Wednesday, 31 August 2011


Iron Lamb are a mean punked rock up rock 'n' roll machine from Stockholm, Sweden featuring various ex members of Repugnant aswell as current members of bands such as General Surgery, Tyrant, Usurpress, Dismember, Martyrdod etc..  the bands current line up is Johan Wallin on guitar, Jens Bäckelin (guitar), Thomas Daun (Drums), Daniel Ekeroth (Bass) and Grga (vocals). The band say they formed to play "filthy and hard rock  'n' roll" and that is exactly what these Swedes deliver on their awesome debut album "The Original Sin" that has just recently been unleashed by Pulverised Records in Singapore. Iron Lamb are like the aural equivalent of your bad ass, tattooed, loud, raucous, boozed up neighbour playing their music on full volume late into the night and the album rocks, rolls and swaggers it's way through 10 powerful catchy tracks which will sink their hooks into you!. I sent some questions to guitarist Johan and here is what he had to say :-

Hails please give me quick background history on the band and who plays what?
I (Johan, guitars) started Iron Lamb with Grga (vocals) and Thomas (drums) a couple of years ago, after talking about doing something more rock/punk orientated for a few years before that. At that time it fitted our schedule so we decided to go to the rehearsal space and jam a little and see how it felt. When we decided this was working out, we forced Daniel (bass) to join the band, partly cause he was the only one we could think of who had played both metal and punk before, and who came more from a genuine hard rock background than anything else, but also cause we knew he was equally demented as us, and able to fit in with our strange ways. All of us has known eachother for over a decade and we already played together in several different bands so we knew we all worked good together. This spring we also got another guitarist, Jens, in the band. Jens is a great guy and has played in a lot of good bands previously, and it works out great, and now we can play all the dual guitar stuff on the album live also.

your bio states you formed to play "filthy and hard rock n roll", I would definetly say you have achieved that exact description with your music, I am reminded a lot of the dirtier days of The Hellacopters, Turbonegro, Gluecifer aswell as Motorhead and Poison Idea...what bands would you personally say fuel and shape the sound of Iron Lamb? 
I am also reminded abit of Zeke at times when listening to your music, would you consider them an influence?

I don´t want to point out any specific influences, but all the classic rock, hard rock and punk rock stuff we grew up with influences us in some way of course. But rather the 70´s and 80s stuff than some of the 90´s and 2000´s stuff you mention, I would definitely not say that the scandinavian "action rock" stuff is an influence at all, but maybe we share some influences with those bands, from the older stuff... Zeke are an ok band, but nothing that I would really consider an influence, definitely not..

You have your debut full length album  "The Original Sin" coming out via Pulverised Records, please tell the readers in your own words what they can expect from this album? Are you pleased with how it came out? How did you hook up with that label?

You can expect a classic sounding punky rock album with quality songs that will hold up against time, lyrics that are 100% honest and 0% image or fake. Also a production that truly reflects what we sound like, live and/or in the rehearsalroom. What you hear is what you get, no bullshit. 

Yes, we are pleased with how it came out, especially the vinyl version (Highroller Records) since we haven´t even seen the cd version yet. Obviously this is our first fullength, and hopefully everything will be even better next time, but considering the circumstances, we are happy with the end result. But I really can´t wait to record again, with our new guitarist, and especially Grga being back in Sweden, will have him much more involved in the songwriting process since he was living in Norway when we wrote and record alot of the songs on the album. We contaced Pulverised about doing a 7" or 12" or something, I don´t remember, and they offered us doing a fullength instead. Highroller later contacted us about doing a vinyl release for them, and in the end they ended up licensing the vinyl version of the album from Pulverised.

You already have a few releases under your belt, are these still available and if so where can people pick them up at/via?

I don´t know about the Motorbreath split and the peskycostal preaching 7", but we have a few copies of the first 7" ep left, so contact us if you´re interested in that. Check out Soulseller Records and Highroller records for the other ep´s, they might still have some.. 

In 5 words describe Iron Lamb?!
Pissing, laughing, taking *****. Actually that´s just 4 words, but that´s enough! Thanks to Rip it Up (France) for describing us so well!!

I know you guys are active on the gig front, do you have much planned for the rest of this year? Do you plan to tour outside of Sweden to support the album? Can we expect some gigs in the UK at some point?

We do have some stuff planned, but not too much. We have a few gigs in Sweden planned the coming months (Gothenburg, Uppsala, Sthlm, Sundsvall), and in late october/november we are planning a 10 date european tour, probably through Italy, Austria, Germany and maybe Czech and Slovenia. Should be great fun!! We don´t have anything in the UK planned, but if you know of any good promotors, feel free to hook us up, would be happy to down a few pints over there of course..

