Swedish punkband Atlas Losing Grip pleasantly surprised me with their debut record ' Shut The World Out' on which they manage to put me in a timemachine and warp me back to an era when Swedish punkbands like Satanic Surfers and No Fun At All were on top of the foodchain. Time for a little chat with bandmember Stefan.
Please explain the bandname to me because it's not a common name for a band I think?
Ok dude, the band name is not so hard to understand with some fantasy and some knowledge about stuff like greek mythology. According to the original myth Atlas was a titan and was punished to carry the weight of the heavens on his back. A common misconception of the myth says that he was forced to carry earth on his back. Anyhow, feel free to interpret as much as you want, the world will remain fucked.
During the nineties bands like Millencolin, No Fun At All and Satanic Surfers were really popular worldwide. What happened with the Swedish punkscene afterwards cause I can't recall such bands coming out of Sweden for a while except for maybe The Hives.
Actually I don't know what happened. I spent the nineties going to a lot of concerts with both swedish and international bands and we were really spoiled here in Sweden since a lot of the bands from here got so appreciated worldwide. You could check out great bands all the time. That created a huge interest for melodic punk and when the interest of that music started to fade away back in the late nineties I guess people just bought what happened and moved on. I believe that crust got bigger for a while and then the emo crap started to persist to torture our ears. I really hope that the melodic punk rock will find its way back somehow, now that everything is supposed to be soooo retro. By the way, I personally hate the Hives, haha!
Rodrigo from Satanic Surfers did some vocals on three of the songs on the 'Shut The World Out' record. Why did you ask him?
Well, Rodrigo is a good friend with a great voice. It felt natural to ask him, I thought the melodies in those songs would suit his voice perfectly. I've always loved Satanic Surfers, hold them as a strong influence of A L G and thought it would be cool to have him sing a couple of lines on our album.
How does a Swedish band end up on a Dutch label?
We got a deal with the Japanese label Bells On Records at first and we spoke to the guys of Antillectual after a gig and they told us to contact Shield Recordings which we did. Shield liked our shit and we liked theirs so everything worked out just fine.
There are also other labels included in this release. No Reason Records in Italy and DV..s Records in France.
We also have distribution deals with some other labels such as Eating Shit Records in Spain and one for Portugal coming up.
The song 'Tearing International Treaties' is about the US governement and their refusal to particpate in the Kyotoprotocol. But what does the Swedish government do to protect the earth? Is that enough? What do you do yourself?
In Sweden people are pretty aware of the climate issue and I think that people try to live there after. Yet with the government we have here today I'm not so sure that the climate issue is one of the highest priorities. The international work to limit the climate changes is mostly regulated by the UN and I don't really know Swedens part in the whole situation.
All the members of the band support fairtrade, vegetarianism/veganism and recyceling for example.
Can you tell me what the song 'Affordable Solutions' is about?
It's about the care of old people, people with psychological problems and how a lot of them are stuffed with drugs instead of having their real issues and the roots to their problems dealt with, how money and lack of empathy lay ground for suffering - both mental and physical.
One of the songs on the new record is an Adhesive cover, why that band and why that song?
I love Adhesive and they are friends of ours. The lyrics of the song are sane and true and it is a great song. Thats why.
Can we expect more new bands coming out of Sweden and if so which bands?
If you like more aggressive hardcore check out our good friends in Balance and also check The Indecision Alarm (if you did'nt already), Sista Sekunden and We Live in Trenches.
Thanks for the questions! Heavy Mental! / Stefan
Myspace: Atlas Losing Grip
Label: Shield Recordings