How was your recent west coast tour with Absolut? Any memories that stand out, terrible or amazing?
– Amazing, as expected! But it’s a total nightmare and really frustrating not to use our own equipment that we’re used to using while on tour. Because of that we had a lot of problems, mainly with the pedals and cables. Things disappeared, got broken or missing all the time. In the end we did only the best of the situation.
There are many fantastic memories, don’t think you want to fill up a whole zine with my bad humor and nostalgia trips. Hehe. I mean the World Rage Centre-backyard show in Berkeley was probably one of the most memorable nights of the entire tour. But one of my personal most enjoyable memories was when Gavin (bassist of Absolut) told how he woke up one of the nights we slept in L.A. of a cockroach licking his knee. Hahahaha. The Calli C.R’s ain’t fucking around!
The support was beyond expected and we saw and played with tons of kick-ass bands. Financially it was a disaster, but for real, who cares when you get the chance to hang out with great friends doing what you love the most for two weeks? On top of that we had a solid driver who joined us throughout the tour.
Besides all the hassles with the equipment, it was probably only the unbearable heat in California that was the only negative of the whole tour. For fuck’s sake, we’re from Sweden and accustomed to icy winds and snow.
How did you meet the members of Absolut and decide to collaborate with them on a split as well as the tour? Do you think you’ll be collaborating with them on anything in the future?
– We had never met in real life before we did the US tour, only via mail. I don’t remember for sure how we came in contact from the beginning, but I’ve loved em ever since I heard their first demo. I released their latest LP “Hell’s highest power” on my label D-takt & Råpunk and I guess one thing just led to another. Chris (singer of Absolut) suggested that we should come over to the US. A few months later ‘Jawbreaking Mangel Devastation’ west coast tour was a fact. Actually we have already talked about that we should make another tour together, but this time in Europe.
What differences have you noticed between the European and North American punk scenes?
– I’m the oldest in the Paranoid, pushing 40, and has been on the road since the late 90s. Much has happened since then and unfortunately, I must say, I see no direct regrowth among the young in the punk scene. Both Europe and North America have that in common. I don’t know why that is, if we are too poor to include the kids by setting up gigs with age so that people will be able to drink instead of having hungry and excited teenagers at shows. Or if it’s because the kids today would rather listen to techno and playing computer games. Old and bitter, guilty!
I think that Europe may be a bit more organized but at the same time too harsh on the political correctness. There are those who are a little bit too uptight and might take themselves perhaps too seriously. Just don’t’ tolerate outdated prejudice and oppression, and don’t be a miserable asshole. I call it only as common sense. You’re always provided with food and shelter in Europe, something that you never can or should take for granted in North America. US is far more open-minded and generally more interested in talking with strangers (touring bands). There are of course exceptions in both cases. All in all, punk is love and dedication whether you live in Leeds, Osaka, Melbourne, Oulu, Ottawa, Berlin or Portland.
How do you achieve your monstrous, crushing & raw sound? I’ve been in awe of it for some time now, your last LP Satyagraha absolutely melts my mind everytime I listen to it.
– Many believe that it’s just to connect as many pedals as possible and pump up the volume, which is not the case. All pedals and amps we use fulfills its purpose and is carefully studied. We got a few tips and advice from friends who share our interest in creating noise. From that we created our own sound from our own references and taste. If “Satyagraha” melt your mind we’ve succeeded.
The members of Paranoid have also been in other d-beat/crust bands over the years, such as Electric Funeral and Warvictims. What motivates you to keep assaulting the world with a wall of raw d-beat noise?
– It’s an addiction, we can’t help it. Joking aside, I can’t imagine a life without music (punk/hardcore), but it’s also a way to distance oneself from stress, anxiety and to all the other miseries of everyday life.
What are some of your typical lyrical subjects? What message do you want to get across with your lyrics? Also, why is it that being from Sweden you’ll have not only English lyrics, but Japanese lyrics as well?
– Sorry to disappoint you but we have no groundbreaking lyrics, we write about classic punk/thrash metal themes. You know? There’s no message. In most of the bands I play or have played in, we had the lyrics in Swedish. Fun trying something new. I like bands that have everything thought out and even has theme lyrics/records. So it’s not impossible with something like that in the future.
So far we have written all the lyrics in English except for one, which is in Japanese. I would prefer that we do the next album entirely in Japanese, but then it’s not I who will sing and memorize all the lyrics either. Hehe. Henke (who writes all the lyrics) is bad at checking and responding to his emails. Otherwise you might have got a better and more detailed answer to the question.
The Crink zine is a D.I.Y project entirely written and published by teenage weirdos. What advice would you have for the new generations of punks?
– Our only advice is to stay in school, take pride in being an outcast, don’t take shit from anyone and reclaim the scene from old-timers like us (me) and the majority of all active bands. As I mentioned in the previous answer, today’s punk scene desperately needs new blood and more teenage weirdos, by all means, so bring all your friends and their younger siblings and their friends. Start a band, zine, label, venue, screen printing shop. All are beginners at the start and everyone starts somewhere. Ask the more experienced for advice, but never let them take over. DIY!
Thanks for doing this interview guys! Anything you’d like to say to our readers?
– Main focus right now is to follow up “Satyagraha”, it goes slowly but were in no hurry. We’re having an LP version of “Cover of the month” released by Svart Records in Sep/Oct. this year. No gigs or tours planned. Many thanks for your interest Felix. Best of luck with your zine!
Q: Felix Lahbabi-Granger, Crink
A: Jocke D-takt