You are all involved in other bands, some of which are very well known and actively gigging you find it hard to juggle all different members and bands schedules and activities? Where do you hope to take things with Iron Lamb, is it just more of a laid back fun side project for some members or do you all treat it as seriously as your other bands?

Most of our other bands are not so active right now actually. Dismember is on ice, Tyrant is more or less on ice, General Surgery and Martyrdöd are working on new albums and not playing much live right now, so it´s not too bad. I guess we just prioritise whatever is going in at the moment, but basically, Iron Lamb is no 1 now.

In recent times there has been another explosion of great bands coming out of the Stockholm area and east coast region playing all different styles, from black, and old school death, doom and 80s heavy metal to crust punk bands and bands such as yourselves. Why do you think the scene is so vibrant in your region? What local bands would you recommend to the readers to check out?

Stockholm has always been very active when it comes to bands forming, but maybe some of the bands that are formed more recently plays stuff we like better? Sthlm is just a big (in swedish measures) city, and has alot of musicians and productive people. Sweden has a long tradition of supporting musicians with all kinds of cultural subventions, providing rehearsal spaces and music lessons cheap etc. It´s not anything specific for metal or punk music, it´s the same with all styles, Sweden just have a very rich and proud musical tradition, especially in comparison to our country´s size.
I like alot of swedish bands from many different genres, too many to mention really..But some of the ones I appreciate who released records more recently would be Stench (killer death metal with a wicked and original twist), Obnoxious Youth (Motörcore), Dr Living Dead (thrash metal) and Beast (rock n core). 

Sweden and Scandinavia has always had a great scene for punk rock 'n' roll bands from the more well known ones like The Hellacopters and Gluecifer to bands such as Puffball, The Deadbeats, The Burnouts, The Peepshows, The Robots etc... why do you think this music style has exploded and became so popular in your country? Are there any other current bands playing in the same style as Iron Lamb that you could recommend?!

Like I said previously, I´m not sure any specific genre is over representated here, Sweden just has a a very rich musical heritage. Obviously, when one or a couple of bands from a specific genre gets popular, that generates alot of copycats and wannabees, which probably explains the "action rock" wave of the mid/late 90´s, but that goes for all genres.. Honestly I don´t think there are any other bands that play in the same style as Iron Lamb really, since we are more influenced by the classic rock and punk artists and albums than any current ongoing underground trend. If you listen to "The Original Sin", it´s a pretty wide album that covers alot of musical range, I can´t think of any other band that would have put as different songs as Rotten Wood, The Original Sin, Iron Lamb and Dubious Preacher on the same album. Or am I just tunnelseeing since it´s my own band? Maybe, I don´t know. Some of our songs have an almost commercial approach, and some are very rough and dirty. This is not anything we think about when we write the songs, we just try to make each song as good as possible, and since we listen to stuff that is very classic and easy listening, as well as super obscure elitist stuff, that probably reflects in our music as well. Our goal was to not be narrow from the beginning so we wouldn´t end up painting ourselves into a corner after a while.
However, there are obviously great bands playing rock music with a punky approach, as Beast for example, or punk music with a rock approach as Motörbreath. 

How did the name Iron Lamb come about?!
Well, that´s a long story, that I´d rather keep to myself. But I can say as much as that for me the meaning of the name just grows stronger and stronger for every day, and it´s a big part of our concept, both lyrically and musically. The way I see it you can look upon a band name in a couple of different ways. You can see it as just a name, nothing important, something to describe the members and distinguish the band from others. Or you can look upon it as a part of a concept, in a bigger picture. For most people listening, you don´t study a band so hard that you can (or want to) fully grasp their concept, so often this is something that only the members themselves appreciate, and maybe the odd fan. In the light of this, I don´t feel comfortable trying to explain the band name since I know that most people reading this won´t (fully) understand what I mean, they will just see it as a quote in an interview, and that will just make us look pretentious. So people can interpret it as they wish, as just a silly band name when all the good ones were taken, or as something else. 

The press release states that Erik Danielsson of Watain fame did the cover art and layout for the album, who did that come about? Is he a fan of your music?

No that is not correct, I don´t know why Pulverised wrote that in their press release.. He did help with some technical stuff concerning putting the layout together, and he contributed with the font that is largely used throughout the layout, but Grga did almost all of the creative designing. However, we couldn´t have done it without Erik, so his help and good judgement is highly appreciated, but to say that he did the cover art is just not true. We are friends since the late 90´s and he did do the cover art and layout for our first 7" ep, designed our logo and has done t-shirt motives for us as well, so it was a natural choice to ask him to help out with putting the record layout together for this one as well. Honestly I don´t know if he´s a fan of our music, but I do think that he respect our integrity and support what we are doing.

I know you covered a Motorhead song on your debut album, do you have any other covers in your aural artillery that you play live or plan to record?

