Lose The Life : Andrea Cengic

By Tieuma

Back in a couples of years ago, I wanted to put out a paper zine. I still want to though, but for now on, I’m putting out those interviews on this blog, like the Chun One’s one. Sounds weird.

Today, it’s Andrea from Lose The Life, a Swedish Clevo sounding Straight Edge band, with her on the vocal duty.

I was browsering Tumblr when I saw a picture on my dashboard of Lose The Life with Andrea on the band, and I just went “Oh this is awesome I totally got to ask questions”

Usually, I don’t really like e-mail interviews, because I don’t always get satisfying answers, but this time, I got way more than I asked.

Overly politicized and female fronted or whatever-they’re-doing-in-the-band hardcore bands are a most def favorite for me, and we can clearly admit those are the few in the genre. But out there, some combine both of the previously said characteristics, like Göteborg’s Lose The Life.

Okay, since they formed around 2010, it’s only during spring 2013 Andrea joined the band and as of today they didn’t released anything with her voice but they posted about recording a new 7″ with this lineup.

Andrea : “I can’t recall the exact details of us all meeting since it feels like it was a whole lifetime ago. Also my memory tends to fail me sometimes regarding certain details, haha. I’ve known Robin (drums) and Jens (former drummer that is no longer part of the band) from Linköping. Jens is from town and Robin is originally from Örebro but has lived in Linköping as long as I’ve known him. The other guys I got to know when I moved to Gotheburg since they were all involved in the hc-scene and the promoting group GBG SXE (now called Göteborg Hardcore).

I remember when LTL were supposed to record some new material, they had a song called “cock block” that they asked me to be part of. That was the first time I was involved in it musically. I had helped them out before with a t-shirt and cover art for a ep (which I wasn’t really up for and I felt like I did a shitty job but Jaan, the former singer, was really happy with haha) but this was the first time I was directly involved with the music.
Their original idea was to have all female back up vocals, since the song is about sexism in hc and they wanted it to be like a punch in the face for all the sexist idiots out there. They asked a lot of different girls to be part of it but the interest was kind of bleak and in the end only me and my friend decided to participate. We talked about the set up of the recording and decided that I should do some kind of rant at the beginning at the song. I think it was Jens idea originally (since he wrote the lyrics for the song) but me and Jaan ended up doing things a bit differently than planned.

We did the recording that day and the guys seemed satisfied with the result. Shortly after that they asked me to do guest vocals on that song live in our old venue Nordengården. I met up with them in the reahersal room to practice for the show and I remember singing that part and afterwards they all just stared at me looking confused and asked me where the hell I got that voice from, haha! Apparently they all thought it sounded awesome and were really impressed with my performance.

I had never done anything like that before so I had no idea what to expect and I remember being really happy with the fact that it went so well, although I didn’t really think it sounded that special. I guess you’re always more self critical than others. After the show I remember some people coming up to me afterwards telling me how awesome it sounded and that I should start a band.

I was flattered, of course, but never really expected anything to happen. After that LTL asked me to guest at a couple of more shows and I acceped every time since I had a blast! Standing on stage was nerve wrecking the first time but I soon found out that I really loved the feeling.

One day when I got of work I noticed I had a missed call from Jarkko (bass) which I found strange since me and him don’t really call each other. I called him back and he informed me that Jaan had left the band. This of course came as a shock to me since it wasn’t official news yet and I remember Jaan always being so passionate about the band. Apparently he had lost interest in the band and felt like he wanted to spend his time on doing something else, no hard feelings or anything he simply wasn’t up for it any more. Jarkko called me to ask me if I wanted to take his place and this came as an even bigger shock, haha! I accepted almost immidiately and thanked him so much for offering me this awesome opportunity and felt super excited about it. They informed me later on that I was their only option for a replacement. If I had said no they would have just stopped and moved on with something else. No pressure, haha.

I had never been part of a band so this was a completely new and exciting experience that I’ve always been interested in trying out; but realistically never really thought would happen. The guys in the band are some of the most genuine people I have ever met and they have never treated me badly. Jarkko has been really awesome in all of this, giving me helpful tips and providing constructive feedback with the new lyrics that I’ve written for the upcoming releases.

On august 18th we did out first show with our new line-up featuring clearview (brazil), upright (from finland which is one of my favorite bands) and sick of it all! Me on vocals, Fille on guitar, Jarkko on bass and Robin on drums turned out to be an awesome combo and we had a blast! Being on stage just felt really natural even though I noticed that I have to work up my stamina a bit haha! The response was way better than I had ever hoped for and we all got tons of good feedback afterwards so that felt awesome too. Nothing but positive vibes for the upcoming shows and we all agree on that this band is something that we feel comfortable with and that we want to invest time with it. “

F*ck You! cover art

As for the political side, it always has been part of the band, with a big capital left-wing Straight Edge on their facebook page. The F*ck You! Ep is a funny thing though, coincidentally looking like Crime Ridden Society from the only One Life Crew. I mean it, it’s the same font for the band name and this greenish yellow all around the thing. And the record name written on duck tape. I’m not judging anything, it’s just something to notice.

Here’s not the matter, and those damn lyrics are great, litterally, and it seems that Andrea wants to take the same path

A : “Poltics have always been a big part of my life, a lot thanks to my background and upbringing [Andrea is born in the former Yugoslavia, in Bosnia-Herzegovina]. My dad especially, has always been very involved in poltics and I grew up in a socialist home where politics were frequently discussed and debated. Hardcore to me has always been something more. It has to stand for something and not just be awesome music, the lyrics have to have some meaning. I’m not saying that non-political hardcore is uninteresting but I find that music that has some kind of statement behind it always is appealing in some way.

