Partisans was a band which I really liked when they was together. I met Andy(the guitarist) on some gigs in the early 90īs in Gothenburg and we talked a lot. And now 10 years later from that he reform the group with one more originalmember and two swedish guys. And how good they sound. I did this interview in the middle of june 2001 and after that they would go over to England and play on Holidays in the Sun 2001 with all the old good groups.
When Partisans started Andy was 14-15 years old and that was Shark, Spike and Lousie who formed the group with Andy back then. They listened much to much punkmusic as Clash, Sex Pistols, Vibrators and all that bands. They were really impressed by these bands. As a young human being in England, it was much unemployment then and frustration and race riots. -That was the only bands that you could understand, says Andy. Lyrically and musically it was aggressive and good lyrics.
Andy is almost embarresed by the fact that they have began to play again. Because Andy have seen many of the old bands reform and he always has thought about them that please knock it off know, old men. Itīs pathetic he had thought. - Itīs difficult to quit and Iīve have never stopped playing the guitar and I always have ben interested in music. I have been playing in bands since Iīve been fourteen. It seem likeeverybody else is doing why shouldnīt we do it. Not only that, I did a webpage and I got som much respond and all the new punks wanted us to get together again and they missed us. If not anybody wanted us to get back together we never had been back together. It was a public demand more than anything. To the end of the day, itīs fun to play music, itīs fun to recording and thatīs was basically why we get together.
Spike lives in Cardiff so itīs impossible to practice and what they do is , that they record the rehearsal on tape and then they send a tape to him and then he rehearse in Cardiff. So it was very difficult when they did the single in fact. They had 8 hours to rehearse the three new songs before they got into the studio. So they have aboslutley no idea how he would or should sing or how it was going to be like.Andy thinks the new single itīs OK. Magnus and Gustaf is two gus living in Gothenburg and Andy have lived in Gothenburg for about 14 years and 10 years ago something happened. - I saw Gustaf in a rockabillyband called Jolly Jumpers and he was standing up and playing his drums and he had a Stray Cats-look. They were Swedens Strays Cats. I thought they were good and he played the drums very good too. I talked to Spike and said that we must have a drummer in Sweden because it was difficult to rehearsal with Shark. Gustaf was the one and only drummer i really wanted in Gothenburg. I havenīt seen him for ten years and I was phoning every Mikael Gustavsson in the telephone catalogue and it was hundred of them but I didnīt find him. One night I went to see the UK Subs and there he was,drunk as hell. He said, hello Andy I havenīt seen you for a long time and I said to him Iīm looking for a drummer, do you wanna play. He didnīt know anything about the Partisans and he didnīt know that I have been in The Partisans. All he know was that I wanted to play some music with him as a drummer. He said, yeah I play. He wasnīt know anything about what was doing, that it was a reunion. He wanted to play the drums ,it was the only thing. Magnus is his best friend, he have been in a few punkbands in Gothenburg , nothing big. Heīs a Clash fan and he was a guitarist when he joined us but he had to play bass with us and it took him some weeks to be comfortable with the bass. But now heīs really solid.
Andy have played in bands since Partisans split up and he was playing in All the Kings men and they had an english guy singing and there was som swedes in the group. They played on Magasinet(a rockclub in Gothenburg) and they did a few demos. It was a punk style they did and a little like New Model Army Andy says. Andy work with handicapped people nowadays and on the side he have a little webcompany and a the record label. Andy is hoping that it comes some more stuff out with them and these three new songs was an experiment to see if there was any interest in the band. They have written 9-10 songs more and they think theyīre good. -If people donīt like it it donīt bother me because in the end of the day we do it because we like it, says Andy. We maybe change the bands name to something different so not anybody comparing us with The Partisans. But on the other side weīre proud of weīre doing and we like what weīre doing. So why should we change the name anyway. We never even expected to be around for som many years. So it doesnīt break any hearts if they donīt like us anymore.