Yes, we have previously recorded "Fuck off, we murder" by GG Allin (released on the Motorbreath split) and "You won´t change me" by Black Sabbath (not released anywhere yet), and we have played "No Rules", also by Gg Allin at most of our live shows. We have also plans on recording more covers, and probably playing other ones live as well, but exactly which ones we will have to let the future tell. 

lyrically where do you draw inspiration from?

The lyrics are inspired by daily life, and the impressions we get from our current world state. I try to keep them as simple and straight forward as possible, and they are 100% honest and no cliche rock n roll crap about fast cars and loose women. They deal with the frustration you come across from waking up in the morning and experiencing the world, the sheep mentality of most human beings, their shallow shepherds and the dubious preachers, the darker passages of the human mind.

Whats your favourite things about being involved in a band and playing music in general?

To create something, and to do it together with people I respect and appreciate. Those two things together (usually) leads to having a good time. I enjoy playing live, the uncharging power of performance, and to see the audience go nuts in front of you, and I like to travel along the world and seeing different places

Any advice for those reading this interview who are thinking of starting a band of their own?

Do it for yourself and not for anyone else. Don´t set out to follow an ongoing trend or to fit in, everything is constantly changing anyway so no use trying to keep up.

What are your plans for the rest of 2011 and also into 2012?
We have  a few Sweden gigs booked this autumn and a small european tour in october/november, other than that we´re working on new songs for an upcoming 7" record and possibly a split 10" as well.

Where can people pick up the album and also merch? The last words are yours, thanks for answering my questions!
LP (they also have one t-shirt design). 
For other merchandise, contact us through and see what we might currently stock. Also check out and for more info, songs etc.
Thanks for the interview and support Kat, take it sleazy! Rock and/or roll!!


Iron Lamb are also my band of the week this week on the Terrorizer Magazine website, link here:-

Friday, 12 August 2011


I did this travelogue in it's original form back in 2001 for "Slow Ride" zine (USA), I have added some bits to this updated retrospective travelogue. My first experience of Stockholm and Sweden was back in May 1998 after I had went out there to visit my penpals in the band RISE AND SHINE and I totally fell in love with the place, I managed to get thrown out of a bar during my first visit (at a Mobile Mob Freakshow gig) due to getting so drunk and then proceeding to puke all over a table and surrounding seats, hey what can I say, I was young and wild! Also on the first night of my first trip I was responsible for a pretty full night bus having to get changed over at the bus depot in the early hours of the morning too due to setting the bottom of my jeans (flares!!) on fire after some dangling denim bits ended up in the heater underneath my foot although I didn't realise it was the bottom of my flares that were also on fire and giving off smoke until AFTER we had changed buses!!

 Anyway the following travelogue features all 3 of my visits to Stockholm and Sweden in 1999, some things are more detailed and vivid and other things are lost in a drunken haze. There is of course plenty of references and mentions of drinking and getting drunk but I did spend a lot of my time during visits over there doing that!. Anyway I hope you enjoy this travelogue which I have retyped and added to since it was originally printed in late 2001.
At the time of making these trips I was doing vocals in a Doomrock band called BLESSED REALM which is how I had originally came into contact with some of the people I befriended/stayed with over there through writing with them (the old school penpal snail mail way of course!), trading demos and being a part of the same music scene etc....I also must have racked up quite a lot of phone calls to Sweden on my parents phone bill organising these trips as you have to remember this was before the internet and email was easily available to everyone and todays modern social networking sites such as Facebook were still quite some years away from existing!.

Visit #1 May/June 1999

Eric the drummer from RISE AND SHINE(and also the guitarist in crust punk band SLAGANFALL) met me off the airport coach in Stockholm Central Station and the first thing we did was go to the nearest bar for some much needed beer after I had endured two flights to reach my final destination, the rest of the day was spent drinking and I also saw RISE AND SHINE rehearse, they played some new songs from their then upcoming 2nd album "Roadflower" that I hadn't heard at that time, so that was really cool. After that I went to a gig with Eric and the other RISE AND SHINE guys(and gal!) at a place called Tantogården, saw some cool bands, a band called SMACK (now called GRAND MAGUS!) played - shit name but damn did they rock, kinda like 70s hardrock meets Kyuss- cool! Also another band played but it was Smack who made the biggest impression on me and now everyone has heard of Grand Magus!. After that gig myself and Eric went to a cool rock bar that existed back then called Rockcorner in the Skanstull area of Stockholm and drank more booze. Cool first day!

