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From left to right: André Skaug, Zak Tell, Micke Dahlénn, Jocke Skog and Bård Torstensen.
|Genres||Rap metal, rapcore, industrial metal|
|Years active||1989–2013, 2014|
|Labels||Nuclear Blast, WEA/WMG|
|Associated acts||Emigrate, Just D|
|Past members||Henka Johansson
Clawfinger was a rap metal band from Sweden and was one of the earliest bands to adopt this sound. 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 the summer of 1989 when Zak Tell and Jocke Skog met while working together at the Rosenlund Hospital somewhere in the vicinity of Stockholm. In 1990, they were joined by the Norwegian guitarists Bård Torstensen and Erlend Ottem who were also working at the same hospital. Soon the four realized their similar interests in music. Bård and Erlend previously played in a band called Theo in their hometown Arendal back in Norway. Their free time was invested in exploring the musical world, composing and writing songs while evolving into a band.
Their original demo comprising three tracks (Waste of Time, Nigger and Profit Preacher) quickly secured them local radio airplay and consequently brought them to the attention of the MVG label. "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 in Swedish press. With the addition of André Skaug and drummer Morten Skaug, Clawfinger went on tour and played at countless European festivals including major support slots with Anthrax and Alice in Chains.
The band received many awards, including two home Grammies at the Swedish Grammy Awards in 1994 for best hard rock band and best music video. After touring, they went straight back in the studio to record their second album, Use Your Brain. After the release of this album they went on yet another touring campaign, most notably participating at Ozzy Osbourne's Monsters of Rock Festival in Argentina, Brazil and Chile in 1995, rocking alongside American metal counterparts like Megadeth, Faith No More, and Alice Cooper. Back in Europe they continued their touring campaign by participating 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 whole new level of diversification. As for the synthesizers, on this particular album they're more present 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 was released in 2003 and it caused controversy in America because the song Step Aside did not sit well with most American audiences due to the fact it slams George W. Bush and the post 9/11 (and not only) military politics of the US. It offers yet another style change for the ears of 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 hardrock style melodic speedy guitar riffs. The keyboards which particularly characterized A Whole Lot of Nothing have completely disappeared.
Unlike the 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 videoclips of all singles up to Clawfinger's third album.
Clawfinger have at that point been working on a re-recording of their debut album Deaf Dumb Blind. The plan was to re-record all the songs from that album and bring in guests. Zak Tell has stated they were speaking with the members of Rammstein and Peter Tagtgren from the bands Pain and Hypocrisy.
On August 24, 2013, Clawfinger announced on their Facebook page that the group is disbanding.
On 5 October 2013, it was announced that Jocke Skog had joined the Swedish death metal band Feared as their new bassist.
In May 2014, the band announced, through their Facebook, that the group would play a one-off show at the ZAHID festival in Ukraine on 8 August 2014.
Last line up members
- Zak Tell – lead vocals (1989–2013)
- Jocke Skog – keyboards, vocals (1989–2013)
- Bård Torstensen – rhythm guitar (1989–2013)
- André Skaug – bass (1992–2013)
- Micke Dahlén – drums (2008–2013)
- Erlend Ottem – lead guitar (1989–2003)
- Morten Skaug – drums (1992–1994)
- Ottar Vigerstøl – drums (1994–1997)
- Henka Johansson – drums (1997–2008)
- Deaf Dumb Blind (1993)
- Use Your Brain (1995)
- Clawfinger (1997)
- A Whole Lot of Nothing (2001)
- Zeros & Heroes (2003)
- Hate Yourself with Style (2005)
- Life Will Kill You (2007)
Deaf Dumb Blind
- «Rosegrove» (Scandinavia only) (1993)
- «Nigger» (1993)
- «The Truth» (1993)
- «Warfair» (1993)
- «Warfair» Remixes (1993)
Use Your Brain
A Whole Lot of Nothing
- «Out to Get Me» (2001)
- «Out to Get Me» — Limited Edition 1 (2001)
- «Out to Get Me» — Limited Edition 2 (2001)
- «Nothing Going On» (2001)
Zeros & Heroes
- «Recipe for Hate» (2003)
- Bitch (Promo-CDS) (2003)
Hate Yourself With Style
- «Dirty Lies» (Promo-CDS) (November 2005)
- «Without a Case» (Video single) (December 2005)
Life Will Kill You
- «The Price We Pay» (Video single) (July 2007)
- «Prisoners» (Video single) (September 2007)
- "Clawfinger - Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 2008-12-18.
- "BLABBERMOUTH.NET - CLAWFINGER: Video Interview With ZAK TELL Posted Online". Roadrunnerrecords.com. Retrieved 2012-03-31.
- "Online rock radio Tangra Mega Rock!". Radiotangra.com. 2009-08-04. Retrieved 2012-03-31.
- "Jurek after Woodstock". Archived from the original on 2 January 2010. Retrieved 10 November 2012.
- The Official Clawfinger pages (in English)
- The Belgian Clawfinger pages (in English)
- Clawfinger discography at MusicBrainz
- Official MySpace