In our glorious quest for enlightment, we’re always trying to bring you guys some insight into various hardcore scenes all over the planet. Therefore we have recruted two of Swedens best kept secrets to answer our questions in a double-interview. Here we go!
Hey guys, how are you doing? I’m stoked about this and keen to see how it will work out. Please shortly introduce yourselves by your names, where you’re coming from and what bands you play in. Since when have you been around as a band?
Doug: Hey man! I’m good, a little sore after Alive & Well Fest this weekend. I’m Douglas, from the great place Segeltorp outside of Stockholm. I play guitar with Medea, we’ve technically been a band since 2010, but I guess we turned into the Medea we are today around 2012/2013.
Toby: Hey man! All is good. Also sore after the Alive & Well Fest, which was great! I’m Toby. I sing for Lowest Creature and we’re from Örebro (Pennybridge), Sweden. We’ve jammed together since about the start of 2013 but became a band in december the same year.
How can our dear readers imagine your music? Please describe the style the other band is playing!
Toby:Medea is one of my favorite bands. They play hardcore crossover with mainly thrash influences but combine it with just as much heavy metal as you want! It’s hard hitting and groovy as hell.
Doug: Ok, so Lowest Creature is one of the rawest sounding bands from Sweden, lots of influences from a little newer crossover bands I think. heavy riffs, insane drums and vocals that make your eardrums explode.
Toby: Also, Per, their vocalist has the rawest most death bringing throat I’ve experienced. I think he dies a little bit everytime he sings. Like, really dies. Losing braincells or what not.
Doug: He actually throws up before almost every show.
I have seen shows of bands that do that, and must say this shows that this person puts a lot of energy to their sets! Gives me thrills! Don’t know if you heard of them, but David of Reborn to Conquer used to do that on stage, including rolling on the ground, suffocating himself with the mic cable and stuff. A bit lunatic if you ask me, but I guess these people are feeling what they are doing.
Doug: Yeah, well I guess it’s a great way to express your anger and shit, and Per has a lot of that.
Toby: Hahahaha that sounds insane. Saw something similar with a band called Barbarian or something. The dude poured out posternails on the floor and just rolled around and cuddled up with them, haha. It’s sick.
Which bands have been influential to develop your style? There have been some around that mix hardcore and (thrash) metal in a unique style… not to mention Power Trip. But how did you develop your very own style?
Toby: Yeah, Power Trip influenced us for sure. I think I can say that for both bands. Also I’ve always listened to thrash thru my teenage years and still do. All the classics like Metallica, Slayer, Nuclear Assault, Overkill and crossover bands like Leeway, Cro-Mags, Crumb Suckers, Suicidal… so on so on.. and some of that new wave shit like Municipal Waste, Dr. Living Dead.. the list goes on. But a firestarter to make Lowest Creature happen was me touring together with Medea with my other band. Just looked so fun to play so I had to do it to.
Doug: The thing with Medea is that there is no band in the world that all of us in the band like, we have so different taste of music it’s insane. But bands that influence me are Iron Age, a lot of Iron Age, but also like Metallica (of course) and Cro-Mags riffs on the “Alpha And Omega” album. And I guess we have some Power Trip-ish vibes in our riffs. But what makes us sound the way we do is probably because all of us have so different taste of music as I said. Also a really neat newer thrash band from America called Lich King influences me a lot in riff writing.
Toby: And of course a bunch of hardcore bands, otherwise we would play a whole different scene. But there’s to much to namedrop so I’ll just leave it at hardcore.
I often read that in interviews, to be honest. Maybe the key to great music lies in the diversity of the bands members tastes… who knows! I’d like to move on to the swedish hardcore scene now.
When Refused became more and more of a pop punk band, a long time nothing of Swedish hardcore made it to my ears. Is it right to say, the Swedish hardcore scene developed rather in smaller underground band as in big internationally known acts?
Toby: Like if Swedens hardcore scene is built around Refused or more underground bands?
Yes! I mean..basically the question is if there’s an underground scene that is just not so known out of the country.
Doug: Yeah absolutely, we actually have loads of bands in Sweden, but most of them only stay in Sweden and never get out to play shows in Europe. Like Medea, we’ve been a band for a pretty long time, and we’ve never been outside of Sweden. Refused is in my opinion the most overrated band i’ve ever heard.
Toby: Yes. Refused are still fucking dead, at least to me, and I think I know tops maybe two persons that actually really like them.
The Swedish hardcore scene 2015 fucking rules. We have a ton of great bands that don’t get the appreciation across the boarders they deserve. It’s hard to cross that line for Swedish bands. We have a few bigger names who tour a lot still, Anchor I guess as the biggest, but the real “local” ones are the best. The scene right now is really really good. Alive & Well Fest was just this weekend and the majority of bands was Swedish and I think (except for The Rival Mob) the Swedish bands were the ones with the craziest sets. I think videos of it all will show up at Baronxbones Videography, if you wanna check it out. And with craziest sets I mean the crowd busting out the most. All the bands were great fuckin bands!
Doug: Yeah, the crowd this weekend is the sickest I’ve ever seen on a show.
Thats so good to hear, really! We will put the video below the interview, just one more question about the big bands…so to say. After Guilty split up in 2014 I heard many voices saying how this is a pity. How did this influence Swedish hardcore?