Spent the next two days hanging in Eric's apartment and his friend Martin's house (or "Curry" as he was nicknamed due to being half Indian! He was the drummer in SCURVY, a band which featured a future member of REPUGNANT, GENERAL SURGERY etc..), hung out, drank more beer, visited some record stores in the center of the city, including my fave the HOUSE OF KICKS/WHITE JAZZ store "Sound Pollution" in Gamla Stan, the quaint old town part of Stockholm. That would be a record store I would end up visiting many times during various trips to Sweden over a period of 4 years!. We had went to look for another store that I had visited on my previous trip, but to my disappointment that no longer existed and had been replaced by a black metal orientated shop.
Went to a lake with Eric and Martin also a few nights into my trip, drank more beer there, and also visited a local church/cemetary in the area where they lived (Botkyrka kyrka) met up with their friend Tobias (who had just recently started up a then unknown fresh old school death metal band called REPUGNANT!) on the way, bought some beers and hung out in that place drinking, taking photos, talking about metal late into the night (it dosn't really get dark for too long in the summer over there,  even at around midnight it just looks like dusk!!). We dropped in at Tobias's place at some point that night which wasn't too far from where we were hanging out and he gave me a copy of the debut Repugnant demo that had not long been released.
from left to right:- Tobias Forge, Eric Nordin, Martin "Curry" Persson at Botkyrka kyrka, Botkyrka/ Norsborg, Stockholm Summer 1999.

On the fourth day I met up with the TERRA FIRMA guys who I had met earlier that year in England when they were on tour with CATHEDRAL and ORANGE GOBLIN, I had also been in touch with guitarist Freddie (who was also the original lead guitarist in UNLEASHED aswell as lead guitar in the punk band LOUD PIPES) for a while by snail mail and saw them rehearse and then went to a nearby Irish bar with Chritus, Fredda and Izmo for some Guinness and got pretty drunk (the only time I have really enjoyed drinking that stuff too!!). After the place closed I went in search of more booze with Fredda and got turned away from a rock club (for looking too drunk!) so we went elsewhere then retired back to Freddies place for the night. Next day was spent hanging out with Freddie and drinking, we bought some booze and went and sat down on the harbour and drank there for most of the afternoon as it was very hot (Sweden can hit very high temperatures in the summer), that night when it had cooled down and after we had grabbed some pizza (Swedish pizza is the best I have ever tasted and I got addicted to it!) we went into town and met up with Lord Chritus (also ex COUNT RAVEN, SAINT VITUS vocalist) and Izmo and also some of the RISE AND SHINE guys at a place where Jocke (RISE AND SHINE)guitarist was Dj'ing, we also met up with Sara from MISDEMEANOR too, got very drunk and then I went to Chritus's place for the next few nights of my trip. It was outside of the city in a place called Ekero, a very rural area, a different world from the bustling city streets of urban Stockholm. Chritus introduced me to moonshine, the Swedish alcohol equivalent of  rocket fuel!!. We had some nice long chats getting drunk and stoned and he told me stories of his days living in the states and singing for Saint Vitus etc...!

        Lord Chritus Linderson on the road to his house.

A couple days before I had to fly home, it was my 23rd birthday, RISE AND SHINE and TERRA FIMA were supposed to play a show that day but typical of my luck it got cancelled, but the guys from RISE AND SHINE and Chritus threw a birthday party for me at the rehearsal place both bands shared at the time, it was a really cool night, Jenny L, Sara, and Mia from MISDEMEANOR came along and we drank there for a while, then hit a rock bar (same one I got turned away from earlier that week for being too pissed!)until 3 am ish then myself and Chritus ended up staying over at Jenny's place. I was so drunk- a rock 'n' roll birthday indeed!

    Eric, Vera Misdemeanor and Lord Chritus at my 23rd birthday party in the Rise and Shine/Terra Firma rehearsal place June 1999.

Spent my last day with a hangover, went back to Chritus's place, got my stuff and then took a ferry over a lake and met up with Eric again. We then hooked up with Jenny and Vera from MISDEMEANOR and went to an open air gig at Midsommarkransen before hitting Rockcorner again for one last time that visit where we bumped into Freddie Firma and also Jocke from the band BLACKSHINE, got drunk day went back to England with a hangover!

     Vera, Jenny, Eric and Mia at Rockcorner, Skanstull, Stockholm.

       photo I took down by a lake in Norsborg area of Stockholm late on a night.

     Chritus's little house in the woods outside of Stockholm!

Visit #2- August 1999

Felt like total shit from the night before's drinking session (when you are 23 years old you don't really care so much about hangovers!!). I had been up since 3am to catch an early flight from Teesside airport to Stockholm via changeover in Amsterdam Schipol, had about 2 and a half hours sleep under my belt, woke up still drunk which later turned into the hangover from hell! I stumbled off the airport coach from Arlanda airport to be met by Eric once again, we had a few beers which didn't really help and actually made me feel worse, took the subway to Norsborg, the suburb where he lived and spent the rest of the day asleep on his sofa pretty much sleeping off the booze and feeling like shit, not an ideal start to my first day! Stayed with Eric for a couple nights and met up with Tomas from RISE AND SHINE (also ex of DAWN OF DECAY and MOANING WIND) and Ulf the then guitarist from VOMITORY for a few beers in a bar in central Stockholm as he was in town and was an old friend who I had met originally in England in late 1994.

