Interview brought to you by:
|Hey ! This interview came about in a rather strange way – Krogh from Attack zine/tapes in Sweden contacted me about using the Rovsvett interview from 1988 on his webpage zine, so I agreed and in turn asked for a new up to date interview, as these Swedish lot have been going ever since those days… probably unnoticed to a lot of folk… still going strong with their unique style of raging Swedish hardcore punk.. so thanks loads to Krogh for this interview!|
1. Congratulations! It's 20 years now since Rövsvett came about and you're obviously still kicking ass! So, what do you wish for your birthday?
Jerker: That the new CD sells gold, more shows and willingly more tattoos.
Löken: I don’t know really, maybe a gig release for our next record, our 4th CD/LP that will be out around the Birthday party on Six Weeks Records in USA with beer, food and coffee that’s enough I think for us...
2. If there's any background info or similar you think we need to know before going ahead, here's your chance.
Jerker: We are working with the new album. It will probably be out in May. The LP will come later.
Löken: Not really, nothing to add that I can think about, so I pass that one...
3. As it says on the website, "Now that we've passed the year 2000 Rövsvett have become more active, but also angrier, more brutal and more merciless than ever..." Well, we're at 2003 now, any signs of slowing down or do you have even more to give?
Jerker: No, we have much more to give. I’m trying to keep up the tempo when we play live, but I can feel that I’m not fifteen anymore!
Löken: Yeah, our new record will be much better then the last one, more aggressive, heavier, brutal in all way, the songs are better planned, I know it’s gonna be our best record, we also gonna do a new long sleeve t-shirt and maybe a new 7" and continue to play hardcore...
4. In the Ripping Thrash interview from '88 Löken said that he'd never thought about why you were singing in Swedish and not English. Looking back on your "career", do you think you could have ever made the lyrics even come close to the special writing style you have if you'd done them in English?
Jerker: I have tried to write some stuff in English, two of the songs will be on the next album but I doubt that it will keep the same level as the Swedish songs.
Löken: I think that wouldn’t be Rövsvett if we should have been singing in English, but I don’t have anything against it, we do have some songs in English today, but Jerker prefer Swedish and for that reason we kept the name and still singing in Swedish. For some bands they reach a bigger crowd, but for some bands it could sound a little weird or strange to sing in school English that some Swedish acts do, so that’s what I think...
5.Looking at your name (ass sweat) it's easy to understand if anyone don't take you as a serious band at the first look. But looking at other band names "back then", many of them are in the same vein, and none (well, some but...) of them being not-serious. What I'm trying to say is, do you think people are more afraid today that a "silly" band name might scare the potential listeners away?
Jerker: A band that wants a real carrier is probably to "chicken" to take a silly name but if you play for fun like we do... I don’t think people care about the name of the band. It’s good with a different name because people don't forget it. We got voted #1 for the ugliest band name on a TV show. That's a big qualification.
Löken: We have had many questions about our name of the band through the years, but it hasn’t been negative for us, just a reaction also from the punk’s, we wanted to have a name that people should remember and react what do you your name was? Anyway, we took the name when punk was punk in mid 80´s, of course we knew that people wouldn’t take us seriously, but it’s up to them, we are not a political band or fun band, we are just a punk/HC band who likes to do good noisy music with fun and serious lyrics like other bands, nothing strange with that...
6. Linked to both two above questions. Just reading the titles of your songs (at least the earlier ones) gives the same sense as just looking at your band name -not a serious band. But when reading them one finds out that there's so much more. Was this writing style a choice or is it just the way you write? Who wrote/writes the lyrics?
Jerker: Frank and I used to write most of the songs but now its just me. We didn't choose any special style, it was more for the "message" to come out. Then we wanna bring it out there in a funny way.
Löken: Jerker do the lyrics, Frank (our old drummer used to write the old ones). I do all music.
7. OK, since your veterans in this "scene", what's different now from then? More relaxed before? Are you up to date on what's happening in the scene now a days?
Jerker: The crowds that come to see our shows are getting older just like us and they are calmer and the younger ones have the energy, just like the "good old days". I try to keep updated but I’m not so good at it. I think people complain a lot by the stage, I think if you don’t like the band then you should go in on their webpage or write it somewhere "that’s not how it used to be"!!!
Löken: No, not really, maybe there is not so many fanzines anymore, most of them can you find on the internet today, that’s sad, but I understand that it’s much easier to do it on internet then do a zine it’s more work to do a zine. For music scene that seems that there are not so many HC acts around am I right? Maybe it’s not so big as it where around mid 80´s and in the mid 90´s, but the biggest problem is that there are no real gig places in Sweden, "Eldslandet" in Jönköping have to close down around new year after 7-8 years that Janne & Steve from Elderberry records have really worked hard for that place over the years, but there are some good bands like: Coma, To what end, Fett, Intensity, but its sad that the Linköping scene seems to be down, that used to be big through the mid 80´s to mid 90´s, but they really need a new "Maskinskylten" (I used to live in Linköping from -89 to -94 and I did play in Identity with Sveden (Raped Teenagers/Flakes) & Jögga (F.I.L./Prehistoric Assholes)...
