Swedish hardcore punks TROPHIES are about to unveil their new album “There Will Be No Light” via Through Love Records, Hoborec, and Prejudice Me Records. Their emotional, melodic, yet very strong and powerful work can’t help but remind me of all of those hours with my headphones on, listening to MELEEH, one of my favorite Swedish modern hardcore acts. With their emotive approach to hardcore, TROPHIES create a stunning balance between melancholy and harsh, very strong bursts of energy. Cleansing and revitalizing, these tunes will help get you in the mood of the Fall.
TROPHIES have a couple of shows coming up this November, but they still need your help with a couple of dates! Contact the band via [email protected] and scroll down to check out the interview, including both video and text answers.
Live photos by Herr Bohn.
Hey guys! First of all, thanks so much for taking some time with IDIOTEQ. It’s so nice to hear more amazing tunes from TROPHIES, especially being a huge fan of emotional Swedish hardcore acts like yourselves or the band MELEEH, which I’ve been addicted to since 2007. You guys definitely share a similar sound and vibe as your local pals from Gävle. What is presently going on with the band? Have you been acquainted with Thomas and the rest of the company?
Thanks for taking the time with us! We hear from time to time that we sound somewhat similar to MELEEH, which of course is a great compliment since they were a great band. We do consider ourselves having a sound of our own though, which we hope can easily be heard on our albums. And yes, they’ve been a great influence for most of us. Ever since Jakob and Niklas did a show with one of their old bands along with MELEEH 2004-2005 they’ve been a great source of inspiration for us. Sadly we never got really acquainted with them though. TROPHIES only did one show with MELEEH back in 2010, so I guess that would be during their last tour or something. It’s a shame really that they decided to call it quits.
At the moment we are planning the release of our second album There Will Be No Light which will be out in late october via Throughlove Records in Germany, Hoborec in Sweden and Prejudice Me in the UK. We are also planning a couple of shows in Sweden in november to promote the album.
Yup. You’ve just premiered your new single called “Rite Of Passage”. Let’s break down this new track and reveal more about its meaning.
That’s right. We started writing this song in early 2014 because of all the “recent” right-wing parties getting foothold all over Europe. The fact that Europe seem to be moving towards something most of it’s countries sought so desperately to eradicate some 70 years ago is frightening. Now it seems as if the people in Europe want to focus more on the amount of paper in their wallets than the well-being and safety of their neighbors, teachers, co-workers etc. This is the outcome of greed and xenophobia. This is what we’ll get if we keep protecting anti-democratic forces in the name of democracy. This song was written as a fuck you to the society that is starting to take shape.
Yup. What’s the value of a society that elects such leaders, huh? What society would you define as having more freedom? What political environment would you choose to live in then?
Yeah, exactly. Pretty worthless. A society with more freedom could be defined as an open society were all kinds of different people are welcome. Be it from different countries, different religions, different cultures, different sexualities etc. As the right wing movement in Europe are growing bigger at the moment these rights to be who you are is getting harder to keep up with, which is the total opposite of what kind of society we would like to have. A more humane, open and less profit hungry society with a working social safety net would be desirable
Isn’t it utopian? Some might say that there will always be leaders and followers, and both groups will never be equal. A society in which all are equal will never exist. Acknowledging it, does not make us agree with it and does not keep us from fighting for such a vision. Do you agree?
Utopian or not, if we just give up and stop struggling for what we believe is right nothing is ever going to change. We would be ashamed to just watch the world fall apart without lifting a finger to make things different, no matter how heavy that finger might be. So no, we do not agree at all.
Alright then. Let’s go back to your newest work. Was it the first song you recorded for the new album?
No, it was not the first song we recorded. We actually recorded three other songs a while back that we consider the first songs recorded for the new album, even though that version of those three songs didn’t make it on the album. That recording was like a demo if you will, and the purpose was to try new and different things in the recording process as well as having an updated version of what we sound like. On this album we had set up drums, bass and guitars and we recorded everything together. It was a really great experience and everything came together a lot better than we expected. We believe this has given the album a different sound and a sense of us actually playing together rather than instruments and tracks being layered on top of each other. It is really different from our earlier recordings.
How did you feel about the reaction to the first album and how did it make you approach this second recording? Is acclaim important to you?