     Tomas Bergstrand, Ulf Dalegren, Eric at a pub called Dovas just down the street from where Rise and Shine/Terra Firma used to rehearse in Fridhemsplan.

The next day I saw RISE AND SHINE rehearse again, I spent the next 3 nights at the house of Jocke and Josa from that band and saw RISE AND SHINE rehearse every night (cool!), met Max their stand in drummer at the time who had also played drums in the mighty FURBOWL and also saw TERRA FIRMA rehearse again, I remember not drinking much beer during the first few days of this visit! But I did meet up with Jeff the vocalist from the American band IRON RAINBOW who was in town and we went to see abit of Swedish metal history with Eric and Jocke, namely the cemetary which is home to the big cross that appeared in the promo photo for ENTOMBED's "Left Hand Path" album and video! That was fucking cool to go and visit that!! I of course took some pics!

photo that I took of the cross made famous by Entombed at Skogskyrkogården cemetary. 

On the fifth day, a Thursday I took a Swebus (their equivalent of a National Express/Greyhound coach) to a place called Karlstad, roughly about 4 hours west of Stockholm, I was going there for a 2 day festival called DIST FESTVIAL which was organised by the guys in VOMITORY. RISE AND SHINE were playing the first night of the festival but they had a gig somewhere else the night before and a full car so I had arranged to take the bus one way to Karlstad and hook up with my old friend Ulf and stayed the night at his place in Karlstad before spending two days in the nearby smaller town of Forshaga where the festival would be held, I got there on the afternoon after a nice scenic journey across country via a couple of cities such as Eskilstuna and Orebro and he met me off the bus, although a small disaster nearly happened after I first got off the bus as I had went to a call box in Karlstad bus station to call Ulf and let him know I had arrived in town (back then everything was arranged by telephone and letter writing mostly!) then went for a smoke and moments later realised I had left my wallet/purse inside the callbox so I rushed back and luckily it was still there...phew! Ulf  arrived and we hung out at his place for a while before getting picked up to go to Forshaga where I watched VOMITORY rehearse that night - my ears bled!!
The next day myself and Ulf went back to Forshaga early to the festival site and hung around for abit, got some food and booze in the center of Forshaga, met up with various people including various members of VOMITORY and the Dutch death metal band MANGLED who were in Sweden to play the fest...we all headed back to the festival site where I hooked up with the RISE AND SHINE guys and also Gabriel Lillehook from HANDS OF DOOM e zine, he was an old friend so it was really cool to see him again. I spent the rest of that night getting completly wasted and watched some great bands play in this old barn looking type place in the Folkets Park (Peoples Park). I saw VOMITORY, THE COFFINSHAKERS, RISE AND SHINE, MAZE OF TORMENT, SIDEBURN and a couple other bands on that first night. I also met some of the guys from the infamous local band GEHENNAH that night which was really cool. Spent the night sleeping in VOMITORY's rehearsal room with Ulf,  the RISE AND SHINE guys and Mia from MISDEMEANOR.

     Ulf from Vomitory on first day of Dist festival in Forshaga Folkets Park.

     Max "Furbowl" Thornell drumming for RISE AND SHINE @ DIST festival

Second day of DIST FESTIVAL started with getting up early, Ulf and I decided to start the morning in fine rock 'n' roll style- beers for breakfast! Our jolly friend Gabriel (known for his loud hearty laugh!!) came along to the rehearsal place and hung out with us for a while. After spending all morning and early part of the afternoon at the rehearsal place drinking it was time to make our way to the festival site once again where this time there would be two stages, an outdoor one and the previous nights indoor stage. Swedish rockers PSYCHEDELIC SUNRISE kicked off  the 2nd day of the festival at 3pm, I met up with the MISDEMEANOR girls and the TERRA FIRMA guys later in the afternoon who were both playing the second day, I spent the day getting very drunk and stumbling about watching various bands and meeting various people including various members of ENTOMBED, Jason from the Aussie band BLOOD DUSTER and also managed to catch the reanimated MERCILESS, ENTOMBED, DRILLER KILLER, LORD BELIAL, TERRA FIRMA, SPARZANZA, MANGLED on the outdoor stage and MISDEMEANOR, LOWRIDER, THE QUILL and a few others on the indoor stage (where I bumped into Anders from BLACKSHINE who I had first met a couple times during my first visit to Stockholm in 1998). I ended up in the beer tent at the end of that night on a table headbanging and playing air guitar!!.
Seeing MERCILESS live and also ENTOMBED for the first time on Swedish soil were particular highlights of that fest!.