Andy have always written the music to The Partisans. So Lousie and Shark didnīt do any songs so when people complaining about the band not the same but the songwriters are in the band. So the songwriters do the sound if you count to the end of the day. Spike have always been the songwriter in the band so do anyone have any complains on the lyrics itīs all Spikes "fault". Andy have contact with the old members and Shark is working in Singapore and Louise is working in a shop in London. Andy thinks that Shark is playing in a coverband but nothing serious. Andy is really like Sweden and he see himself as a political victim. He donīt want to talk about privacy things and he donīt want to talk about his privateflife. - I feel whole swedish and when he goes back to England on vacation he complains on the food and the hotels. I have been very very swedish. Typically swedish is to be very right and not to much or not to little, to be a little shy, unsure. Much integrity, but I really love swedish mentality. If you meet americans so do you not know where you have them, they say one million things in a second and they invite you to dinner but half of the things they say they donīt mean. If you meet a swede that invite you to dinner or to a beer you know that they mean it. I like swedish mentality.
Andy thinks the swedish scene are one of the best in Europe. Mainly because of the fact that they can the english language a lot better than french and german bands. He thinks it sounds terrible if you listen to a record and the singer is singing in a broken english. He like the early stuff with Ebba Grön . -It was a documentary about swedish punk on P3 this morning and they played a little by KSMB and theyīre good. Apart from punkbands there many good bands like Soundtrack of Our lives, many people likes Håkan Hellström but itīs nothing I would buy but heīs not bad. Thereīs a good swedish scene, but peopleīs talking about Gothenburg as Swedens best scene. The center of the world, itīs so hyped up. Itīs even not any rehearsalrooms for us, not many places to play. And to call it Popstad 2001 itīs a little bit of a joke.
When I first talked to Andy about this new project with Partisans he said that they did this like a portest to bands like Blink 182 and those bands. Andy means not directly that itīs a protest . -The only thing I thinks itīs annoying, thatīs when a band comes from a punkbackground and every time theyīre on the TV or radio people say , oh thereīs a new punkband called Blink 182 and theyīre called bla bla bla. For the normal people this guys are punk and they start and finish punk for them : They donīt know or care thatīs a whole background to it and in fact no commercial at all. Much better, do you understand what I mean? Itīs too much Roxette. I mean theyīre not really singing about anything. I think that punk lyrically should have som social content and social comment so itīs a bit annoying. Itīs not dirty to be making money out of punk and Iīm not an anarchist or communist or so. The only thing which is ugly earning money is when you exploiting people. Nobody forces anybody to buy a record. Many musicans is people who donīt like to have a 9 to 5 job. Theyīre often under the social border to get money from the state. They wanna make a living from music. I work at social care and I like it but I mean itīs nowhere near it so good that it feels standing on stage, I donīt liking stage, but I mean making music so if I can make the same kind of money making music I would do it tomorrow so I canīt say Iīm anti.making money on record sell. Because in the end of the day you must survive. If youīre a musican or a writer you wanna make a living on the things you do best.
Andy was a little afraid of the things which are going to be written about the new record. Skrutt is the only zine/netzine/paper who have give it a review yet. Andy have heard good things from America from their label there(TKO records) and everyone in the musicbusiness is raving and many thinks itīs brilliant. Many people have heard Mp3 of one of the songs and they think itīs good. But not anyone have criticise it yet but heīs sure it will come. We come over and talk about Mp3 and Andy think itīs good that bands can be on the internet and be exposed. -Cause I mean itīs very hard to any new band to get any publicity in any newspaper, they very scared to be writing about new bands.They wait til theyīre big in America or in England. And then they start to write about them. They donīt dare to take the step to write about them themselves.Without fanzines I think underground music would die totally coz theyīre the only media which exposing the new bands. Many of the big bands like Blink 182 started off to give interviews to zines. To come back to your question about mp.3 com and get free music i think itīs great. You donīt need any radiostation to expose yourself . Itīs positive.
They have only played out with their new formation once, it happened in Gothenburg on Jailhouse. Itwas one of the best concert they ever have done. The swedish audience was fantastic thinks Andy. Now theyīre soon getting off to play the Holidays in the Sun festival. Andy thinks itīs going to be a little scary. The most best bands from that period are there. They donīt play any of the new songs yet, only the ones which are out on the single , he thinks itīs to risky to play these songs already. Andy thinks itīs 19 songs on the festival. Andy likes Police Story, Killing Machine, Arms Race of the old songs, Only 21 is another favouritesong. I never needed you is another one. -I think some of the old songs on the first album are really bad, Fire is a bad song, I think.
