Renkse: Poverty powered Nordic metal

Katatonia's Jonas Renkse says Scandinavia's prolific track record of producing dark metal bands is down to the region's poverty-stricken past.

The Swedish believes folk music in the Nordic countries has had a heavy influence on rock bands – and it all comes down to the historic struggles of the people.

His comments come just a week after a scientific study claimed that richer countries produce more metal than poorer nations – with Norway, Sweden, Iceland, and Denmark all in the top 20 of the world’s richest countries.

Renkse tells Pitcam: “I’ve been thinking about it. It might be a mix of the weather, the nature – that kind of barren environment – and also that Scandinavian folk music is very dark and depressing.

“Back in the day the Scandinavian countries were really poor; the folk music reflects that, the traditional songs. Peasants singing about how things don’t grow. It might be a heritage from that.”

Analyst Richard Florida last week suggested that the richer a country is, the more heavy music will be found there. His study revisited previously-reported statistics and also researched social and financial information going back 10 years.

But Sabaton frontman Joakim Broden has a simpler explanation. He believes the number one reason for Scandinavia’s metal pedigree is the weather. He said: “I do believe the climate can have something to do with it.”

Katatonia have been on an acoustic tour called Unplugged & Reworked, with a DVD release to follow later this year.

Jonas Renkse on Katatonia’s acoustic tour and Scandinavia’s metal roots

Stef wrote close to 5,000 stories during his time as assistant online news editor and later as online news editor between 2014-2016. An accomplished reporter and journalist, Stef has written extensively for a number of UK newspapers and also played bass with UK rock favourites Logan. His favourite bands are Pixies and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Stef left the world of rock'n'roll news behind when he moved to his beloved Canada in 2016, but he started on his next 5000 stories in 2022.