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Swehc.com interviews Refusedfan.com

Almost 13 years ago Refused decided to break up and with that they story of the most important swedish hardcore band came to an end. But the momory of Refused is of course still alive. One of the persons that make sure that the band won't be forgotten is Mick Persson from Leksand, Sweden. For the past twelve years he's been doing the official Refused fan club. I have known Micke for a number of years now and he has always been passionate about swedish hardcore. Still, very few people seem to be aware of his work outside the diehard Refused fans. I sent him a few questions about the fan club and his relationship to Refused.

What is it that makes Refused so special to you? 

It might sound like a cliché but they helped to mould me into the person I am today. I was lost as a teenager, on a crusade against the world and searching for an identity of my own. The brother of a friend of mine played a few tracks of the “Everlasting” MCD to me in 1996 and I liked what I heard. I knew nothing about hardcore or straight edge and I didn’t care for politics at all. The music knocked me to the floor and since then Refused has been a part of my life. They opened the door to the hardcore scene for me. That was 15 years ago. Today it’s very rare that I listen to them but they are one of those classic bands that I can listen to whenever I want, and still amazed, even after 15 years.

To start a fan club seems to be an unusual thing to do for a hardcore band. I have never heard of another case. How come you decided that a fan club was the best way to acknowledge the work of Refused? 

That’s probably true and come to think of it I don’t think I have ever seen a fan club for another hardcore band. I actually got the idea from a completely different genre, through my brother. He was a member of a fan club for Europe. He received signed stuff in the mail, fanzines, limited offers and similar things. That was when the idea entered my mind. I was also planning to do fun stuff, competitions and such. But the fan club has never been anything else than a list of names. When I started out it was rather hysterical, tons of people wanted to join. I even made a separate e-mail address for the fan club, just to be able to manage the huge amount of e-mails that I received. But the fan club is a very small part of refusedfan.com. First and foremost it’s a source for information. The idea formed in 1999. I wrote a paper on them for school and my father taught me how to make the web-page. Short after I made it public and it’s been online ever since. In the beginning it was just a fun thing to do and there were many other pages online dedicated to Refused. Mine was hardly the best. But the more I worked on it the more response I got, and the number of visitors increased. Even if the Refused hysteria is long gone there is still a demand for what I do and that’s why Refusedfan.com is still online.

Did you get any response from the members of the Refused?

Yeah, definitely. All the members of the band have been positive. This project has given me a lot. I have met and interviewed both Dennis (vocals) and David (drums) a number of times. When David was about to release his first solo album he wrote me and asked if I could write about. Kristofer (guitar) contacted me when he was working on the documentary for Refused. He wanted my help in collecting photos and videos. I put up a huge banner on the page long before the record company made the news official. Burning Heart then contacted me and asked me if I could do the official web-page for the release of the DVD, which I was glad to do. It’s still online but it’s not updated anymore. Besides that I have gotten tones of free records since I have pushed the band online. All of this wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for Refusedfan.com. It’s a cool feeling when the members of the band that you love look at my work as a great marketing network for their releases. But most of all, the response that I have received from Refused fans has been overwhelming.

What do you think of the bands that the members of Refused has done since the break-up?

AC4 – It sounded to good to be true that Dennis and David were going to start a new hardcore band together after all these years, and I didn’t want to believe it until it actually came true. I really like the band. They have nothing in common with Refused at all but I didn’t expect that either. I look forward to future record with AC4.

The Lost Patrol – I still get a kick of nostalgia whenever i listen to the first 7’. But otherwise I prefer the records they did as The Lost Patrol Band.

Invasionen – I was skeptic to the change of name and language but Invasionen impressed with their first record. It was my soundtrack to the summer of 2010. Fun, and strange at the same time, is the fact that major labels Columbia and Sony Music found an interest in this.

The (International) Noise Conspiracy – It was a major thing when I heard that Dennis had a new band in the works. The hype when they released their first records was massive. I like their latest two records best however. They are a very fun band to watch live as well!

David Sandströms various solo projects – Davids voice is amazing and I love the records he did with Overdrive. The old record I Swedish Never caught on in the same way.

Text – Without competition the weirdest record in my collection. I have never managed to get through the whole record in just one listen. I don’t feel the need try again…

Instängd – I have both 7’s but they haven’t won me over. Perhaps they’ll do better when the third one, which is on its way, is released.

What do you think is the legacy of Refused today, almost 13 years after they broke up?

The hardcore scene didn’t die just because Refused did, even though it was tough when both them and Abhinanda threw in the towel at the same time as all the other bands from Umeå. I have followed the hardcore scene in Sweden in a fanatic way since I started listening to hardcore and that didn’t change when Refused quit. It has been an amazing journey and it feels as if there are more interesting Swedish bands now than in a long time. It’s not the same interest from the media these days compared to when Refused were around, but the next big thing is: ANCHOR. They even made shirts that said “Another shitty band with an awesome plan”. That’s respect in my book.

Give us the five best songs Refused ever made!

New noise – That’s a hit song that should be watched as the music video is great!

Rather be dead – ”Rather be dead e.p” was actually the first hardcore record that I bought. The opening track annihilated anything that I had ever heard before.

Circle pit – I can’t understand why this didn’t make it to ”Songs to fan…”. Definitely a favourite and probably the best b-side ever.

Refused are fucking dead – The second best song on ”The shape of punk to come” after New noise. The best part of the entire record is when Dennis sings “A naïve young secret for the new romantics. We expressed ourselves in loud and fashionable ways.” Goose bumps!

Everlasting – It’s really difficult to pick a favorite track from the classic “Everlasting” but the title track get to represent Umeå hardcore 1994! 

Interview by Marcus Källman for swehc.com. 
Published on January 15, 2011.

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