The response to the latest album was kind of mild, if you can say that. I think the reason for that was partially because we were kind of lousy at networking and talking to people about what we feel is important and establishing some kind of foundation of what TROPHIES is. We haven’t been very clear about that earlier. Also on The Big Sleep Upon Us we didn’t really know what we wanted to do and what we wanted to sound like. It resulted in a record that was very angry, emotional and not very thought through. We have learned a lot in that process and our new album “There Will Be No Light” is in most ways very different, to the better. Still angry and emotional though… Acclaim isn’t all that important to us, we do this because we want to and because we find purpose and meaning in expressing ourselves in this form of art, but of course we want people to listen to it. People buying our records and coming to shows in a way enable us to keep writing and performing.
Ok, so how about the recording process. Who did you work with this time? Was there a one mastermind steering the whole process for you guys?
We recorded in Studio Motion i Malmö together with Tommy Tift from SISTA SEKUNDEN and VÅNNA INGET. He has a small and cozy studio and lots of knowledge in both recording and writing music and was great to work with! The three song demo we mentioned earlier was also recorded at Studio Motion. Tommy has an approach to the whole process that we like, since he is more about capturing the right feeling of the music than for instance getting every drumbeat exactly correct. He is not steering the process though, since we had a pretty clear idea of what we wanted to do, but he knows when to give us his view on things when needed. This, and the fact that the studio is more or less round the corner from our homes made it a good choice. The mix and mastering is done by Gustav from ATLAS LOSING GRIP at All In Audio in Lund who also did a great job and put his touch to the songs.
How did your initial ideas for the record evolve throughout the time spent in the studio?
Of course things change during the process but overall we have pretty much stuck to plan and the initial ideas of how we wanted the album to sound. Mostly things have changed to the better as everything can be heard much clearer while recorded than in the rehearsing room and the small details is let through.
How did you intend to progress with TROPHIES? Is there much thought about how this new album would differ from the debut record?
Yeah, there is definitely much more thought behind this album than the previous one, both soundwise and regarding the songwriting. The songs on There Will be No Light is written during a period of two years, as we started writing new songs almost immediately after we finished the first album. Especially the past year we have focused a lot more on creating a sound and a feeling that we think is Trophies, which we have worked towards both by discussing what we do and how we do it and by trying things out in the rehearsal room. We have also played a bunch of shows which have made us more skilled musicians than before, making it easier to achieve what we want to musically.
You’ve recently faced some lineup changes. Was it the first confusion of this kind in you camp since your forming? What happened?
That’s correct, Eric decided to quit the band by the end of the summer, leaving us with only one guitarist. it was no big thing really, he wants to focus on studies and not on playing punk music. Of course it gives us some trouble finding someone else, but Eric quit in a good and respectful way without any bad feelings or anything like that. We faced some changes in the summer of 2011 when the original bass player and one of the guitarists quit the band. In september the same year Björn and Eric joined the band, which at the moment leaves Niklas, Daniél and Jakob as founding members and Björn being in the band for three years now.
You played only one show earlier this year. Are you eagerly awaiting more gigs later this year? When can we catch you guys live?
Yeah, it’s a shame that we haven’t played more. Mostly it’s because we have focused on recording the album, but we had plans for a small tour during the summer that didn’t work out. We are definitely eager to play! We have a string of swedish shows in the making for november, to promote the album and hang out with lots of friends!
Do you have a favorite place you like to hang out or perform in Sweden?
We haven’t played that many shows in Sweden in general so it’s really difficult to pick a favourite. I’d dare say we haven’t even got a favourite place. But let’s just leave our hometown Karlskrona as the answer. “Ronneby stick hem, 0455”
If you weren’t making music what do you think you would be doing? What are you other hobbies and interests?
Also a pretty difficult question to answer. Since music has been such a big part of all of our lives, it’s nearly impossible to say what we’d do if we didn’t have the music. Most of us grew up with music. Daniél and Björn started their first band when they were between 8-10. Niklas started singing in a choir when he was 6. If we wouldn’t have music as a time-consuming hobby, some of us would probably be into some other aesthetic field, sports and/or probably stuck in some serious drug-addiction.
Thanks a lot for the chat guys! Feel free to add anything you want. Take care!
Thank you for taking the time to interview us!