Went back to the VOMITORY rehearsal room for a 2nd night and the MISDEMEANOR girls and LOWRIDER guys also stayed the night there along with Freddie Firma and a few other people, drank more booze and woke up some people who were sleeping by falling on top of them -whoops! Next day I went back to Stockholm in the RISE AND SHINE mobile and I spent the night at Jenny from MISDEMEANOR's place.

Met up with Kurt from the rock 'n' roll band THE SEWERGROOVES the next day whilst I was at Jenny's, good band in THE HELLACOPTERS style (who also featured Robert the drummer in that band on drums), he was a cool guy, also hooked up with Chritus from TERRA FIRMA again and stayed at his place for another night,  we ended up going to a party of one his relatives somewhere north of Stockholm, in the middle of nowhere then when we got back to his place we stayed up drinking whiskey, smoking and talking until about 5:30am, Chritus had to go to work at about 6:30 so didn't get any sleep and he went to work drunk and stoned!! Later that day I got my stuff together and headed back into the centre of Stockholm again. Spent my last night of that trip at Jenny Misdemeanor's place again relaxing, watching tv and also Kurt came over with a THE HELLACOPTERS new promo video which was cool, can't remember which song it was for now. I went to sleep early and sober, next day hung out in the city for a little while with Kurt doing some last minute music shopping in Gamla Stan and had a beer with him in an Irish Bar in Stora Nygatan before heading back to Arlanda airport to catch the first of my  2 flights home.

VISIT #3 :- November 1999

Arrived in Stockholm Central Station from Arlanda this time without a hangover! Lord Chritus met me off the airport coach and we went to Freddie's place to check out a promo video for the TERRA FIRMA song "Spiral Guru", Izmo came around to check that out too and after watching the video a few times and hanging out we headed off to the suburbs and dropped in on a house party where we stayed for a while before myself Chritus, Freddie and Izmo went to get some Indian food which came bright red and spicey as hell, after that meal we headed to Rockcorner bar and met up with a few people, got more drunk, I ended up totally puking up all over the toilets due to the dodgy Indian meal I had ate, a funny thing happened after that, as I was puking I was cursing out loud in English and there was a guy stood outside of the cubicle listening to my swearing and puking...turns out it was Matti Kärki the vocalist from DISMEMBER! After exiting the now bright red puke covered toilet cubicle I was met by a bespectaled smallish looking guy who I didn't recognise at first who said hello and enquired about my origins as I obviously was swearing to myself in English, we ended up having a little chat, he turned out to be a pretty cool guy, but what a surreal meeting that was!!
Later on that night one of the guys I was with ended up getting a bottle in the head so I ended up in a hospital somewhere in Stockholm with him, Chritus and a couple other people we had been hanging out with. Ended up eventually going back to Freddie's place, drank a lil and eventually passed out. An interesting first night of this visit!

I spent the next 3 nights at Chritus's place if I remember correctly, saw TERRA FIRMA rehearse a couple times, and went to a tattoo studio on one of the days and watched Chritus get a tattoo done, Freddie and Izmo joined us later in the afternoon and I saw them rehearse again before going back out drinking in some bars in central Stockholm, me and Chritus got VERY drunk and on the way back to his place apart from doing some drunken singing alongs of old Black Sabbath songs we were so drunk we got off the bus at the wrong stop which was quite a long way from his house so hitch hiked at the side of the road, we ended up getting a ride off a passing truck whos driver was blasting AC/DC.... that was pretty cool!!

       Inside the house of Lord Chritus the viking warrior!!

 Then it was back to Eric from RISE AND SHINE's place for a couple nights before heading off to a festival on a ferry/boat to the island of Aland which is in the middle of the Baltic Sea, the festival was called Rock at Sea and TERRA FIRMA, RISE AND SHINE, NORRSKEN (the band which produced members of WITCHCRAFT and GRAVEYARD) and some other bands including Maiden and Sabbath tributes were playing. Seeing those bands play in the middle of the Baltic Sea was quite a strange but cool experience, the trip lasted about 24 hours and I don't remember too much about it, I remember heading to the ferry terminal in Stockholm meeting up with various people and band members, boarding the ferry then its kinda a drunken blur from there, the main aim for most people was to get as drunk as possible it seemed, one drunken Swede cheerfully reminding me of the fact "that this is the same sea that the Estonia sank on", as if I needed to be reminded of that whilst we were sailing in a fucking total whiteout blizzard!.  I remember bumping into Atte from BLACKSHINE again (some trivia:- he is also an ex HETSHEADS member and also did vocals on the first NECROPHOBIC album "The Nocturnal Silence" one of my fave Swe-death albums!) and also met Karlen, the bass player from MERCILESS and LOUD PIPES during that ferry trip, also remember going through the Stockholm archipelago which was VERY scenic. When we docked at Mariehamn (or Maarianhamnina as it is known in Finnish), the island is kinda half Swedish, half Finnish with all signs in both languages which was kinda confusing for this drunken Brit, anyway it is the capital of åland, at some point in the early hours of the morning myself and Anders (or as he is nicknamed Atte) stumbled off the ferry through a deserted ferry terminal and into the cold dark Baltic night to check out some of the Island...we didn't get very far as it was too damn dark and cold....We saw sense and stumbled back onto the ferry where it was much warmer, more booze was drank before eventually I passed out in my cabin which I surprisingly managed to find no problem. I also met Karlsson from the famous Swedish duo Hansson and Karlsson that night, I didn't know who he was, I just thought he was some old Swedish drunk guy doing some band wasn't until after Chritus told me who he was that I realised I had just been talking to one of the most famous musicians in Sweden!


