The BIG Über Rock Interview – Mats Wernerson (The Cruel Intentions) 

Written by Gerald Stansbury
Sunday, 21 October 2018 04:00

The Cruel Intentions have recently unleashed their debut album on the world and have created an absolute monster that needs to be heard across the globe. It hit me on first listen just how perfectly they have created a modern masterpiece that sounds timeless with a focus on aggressive, guitar heavy hard rock that should see kids and adults rallying around it to sing along and play guitar, but I also see this as a moment when kids start wanting to play guitar after hearing these songs.


The Cruel Intentions


Lizzy Devine (vocals, guitar), Mats Wernerson (bass), Robin Nilsson (drums), and Kristian Nygaard Solhaug (guitar) have come together to create something very special. Mats Wernerson was kind enough to answer some questions for Uber Rock, and Lizzy also answered one for us dating back to his previous band, Vains Of Jenna.


But, let’s go back a bit first. Can you tell us how you guys ended up getting together?


The funny thing about how it all started is that I had no idea who Lizzy was four years ago. I had heard about Vains Of Jenna but never listened to them when one of my best friends Therese (Lizzy’s wife) said she had met a guy in Los Angeles that she thought I should meet. My first thought was that he was going to be an asshole but when we hooked up in Oslo one hot summer day I realized we had so much in common and bounded immediately. We got drunk and decided to start a band right away. I called up Kristian and asked him to join in on lead guitar and found our first drummer on Facebook. After two years our drummer quit and once again I found a drummer on Facebook. Thanks Zuckerberg! Robin joined us and we became stronger and better than ever, he’s a monster behind the drums. 


Lizzy, how would you describe the main differences between this and Vains Of Jenna in terms of sound for those that might be familiar with your previous band?


The BIG difference is that the songs on ‘No Sign Of Relief’ are way more melodic and catchy (better) but still with a punk grit to it. Back when I was in my 20s I couldn’t really sing. Now I do, even though some people might find my voice annoying! People who liked VOJ probably gonna enjoy TCI as well. Doesn’t matter if you’re a kid or in your 70s… as long as you’re not afraid of some dirty, melodic, alcohol smelling rock n roll!


How soon did you know that you were hitting on something special as the chemistry seems off the charts?


 I felt it straight away with Lizzy. Me and Kristian go way back and have been (drinking) playing together for years so that chemistry have always been there. When Robin joined I felt we became one and that we had found what was missing in the beginning. We are really good friends and have a lot of fun together and that’s the most important thing when touring and writing music in my opinion.


What were your goals when you wrote and assembled the album?


To have fun and write the best songs we possibly could. And I think it was good that it took us a couple of years before we even started talking about making an album. We didn’t rush it and took our time to write the music. 


My favorite song from the album seems to change daily. Are there certain songs that stand out to you?



Yeah it’s the same for me! During the mixing process I must have listened to the album 100 times over and had a new favorite song every time depending on what mood or state of mind I was in. For me the song Jawbreaker always stood out like something special. I remember playing it together for the first time and felt the power and the energy. 


Are you prepared to potentially play all these songs live for a very long time?


Not yet, but we will be ha ha! We have been playing most of the songs live for over a year but not all. We are actually starting to rehearse the songs we haven’t play yet this weekend. Robin lives in Sweden so there’s never time for us to play together but as long as we get a couple of hours before a tour or a show it’s all good. That’s really convenient I must say. 


Is there a plan to eventually release a video for every song on the album? What videos have you enjoyed making the most so far?



No. We got one more music video coming up. Three singles and three videos is good enough for a debut album. There’s no time or budget enough to make a video to every song. I really enjoyed making the video for ‘Accidentally Intoxicated!’ Summer time, hot as hell and gathering our friends on a rooftop just drinking and having a good time. It came naturally – and I think it shows. 


The Cruel Intentions artworkI made a bold proclamation in my review that I see this as a revolutionary album that could translate to a major change in the music the mainstream wants to hear a la ‘Nevermind’ by Nirvana. I stand behind that comment. What are the band’s hopes though for the album and over the next 12 months?


Yeah you did, and thank you for that! We hope it spreads around the world like wildfire, and that people love it as much as we do. It’s a really good album that deserves the exposure. We are getting emails, messages, photos and videos of people around the world rocking out to the music, so we are on the right track. Hopefully it will take us out on tour and to the big festivals next year. 


A few songs that had been previously released were left off the album. I should mention that ‘White Pony’ has been getting played almost daily by me. Are there any plans to use these somewhere else in the future?


We discussed the “old” songs versus making new songs when we wrote the album and thought people wanted to hear new material on our first album. Man were we wrong Haha! As soon as we dropped the album art and the tracklist people started asking why some songs were missing. Now that we see there’s a demand we might do a self-released EP with the first six singles in the future. But I won’t promise anything, then I’ll never hear the end of it! 


What other bands out there right now would you love to go on tour with?


Hardcore Superstar, Backyard Babies, Michael Monroe and Guns ‘n Roses.


When I was younger, I would make mixtapes for people with the idea that they would want to track down those artists they had never heard and buy some albums, which often worked very well. Today, people seem to have lost what music used to mean in terms of its value. I remember having to patiently wait for my Dogs D’amour and Wildhearts albums amongst others to make it over to my house in America. We used to have more rock and metal magazines than I can name in stores. Do you think we can get back to some excitement about music in the mainstream?


People are more stressed out in general nowadays and want everything right now. Paying a small fee for millions of songs where you can change song or even artist with one click can make people greedy and forget all the work behind the music. But then again the kids are doing playlists on Spotify to share with each other instead of making mix tapes today, and that’s a positive development. I think many are as excited now as back in the day about music but it’s just way easier to consume it now and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. 


What would you want to tell those 14-year-olds in the garage today who are just starting to play music together?


Have fun! Play music cause you love it, not for money or fame. Don’t give a damn what other people think as long as you like what you do. Oh yeah, start playing bass if you wanna be the coolest cat in the band 😉


• ‘No Sign of Relief’ is out now.


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