On April 13th, 2012 we conducted an interview with NO OMEGA from Stockholm, Sweden.
Hey hey! What’s up guys? How’s weather? [laughs]
Fuck me, we had spring in February, and yesterday it snowed… Sweden is really unpredictable as far as if you’ll freeze your ass off or not [laughs].
Stockholm has always been a great place for hardcore. How active is your scene really? How many shows do we get there, what’s happening around it besides shows?
The scene now is pretty active, and the best part about it – new, excited kids coming out to shows, seeing bands they haven’t heard before. I’m part of a booking group called Stockholm Straight Edge, and we try to put up shows as often as possible. We do the whole drug free all ages DIY thing, and try to have an animal rights table at all shows and so on. It’s a really cool vibe at those shows, mainly just kids, and a few old dudes who still come out.
Who are you best friends in the hardcore scene?
In Sweden, we have too many friends to name them all. GRIEVED, THIS GIFT IS A CURSE, OUT OF HOPE, SUIS LA LUNE, TROPHIES, ALENAH, and many more.
Outside of Sweden, I’d like to drop FULL OF HELL, BASTIONS, REASON TO CARE and GOODTIME BOYS. All great bands, who we’ve spent time with on the road. If you haven’t, CHECK THEM OUT!
You’ve put out your debut album on March 1st. Was it hard to put it together? Tell us more about the recording moments and the artwork. What’s the meaning behind it?
The writing had been going on for about a year, with a couple of songs coming into the live set every once in a while. The last four songs were written during the autumn of 2011, with the four of us basically deciding to “puzzle together the album”. I think it came out quite nice, and it’s cohesive enough to work as a debut album.
The artwork is done by the talented Varun Abhiram from India, who we randomly found while searching the internet for something suiting. He’s great, check him out!
The album cover quite nicely portraits the meaning behind the album, mainly consisting of songs painting a picture of a civilization going to hell. You can basically follow a red thread through the whole album, with the first song basically stating some errors of humanity, going through the different observations and thoughts going through our head, and ending with total depression.
Damn, you’re political, no doubt about that. What do you write about? What’s pissing you off the most?
Well, I’d say the main theme for the political lyrics is the observation of the downfall of western society. Consumption leading to the devouring of our planet, and people going insane from the struggles of daily life. There are of course those “I want to die”-songs as well, but they are part of another outlet within the band. To me, playing the political songs live is the best way of getting out all that fucking frustration that modern life creates, and that keep building up inside of you. Hating most people you have to meet, being forced to perform at work, and seeing how your fellow people just do these terrible, disgusting things to themselves and the rest of the world.
Any views on the recent economic crisis? Do you follow news and events related to this story?
I think it’s hard to miss that the capitalist system has failed. I finished high school that year, and getting a job back then was even harder than it is now. Personally, I can’t really be bothered watching the news every day, since it’s basically the same thing over and over – life sucks, and too many people do shitty things.
A quite striking example of how the crisis has affected us, is when we were trying to book some shows in Greece for the last tour. Because of the situation down there, they could only afford half the guarantee or less, than most shows we did. Which was fine for us, of course, but there’s a lot of bands who wouldn’t want to risk going down there. Thereby probably missing out on a really cool scene.
Your 2011 EP was released via World vs Cometh and Monument Records. Now you’re releasing the album through TDON Records (UK), Get This Right Records (US) & Monument Records (Sweden). How did you decide to leave World vs Cometh? Tell us more about how you picked up these ways of distribution.
Chris, who runs World vs Cometh, was the first person to take interest in the band in that way. He was great getting things started, hooking us up with the studio and everything. But, he’s got a lot to do, being a parent and so on, while Johan of Monument was really stoked to keep working with us. Since they’re both Swedish labels, there’s no real advantage of trying to maintain that solution.
We became friends with Dave from Get This Right a year ago on the Full of Hell tour, and having him releasing it in the US really gives us a better chance of going over there soon.
Thirty Days of Night is a powerhouse, releasing some really cool bands. When we sent out the demo for the record last year, they showed interest, and here we are. We’re really happy with this arrangement, seeing as we have both a Scandinavian, a UK and a US distributor for the record. Also, who ever thought we’d be label mates with BRING ME THE HORIZON?
