Twinmusix got to speak with singer Dennis Lyxzén from Refused about their upcoming album and more.
TM - Hi, This is Amelia from twinmusix, Thank You for having this call with me today.
DL - Thank You for calling.
TM - That's ok, how has your day been?
DL - it's just getting started, because of the time difference. It is one of those mornings where you get up, grab a sandwich and start doing interviews.
TM - You are releasing your album soon, what can fans expect from it?
DL - Hopefully they can expect a fantastic record. It's a very violent, succinct and no-nonsense type of record.
TM - What was your writing and recording process on this record?
DL - It was a bit scattered, we have been writing and recording for a long time. It has almost been two years, for a few different reasons we all have jobs, side projects and families, so you have to work around that a bit. We have also taken a bit of time with where we want the songs to be. At the end of the day, we ended up here, which is amazing.
TM - How has your touring schedule been?
DL - We did a tour in America in May, with The Hives. We also did a few European festivals. The record comes out on Friday and then we start touring, it's going to be exciting. It's going to be interesting to play these new songs live and see what people think and feel.
TM - What can fans expect from your upcoming tour?
DL - We try to bring excitement and energy and a call against capitalism. We are going to play a whole bunch of new songs and play some of the old classics. Hopefully, it will be a great time for everyone.
TM - What can we expect for the setlist from your tour?
DL - A bunch of new songs, a bunch of songs that people want to hear and maybe one or two surprises. That's still a work in progress. You normally try a setlist for a few nights and see how it goes and see if you need any changes.
TM - I also love the album cover, who designed it and what's the meaning behind it?
DL - It's an artist called Hugo and he has done a lot of artworks for me before. He said I want to do your Refused record and I said Ok. I played him some of our music and he showed me some of his ideas. You want the cover to represent the feeling of the record. A lot of times artists don't pay that much attention to the album cover and what it brings.
It is good to make the artwork fit in with the music. I think Hugo did a great job and the artwork turned out amazing. I think it's a reflection of the record and the artwork looks like the record sounds. Which is a good accomplishment.
TM - If you could have any band perform one of your songs, which band would it be, which song would it be and would it be in your style or theirs?
DL - That's an impossible difficult question. Does it have to be a contemporary band or can it be any band?
TM - Any band, that you have thought, Hey, I think it would be cool if they cover my stuff.
DL - I would like to hear The Bad Brains do one of our songs at their peak in 1981. I don't know what song, they can do whatever they want, in their style. I would be stoked to hear that.
TM - If you could collaborate with any band who would it be and why?
DL - I think Pussy Riots, would be great to collaborate with, it would be political and Crazy.
TM - What's your favorite memory watching someone else perform live, can you tell us a story?
DL - One of my favourite memories is seeing The Stooges and both the Asheton brothers were still in the band. My old band played at a festival with them in Italy. They started off their set with "I Wanna Be Your Dog" and Iggy was down in the crowd and the drummer comes in wrong so the song goes in a weird backbeat. Everyone in the crowd was saying, This sounds super weird and the bass player looks absolutely terrified because he knows this is the way it's not meant to sound. The Asheton keeps playing like, This is the best thing we have ever done.
Then You just hear Iggy screaming in a microphone, 'wtf is going on, stop it stop it'. You see bands playing and we are all professional and no one ever fucks up. Then you see a band fuck up a super basic song and I love that, it's amazing and I wish more bands would fuck up like that.
TM - At least you remember stuff like that, it's always funny.
DL - Exactly, there are shows where it's like, yeah it was fine. Except when you have a show with twelve people and half of them left and there is a dog in the crowd, those are the shows you are always going to remember. The horrible show where your pants ripped or the amp caught on fire, those are the shows you remember. The shows with chaos are the ones that make it into your biography.
TM - What is your favorite European festival you have played and why?
DL - I don't have a favorite festival. There are a couple of festivals that are cosy, where the festival is taking care of you and they are going the extra mile, to make sure you are having a good time.
I love playing festivals because you get to play a lot of people who haven't heard from you before. Sometimes you get to hang out with friends because they are playing the festival.
TM - My favorite is Hellfest.
DL - Hellfest is great, we have played Hellfest three times and it's fantastic. The crowd at Hellfest is Amazing. We played Hellfest this year at the same time as Slayer which kind of sucked, except when we got to our stage it was packed and crazy, so I was like it's fine.
TM - What's your favorite memory on stage, can you tell us a story?
DL - In 2001 there was a big protest in Gothenburg because there was a G8 meeting George Bush. For two days there were riots everywhere, and it was a crazy weekend. On Saturday night my old band played a show in front of the protesters and it was a really powerful show because of the weekend and the vibes in the air. That show felt like it meant something because it was powerful.
TM - Is there anything else you would like to say to your fans?
DL - Check out the new music. Have an open mind about music always. If you think this world is not great, we are the only ones that can change that.
TM - Thank You for this interview today, I appreciate it and hopefully we soon in Australia.