Here is Sweden latest straight edge hardcore band I’ve been listening to lately – XWASTEX from Göteborg. They just put out this really cool six-songs demo tape; raw riffing style, heavy breakdowns and intense mosh parts, what could be more more natural than adding some extra pissed/rabid singing? Great demo, thanks Alexis (Offside Records) for the hook-up!
1/ Can you introduce the band:
· how and when did you form xWASTEx?
Well it’s a pretty long story, haha, but we’ll keep it short. It all started at a show called Motala Hardcore Fest 2014 when Jonas and Björn (The Hammer) and Andy (Stay Hungry) talked about starting new straight edge band. They needed a guitarist so Fille was recruited since Lose the Life we’re splitting up. Eventually Andy moved from Gothenburg and Björn realized that he didn’t have time for another band, so he asked Andrea to take over instead. Jonas wanted to play bass instead of drums so John jumped in to fill the void.
· who plays in the band?
The band consists of John on drums, Jonas on bass, Filip on guitar and Andrea on vocals.
· I believe I’m not unfamiliar with your faces and voices 😉 have you played in other bands before starting xWASTEx?
Haha, yeah you might recognize us from some other bands! Jonas used to play drums in The Hammer and Filip and Andrea we’re both in Lose the Life, although Filip is the only original member from LTL. John has toured with Correction a couple of times.
2/ Which bands kinda motivated the sound of the demo? I like how raw and rough the 6 songs sound: “Waste” is like a fifteen seconds LÄRM/SSD tribute to, other songs like “Left Behind” for example have a 90s/almost metallic taste… What is your prism of influences, bands, records, individuals?
Our initial thought was that our influences would be Minority Unit, Internal Affairs, Know The Score, (early) Terror and Righteous Jams but these things never turn out the way they’re supposed to, haha. We we’re a bit cautious about the sound since we didn’t really want it to be another Lose the Life or The Hammer ……………………….
3/ “Force Of Production” and “Responsibilities” are really interesting songs cuz they deal with really important topics in my opinion:
· can you tell me why did you decide to approach class war and feminism?
Politics have always been a big part of my life. I [Andrea] was born in the former Yugoslavia in Bosnia-Hercegovina and politics we’re always discussed in my family, and of course the situation in the Balkans with the civil war and everything else going on down there. I started to take personal interest in it early on and the older I got the more I realized how all forms of structural discrimination and injustice is connected with and upheld by the economic system. So writing lyrics about politics always felt like a sure thing for me and I always felt like I wanted to write about stuff that leaves an impression. I’d rather have people hate me and my lyrics for what they are than trying to please everyone simultaneously.
· Andrea, do you think, as a female singer, you needed to deal with the fact “every man becomes a potential threat” (to quote your own words)? I knew there were some awful issues of far right violence in Sweden, but is Sweden a sacred land for male chauvinism in Europe? (Anyway asking this I remember this xREPENTANCEx video on YouTube where we can see you slamming/moshing hard, I guess if a gentleman wants to fuck with you he’d be surprised!)
I probably wouldn’t go so far and say that about Sweden. It still has a lot of work to do, just like the rest of the world. The important thing is that we don’t start comparing different places to one another and that we don’t point fingers at each other by saying stuff like “Sweden is so much better than this country” because that just divides us even more. Feminism is needed world-wide, the only difference is that the issues manifest differently in different places. Sadly, this happens on a daily basis here (a lot of Swedes think that they are the best at everything) and the most dangerous thing about feminism in Sweden is that some people are under the impression that we are finished; that we’ve achieved equality and that there simply isn’t anything left to do. This is not only completely wrong but also utterly dangerous and naïve since discrimination is ever-present in daily life. And if we can’t admit that we have problems, how will we solve them?
Regarding the lyrics: I guess it makes more sense combined with the part before which makes it “when you make me responsible for my own safety, every man becomes a potential threat”. So it’s not necessarily true that every man actually is a threat but it’s more like a state of mind. It’s like a lingering sensation of always having to be on your guard and never being able to fully trust unknown men. We are constantly taught that we need to watch our backs, don’t do this, don’t do that and stupid shit like “guys only think about one thing” etc. The list could go on forever. This kind of mentality may come with good intentions but it’s filled with an underlying message that subconsciously teaches the victims of bad behavior that it’s their own fault if something bad happens to them since they weren’t careful enough from the beginning.
4/ So here is another straight edge band coming from Sweden! Can you explain me why do you think the straight edge is so popular in Sweden? Still trogen til döden?
You can count on us to be trogen till döden! Actually, there aren’t really that many straight edge bands in Sweden atm but there are definitely a lot of people that still claim straight edge. A couple of years ago you could put up a straight edge show in Sweden with only edge-bands. This is not the case anymore, unfortunately. We think that the drug free lifestyle still is popular here since we have an organized sobriety union that speaks to a lot of the younger crowd. In general alcohol consumption is increasing in Sweden but kids are drinking less. This, of course, is not a universal truth since it feels like a lot of people are abandoning the drug free lifestyle and leaving hardcore as well.
5/ How do you feel about your upcoming first show with THE HAMMER and TIME TO HEAL?
It’s our first show with Waste so we’re all both excited and a bit nervous, haha! We all agreed on that we wanted our first show to be in Gothenburg and the fact that we get to do it with our good friends in The Hammer is even better! Time To Heal is a new youth crew band from Stockholm that’s hitting the road for the first time so we’re excited to see what the future will hold for them.
6/ How are the demo’s feedbacks? My friend Alexis made me discover xWASTEx telling me he really likes the “tough” aspect!
In general we’ve received positive feedback! Several Facebook pages have shared our demo and we even received an interesting offer a couple of weeks ago that is still in the making so we’ll update more about that later on.
7/ What are you planning for the future of the band?
Our initial plan is to start playing shows and tour in Sweden. We’d like to tour far up north since they have an awesome scene up there. We’d eventually like to tour Europe but we don’t have any plans for that in the near future. We also want to release something proper asap, and that is in the making!
Not really, haha.