When it comes to LTLs point of view I’d say we’re pretty much on the same level. Socialism, feminism, anti-racism, anti-homophobia and animal rights are all things that we agree on even though the details may vary in some situations, but we all have the same political alignment. I’d say that I have a different way of expressing myself compared to the guys which is mostly shown in the new lyrics like in the way that my writing style is different to Jens’ style (since he wrote most of the lyrics)

Yeah I’d say that politics play a big role in the Swedish scene. Most people are involved politically some way, feminism is a given thing and animal rights issues are often debated and political statements such as only serving vegan food at our shows are ubiquitous. For instance: its considered more weird when someone eats meat than the opposite. I can’t speak for everyone but I know that some people would say that the scene is too PC and some won’t agree. I’d say it differs from person to person. I like the fact that things are very political but some people are just too excessive in the way they talk and present themselves and I personally think that sometimes ruins more than it helps. But it is a complex matter of course and it’s impossible to give just one answer about this. It is all so relative depending on what situation it presents itself in and in what form.

I don’t have a problem with people seeing me as “extreme”. I’d rather be that and having people think I’m weird or whatever than be just a “normal” boring person. I see no fulfillment in life by living that way.

I would definitely not say that it’s easy to write lyrics but I’m getting more and more used to it and I really enjoy it. It feels awesome to have LTL as a platform to voice my opinion and have so much fun with it.

“They can throw you in chains But never handcuff your brain” – Authority Stomper

Those lyrics weren’t written by Andrea, but she got a straight opinion about the police. And it’s an actual matter those days. Hating the cops is not a trend, they went totally out of control, both over there or elsewhere, like in Ferguson for exemple.

A : “And as to the police they have always been an issue to me. Time has proven again and again that people can’t handle authority like that and one should never forget that the police are just people like us. They are therefore not capable of bringing others to justice since they will most likely abuse the power they have.

The biggest issue is the loyalty most of them share towards each other. Like when a police officer commits a crime, his/her colleagues will most likely just back that person up instead of actually abiding to the law. This creates a group of people that consider themselves above the law and grant themselves power over others. I can’t recall how many times I’ve heard about police using excessive force and treating people like pure shit just because they see them as “petty criminals” that don’t deserve anything but the worst.

Another important thing to take into consideration when discussing the police is the fact that the law is written in consideration of those already wealthy and for them to ensure their own power therefore the police force is necessary. Like all of the issues in our society the real enemy is, and will always be, capitalist society.”

And just look at that shirt :

If you’re putting it on a longsleeve I’d buy it right away.

All this politicized Vegan Straight Edge female fronted thing is like right from the nineties, making me think of Gather and all, which is definitively cool, since I’m too young to have witnessed this, let’s say it, blessed era of hardcore.

Nonetheless, when I interview Straight Edge people, I try to avoid the cliché “how’s your edge, when and how it happened”, this time it was a failed attempt. Not sorry though.

A : “I’ve been straight edge for about 3 years. To me it was just a natural thing that evolved in my life, it wasn’t really a decicion that I had to reflect or think too much about. I guess you could say that I was kind of crazy when I was younger but the intensity of the lifestyle made me grow bored of it rather quickly. Eventually I stopped drinking completely and straight edge felt as natural as going vegan. Most of my friends that are edge have told me stories about how people reacted negatiely when they decided to stop drinking etc. I never had those problems. All my friends supported me 100% and I’ll never forget how Josefine, one of my best friends, told me that compared to how I was before, straight edge was nothing but welcomed and appreciated.”

We did have an extensive e-mail exchange, and I find it interesting when people share their private life for a zine, it helps me remember Hardcore is supposed not to have this rock-star system. We’re only human after all.

A : “I work part-time as store manager in a grocery store until I decide what I want to do in the future. As soon as I make up my mind I plan on going back to school again.  [Since this interview, she went back to school, sorry for that]

I do Muay Thai 2-3 times a week and I try to go to the gym as often as I can, but Muay Thai is what my focus lies on primarily. I love the way a class makes me feel afterwards. It the hardest and most awesome and rewarding thing ever and I see myself putting in a lot of time in this in the future. I haven’t trained for that long but the instance I stepped into that gym I knew that this was made for me! I actually inspired out drummer, Robin, to sign up for Muay Thai and I think his training starts very soon! Fille is propably the one that is most interested in sports though.
We usually just hang out at someones place, watch movies or go out for food. We’re definitely good friends! Me and Robin also share a huge interest in video-games and he’s coming to town this weekend so we can go to a video-game music concert. Although since Robin lives in another town and Jarkko just moved from Gothenburg, our hang-out time will be much more limited now unfortunately.

I do own a lot of merch. I usually buy clothes from touring bands since I always need clothes haha. I don’t have a vinyl player at the mmoment (most of my music is on mp3 in either case) and I dont like to collect records just for the sake of it. Collecting stuff in general doesn’t have a huge value to me (except for video games) so I preffer to buy stuff I’d actually use.
I have mixed feelings about stuff like that. I guess it all depends on the situation. In one way it ruins the essence of hc, especially it it’s somene that’s not really part of it either and just collects stuff for the sake f it. But I guess if it’s for some legit cause that would make it “more acceptable” in a way.”

And now, we’re waiting for something with Andrea’s text and vocals to pop out.

A : “We have been talking about touring spring 2014, nothing is decided/booked yet though but hopefully we’ll hit the road soon enough. At the moment our top priority is recording our new material. We have a few new songs ready and are rehearsing a couple of other ones for an upcoming release!

We will take a little time here just to observe how huge is this interview. Not to mention I had a hard time shaping it, it’s great to ask few dumb questions and get this in return. Hope to catch them live soon, and if you don’t know the band, listen to it right down here :

Thank you for you time and patience Andrea.

The Straight Edge.

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