Tell us how your first European tour has been? What is it like compared to the three other ones that followed later?
Every tour is better than the last one, and you learn so much every time you go out there. Just a weekend in Sweden is educative, and I love every second of it.
A first tour is always a first tour, with money being a problem, bad shows and (dare I say) not the most organized of bands. But as time goes, things get better. There’ll be more people coming out, you meet friends again, and we’ve learnt from our mistakes since last time. Playing shows is the most important part of being in a band to me, and I’m very fortunate to be able to get out there and play my music to people who enjoys is!
What happened with your BASTIONS tour schedule? What’s usually going wrong that cuts short a tour? What’s pissing you off the most about DIY booking and touring on your own?
Well, personal reasons made them go back home early, and since they had to go all the way up to Stockholm and then drive back to the UK, that meant a lot of shows had to be canceled. We were of course very sad about this, since we missed out on going to a bunch of new cool countries, and to let down the persons who seemed to look forward to seeing us.
But, these things happen, and we’re trying to make up for most of the canceled shows this summer!
That tour was the first one to be booked by No Decline Booking. As nice as it was to be under the wings of an agency, with all the contacts, knowledge and so on, it is not something we’ll do again I think. We like doing the DIY thing, and Oscar who’s in charge of booking in the band, does such a great job we wouldn’t dream of hiring someone else do it!
What zines would you recommend to our readers?
The one done by our friends in Law and Order. They do it really professionally, and it’s great to see all that work come out as nicely as it has!
Are you all vegetarian and/or vegan? What’s you take on the matter? How radical are you in your beliefs? I mean, is it a “right or wrong”, a “zero-one” thing for you? A way of life? You’ve issued a general note on that in your official description, but feel free to share more views on that.
None of us eat meat, although we have different ideas about it. To me, it’s one of the most important statements of my life. I can’t, and hopefully never have to, be a part of the systematic cruelty that our species put all other species through. I honestly can’t see many excuses, or “reasons”, to why you would have to eat meat or other animal products. Leather jackets are stupid, and fur is fucking disgusting worn by anyone other than the animal it came from. I endorse anyone taking the step to become vegan or vegetarian, you have nothing but good things coming for you!
The subject of animal rights or veganism are brought up in a couple of songs. But they’re part of a bigger picture of abuse and oppression that make up for a lot of our songs now!
What’s the story about Swedish hardcore vs. Norwegian hardcore? I’ve seen so many online fights and bullying between both scenes. It’s kind of stupid, but does history affect hardcore scenes in both countries?
I honestly don’t know anything about that. Norwegian bands are great, and I think they do quite well when they come over here. OKKULTOKRATI, DEATH IS NOT GLAMOROUS, HEKSED, EVOLVE, HAUST and so on. All great!
I love Scandinavia. I’ve been traveling your lands for few years and must say that Sweden and Norway are one of the best places to be. On the other hand, there have been a lot of dangerous issues regarding immigrants who get great social conditions for a start. Do you see any signs of the widening migration crisis and growing resentment towards the immigrants in your area?
The great people Sweden voted the immigrants-go-home-party Sverigedemokraterna into the Swedish parliament a couple of years ago. I guess that’s a quite clear sign of how far gone the fear of immigrants coming to a country to “take over” has gone, when over five percent of the population votes for those shitheads.
Sadly enough, there’s been a breath of racism going through the whole liberal/right wing government for the last years, and although they fuck with most people not earning above a certain amount, immigrants get their fair share of shit. Deportations and the likes aren’t that unusual. Sadly.
How did you feel when you found out about last year’s massacre near Oslo? What should Breivik get for his deeds?
If Breivik had been a muslim, he’d be in a box with two fists up his ass right now. He should be locked up for a long long time. I have no time for his kind.
Thank you! Fluff Fest will be so awesome, already looking forward to it more than I should [laughs].
If you haven’t checked out GRIEVED, THIS GIFT IS A CURSE or SUIS LA LUNE, you should! And go vegan.
NO OMEGA 2011 EP teaser:
NO OMEGA live: