Thankfully the music is cooler than the name PISS RIVER. But it does get you to notice them. Anders Ekdahl ©2018
and has to introduce their music to new people. What is it that you want people to get from listening to you guys?
PR: Just to have a good time and forget about the dull endeavors from a day at work. For us, music can be a great form of escapism but also a way to channel lots of stuff, like frustration over the status quo for example. But at the same time we feel our music consists of a lot of playfulness, we’re really having fun with it! And, hopefully, people listening to our music get the same feeling as we do playing our music
How hard was it for you guys to pick a name? What had that name have to have to fit your music?
PR: Quite hard. Most names are already taken and since every semi-serious suggestion we could think of either felt too silly or too pretentious, we went with plain stupid. Sofia came up with the name as a joke but it stuck, felt sort of catchy. It had this kind of “I don’t give a fuck”-feeling to it that we figured would work at least in the punk scene.
Everybody is influenced by certain things. What band(s) was it that turned you on to the kind of music you play? What inspires you today?
Viggo: I guess it comes from when I was ten and got into Iron Maiden, Suicidal Tendencies and old Swedish punk. And from that it has just went on. Old British hard rock and heavy metal has influenced me quite a lot I guess, but the musical interest/influence is wider than that. Today I listened to the new Sleep album, Disgust, Lord Vicar and the Testors. Tomorrow something else.
Sofia: Being a kid my first experiences with heavy music was my older sisters GnR, Metallica and Nirvana cassettes, and the occational Thin Lizzy or Sabbath album from the flea market. In my later teens I moved to the city and started going to punk shows and that opened up a whole new world of influences to me. Today I can find inspiration for my vocals all over the place, from Cherie Currie to Fenriz, hehe. It really depends on the song. I can get inspired from things that aren’t even rock related, sometimes it can be a feeling rather than the actual sound that inspires.
Björn: The Hellacopters. Obviously. And everything that they were inspired by. Plus good ol’ heavy metal and punk and music in general from the sixties/seventies.
Albin: On top of my mind just to name drop a few bands… like Deep Purple, Discharge, Girlschool, Annihilation Time. Focusing on these bands drummers, for me, they all kind of symbolize the basic elements (technicality, stubbornness, pace & finesse) that I wanna try to provide with as a drummer. I also get inspired from activist groups such as Kill the King; focusing on erasing the sexism in the swedish hårdrock scene and Hårdrock Mot Rasism; a network against a rock scene against rasism, sexism and hbtqphobia. Focusing on the darker sources of inspiration… I don’t even know where the fuck to begin. Swedish parliment fucking all the immigrants over?? Swedish Neo-Nazis trying to claim the fucking International Workers Day, FIRST OF MAY?! Working 8 hours a day for shit wages?
When you formed did you do so with the intent of knowing what to play or did you do so from the point of having a band name and then picking a sound? How did you settle on the name/sound combo?
PR: When we started our only goal was to play rock ‘n’ roll. Our stupid band name came way later. We’re all old punks and we’ve played in a bunch of different bands previously, exploring diffrent types of genres. When we started Piss River we just wanted to play rock ‘n’ roll with a hint of punk rather than vice versa.
We guess the name signals that we don’t take ourselves too seriously. Which is true. And which helps staying creative aswell. As we found our sound the music has developed in a sense that we can pick inspiration from different genres while still sounding like us.
I believe that digital is killing the album format. People’s changing habit of how they listen to music will result in there being no albums. Is there anything good with releasing single tracks only?
PR: It sucks. Full-length albums rule. We don’t believe the album format will disappear, at least not during our lifetime. True punx and metalheads will always buy the physical formats. And there will always be materialistic nerds out there getting some perverted kick out of a physical record.
The good and boring side of digitalization of course is availability. It’s great that the most obscure recordings are just a click away and it’s really cool that kids perhaps not surrounded by people introducing them to music can still get access to a huge variety of musical expressions. But it’s boring to never again get the exciting feeling of opening an envelope with a cassette in it from Brazil or Malaysia that you’ve been waiting for a month.
What part does art-work and lay-out play when you release new recordings? How do you best catch people’s attention?
PR: Well we’ve not released so much yet, but we’re really lucky being surrounded by super generous and talented friends helping us out with art work, photographing and filming us. Hehe, it’s not a bad thing knowing people with talent and an eye for what looks good. Using art-work and lay-out can hopefully give the listener a better picture of who we are. But getting there from idea to reality meant needing some help. Some serious help.
Has social media re-written the rules on how to promote your music? Or do you go about doing promotion the same way?
PR: Yeah, for sure. Obviously, social media makes it possible for more people to get in touch with our music. And being signed to an ambitious label makes it clear that promotion is a huge part of their (and obviously our) way to sell records. So, when it comes to promotion, we get alot of help from our label in that department. Which also means we get to do what makes us happy, like writing songs and rehearsing!
When you play in a band, does that make you feel like you are a part of a scene, of something bigger and grander?
PR: Playing music with friends and becoming friends through playing in a band together or being a part of the same scene gives a sense of belonging. To be able to do something you love doing with people you really like is a luxury for sure. And living in a place where there’s a scene that allows us to get in touch with lots of new bands ain’t half bad either.
How much of a touring band are you? Is touring/gigging still a great way of spreading the word of the band?
PR: If you want people to hear your music and buy your albums touring is the best way. Maybe people today can spread their stuff around by being super-active on social media but we don’t know shit about that, so playing gigs is the only way for us. And the most fun way. So far, we’ve mainly played venues in the northern part of Sweden, but we wanna do more gigs. Hit us up!
What will the future bring?
PR: With our debut album released we will hopefully play more shows and try to get our music out to more people. And then write new songs and start the whole procedure over again. Write, record, make silly music videos and play shows. It’s a good way to pass the time.