Interviews

Everyday Hate: an interview with Swedish dark hardcore act VARDAGSHAT

In the wake of the ruthless era of cruel politics, VARDAGSHAT, a vicious, brutal, and violent hardcore punk act from Falun, Sweden, have teamed up with us to introduce their debut EP Glesbygden Blues and discuss some of the meanest aspects of human nature, as well as the disheartening politics of current governments. Read below and join the debate through the comments section below.

VARDAGSHAT features members of TOTEM SKIN, IGNOMINY and PHANT. The band is currently looking for shows in Germany, Denmark and southern Sweden between July 10th and 16th. Drop them a line via vardagshata@gmail.com if you’re interested!

Catch them live at their hometown of Farlun on May 20th – go here to RSVP.

VARDAGSHAT means everyday hate. What observations and emotions do you convey across your work? Why so dark?

The inspiration for the name mostly comes from the problem of people expressing their hatred towards different (as they see it) changes in our society on the internet, without any kind of source critisism. Especially in the anonymous forums you can witness a truely ugly side of humanity, where people often speak about causing harm or even killing people of certain ethnicities. You may say that this has become pretty normalized in Sweden, while it’s also regarded as a big problem and is a hot subject in the political debate. “Vardagsrasism” (everyday racism) and “näthat” (web hatred) are commonly used phrases.

Casual irrational hatred towards society has always been a big part of our life. That is to say, maybe you really hate the fact you can’t get a job and you didn’t get a wellfare check this month. Then you might express this in some irrational hatred towards the upperclass who won’t distribute their welth with the rest of the world. I think it’s something that many people more or less can relate to. We feel that it’s important that the hatred is being aimed upwards (you don’t kick down, as we say in Sweden), and that you in such high extent possible blame the structures and not the individuals when something upsets you.

VARDAGSHAT is about unloading our irrational hatred towards the “small things in life”. Like being unemployed and poor, trying to fit into society while hating yourself for “playing their game”. The emotions should be unfiltered and delivered with a dark but childish sense of humor and a lot of self distance. We try not to analyze the feelings we use as inspiration for the lyrics too much, like we do in everyday life just tryng to get by. It should be relatable for people at the first listen and not hidden under poetic symbolism and stuff like that. We’ve done that so many times before playing hardcore music.

How do you balance between important lyrical content and message worth conveying to the listeners and purely artistic side of a band, like perfecting the musical craft or building a mood with visual presentation, artworks, etc.?

You could say the motto of the band is “don’t think, just do”. Since we draw inspiration from everyday life writing lyrics, and since we’ve been listening to hardcore music all our lives it all comes very naturally. I guess our secret is that we don’t overanalyze. It’s very liberating writing music in this way. In most cases somebody comes to rehearsal with a guitar riff, then we play it together until we have a complete song (it all happens very fast), and then the mood of the song, in combination with what’s going on in the world and in our personal lives at that moment, will inspire what the lyrics should be about. In many cases, like this one, I believe you shouldn’t put to much effort in perfecting what you have created. We want that raw feeling. A philosophy we share with the artist behind the cover art for the EP (a dear friend named Christoffer “Totte” Engvall). If you check out his instagram (n00000g) you will find a tresure chest of magnificent artwork, painted with this raw childish energy and dark sence of humor that we all love so much. It felt pretty obvious that his art should decorate our first release, and it will probably do on future releases and merch as well.

Are there some aspects of your local cultural arts that you draw the most inspiration from? How do you feed your creative juices?

Hm.. I guess that’s something we don’t think about so much. But I feel it’s obvious we draw alot of inspiration from the Swedish punk scene, perticularly the crust punk heritage, and it feels naive to think that the 90’s hardcore scene hasn’t affected us in some way, even though we sound nothing like it..

But to anser your question what feeds our creative juices, I think it has more to do with everything we don’t like about our local cultural arts, and a need to provoke.

Alright, so let’s expound a bit more on the influence part. There is a very strong tension that carries through the entire record and it falls not too far from what you’ve made us accustomed to with your other bands’ work. Aesthetically, what prompted you to start this band?

Well, we started this band because the lack of equality in the writing progress. We wanted to have a band where everyone is a part of everything and all of our opinions matter.

Both recording and touring wise, what are your next steps?

We are writing songs now and going to record them later this year. we have some plans for this spring and summer so really looking forward for that!

Alright guys, so let’s circle back to something you mentioned indirectly in your frst answer. Concerning fundamental issues of human rights and today’s hostile environment for the righteousness, what’s your reaction to what’s happening in the States? Do you follow politics?

I think it would be impossible for us not to follow politics, in perticular what’s going on in the states. I think the fact that so many people is taking intrest in politics and even taking it to the streets to express what they are feeling is something to feel optimistic about, if you feel the need to be optimistic. I haven’t met a single person who dosen’t have some strong feelings about what’s going on in the world since Trump got elected. This means that people are waking up and becoming more aware. With that said, we think the state of the world is catastrophic. The contradictions in society (like the gap between the rich and the poor, or the fact that Trump can be praised as an advocate for gender equality) has become ridiculous. Being a kind of lightversion marxist, I think this might be a warm up for some kind of revolution and big fundamental changes in society. We shouldn’t be afraid of making theese contradictions more obvious. We should stand up for the basic human rights that we belive in, scream it out loud and don’t compromise.

Looking at Euope’s own backyard, with the upcoming Dutch and French elections ahead, do you think we’ll be left with a sort of traditional right-wing governments all around? Where will it lead us?

It certainly seem to be the case in Sweden, since the conservative moderate-party has just opened up for collaboration with the nationalistic “socialistic conservative”-party (a party with it’s roots in fascist white supremacy movements during the nineties), which will probably give them enough support to form government after the next election. It’s a real scary time we live in. It’s hard to be optimistic and to put your trust in that history has teachen us something when we’ve already let it go this far. We have no idea where it will lead us, and we have no good answers on how to slow down this process.

I’ve read a lot of interesting analysis articles creating an interesting thesis (an obvious fact, one might say) that the alt-right and Russia are deeply aligned in their objectives and a potential collapse of European Union and NATO would help Putin create a new empire of Eurasian formation with Arabian peninsula, Turkey, Greece, or even Japan under their huge influence. Do you believe such scenario is possible?

Yeah, the similarities between Sovjet tactics in manipulating western european contries during the cold war and the tactics used by Putin’s regime today is pointing to the fact that Russia is trying to gain power. How this will play out, we can only speculate about, but I guess the scenario you’re describing is possible.

Ok guys, thanks so much for you thoughts. Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Thank you! We will release our debut-EP on a 7″ vinyl hopefully sometime during may, and celebrate this by playing our first live show ever round the same time. The cassettes are already up for sale through Bloodsoked Records. We hope to be out on the roads in a short future, playing shows and making new friends. Hopefuly we’ll see eachother soon!

Thanks again. It’s been a pleasure. Good luck with the band and take care!

VARDAGSHAT Bandcamp
VARDAGSHAT Facebook
vardagshata@gmail.com
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