Room Thirteen was lucky enough to attend the first show of Khoma- the latest talent to be snagged by Roadrunner. Despite their music sounding a little more mellow than Roadrunner usually sign, there is a power lodged deep within their music that shows exactly why this band are going to be big. We had a quick chat to Johannes Persson (Guitarist) about what makes his musical taste buds water and where he sees this latest venture heading. We're predicting big, but the best thing you can do is check the band out yourself by picking up their latest album 'The Second Wave'!

Room Thirteen: So, tell me about your band.
Johannes Persson: What do you want to know?
R13: Everything! But first off, what sort of breakfast did you have?
JP: Well, as a band, we judge how good we are by the kind of hotel breakfast we get. I had a fairly good breakfast... Today I rated it 65/100! I had a bit of everything, but I really can't stand English breakfast, so I didn't have any of that. I just can't see how people would want to eat that. So I had my first ever bowl of CoCo pops!
R13: Did you like them?
JP: I only chose them because I saw them as a kid and thought it looked kind of cool... where the milk turns to chocolate. But it was a bit disappointing. Overrated, even!

R13: When did you get here?
JP: We got here yesterday. We got to the hotel and lugged our equipment around, checked it... We had no free time. It was very lucky we did check our equipment because we had some trouble with the sound from the computer. I think it was my fault really because we were trying to do some back up and accidentally... well, you don't want to know it's just techie mumbo jumbo!

R13: With your band you touch a lot of different Genres. Are there any you wouldn't touch?
JP: I don't think in terms of genre. For me, I'm stuck with my writing style so we are more open to try anything. There's a lot we couldn't do, but we want to focus more on what we can do. I wrote a couple of songs for the new album but we just never finished them and they didn't get onto the new album. No idea is too dumb to even give it a try.

R13: So with your previous album, how did you get that to sell so well?
JP: The first album was us just writing together after some band break-ups. We recorded a demo... then we made an album. So basically it's a demo. We played a couple of shows in Finland and a couple in Sweden. We just wanted to play live shows. We were so fortunate. We were in the right place at the right time and we didn't do anything for it to sell really.

R13: Do you feel slightly guilty that you managed to get your demo to sell so well with minimum effort whilst other bands struggle for years to be heard?
JP: No. Not at all. People like it... who am I to judge? The thing that separates us from other bands is that a lot of bands have the will and determination... but we have a lot of experience from other bands. We're ready to do the hard work, but other bands are not. Playing all those horrible venues on that tour did not help us get a record deal... it help us become a really brilliant live band. If you can't play well in front of ten people you will suck in front of ten thousand. I've played in front of ten thousand to twenty people.

R13: You play with different people when live than on record. How do you select these people and how do you make sure there's a connection there?
JP: We try to play as much as possible. The connection though, that's something you can't force. We know the people we're playing with... they're friends of friends.

R13: What was it like growing up in Sweden? What was the music scene like?
JP: There's a very strong music scene. There's one of the most interesting music scenes in the world. The hardcore scene grew from nothing to like 5-600 people attending local gigs every week. Imagine starting a new band and getting to play to that many people. It was also different because most places you will hear people say "oh, that's not hardcore, that's not straightedge"... but not in my home town. You can see very clearly how everything from black metal to what we do is there... but we're all friends. We would have black metal bands playing with punk bands. It's good to have diversity. 80% of music seems to be about image and once you get past that, you can do anything.

R13: What kind of bands do you enjoy at the moment?
JP: I'm very into Sigur Ros at the moment. I don't know if we're going to play any festivals, but I would love to go and see them play this year. That's my only plan this summer. I have to go back this week so I can't see them play in London.

R13: I have this... curse. I'll get into a band when they're big, just after a tour or a new album or something, then before I know it they break up before I can see them play live. Does this ever happen to you?
JP: No, I have a different curse though! We played a festival a couple of years ago and I had heard about Mars Volta. I went and watched them in the tent. I thought "fuck this!"... but then I heard the album. "Oh my god... why? Why didn't I know about them?"

R13: Do you ever listen to something, think its awful then have an urge to listen to it a few weeks later?
JP: I'm getting better at knowing what I'll dislike so I'm jumping to fewer conclusions about what I think about bands. You shouldn't ever say you hate a band though, it's disrespectful to the band- so what if it's not your cup of tea, they're still doing a good job!

R13: Your download only single came out a while back- how has it been doing?
JP: God, I have no idea. I don't care. I've just been getting myself into the mindset for this gig. It's been mad getting everything together, getting the gear and the people. This gig was due to be in February so I'm very happy it was postponed because otherwise we would suck! I can't see any situation where we would have been able to play then!

R13: What are your plans going to be if Khoma gets big? Will you carry on taking it on and off the shelf when you have the time to work on it?
JP: We've not done much so far but play live, so that's okay because it's why we started it. We'll probably just play more live shows.

R13: What made you start playing an instrument?
JP: My mom got my guitar lessons when I was twelve. I was so bored. I hated it. When I was sixteen I had a friend playing guitar. So he helped me properly learn. I found you could play well enough to write music after a couple of days practise. So that's how I started to learn. Technically, I suck at playing Guitar. I tried to have lessons again recently but I just hated it. That isn't me being modest, I know I'm a pretty good writer, I just can't play guitar all that well. But the main point is, it sounds good! I've got a good grounding in the basics, that's what matters.

R13: What's the most personal song or the song you're most proud of on this new album?
JP: Oh, I don't know. I enjoy playing 'Hyenas'... but it's a hard question! I'm excited about playing all our new material at the moment. It's a song that could be boring, but in fact is very emotional.

R13: When I heard you were signed to Roadrunner, I wasn't sure what to expect-
JP: That's a very good thing!
R13: -so when I listened to the album I was very surprised.
JP: They're a great record label- lovely people. We knew that we were not the normal band they have signed. But they believe in us enough to sign us and that's the main reason why we signed with them.