Next day I woke up with the mother of all hangovers...RISE AND SHINE  were playing another set on the way back to Stockholm, the ferry by this point was well on it's return journey and were due to start around the time I woke up, so I got ready as fast as I could to catch their set, I managed to drag my VERY hungover ass to see them and their set was as rockin' as my head was pounding, I started drinking again as a few hair of the dogs were most definetly needed and stocked up on some duty free booze!! Later that afternoon we docked in Stockholm, I was drunk again (although don't think I even had a chance to sober up!!), I hung out with Eric for a little while in the RISE AND SHINE rehearsal place, drank a few beers we had bought on the ferry then headed to a cool place called KAFE 44 in the middle of the city as THE HAUNTED and AMON AMARTH were playing there...the venue didn't sell alcohol so I bumped into a few of the AMON AMARTH guys who I had met a couple times previously in bars around Stockholm and was gonna go looking for some booze with them until Freddie from TERRA FIRMA and Karlen from MERCILESS turned up at the venue, so I decided to hang out with them instead as I knew Freddie more, we ended up going to hang out at an Indian restaurant not too far from the venue and drank more beer this point I was steaming drunk and nearly got us thrown out of this place after I got abit mouthy with the bar guy after he had wanted ID off me (you had to be at least 21 years old to drink in a bar in Sweden then)...all ended up being well and I had fun listening to Karlen speaking Svengelska which was cool to hear in person after reading it many times in MERCILESS interviews in Putrefaction zine!! Very cool funny guy!.

The gig ended up being really cool, Met Tompa the ex AT THE GATES vocalist at the gig aswell as Jonas the bass player who I had previously met in the UK and The Haunted played a great cover of "Blinded By Fear" that night, after the gig myself, Eric and if I remember right Karlen and a few other people ended up going to Rockcorner bar again and in a very strange coincidence Eric also had a problem with someone in the bar that night who hit him...but luckily he was ok as his hair protected the blow to the back of the head he got. Made me think about wearing a crash helmet on a night out in Stockholm!.
Next day it was time to fly back to boring old England after yet another drunken fun trip to the place that had now became my home from home!!

I probablys forgot some things that happened during these 3 trips but these events are what I remember happening in that order and what I wrote down in my original version of the travelogue in 2001. As the years have passed some things have came to me that never did first time around which I have added into this updated version. I hope some of you out there enjoyed reading about my drunken exploits and times in Sverige!! I sure as hell had a lot of fun that year!!
The following year I also made 3 trips to Sweden...I should try and recollect some of my memories of those visits too sometime and write about them and some of my drunken exploits!. I will add more pics to this travelogue soon! I also plan to revisit Stockholm and Sweden again soon as it has been too long since I was last there.

Some interesting facts I learned during trips to Sweden included:-
The last thing you want to see on a Swedish motorway is an Elk ( kinda like a Moose!) as they are larger than a horse and apparently the main cause of motorway deaths on Swedish motorways! As a  Swedish friend more or less put it "If you meet an Elk on the motorway that is probablys the last thing you will ever see"
Fact #2:- Japanese tourists have been known to steal road signs warning motorists of possible Elks on the road (how they get them through Swedish customs I will never know!!)

      Norsborg- the portal to Helvete!! The view from Eric's balcony.

     Lord Chritus in the foyer of the old Terra Firma rehearsal place in Fridhemsplan in Stockholm.

K Shevil August 2011

Wednesday, 10 August 2011


The amount of quality music that is coming out of the Uppsala-Stockholm region of the east coast of Sweden from all different genres within the extreme music scene is quite simply staggering, Uppsala wasn't widely known for having an active extreme music scene or many noteworthy bands to speak of (with the exception of Watain and a few other older bands such as death thrash squad Defleshed, melodic death metallers Sarcasm and 80's crust punk band Bombanfall) until recent years that is and was long sitting in the shadow of  the scene of its bigger urban neighbour Stockholm, but in recent years a bunch of bands have exploded out of that small university city (In Solitude, Die Hard, Veternus, Haveri, Invidious, Degial, Graveless etc..) and into the worldwide metal and punk scene, and some of these bands have made quite a significant impact on my ears aswell as those of many other people around the world. One of the latest Uppsala based bands to have done this is USURPRESS who's sound is very much rooted in the old school Crust/ D Beat Punk and Swedish Death Metal scenes.

