supporting live music. So right now things are looking quite bright. We hope everybody can be responsible and continue to work together so we get through this.  

It’s been 3 years since The Narrow Line.’  Clearly, Covid was a factor, but what else caused such a hiatus? Whats the most significant development in the band in the last three years?

Yeah, it has been 3 years already, time really does fly when you are having fun. Weve actually gotten that question or comment a few times now. To us it seems a bit strange since we feel like we have been working with the band just as hard as always. But that just goes to show how today’s world of music works. You should release something new every few months to be considered active.

As for development we are a band that always look to move forward and learn more. We got in contact with The Sign Records for this release and we´re very happy with our collaboration this far. They are teaching us new things about the underground music scene all the time. Beyond that we feel like we have developed a lot in song writing and in finding our own sound and identity as a band. Hopefully something that can be heard on the new album.

I have listened to Unknown Heights’ multiple times. Not a bad moment to be had, but I keep coming back to Weight To Carry.”  Please tell us the story behind this song.

Thank you so much for saying that, we can´t tell you how much it means to us. The song Weight To Carry” came together from an idea lead singer and guitarist Andreas had jamming with some friends. He played it during a writing session, and we tried it out a bit and talked about making a really minimalistic song out of it. It got the working title The Kraut Song” since it was basically just one note repeating itself over and over.

Musically the song was turning into this praise to simplicity. That got us thinking about writing the lyrics from that same perspective. About how filling your life with clutter and possessions instead of people and relationships will make you a very unhappy person. We are really happy with the way it turned out and we are very proud of the vibe we managed to create within the song.

I enjoyed the video for A Secret Garden,” especially the mix of live-action and animation. The scenery is very similar to a local Denver venue. Who/what is the creative force behind it all?  If you had an unlimited budget for a video, what would you do?

Glad you liked it, we are very happy with it. The video was filmed during the recording of the album here in our hometown Turku. The studio is V.R Music, a beautiful red-tiled building in the old rail yard. Its such a nice environment and we had a really fun week there together with our engineer and producer Joona Hassinen, so we wanted to document it as a memory. The editing and animations were done by our friend Oliver Webb from the great post metal band Sunniva. He knows what we are in to and has a great eye for the visuals.

We love old music videos and art films from the 60s and 70s so it would be really fun to get to do a proper one on 8mm film one day. Maybe travel to a cool site to do it? Like a hat tip to Pink Floyd or something.

Several bands are playing your style of music, but personally, I am hearing a lot of unique qualities. Intangibles, as they say.  What makes you stand apart from the crowd?

It makes us very happy when people notice that. We do talk a lot about not wanting to be just one of all the stoner rock bands. We love the scene and the big community that is the heavy underground of stoner and doom. It is definitely our home but we want to keep it alive and interesting by bringing in other influences than Black Sabbath. Something that has become a big part of Craneium is to bring in the lighter parts. We always discuss that you cant be really heavy if you cant be really light. We also want our sound to be diverse. We want to have hooks and big melodies but at the same time psychedelic and interesting parts.  

I see you have a few shows coming up soon. Any plans for any extensive touring/promoting the new album? 

Yes, we finally get to play music live again and we are psyched about it. We will be playing around Finland this fall and hopefully Sweden in the spring. The plan is to play as much as possible as soon as traveling can be done in a safe and responsible way again. Since this band is more of a severe hobby for us, extensive touring can be a bit tricky. But playing live is what we live for and one of the best things about playing in a band is to share your music with new people, so we will do our best to play as much as we can.

And finally, Finland has the most Metal bands (per capita) than any other country…by a wide margin I might add. Aside from this, what are the three greatest things about your country?

Haha, yeah there is always that thing about all the Finnish metal bands. Many of them are not really our cup of tea. As soon as you mention that you play heavy music and that you are from Finland people expect a symphonic metal band with leather pants and operatic vocals. But there are other bands from here besides these viking warriors.

Kaleidobolt is an amazingly talented psych band from Finland and they are working on new music right now. We have Kaiser that play really intense desert rock, they are also about to release new material real soon. We also have the band Dö that have released an amazing album called Astral Death Cult a few years ago. Do yourselves a favor and check out these bands.

We thank you for your time and wish you all the best. Any parting words for our readers?

Thanks a lot for having us and all the best to you to. If you haven´t checked out our new album yet we hope you will, we are really proud of it.


Andreas Kaján – Guitars and Vocals

Martin Ahlö – Guitars and Vocals

Jonas Ridberg – Bass

Joel Kronqvist – Drums

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