Refused: Kristofer Steen & Pär Hansson.
José, Adam and Jonas, friends from the punk/skate scene and Mattias
(who went to the same class in Senior High School as Jonas) came up with
the brilliant idea of putting a band together. In the beginning we just
played punkrock-hardcorecovers and homebrewed ska in Adam’s garage. Experimenting
and learning at the same time.
Some say we
started out as a joke but no one in the band recognizes this. Sure, we
joked around a lot and had a lot of fun but we wanted to write good music
with an edge and great lyrics with a meaning. That was the driving force
from the beginning.
a year of playing local shows and recording a demo (that no one have heard,
luckily) we decided to self finance a mini-CD “Darkness of Ignorance” on
the record label that José simultaneously started, called Desperate
Fight Records (using any help he could find, in particular his friend Isse
at Dolores Records in Gothenburg). The CD sold 1000 copies, we didn´t
make a second press. Shortly after that we welcomed a fifth member, a guitarist
named Kristofer Steen (Mattias played together with Kristofer in a band
called BSP, where Kristofer played drums) and started to write songs for
our first full length album “Senseless“.
In the winter
of -93 we went on our first punk rock tour in Norway together with our
friends in Refused. We had a phenomenal time, playing in living rooms and
small clubs. On our way to the last show in Kristiansund, driving high
up in the Norwegian mountains, on squiggly roads with steeping mountainsides,
we crashed both vehicles (a van and a car) and our accompanying friend;
Vegard (drummer from Lash Out and tour manager) almost “pissed his pants”
as he stated in the video we recorded, documenting the event. It was a
scary experience, especially afterwards, realizing what had just happened
and taking a taxi to the final show while the taxi driver drove like a
Norwegian berserker. But since the shows had been so fantastic we happily
took the train home to Umeå, Sweden (carrying the back-line and getting
stuck in a small village for 12 hours, we all hate Ånge ever since
In the end
of the summer of -94 we recorded the Senseless album and went on a short
tour through Europe that we put together ourselves. The shows and the album
were well received and we met a lot of really nice people involved in the
European hardcore scenes. The shows at Iperfest and in Leipzig are still
great memories etched in our hearts…It was definitely worth all the long
hours of rides in our small rented crappy Renault van.
at the same time had started playing with Refused (they’d realized what
an awesome composer and guitarist he was) had to make a tough decision.
As both bands started to take off he had to go on tour with Refused at
the same time as Abhinanda had some shows booked. We were forced to do
a switcheroo. Kristofer went to Refused and our new guitar guru Pär
Hansson (who left Refused due to musical differences) came to the band
with awesome musicianship and new influences.
winter we played a lot of shows in Sweden and we made a short tour in Norway
/ Sweden with Strife. In the springtime of -95 we recorded our mini-CD
“Neverending well of bliss“. In the summer we played at some festivals
in Sweden and in the fall we made a seven weeklong tour throughout Europe
together with 108. After the tour… Jonas our drummer, felt Abhinanda was
moving too much towards rock, left to focus on his new band Separation.
Out of the drummers available Daniel Berglund was by far the best. He was
a fantastic ignition spark for the band and the songs just popped up from
everywhere… After a couple of months of rehearsals we finally decided to
enter the studio.
The new album
(s/t) was recorded during the summer of -96 and released during the fall…
It was supported by a longer, successful, Swedish tour. On our X-mas holidays
we took off for Germany, Belgium and Austria… also with good results. January
-97 was dedicated to Norway. We did 8 gigs there. After the shows in Norway
we did just a few Swedish shows and sort of fell into a creative crisis.
We were disillusioned and couldn’t renew ourselves. The relapse
caused another exchange of guitarists. Adam (who started a new career as
a fabulous film photographer) was replaced with Nicklas Rudolfsson, a lo-fi
guitarist and a childhood pal of Daniel. A couple of summer festivals were
played in Sweden and later we left for a 4 weeks long Euro/UK tour together
with our friends in Starmarket (this time it was their time to have their
van break down).
in the band the music took a new direction and our old rock influences
put its mark on the sound. In -98 we wrote the album “Rumble” fairly quickly
and recorded it in the same studio (Tonteknik) as we recorded Senseless.
With the experience of playing together for more than 6 years we created
a great sounding record that somewhat renewed and vitalized the hardcore
of the late nineties.
year we did an incredible summer tour in sunny Spain, where the hard core
scene was flourishing, playing a Spanish version of the Youth of Today
song Disengage (as José speaks Spanish fluently). In the winter
we toured with Randy all over Europe with Jakob Nyström, (another
childhood friend of Daniel) accompanying us on keyboard. We especially
remember the crazy but awesome gig in Zagreb, Croatia.
In -99 we played
some shows in Sweden and toped it off with the festivals Ume Open,
Umeå and Festimad in Madrid, both fantastic gigs with lots of great
bands. After that we decided to call it quits as we had been playing together
for 7-8 years and wanted to focus our lives and energy on something other
than Hard Core music. José had moved to Stockholm to do whatever
he does. Mattias moved to Barcelona to study (when Abhinanda played there
in -98 he decided that he had to go back there for a longer period of time).
Pär wanted to become a pilot so he went to San Diego, USA. Daniel
formed an amazing band called Isolation Years together with Jakob and Nicklas
went on to be a super carpenter.
In 2004, when
all we turned into old timers, 30, we played a spectacular reunion show
in Umeå. It felt like 1996, when Umeå Hard Core was at its
Now in 2010.
It’s time to play some of the old classics again, see you in the pit!
/ The official