Karl Backman (AC4 / THE VECTORS) recently dropped me a line about this new project of his. It’s called T-55’s and besides the obvious fact they’re awesome, the interesting part is that the band performs songs originally written for a third AC4 album, so if you liked the music and lyrics on “Burn the World” LP, this is the continuation of that. AC4 is taking a break now, will probably be back for a short reunion tour sometime next year, so there couldn’t be better time to dive into some new stuff!
T-55’s formed a few weeks ago and consists of Lisa Linder (vocals), Karl Backman (guitar), Erik Klingvall (bass) and Elias Jonsson (drums). They played their debut gig at a benefit show for paperless refugees at Verket, Umeå, on September 7 2013. You can check out some live videos and my interview break either first hand from the band below.
Hey guys! It’s a pleasure to have you here. What’s up? Is it already freezin’ in Sweden? ;)
Hello, and thanks for having us!
It’s already autumn in Umeå, Sweden.. so temperatures are around 32°K. We don’t really go outside much.. we just sit and listen to MOTÖRHEAD and work on being pale.
Haha. Cool. We know literally nothing about T-55’s :) Shoot us a brief description of the band. Who are you? Do you come in peace? :)
We’re Lisa vocals, Karl guitar, Erik bass and Elias drums.
The T-55’s naturally come in peace. We were built for this very thing. Well, besides killing Nazis.
Watch out for Scandinavian undead Nazis greedily protecting their stolen treasures. I’ve heard a lot of stories abut that scum.
Ok, so I guess it’s safe to say you guys perform a solid dose of Motörheadpunk? How would you best label T-55’s? Stylistically and thematically, what else can we expect from your tunes?
The dose of MOTÖRHEAD punk is indeed awesomely solid.. but we bring our own take on the MOTÖRHEAD-style. If we have to compare us to the gods, I’d say we play a more savage and primitive style than MOTÖRHEAD. Oh and faster. Right?
Yeah, I mean it’s the same kind of hardcore punk mixed with MOTÖRHEAD rock’n’roll that I previously did with both AC4 and The Vectors, but it’s gonna sound different because it’s played by a different band. Lisa and Dennis have different voices, just like Erik and Elias have their own unique playing styles too, so it’s all gonna sound like the T-55’s and nothing else. That’s what being a band is all about!
The first time me and Lisa met was actually drinking beer in the back of Dennis’ car on our way to a MOTÖRHEAD gig.
Wicked! So what are your recording plans? Can we expect a full length sometime soon?
We’re doing a bunch of songs next week at the Parasit Studio, with Fredrik Lyxzén recording it. Some for a split-7″ with Mary’s Kids that AM Vinyl is releasing in a very ltd ed, and some for an upcoming Umeå Hardcore compilation LP. We have a few other EP offers too that we’re looking at, so we won’t record the first album just yet. The band is so very new, we’ve not had the time to make any real plans and we wanna do a few more shows before anything else, really.
The songs originally written by you Karl for a third AC4 album are now part of The T-55’s live set. “If you liked the music and lyrics on AC4’s “Burn the World” LP this is the continuation of that”, you say. Will it ever be a part of AC4’s discography again?
No, absolutely not. The songs are T-55’s songs. AC4 will not do anymore records at all, except maybe a couple of songs for that Umeå Hardcore compilation LP, but that’s it.
You see, AC4 never used to rehearse as a full band, so I just had songs piling up and before AC4 ended I assumed that the songs would be the third album, but then they became the first T-55’s songs instead.
Oh, now I got it. AC4 is taking a break. Why? This year was amazing for the band, right?
Haha. Not really, no. We were going to do two European tours and then go to the states after the summer, but that all fell apart. By the time the second album came out Dennis announced that he was going to focus on INVSN (aka INVASIONEN), so the US tour was scrapped and the first tour was shortened. We were then gonna do a few festival appearances as a sort of farewell during this summer, but then Dennis cancelled those too. That’s life I guess. I would have been pissed off about it, if I didn’t have a new band.
The final line-up of AC4 had a really good time on the one tour we did anyway, so what could have been an amazing year was reduced to an amazing 10 days, haha. We always had a lot of fun with that band when we were actually doing the tours, so we will probably do a reunion tour next spring, and maybe even another a year later? There’s no big drama, we’re all still friends and the T-55’s and INVSN share rehearsal space and everything, so it’s all fine, but there will not be another AC4 record and any tour we’ll do will just be a bonus thing.
Besides AC4, what experience did you have in bands before this project? How many packs have you been in over the course of your musical life?
