Still Fighting For Exposure
CoC chats with Tony Jelencovich of Transport League
by: Adrian Bromley
Sweden's Transport League is one of the most underrated and exciting bands out there. Unfortunately, not many people know of them. What a shame.

Having followed the band since their 1994 debut disc titled _Stallion Showcase_ (and before that with singer Tony Jelencovich fronting B-Thong) and onto other interesting works like 1997's _Superevil_ and their latest effort _Satanic Panic_, I have always told people of the band, urging them to tell others about their unique sound and direction. But I could only do so much.

Things seem to be on the up and up as we speak. Transport League have signed a worldwide deal with Pavement Records with _Satanic Panic_ and I am hoping that the band gets the exposure they deserve. I've got my fingers crossed for you guys!

"Things are going good for us right now and we are back working on new material for a new record", states singer Jelencovich. "_Satanic Panic_ came out last year and it just seems so old to us now, we just want to explore and try out new things. The groove is going to be the same, we have always had that, it is just that we are itching to write new material. I think the new record will be a bit like _Satanic Panic_ but maybe flirting a bit with that nu-metal sound."

When asked about the creative process that goes into a Transport League record, he says: "It has become a bit harder to write music, but at the same time it is easier too. It is hard to explain, really. We have become better musicians since the first disc [Jelencovich is the only original member -- Adrian], but at the same time the arrangements are more technical and harder to grasp. Each day we are experimenting and coming in contact with all of these ideas and it is great to be able to change music and have fun at the same time -- or at least try to have fun. We have a really good band right now too", he says. "Patrik [Sten] is a great drummer who has brought a lot into the band and he also plays guitar, so that adds something to help creating ideas. He isn't just a drummer."

One dream that Jelencovich wishes is for the band to be able to come over and tour the United States. It is still just a dream. "Things have just been a bit slow for us over here in terms of exposure. Things haven't been going too well for us. The key market over here is Germany, but over there they are looking for bands that play progressive metal or melodic death metal, bands like HammerFall, In Flames or Dark Tranquillity. The stuff that we are doing is very difficult to fit over here. Since the first record, we have been hearing that our music would fit very well with what is going on in the United States, but we've never been able to try and tour over there."

"I'd love to tour with Pantera or Machine Head. That would just be the best to go out and play across the United States and see if it is true that our music works well with what is going on over there. It is worth a shot", he quips, "I hope it happens. We are keeping our fingers crossed."

Listening to the new disc by Transport League (rounded out by guitarist Peter Hunyadi and bassist Ken Sandin), it is quite obvious a lot of the material is very personal and hard-hitting: songs like "Neckdraft", "Tar" and "Plague Ship" have a real harrowing display of darkened imagery and heaviness combined. So is there a dark side to _Satanic Panic_? What is the significance to the album title? "We chose the name _Satanic Panic_ because it was connected to the hype of the millennium coming and all that stuff. There was this big panic with all of these people being worried about computers crashing and all of this crazy shit going on. Whatever. It is also a bit sarcastic and it rhymes. <laughs> It is just a fun title, I think, for the most part, kind of playing off the last album title _Superevil_. It is just a name..."

"As for the music, this is just us saying how it is like. There is no need to be all cute and simple about things. Life is difficult and so is being in a band, and in order to be something you need to strive for something."

"Our music is the way it is because we have fused together all of these elements (groove, samples, hardcore vibes) and made it aggressive and very much Transport League. We believe in keeping things on the go and _Satanic Panic_ is one of those records that never lets go. We just need people to give us a chance and see what we are all about."

"I do this because I enjoy the music. I enjoy the creative ideas that we do with our music. I just enjoy the fact that I can make music and people react to it", explains Jelencovich. "Up to this point, it has been a lot of fun to be a part of Transport League. Hopefully we will be going somewhere in the near and distant future. As you can see, so far we have gone nowhere with the band, really. <laughs> And that is a shame. It is a long way to the top, you know? Well, we don't want to get to the top, we just want to make a living from all of this."

"Hopefully things will happen soon for us", he finishes. "I'm 32 years old right now and who knows how long this can go on for? The important thing for me right now is that I still have a goal with this band and we will continue to get Transport League where they belong."

May the Force be with them!

(article submitted 12/8/2000)


ALBUMS
10/1/1998 A Bromley 8 Transport League - Superevil
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