Doug: Well yeah, Guilty splitting up sucked. But I didn’t really notice any difference in the scene or anything.
Toby: Yeah it sux that Guilty are no more. I think they really could’ve been great and represented the Swedish hardcore scene in a good way. I think they as a band influenced a lot of people, but they breaking up didn’t effect shows or something because it was kinda a long process around it I guess. There were still bands to bring that type of crowds to a show, like Hårda Tider for an example.
Okay! No need to talk about past stories for too long, lets talk about the good stuff!
You’ve mentioned the Alive & Well Fest in Eskilstuna a lot. The lineup featured bangers such as The Rival Mob or Survival. I seriously thought about flying up there, but couldn’t make it. So please tell me more in detail, what where the vibes at the show?
Toby: It was great. By far the craziest show I’ve attended in Sweden. Good vibes, a lot of crazy and stupid shit (in a good way) going down on every single band. People were stoked and I know I had the best time. Björn & Acting Out Bookings deserve all the best for doing this and keeping it annual. Only thing I missed was the pizza they served last year.
Doug: It’s for sure the best show I’ve ever been to, all my best friends where there, great bands played, and we had a football tournament! The response Lowest Creature got during their set was insane, I’ve seriously never seen anything like it. And also Neighborhood had their “last show”, people went nuts. And yeah, like Toby said, everyone who worked with this show deserves the best
I think I read this was Lose The Lifes last show. Now that I checked the lineup I didnt see them on there anymore.. any chance they will still play shows?
Doug: No, I think stuff didn’t work out for them, so they split up before the show but they got replaced by a really new and fresh band called War Nerve.
Toby: No, Lose The Life is no more. They had to cancel the show for personal issues, but I don’t think they will something else either. Yeah, War Nerve fucking killed it!
Well thats sad to hear, I really liked their style… and lyrics, haha. Quick jump to the future: What are you expecting from the eurotour, that you’re going to play in June?
Doug: I don’t really know, I don’t like to have expectations for shows that I’m playing, but a lot of people has told us that people might really like us in like central europe. We also got really nice feedback from a lot of Germans when we released our EP “Doomed From Birth“, so I’m really stoked
Toby: The tour is gonna be awesome. Two weeks with my best buds from both my own band and Medea. Some crazy shows (I hope) and a lot road tripping. It can’t go wrong. Even if every show is attended by two or three people I’m gonna have a lot of fun. Hopefully the shows are bigger than that though, haha.
You’re probably going to like it haha. I’m still glad you decided to come down to Germany with just one show fixed.. and now that Medea is also coming, I’m even more stoked!
Doug: Cool to hear man! and yeah, hanging with my best friends in Europe will be so much fun.
Toby: We don’t like saying no to shows! It’s what we wanna do all the time you know? We have a few shows fixed now to so everything is starting to settle.
What are the future plans with your bands? Any releases in the planning?
Doug: Well, right now we’re planning for the tour. And we’re hoping to be able to release two new songs before hitting europe! After that, i hope we can get to the UK this fall or winter, that would be dope as fuck.
Toby:Lowest Creature has a plan for a 7″ this autumn featuring 3-4 songs. Hopefully we can record when we get home in june. We are also planing to go to the UK and some shorter trips to mainland as well. Some Swedish fests and shows booked to, gonna be real good!!
Let’s say I’m about to travel abroad to visit a hardcore show and also check out the country a bit. Any Scandinavian hardcore festivals you could recommend?
Doug: Well, you missed Alive & Well Fest, and I guess that’s the best one, even if it’s only been around for two years.
Toby: For sure the Alive & Well Fest. Now it isn’t until next year, but it is the best one we have by far. Thousand Strong Crew in Stockholm always put up great stuff too. And hopefully we’re gonna have a fest going in Örebro soon as well, time will have to tell..
Doug: Yeah, but if you’re here for the nature, you should go up north, Umeå puts up 090 hardcore fest.
Okay, I’m out of questions. I’d just shoot some random ones that come to my mind towards you and you just tell me what comes to your mind.
Does your usual crowd consist rather of metalheads or hardcore kids?
Doug: Hardcore kids! The metal scene in Sweden sucks. We have a lot of metal bands, but metal heads overall are fucking stupid
Toby: We’ve played 90% only hardcore shows. There is some metal heads on those shows, but the hardcore kids are the one that have been with us all the time and are most siked.
Does the cold winters help you play the music you play?
Doug: Yeah, it makes the riffs sound stronger.
Toby: Ice cold living, stone hard riffin.
Doug: Living easy is hard.
Toby: Haha but yeah, I guess we spend more time inside just playing our instruments and so on.
Doug: And FIFA.
Makes sense. Any last words, shout outs, greetings? Now is the time! Thank you guys for the interview!
Doug: Thank you man! Well i want to make a shoutout to District Conflict, Neighborhood and War Nerve from Stockholm, and to Janne and Hyttans from Eskilstuna. Also, Ulf Lundell fucking rules! And chop every nazi in half with a rusty axe!
Toby: Thanks for inviting us to do this, it was really fun actually. I have not done many interviews but this was nice. Shout out to our home town hardcore test of timers in Dollar Grin records, thanks for taking care of us. Check out The Hammer, Neighborhood, Give Today, War Nerve, Ferocious. And Free Limpan! Nuclearize every fucking nazi to death.
See you on Steel Cty Fest!