the handbook for revolutionaries part 1


"Songs to fan the flames of discontent" is our 6th release and whether you're familiar with us or not I figured it might be interesting for you to see our perspective on our early shit. Since a Refused discography wouldn't be complete without our first demos I'm going to start from the beginning. Me and Dennis started the band in January -92 following the split-up of Step Forward, godfathers of the Umeå hardcore scene. The original line-up consisted of me, Dennis, Pär and a guy named Jonas. We played our first show in Stennäset, Luleå together with Heffaklump, Illbutts, Better Change and Apesex. Our repertoire included 2 original compositions (no lyrics, Dennis made them up as we went along), "Back in black" by AC/DC and 4 Gorilla Biscuits songs. We sounded alot like early Gorilla Biscuits but, of course, not as good. Our first demo, simply titled Refused, contained 7 songs and was recorded and mixed in 2 days by Pelle Gunnerfeldt at Hortlax hardcore studios with Stefan and Fredrik on back-ups. There's not much else to say I guess, except that in very, very, very intimate circles it's regarded a classic. We sold it at shows for months and I think we managed to move about 300 units. 
We were always an active live band but something was missing so we got rid of one guy, brought in a proper bassplayer and added a guitarist. Dennis had been the main songwriter up until then but with the addition of Magnus and Henrik we started writing as a team. The Operation Headfirst demo was a direct result of that. We were branching out, and the lyrics which on the first demo were very personal were now getting political. Also, me and Pärs metal roots were starting to shine through (to the old-school kids dismay). Recorded at the end of -92 at Hortlax hardcore studios, now relocated in Luleå, with Pelle in control, the sound was great. With help from a friend we managed to scam our way into sending out demos free of postage. We must have sent out a hundred copies when Burning Heart records called us up. They wanted a mini-CD and we delivered. 

This is the new deal: Recorded at Hortlax hardcore studios23-25/5 -93 by Pelle Gunnerfeldt. Consisting of 3 songs off of "Operation Headfirst" and 2 new ones, this CD, together with No Fun At All's "Vision", marked the beginning of the new wave of Swedish hardcore. For those of you who have it, the hidden track at the end is a cover of "Dirty Rotten Skate Society" by the Afro Jetz, Dennis band before Step Forward. When I listen to it now, I really don't think the vocals are too low in the mix on "Soft". Anyways, it did pretty well considering it has the worst cover I've ever seen. And yes, that is a Biohazard shirt in the group photo and yes, that is a guitar solo and yes, that is Dennis rapping at the end of "Hate Breeds Hate", so what? Every band goes through puberty. 
We also recorded two songs for Burning Hearts "Northcore" compilation, "The New Deal" and "Guilty". A guy named Fredrik Holmgren showed interest and we thought he seemed sincere so we decided to release records on his label instead. Looking back, I'd say that was the smartest move we've ever made, next to that one time when we got in that accident because I kept sticking a brush in Pärs face. But seriously, the label was Startrec and a fullength recording was approaching. We were going metal in a big way now and Sunlight studios seemed the most attractive alternative (mainly because we all loved the new Entombed CD). 

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