Another page in a history book... 

The excellent band Refused were the leading hardcore band in Scandinavia when they were around. They were well known for following the uncompromising lifestyle "Straight edge" and for fighting for the animal rights. But mostly, they were known for being the revolutionary hardworking band from Umeå, Sweden that always had something important to say. It was all about fighting against the capitalism, to overthrow the class system and to fight opressions of all kinds. Their thoughts and opinions were spread through their lyrics, manifestos, interviews and on their many intense and powerful live shows. And by recording classic songs such as "Pump the brakes", "Everlasting", "Rather be dead" and the excellent "New noise" they have most definitely put their name in the history book...

In the year of 1989 in Umeå, Sweden a guy named Dennis Lyxzén (Vocals) formed a band called STEP FORWARD together with his friends Toft Stade (Bass), Jens Nordén (Drums) and Henrik Jansson (Guitar). Step forward were one of the very first hardcore bands in Sweden that held on to the youth lifestyle “Straight Edge”. They released two demos, "I am me" (1989) and "Does it make a difference?" (1990). During their existence they played a handful of gigs, mostly in northern Sweden were they came from. They broke up because they started getting different opinions on which kind of songs they wanted to play. They did their last gig in December 1991. In 1996 a discography CD with Step Forward was released on Desperate Fight Records. It was titled “It did make a difference” and included both demos plus two live shows. This legendary hardcore band is no more but the scene didn’t follow them to the grave...

Risen from the ashes of Step Forward a new Swedish hardcore band saw the daylight. It was called REFUSED and was formed by Dennis Lyxzén of Step Forward in 1991. The first line-up consisted of Dennis (Vocals), David Sandström (Drums), Pär Hansson (Guitar) and Jonas Lidgren (Bass). They did their first show in Luleå, Sweden and soon recorded their first demo, simply titled "Refused". Soon Jonas left the band and was in August 1992 replaced by Magnus Björklund. They also added a second guitarist, Henrik Jansson which was also an ex-member of Step forward. The second demo recording "Operation headfirst" came at the end of the year of 1992.

Refused got in touch with the label Burning Heart Records. The debut mini-CD "This is the new deal" was recorded in May 1993 and released by Burning Heart later that year. Refused had already signed a deal with another label called Startrec, nowadays called Startracks.The band entered the studio in October 1993 to record their first full-length album. First they released the ”Pump the brakes” single in February 1994 and then the album  titled "This just might be…the truth" hit the stores in March, both released by their new label Startrec. The album was also released by We Bite Records in Europe and by We Bite America in the States. It was here it all started for the band, they were now the leading hardcore band in Scandinavia and massive press, radio and national TV followed them up. The Swedish hardcore scene was getting bigger and bigger and many new bands came up. Refused hit the road in May to do their first tour of Sweden called ”Adrenaline” together with Randy, Ashram and Mary Beats Jane. There was also a video shot for the song “Pump the brakes”.

The band was not really satisfied with the album and many songs were written during a hectic period. But in July 1994 Refused went to the studio again to record new songs for a MCD. This recording, titled “Everlasting”, was made under some heavy time pressure as well, but the final result was way better than the full-length. There was now a new harder and more varied sound. This release was like a turning point for the band. "Everlasting" was also released by We Bite Records and later re-issued by Equal Vision Records in the States as well.

Pär Hansson left the band to play in another Umeå hardcore band called Abhinanda. Refused and Abhinanda switched guitarists, Refused got Abhinanda's guitar player Kristofer Steen instead. As the attention now were growing Refused were nominated for a Swedish Grammy award as “best alternative hardrock band” in February 1995. Refused didn't win, but they saw it as some sort of proof that all theirs work during 1994 had given results. Refused hit the road again to do their first tour outside Scandinavia, this time as the support for the band 108. Then the band did their second tour of Sweden with Mindjive as the support.

In 1995 a split CDEP was released together with their friends in Randy. They decided to do covers on each other’s songs and the result was the “Refused loves Randy” CDEP. The guitar player Henrik Jansson later left the band and was in August 1995 replaced by Jon F Brännström, also an active guitarist and singer in Purusam at this time. In May 1995 Refused hit the road again to play some shows as support for Snapcase and Earth Crisis.

