Swedish crust is like IKEA. Everybody knows of it. And most love it. And what is there not to love about MISANTHROPIC from Umeå. Anders Ekdahl ©2016
Could you please introduce yourself to those of us in the dark?
-We are Misantropic. We come from Umeå, Sweden, and we play hardcorepunk. The one answering these questions is Matte (bass, backup vocals). The other members are Gerda (vocals), Robert (drums), Eken (guitar) and Richard (guitar).
I often wonder how people discover that they can do what they do. How did you discover that you can sing and play instruments?
-When I was13 years old I started a new school and the music teacher there, who was this old hippie guy, encouraged me to learn to play instruments because he could probably see that I was really into music. I didn’t have any instrument of my own to practice on at home, but he let me use the music room during breaks and after school hours and helped me understand different instruments and stuff like that. When I started my first band a few months later he was really supportive and helped us out a lot as well, so I think I owe him a lot ´cause I´ve been playing music ever since and I also work with music today. I can only speak for myself here though, I have no clue why the other members started doing what they do.
When did it become a revelation that you can do this and maybe get paid for having fun?
-Misantropic never gets paid. If venues can cover our travel expenses and give us food, beer and a roof over our heads we will come play. DIY or die, always.
When you spend an amount of your life on a band does it ever feel like you have wasted time, that you have fought one too many windmills?
-All of us in Misantropic is 30 + years old and we have been playing underground music for most of our lives. We all have daytime jobs to do in order to pay the rent and we all have kids to pick up at kindergarden and stuff like that, so we really need this outlet that is hardcore punk. It’s a huge privilege for us to still be able to do this: to travel, get fucked up, see new places, play brutal music and meet new people. So no, its not a waste of time. Without it, we would probably be really fucking miserable.
No matter how small or big you were as a band you will leave a legacy behind you. How do you want people to treat this legacy?
-It would be great if people read our lyrics and changed their minds a bit, but I guess most of the people that listen to us kind of already share our political agenda so we are probably just preaching to the already converted.
Is digital taking away the mystery of waiting for a new album now that you can upload as soon as you have written a song?
-I really don’t like digital music. To me, things are only real if you can touch it, so I still buy a lot of records hahaha. But I have also realized that I am too fucking old to have an opinion on this, and to be honest it’s kind of cool how easy it is to discover new music these days compared to 20 years ago. If you are playing music in order to get paid or sell a lot records I guess downloading and spotify is shit, but Misantropic don’t really get affected by this so we don’t really care. As long as people listen to us, we don’t care if it’s on vinyl or CD or Spotify or mp3.
How important is image in separating you from all the million different styles of rock/metal/hardcore/punk there is out there?
-There are many bands all over the world doing what we do and we don’t try to do anything uniqe. But I guess we sometimes try to do things a little weird and try to avoid doing everything “by the book”, so to speak. We do songs that we like to play – not songs that we believe the listeners will enjoy, if you get my point? Also, I guess we put a lot of effort into our lyrics.
Do you deal in different topics lyrically or do you keep to one, just using different variations?
-Our lyrics is always about politics in one way or another; anti sexism, anti fascism, anti capitalism, animal rights issues, environmental issues… stuff like that. Misantropic is a political band and even though we sing about different political subjects I would say that anarchism and feminism is the core of it all somehow. No Gods, no Masters!
Do you consider yourself a live artist or do you like to spend most of the time secluded in a studio?
-We are definitely a live band. We have been around since 2008 but only released one split EP and two 12” records (and those are not even full length albums ). So we are very unproductive when it comes to record new stuff! It´s not that we are lazy, but we are all pretty busy with a lot of things like kids/families, work, other bands, activism and so on so there is just not much time for us to hang out in the rehearsal room and jam and write new stuff. Unfortunatly.
How much of a touring band are you guys? What memories do you take with you?
-Like I said above, we are pretty busy so we don’t have that much time to tour either. Also, we live in the sparsely populated north of Sweden which makes it harder to tour because it is an 8 hour car ride to the closest international airport and a 20 hour car ride to the southern Swedish border (aka “the gate to Europe”) so because of this we mostly do festival shows and stuff like that these days. But we still get around alot – we already have shows in Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Poland and Croatia booked this year. Memories? Well, personally its all the great people we get to meet. They are usually fuckin awesome.
What does the future hold?
-We have a bunch of shows planned (se question 9) and we also plan to record a new album this year, so if we can find a label who wants to release it a new full length might be out in the end of 2016.