Heres an interview with Steffe Pettersson the vokillist.

Hails please give me a background history on the band and who does what?

Well, we started in May 2010 because my previous band had almost folded and I wanted to try something new. The idea was to combine crust and death metal with strange guitar figures and I asked Påhl (guitar) and Calle (drums) if they were interested. I kinda hand picked these guys because I wanted a technical/progressive guitarist and a brutal d-beat drummer. That's what I got. In the beginning Lawrence from FKÜ played bass but rather soon we brought in Danne instead. We're still great friends with Law though, he has recorded all our stuff.

You describe your sound as "D beat Death Crust" what bands fuel and shape the overall sound of Usurpress?
Yeah... To be honest that's more of a "slogan" but it gives people a hint of how we sound. If they want to call us something else, we don't mind. We're mainly influenced by death metal-bands who are influenced by punk and we also incorporate elements from real punk and also some prog stuff. Our songs are quite "verse-chorus"-based and we don't use metal drumming. Some influences are bands like Celtic Frost, Anti-Cimex, Autopsy, Voivod, early Paradise Lost and so on.

You have a couple of releases out, a split and a 7", please tell the readers abit about these releases and where they can get hold of them?

We don't have these releases out yet. I don't know what's going on at the moment, and it's a bit frustrating. Anyway, I hope they will be out soon. The split-LP is with Galerna from Spain and the EP is our (sold out) demo on vinyl. They will be released by Throne Records from Spain.
We also just recently recorded new songs for split-7" with Pyramido and Bent Sea. The Pyramido one will be released by Plauge Island and the Bent Sea one we don't know yet. In March 2012 we will record our first LP for AgiPunk/Iconoclast. So, in conclusion, can't get hold of anything at the moment.

The east coast of Sweden including your home city of Uppsala has been producing so much great music recently, what are your own thoughts on your local scene, what local bands would you recommend to the readers out there?

As far as Uppsala bands goes, I would really like to recommend Undergång (not to be confused with Undergang from Denmark), the are a truly great band. Häxhammaren is an interesting new band as well.

Tell us what you have in the pipeline for 2011/2012, much planned release or gig wise? What can people expect from a Usurpress live show?

To get all the records that I mentioned earlier out and hopefully be able to do some cool shows, Danne lives in Norway at the moment so we don't really search for shows that desperate because it's not fair on him, I think. We will do a short (15-17 gigs) European tour in June 2012 when the LP is out. I think people can expect a good time when going to a Usurpress show, we are quite alive on stage so at least they should expect some sweat. We are also not that kind of band that locks ourselves backstage and get the fuck out as soon as we finished playing, we like to hang out with the crowd and watch the other bands.

Do any of you guys play in other bands you would like to tell us about?

Danne plays in the tough punkrock band Iron Lamb. Påhl plays in Klotet which is a heavy instrumental prog band, really great. Calle has a straight crust band called Stäket 1517. We have played in tons of bands before, some of which you probably have heard of.

Why the name Usurpress?

I saw the word by accident and checked it up a bit and according to some linguists the word was so rarely used that it was not to be considered a “proper” word and that the masculine term “usurper” should be used on both males and females who usurps something. That made me wonder a bit; was that behavior so unfeminine that there was really no need for a certain word for it? I found that trail of thought rather interesting. Is it possible to alter our perception of what men/women/mankind “should” be like by adding or take away words in our language? Anyway, we kinda liked the name so we used it and I think we’re the only band with that name. At least I hope so.

Whats your current opinion on the current crust scene? Any bands caught your attention that you would like to share with the readers?

I seldom listen to new crust so I have no idea really. Generally I think there is too much musicianship and too little unfocused aggression going on, hahaha! I heard some some songs by Striktlickers, Nödvärd, Valjakkala etc that I liked. I have even less clue about foreign bands.

Describe Usurpress in 5 words

Hmm... I'd better use the "d-beat death crust" tag I suppose, but that's only three words. I go for "Total D-beat death crust inferno". ...Or something like that.

What do your lyrics deal with?
All our individual lyrics deal with a specific, real life topic. However, I am not at all interested in explaining what they are about. But, like I said, it's facts rather than fiction.

The last words are yours, plug merch, websites, plans .... thanks for answering my questions!

Thanks alot for this interview, Kat! If anyone wants us anything, don't hesitate to write us We don't have anything for sale right now except some cool shirts, but follow us on Facebook or our site, and you will know when all our records will be out and how to get them.

Usurpress are also my band of the week on the Terrorizer Magazine website this week:-