The song people ask the most for is Police Story but he was surprised that people in Jailhouse was shouting after Only 21 all the time. I ask Andy whatīs the difference between playing nowadays and back then when they was start to play. - I canīt remember really, it was fun back then. It was more violent and we was playing in the most worst areas in England. Like Birmingham, London and Leeds, it was scary playing there. Yeah, but I donīt know whatīs the diffrence is.
Many weird things have happen on concerts with Partisans but Andy sees the time when Louise got a glass throwed at her as the most weird thing which have happened. But it coul have happen more things but Andy donīt remember so much what happened 20 years ago(poor old man, no memories left) . He has turn 37 now and heīs in my age. They were very young when they started to play, they were about 14-15 years old when they began to play. They were babies of the whole punkthing as Andy says. He was very embarrassing with the fact that he was in a band and that he was so young. He had a feeling that people didnīt take them seriously. - Now it ridicilous because now itīs the opposite way, now Iīm feeling too old to play punkmusic. Who can take you serious now when youīre too old. So every time we have missed the train.
The single Police Story sold about 20.000 1981 and it have sell for years after that. They have got figures from the record company but Andy donīt relay on record companies. Andy did a calculation and with all the records and compilations they have released they have sold over 250.000 records. Andy have only written the lyrics to Blind Ambition , otherwise itīs Spike who is doing the lyrics. It depends on that Andy is shy when itīs going to private things and heīs expressing himself in the music. And he says that heīs not having so much to say anyway. Andy thinks itīs very important to have important lyrics but when itīs going to politics you must be careful he thinks. - Many bands like Jam in the early days, and Clash were socialistic with a message but in the end of the day they were millionaires . So if I wanted to have a political message Iīd have been a politican not musican.
That music can change someones life is Andy sure of. And he says when youīre a teenager youīre very easy influenced. And he thinks that the music he listened to when he was 13-14 years have influences his whole life. Both politically and socially with friends. We had an euromeeting in Gothenburg last week and people was throwing stones to the police and smashed windows, I want to know what Andy thinks about that. - I donīt really know., it was a little bit of protest, now again weīre in my private sphere of politics which Iīd rather donīt talk to. What I did find annoying , I know some people throwing stones to McDonalds, what Iīm find annoying is that certain people in massmedia that finds that throwing stones in the windows of McDonalds is absolutely terrible and itīs just hooligans. Theyīre getting more angry that people throw stones to McDonalds than they get angry to the fact that the damage that McDonalds do to the planet, that annoys me, peoples ignorance. That some can get so annoyed that someone throwing stones at a window but they donīt get annoyed to the damage to our planet. That it constantly being raped. But apart of that Iīm not going to talk about politics. I was in the city that time but Iīm not throwing any stones, I was only watching.
They had a few offers when they was going to release the record. TKO Records had a lot of bands which was melodic and the Stiff Little Fingers 77-styled music. Andy think many of the other labelīs bands put out music which wasnīt so proffessional and they donīt like bands which sings about getting drunk and fighting. - I donīt know about Ramones, but in their early days they havenīt been on any compilation , not because they didnīt like any other band , they just wanted to have their own identity. Thatīs cool in a way. We have been in some sort of musical style. people think were an oiband, some people think were a 82-band and other people thinks were a 77-punkband. Itīs kind of boring because you never plan that sort of things you just write songs. And itsīthe same with labels many labels got a certain profile and theres oilabels, hardcorelabels so you must be careful which label youīre on.
When punk was coming in the 70īs it wasnīt so important to play so good. I ask Andy if heīs thinking itīs more important today. - I think itīs less important today , Andy says. I mean if you listen to a 76-77 punkband you can hear that theyīre so tight and not so bad musicans as people say. In 1981 it wasnīt so musical but I mean they were pretty tight bands. I donīt really know any bands who get really big who didnīt could play. They were total shit. Itīs a lot of tight punkbands today too. Many of the punkproductions are a lot tighter if you compare with the punkstuff from 1981 in fact. The spectre is very very wide now if you compare with 1981. I mean punk should be a movement with bands which donīt have to play that good. But the problem is that it gets boring when itīs not any quality in the music, of course you can play for fun but if it sounds good at the same time itīs a bonus.
The futureplans for the bands itīs to play on Holidays in the sun and thereīs a little talk about a tour in USA in november but like everything there itīs talk about everything and nothing happens, says Andy. They try to get out some new songs out and find some money to get the stuff out.