I interviewed Baboon Show a bunch of years ago at the beginning of their careers. Now it's time again and it's just after they released God Bless You all and it is the eminent drummer Niclas Svensson who answers the questions in January 2023


It was 17-18 years since I last interviewed you. A lot has happened since then.... Are you the same members yet?

-Hehe! Yes, a lot has happened since then. Cecilia, Håkan and I have been involved from the very beginning, but we have changed bassist twice. Our almighty bassist Frida has been on the baboon boat for many years now, but it feels like she has always been involved. Together we are a strong group!


There has been some gigging abroad over the years, where is the best?

-Hard to say, but we have our largest fanbase in Germany and Spain so it's clear that there's something really special about touring there. And one of the most memorable things is probably the four times we've played in Cuba. What an amazing country and what amazing people. Viva!


Have you guys gotten started now with gigs after all the covid shit? Have you escaped covid?

-Everyone in the band has had Covid. However, none of us had a more serious variant. I was last on the ball to get the and it was very mild. Barely felt it. Yes, 2022 was a really good and successful tour year, after the community reopened. Especially the festival season out in Europe was fantastic. It feels great to be able to play under normal circumstances again. The corona years were horrible and we weren't whole as people when we couldn't get to hang out with our audience.


I've always liked you since your first record that I got from National Records... fast songs then and fast songs now.... How do you manage to keep up the pace?

-Thank you most humbly! The Baboon Show turns 20 this year and we've still slowed down the tempo a bit in recent years, but our intensity is still there 100%, even in the slower songs. The energy isn't just in how fast you play. It is our energy as a collective and unity together with our audience that gives us energy as persons.


What are the songs that everyone wants to hear when you play live?

-Radio Rebelde and You Got A Problem Without Knowing It are given. Maybe Same Old Story too. It's a little different in different countries as well. For example, when we play in the Basque Country, It's A Sin from the first record is a must. They love that one. We always have a basic set but can replace any song here and there. Will be exciting to see who will be the favorites from the new album.


What are the songs that you find most fun to play?

-Radio Rebelde because it often provokes such a storm of emotions both in us and in the audience. You Got A Problem Without Knowing It for the sake of rock'n'roll drive. Those are some of them. Love to play the new songs too. Gold and Rolling are some of the favorites of the new ones. Also, I must probably mention Lost You In A Second the times Björn Dixgård (Mando Diao) has the opportunity to visit us on stage. It becomes magical when Cecilia and he make it together.


How do you think the political climate in Sweden is right now with KD-M-SD etc?

-A fucking circus is what it is. Incompetent blue-brown pack. They will never win my respect on any point whatsoever. After all, the whole of Europe is full of similar mournings to governments, and that is not what the world and humanity need. It's all just about money, individualism and alienation for the banks and big business. Society is getting tougher with this kind of governance. It is retrograde and a major failure. And many who voted for them repented after only a month or so. Absolutely sick! People are too ideologyless and follow the wallet instead of the heart.


Should you vote or not in an election or not?

-It's really up to everyone in terms of democracy. I myself always vote as far left as possible.


Has your view of the musical life changed with tours etc through all these almost twenty years? What's gotten better?

-Our goal has always been to play a lot live because that's what we love to do the most. But it's clear that we've changed both as bands and as people in these twenty years. Personally, for example, I have completely stopped drinking alcohol for over two years. Everything has of course after all the years of toil become a little bigger and more comfortable for us, but otherwise we and our crew continue to work hard. The environment in the music scene can look very different depending on where you are, but I don't think our view of it all has changed much.


You guys are celebrating twenty years this year as a band this year, isn't it? Will something special happen then?

-That's fine. We started in the fall of 2003. We may have a little surprise in connection with the 20th anniversary celebrations, but I can't reveal that yet. Hehe!


Now you have released the new album? Satisfied?? How were the release parties?

-Yep, finally it's out! God Bless You All. (NO we haven´t been religious) Haha) it is called and we are very happy and super proud of it. We had wanted to release it earlier really but it didn't work out because of the pandemic. When you release a new album, you want to be able to go out and tour with it as well. The release parties in Stockholm and Gothenburg were magical. Sold out and cowdy on both and sick fun to play a bunch of the new songs live. Finally!


When you make songs, how does it work, does someone come up with a lyric or how does it work?

-It's different from time to time. Most often, someone presents a song idea in the form of a melody, a riff or a line of lyrics, and we take it together from there. Sometimes someone comes up with a whole song and sometimes just with a chorus. When a song is completely finished, everyone has been involved in looking at it.


Your lyrics are pretty political in a good way, I think - is it important to get opinions out in music do you think?

-Yes. At least for us, it feels completely natural to do so. Primarily, The Baboon Show is a rock'n'roll band, but we're political figures who have this band together. Then it becomes natural so that we get a message out of us. There are so many people who have the chance to say or draw attention to something important, but who give fuck a about it. The world looks the way it does and we have a hard time shutting up about it. It has even happened that we have received emails from people who write that our music saved them or gave them hope or motivation to change their lives. Then you get that it's fucking not just shit we're doing. It's real and it means a lot to a lot of people.


Any political band that you like and can recommend?