In December 1995 Refused went to the studio to start the recording of their second full-length album "Songs to fan the flames of discontent". This release showed that band have developed alot, both musically and lyrically. This was the first release with the new line-up and it turned out really great This awesome album placed the band as one of the leading hardcore bands in Europe! The album was also released by Victory Records and We Bite Records.

There was also a CDEP released with the song "Rather be dead” from the album. This release also included the exclusive vegetarian song ”Jag äter inte mina vänner” (“I don’t eat my friends”) sang in Swedish with the famous singer Tomas Dileva on lead-vocals. There was also a video shot for the song “Rather be dead”. Refused were once again nominated for a Swedish Grammy as “best alternative hardrock band” in February. But, unfortunately, they didn’t win this time either. 

When the album was released Refused hit the road again. They toured Sweden together with Fireside and Entombed. This was followed by a tour in Germany together with Breach. Then it was time for another tour in Sweden, this time with bands like Sindy Kills Me, Trio Lligo and Sadiwas as the support. This tour lasted between April to June and as that wouldn’t be enough they toured rest of June to July in the States together with Snapcase. August was spent in Germany, Switzerland and UK as support for Madball.

Refused leaves Startracks and signs a new deal with Burning Heart Records which re-releases ”This just might be…” and ”Songs to fan…" and at the same time puts out two Refused compilations: “The demo compilation” and “The e.p. compilation”. These two albums included songs from EP's, various compilations, demo tapes and other rare songs. Refused were nominated as "best Swedish live act" in 1997 by Swedish national radio but unfortunately they didn’t win.

In late 1997 Refused started to record their third full-length album, the critically acclaimed "The shape of punk to come". The result was overwhelming! They had manage to mix hardcore punk with wide musical influences raging from jazz to techno to pop and back it up with highly political lyrics and manifestos. Never had a band put out a record this dangerous, provocative and revolutionary! This record is today considered as one of the most groundbreaking and most important hardcore/punk records of all times. The album was released by Burning Heart and also by Epitaph in the States. The biggest hit from the album “New noise” was also released as the CDEP "The new noise theology e.p." and a video for the song was made. The CDEP was released by Burning Heart Records in Europe and by Honeybear Records in the States. It was later re-issued by Epitaph for the US market. They also found a new bass player named Ulf Nyberg

February was spent on the road touring Scandinavia together with Frodus. In April they left off for the Sued(e)palooza tour together with labelmates No Fun At All, The Hives and Liberator. Refused later toured some in Scandinavia and Europe and did some gigs on different festivals. Then there was this seven-week US tour which turned out to be the last tour ever. After only a few gigs the band decides to cancel the rest of the tour because of some internal conflicts. They went back home to Sweden and called it quits shortly there after. 

They played their last gig in Harrisonburg, Virginia on the 6th of October 1998. Refused are fucking dead. 
> Read the official press release

Shortly after their split up Refused were once again nominated for the Swedish Grammy award as “best alternative hardrock band” but they didn't win though. 

In May 2004 Burning Heart Records and Epitaph re-released "The shape of punk to come", "Songs to fan the flames of discontent" and "The e.p. compilation" as digitally remastered versions. "The shape of punk to come" was released as a digitally remastered and remixed version on DVD-audio format with 5.1 surround sound! This version was later nominated for "Best Multichannel Reissue" for the Surround Music Awards in the US, but it didn't win. 

April 2006 marked the release for the long awaited documentary "Refused are fucking dead" made by guitarist Kristofer Steen. This DVD captures Refused's last years of existence. It was released by Burning Heart Records in Europe and by Epitaph in the US

In 2010 Epitaph released the deluxe re-issue versions of "The shape of punk to come" on both 2xLP and 2xCD+DVD format. The CD version also included the live album "Live at Umeå Open 1998" and the DVD "Refused are fucking dead

Dennis Lyxzén announces in April 2011 that he is writing a book about the years in Refused

Now it's 2012 and, believe it or not, REFUSED ARE FUCKING BACK! See them live in 2012. Click here for tour dates: 
> Refused are back!

/ Webmaster

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