I’ve been in lots of local punk bands since 1982. Besides AC4, THE VECTORS released a bunch of records and toured Europe a few times. Elias used to be in a local band called CRONOS. My sister sent me a live clip of them, so that’s how I knew he could play good old-school drums. I guess she told him I was looking for a good drummer too, so that’s why he got in touch with me and we started the band. Erik is also in a band called DESOLATION STATE RIOT. Lisa has never been in a band before, but I just knew she’d be good at fronting a band so I asked her.
Lisa, how does it feel to be a rookie? :)
It might have been my first time -on- stage, but I’ve been standing in front of one since I was a kid and I have a bunch of very talented guys to back me up, so there’s not much to worry about to be honest. I’ve been kicking ass and taking names since kindergarten, and that’s exactly what I’m here to do.
So, do you guys plan to use AC4’s connections to push the new stuff via your legit and verified distribution channels?
There’s no plan at all, really. We’ve been approached by a few labels already, even before the first gig, and they had nothing to do with AC4 or anything, so the answer is; no, not yet anyway. That UÅHC compilation is gonna be on Ny Våg, of course, and gig wise we’re probably gonna play some of the clubs I played with AC4 or THE VECTORS.
How was your debut gig at a benefit show for paperless refugees at Verket, Umeå, on September 7 2013? Tell me more about the cause, too.
The gig went alright, although the sound wasn’t the best. The crowd seemed to like it and we had a lot of fun. You can find some clips on our official youtube page: http://www.youtube.com/user/thet55s
Lots of our friends came out to support us and the cause. So good times, lots of laughs, and by the end of the night they had raised over $1.500. We Swedes sometimes like to act a bit smug about how great our country is, but to be honest we could do a lot better when it comes to how we treat our paperless refugees. They can be brutally deported, and are not entitled to the same medical care as citizens when they dare seek it, for starters. That’s not cool, so we’re happy to help any way we can.
It is unworthy of mankind to point at each other and scream “I have the right to decide where You shall live”. The whole concept of deportations and people having to hide from the government and the police seems so utterly outdated to me.
So where can we find you performing live in the coming weeks and sing along with you gys?
We’re playing Scharinska on September 25th, which is the best rock’n’roll bar in town. I’ve played there with AC4 and the Vectors many times in the past and it’s everybody’s favourite hangout.
What’s Charlie’s basement? Is it your rehearsing spot?
Yes. It’s a basement under a small corner store called Charlies, with four or five rehearsal rooms and a big L-shaped corridor where bands sometimes do floor shows. I think we and Sänkt are gonna play a show there in a month or so. It’s been the home of most UÅHC bands really. David’s mom still runs it, and she first got the place in ’92 or something, so that REFUSED would have somewhere to rehearse. We share the room with INVSN as I said, and SÄNKT and a new band called BAD NERVE. SÄNKT has both of Dennis’ brothers in it.
Cool. Never heard of them, though.
BAD NERVE just did their first gig earlier this summer. SÄNKT has been around for a couple of years or so. They’re really good.
Ok, guys. It’s not a secret that your local scene rules :) What makes it so special?
I don’t think there’s anything magical about the scene in Umeå. It’s just a bunch of good bands that spread inspiration. You go out and see an awesome band.. get inspired.. and then you just want to start your own awesome band.
Yeah. There’s an element of diversity to our scene, where you have lots of different bands doing it all together, so it’s probably a little less devided than other cities. You have punk bands like T-55’s, SÄNKT and U.X. VILEHEADS all playing shows with new school metal hardcore bands like LESRA and HÅLL DET ÄKTA or more of the pop kinda thing like INVSN or EPIDEMICS and it all works.
What have you been listening to lately?
Aren’t you tired with the classic tunes? Is there still some time left for the new stuff? Some fresh blood worth diving into?
There are always some good, new hardcore punk bands, of course. SNIFFING GLUE from Germany and TOTAL RECALL from Finland for example. I also can’t wait for MOTÖRHEAD’s upcoming album “Aftershock”. Granted, the band isn’t new, but the album is!
I love the “Stay Wild” shout. What’s the motto for T-55’s? :)
Haha, the “Stay Wild” thing actually dates back to THE VECTORS in the 90’s. I’m not sure the T-55’s have another motto?
Yes, what is our motto? Haha
Drink beer and be fast!
Yes, that’s it!
So be it! :) Cheers guys! Best of luck with this new pack! Thanks so much for your time!
Thank you! Tell your readers to check us out at: https://www.facebook.com/thet55s