-German Pascow is one of my favourite bands. An absolutely fantastic band that has very good both emotional and political lyrics. We tour Germany a lot and in general I would say that the German scene is often very political.


Are there any really good new bands you can recommend that you think people have missed?

-Quite honestly, I have a pretty bad handle on newer bands, but there's certainly a lot out there that I've missed myself. Feel free to tell me. Haha! There's a great rock band from Berlin called Travelin Jack. They are not really that new, but they have released two great albums that many here in Sweden probably do not know about. Also check out Manuela Iwansson's debut album that was released recently. Only available digitally yet but vinyl is on the way. Very good!


It's happened a little bit on the record front since the last time I interviewed you. Is it for the better or worse that music is more accessible as people buy less physical records?

-Both, I'd say. I can discover a new band on, for example, Spotify. Then maybe I think it's so damn good, and then I want to support the band and buy the vinyl. At least that's how I work. Then I actually have a feeling that people have started buying more physical records again. When we tour, we sell a lot of records on the site.


But you sell some physical records yet, right?

-Quite a lot actually. Just learned that now during the first week that the new album has been out, we are in 2nd place on the Swedish list of best-selling vinyls. In Germany, it also looks set to finish in the top 10 this first week. Crazy but fun of course! Otherwise, we sell the most when we tour.


What's the last thing you bought? Or don't you buy any records anymore? Are there any good record stores in your vicinity to recommend?

-I live in Stockholm so there is a lot of shops to go and look after records. However, I prefer to go in record exchanges and look for gold nuggets I miss in the collection. I love vinyl and usually buy at least a few records a month. Lately, it hasn't become much though. There hasn't been much time left for that kind of thing. I go to shops in Berlin a lot too because my fiancée lives there. The last one I bought was probably one of the older Blue Öyster Cult records that I missed. I'm fucking weak for 70's rock. Hehe!


What's the sickest thing that's happened in your career, on stage or on a tour or something like that?

-In twenty years, you've had time to experience a lot around the world. Haha! A really memorable thing was when we played at a festival on the German island of Heligoland. It was such a fucking storm the next day so the ferry back to the mainland was cancelled. We had a gig that day as well so the organizers fixed up a small propeller plane that would take us ashore. Stormy and shaky. Some of us had a lot of fun laughing loudly all the way and some wanted to vomit from death anxiety. Haha! I had a blast! But it could have ended Lynyrd Skynyrd style. Hehe!


Are you still on the same record label or what's it like?

-We're at Kidnap Music in Germany and have been working with them since the Punk rock Harbour record. It began as a licensing collaboration between National and Kidnap. Then we have stayed and released records on Kidnap since then. It is a small but established company and they do a very good job for us.


I understand that there have been some interviews over the years, what's the weirdest thing you've been asked about?

-Nothing particularly strange that I can think of right now, but Cecilia and Frida sometimes get stupid and sexist questions just because they are women. In The Baboon Show, we are four members, people and individuals and nothing else. We don't make a difference.


Are there any questions that you miss in interviews?

-Not that I can think of. Most people who interview us, I think, usually have a pretty good handle on good questions.


Has your view of punk changed through all these years, what does punk mean to you today?

-Punk is what you make it. It's not in how fast you play or how much distortion you have. It's in the attitude. After all, there are troubadours and singers who are fucking so much more punk than some outspoken punk bands. A lot of what we do is still DIY and that's also an important part of everything.


Back to the music, if someone who has never heard you and would be consecrated in your music.... What songs would you start with then? How would you describe your music in three words?

-You Got A Problem Without Knowing It, Radio Rebelde, The Shame, God Bless You All and Gold. Energy, sweat and rock!


Do you have a lot of unreleased that was never released that could come up with some sort of compilation album?

-There are some songs we've had that have ended up on various compilations over the years. Right now, we probably only have a couple of unreleased songs that we're doing.


Have you done any covers? Do you play any live?

-Right now we're doing a cover of Eddie Meduza's Have A Party With Me. It is also included on the new album. Earlier in our history we have played live/recorded Accept "I'm A Rebel", Devo "Mongoloid", The Smith's "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out", Abba "Money Money Money" to name a few. The coolest ever live was once at the Peace&Love festival in Borlänge when we ran Mona Tumbas Slim Club with the guests Fjodor from Ebba Grön, Stefan Sundström and Ernie from Asta Kask.


The future plans for the band?

-Continue recording music and touring. We really love what we're doing and there are no plans to change anything.


For yourself?

-Keep drumming on with the music and try to be as good a person as I can be to my surroundings and be there for my kids, my fiancée and my loved ones.


Many rock bands make their own beer, etc. If you released a beer what kind would it be and what would it be called?

-It would be a normal light lager and it would also be available as a non-alcoholic alternative. The Baboon Show in French is neat: Le Spectacle Des Babouins. Maybe that would be a good name. Hehe!


Words of wisdom?

-No, but I advise everyone to read Marx/Engels about dialectical materialism. And please be nice!


Anything to add?

-Thanks for the chat. See you on the road, folks!


Do you live on the music or are you "forced" to work... if so, what do you work with?

-We mainly live on the music, but some of us are still working on other things as well