8. The release of the "Rövsvett i Nacken" 7" (2000) seemed to be somewhat of a resurrection of Rövsvett, followed by the "Kick Ass" CD/LP on Six Weeks (2001). Is this accurate and is it first now that you're getting some attention worldwide again since the 80's? In all honesty both the "Burn the Gay Nuns" and "All Makt Åt Mig" CD's went passed at least me (and more it seems when talking to people) fairly unnoticed, is this in any way connected to you now releasing stuff on other labels than Birdnest, which you've done for the 7 years prior to that 7"?
Jerker: We have NEVER had a contract with Birdnest and have none with Six Weeks. They just released our records. It was hard to get Birdnest to release our latest record. That’s why we changed. I don’t think it matters, sell wise but the Swedish buyers will have a harder time to find them.
Löken: I don’t know, but of course it helped us to put out the records on Six Weeks Records, maybe we have been working on our own when we have been on Birdnest, now we reach more when we put out the stuff of course in USA, it’s a real good label, so we like to keep putting out our stuff on Six Weeks, of course the 7" have formed todays Rövsvett with the sound, but I don’t think that "All Makt Åt Mig" where the 1st hint that we liked to shape the sound that we like to do, Rövsvett are still the same, we haven’t change much, we still play HC after 20 years...
9. You've been described as the Poison Idea of Sweden and you kinda strengthened that opinion when you released the "Burn The Gay Nuns" CD which is a tribute to former said band. But there's more to Rövsvett than this isn't there? Has this description at any point overshadowed your own style of playing?
Jerker: I have never seen us as "Sweden’s poison idea". We have always tried to do our own stuff.
Löken: P.I. where one reason that we formed as a band in mid 80´s, and we did worked to much on "Burn the gay nuns", it supposed to be a MCD first, but Birdnest wanted a whole CD, it took 1 ½ years to do it and we didn’t do any new songs, but sometimes it good, but the memories are that it took to much time for us to do the tribute to Poison Idea and we did forget Rövsvett.
10. Which of the records you've done are you the most satisfied with? And you're not allowed to say "Kick Ass, 'cause that's the latest and this is the sound we've always been looking for", haha.
Jerker: Then I will say that the coming one, because it has the sound that we always looked for... Just kidding... My favorite is "All Makt Åt Mig"
Löken: "Lepra Cliff" our 3rd 7", because I liked the period or I should have said "Sällan studsar en termos" the split-LP with Plague, but the production where not so good, but I do like the songs. "Fatal Farts" is a good documentation through 83-89 with some cool stuff, but our new CD/LP will be our best record ever...
11. Do you in all honesty think that the last few years 80's thrash revival has anything to do with you being picked up by Six Weeks? Of course I believe he likes what you're doing and it's not like I think you don't deserve it but...
Jerker: Yeah sure the trash is back, but I have no idea, that’s why Six Weeks wanted to release the CD. Löken has all the contact with the label, so he can probably answer you better on that one but I really hope they like us for our music and not for what’s popular.
Löken: No, I don’t think so, Jeff have been an old fan to us, so he did ask me through mail to do a record and we where happy to find Six Weeks a real big HC label with good distribution Mordam Records, so we can’t complain...
12. Not that it matters at all what people are listening to, but it seems as older punks here in Sweden don't listen to the stuff they're playing as much as other places. Are you still thrashing away in your homes to hardcore or is that time passed?
Jerker: When I’m alone I play hardcore in my stereo, my personal favorite for the time being is PRO-PAIN.
Löken: I general don’t listen to HC so much these days like you say, but when i do i still like fast and hard HC, but in the north it seems that you can’t like hard music when you are older, Sweden are very much age mentality, you must listen to radio music, but who cares, when Lemmy & Motorhead still play, why can’t we...
13.What does your families think about Rövsvett? Do they like it? Is there maybe a junior that's going wild when "Allah Allah" is playing on the turntable? If your kid came home and said he had started a "Rövsvett", would you be all excited, or would you be more like "here we go again..."?
Jerker: I’m married with two daughters, one is just like her old man, into punk-rock... maybe "nicer" than Rövsvett, the other one is proving to be a "real" musician, she plays the fiddle. They DON’T like Rövsvett but they come along when we have a gig. If one of them came home and told me that they wanted to start a band I would support them 110%.
Löken: My wife or my family has never liked what I have done, my mother hates our name, but I do what I feel to do!
14. In ten years from now, what will be pop up in your heads when thinking about Rövsvett? Are you still going?
Jerker: I will remember all fun stuff we had. The great gigs and all the wonderful crowds we had. I wish that everybody could feel once in their lifetime how it is to be on stage and experience the good stuff I have felt. I think Rövsvett is still around in one way or another.
Löken: They really kick ass, I don’t know about Rövsvett future, but I think I will be involved in the scene, maybe still be playing music, who knows, thanx to you Krogh for this interview and say hello to Steve from me, bye Löken...
15. Final question(s). Answer this and add whatever you want. Is that really a tattoo on the "Rövsvett i Nacken" 7"? If so, who has it and is that person proud?
Jerker: Yes the tattoo is real and I’m the one who has it. Its made by Magic Man Tattoo in Mjölby and I’m very proud of it. The tattoo artist has gotten a lot of comments on it, like "what kind of idiot is doing a tattoo like that". Same tattoo studio also did our backdrop, that’s the one you can see on the cover of KICK ASS.