There are few bands which were so important for Hardcore Punk as Refused. After their second break up in 2012 they are now back with a new LP called “Freedom”. We were able to grab David (drums) in early 2015 and interview him about touring, their fans and the latest record.
David, How are you guys doing? Can you give us a short look into your life right now?
Yeah! We’ve been rehearsal a lot, because we always do it a lot. Every one of us has a different life. Some of us have a family, musical- and non-musical-projects. Were leaving on friday so I think I will work on some stuff and spend time with my friends. Just getting ready because we’re playing a festival and then we’ve been going off to America for a two week tour. We’re all excited for that! We are in a good mood!
Your newest Record is called “Freedom”. Why did you choose that title? And what can we expect from it?
It’s a sort of to provoke. It is a word which everyone has a relationship with. So someone, that doesn’t know us yet, could find this interesting. Our long following fans will realize that we mean it as a complicated term. It is an interesting contrast to our earlier records, which all had very long titles. No one knows what it means because everyone has a different opinion and meaning to it. I think it is a powerful record. We’re still working with that punk/hardcore energy that we still have with us. We try to put different styles in it, so you will find some earlier Slayer and some parts will remind you of Sick of It All. But you will also find some elements of Hip Hop and 70´s Rock. Some riffs of the record will sound like Classic Rock, of course we will presenting them in our own style. It is an interesting record. It’s ambitious but also violent. It is smart and it’s dumb. I’m really proud of it. I think it will remind you on stuff from the past but in the same way it will be a modern rock record. It is the most Refused sounding album we ever made.
How was it to write that Record?
It was hard, ha ha! The last time we brought a record was in 1997. It was a lot of work to find the way to that place that we could make this kind of music again. We started with this 2009. It was me, the guitar player and the bass player. When we decided to do the reunion, there were a couple of songs. Dennis thought those were great. So we decided working together again. 5 years later, the new record was finished. It was a long process. I hope it was worth it.
Did you had artists, that influenced you during the writing process?
Definitely Sick of It All, Slayer and Black Flag. I am 40 years old, and I’m obsessed by music since I was a kid, started playing drums when I was 5 years old. There is so much music in my head, the other guys are exactly the same. Were all obsessed with it. During the writing process I’ve listened to certain artists. Just to relax and get away from the stuff we were currently working on.
You guys doing that thing for a long time now (shows, touring ect.). Don’t you guys sometimes get homesick?
We try to tour for short periods. We don’t like it to go on tour for more than 2 weeks, because we have lives. If we would do this for a longer period of time, it fucks with the rest of your life. I love it to play live and hangout with the guys. When I was younger, I had more of a need to be seen, and to be on stage to have that attention. These Days, I don’t have that so much and I think the other guys neither. We just want to make good shows, after 10 shows in a row, were not as good as we should be. We try to tour in a way that we can give 100% every night. So every show is as good as it could be.
Is it still fun to go on stage?
Yeah! Playing with Chris, Dennis and Magnus. As a drummer it is a gift to have a bass player like Magnus. It’s magic, he is unbelievable good. The new guitar player is a great musician as well. It is a dream line up, and a dream band. When you sitting behind your drum set, and look at those guys. You feel totally happy. I don’t have to be nervous at all. It is still a great feeling.
When you guys come to other countries like Germany, do you have still time to visit them?
Sometimes, I try to. During the 90´s, we had a heavy announcement of shows. We’ve played 29 shows in 31 days. We had time for nothing. We stayed in the van all the time, sleeping on floors or stages. I’ve been to different cities a couple times, but I never had the chance to see anything. In 2012 we went to Japan, me and my girlfriend stayed for 10 days after we’ve played. Touring is a cheap way to travel. Today I and Dennis bought some records at Bis Aufs Messer which was great. I wasted a hundred Euros, ha ha.
How do you recognize your fanbase nowadays? Are there some diehard fans that follow you since the very beginning?
Yeah absolutely! There are people who are such fans, that they become friends. Certain people would show up forever. The great thing nowadays is that we can meet fans after shows and hang with them. Our fans are not even all from the Punk or Hardcore Scene. They just stumbled on us and became fans. You hang with those people who just like the music. The great thing is that the people came back to see us not because the hype. They came back because of the music that we wrote. I really appreciate that. It makes us lucky to see that the people are still interested in the music we make. I mean we were broken up for 14 years.
When you play big festivals, are you still excited to see your favorite bands live?
Yeah! We always check out live stuff, I remember we played a tour with OFF! They brought a new record, and I can’t stop listen to it. They are great. As I said, we’re all obsessed with music. Completely obsessed. The funny thing is, that if someone of us likes one band we’re checking it out together.