Kroka’s story began in 2021 in Kitchener when Swedish drummer Martin Thormatz and Cambridge-based bass player Beau Ferguson joined forces to create some music.
Richard Fenna joined the band as vocalist and guitarist after responding to a Kijiji request posted by Ferguson and Thormatz.
Their first single, “Sasquatch,” which was released earlier this year, is an ode to open-mindedness and was recorded in the Kitchener-based recording studio Canadian Daydream. The song was mastered by Dan Brodbeck from The Cranberries.
Fenna said the band refuses to fit into any one genre.
“We’re just three guys in a room playing together and expressing ourselves honestly and authentically. Our music is a mix of hard rock, stoner rock, desert influences, punk, and soul. We’re not trying to play genre music,” Fenna said.
Bigfoot has been a significant influence on the song, “Sasquatch.” Fenna has always been fascinated with stories of alien monsters.
“Having something like Bigfoot is just there to remind you that right now, there’s a possibility that there are other things out there. And then that’s sort of morphed into this idea of taking these mythical creatures or possibly not mythical creatures, and just seeing really what they represent in people,” Fenna said.
“I think believing in these stories and creatures, it’s just like a more fun way to exist. There’s even a little bit of magic,” Thormatz said.
The band expressed a desire to reach out to as many people as possible by combining a passion for heavier music with a focus on simplicity and accessibility. “We’re not trying to overcomplicate things and write these big hymns with big words,” remarked Thormatz.
Kroka is organizing their own shows largely because they were unable to get bookings in Kitchener. But the Yeti Café is very supportive for them.
“We’ve reached out to everybody, but nobody has really been interested in booking us,” Fenna said. “The Yeti owners are very accommodating. It is also very important for us to find spots that are inclusive and not just serving one thing. We want to be an inclusive band and find spots that are too,” Ferguson said.
Thormatz said one of the biggest challenges for the band is finding a space to jam. It is important to have a dedicated space for playing, however, such spaces are not readily available.
“We’re fortunate to have one here at Maxwell’s that we’re not paying an exorbitant amount for, but unfortunately, many others are not as lucky,” he said.
The band acknowledged that many bars and restaurants tend to favour playing covers and songs that are already popular. They said more spaces are needed in the region for bands to practice and perform.
“Sadly, many established venues have been impacted by the pandemic, but Maxwell’s has weathered the storm and continues to host both established and emerging artists,” Fergusson said.