Existenz has released a new LP / CD and it was a few years since I last heard them and in 1984 I interviewed them and now it was time again after hearing their masterpiece Meltdown that must be in every punk's home. Mars 2019


I think the last time I interviewed you was in 1984 and that's a few years ago. Have there been many member changes since then and tell a little about every member of the group today. Who you are, age, job and band beside or during Existenz did not play?

-We think we are quite unique as we are the original set from 1983

Jyrki 52 years singer, singer with The Negatives after Existenz ceased. Singers in Punk Mahone even today. Works in carpentry and likes Arsenal and Rögle

Stefan 54 years old drums, after Existenz ceased -87 he performed with Metal Bizzare for a few years. Then had a break with the music until 2016! Runs his own small restaurant

Jocke 54 years old guitar, after Existenz he has continued to perform with bands like Smack, Dreadlock boys etc.

Self-employed in the construction industry

David 54 years after Existenz ceased, he played with Jyrki for a few years. Took a break until 2016 too!

Works in the car industry.


Why did you start playing together again in 2016?

-Our current record label HepTown Records contacted us and wanted to make a rerelease on our album Let´s Get Drunk Before It´s Too Late from 1984 on vinyl and digital. So we decided to meet in our current rehearsal room and have a cup of coffee and talk some shit. Immediately we came to the conclusion that we were ready to start rehearse and see where it took us. Quite quickly we were booked to open for Sator at a packed The Tivoli in Helsingborg Sep 2017 and it was so fucking fun that there was no return!


I think the new record has already sailed up as one of the best albums of 2020, are you happy yourself, became it like you had imagined?

-Good you like it! We are extremely proud and satisfied with the result and think we will get a continuation / development of our sound that we have always had without compromise!


Is it easier or is it harder to write songs today than 1984?

- Frankly, it feels pretty much like before, someone comes up with an idea on a song and we make it together in the rehearsal room.


What else is the difference with being a punk band in your style today if you compare when you were at the beginning of your career?

-In the 80s, you played punk and were booked for it and of course it was very DIY where you were helped in the country and fixing gigs. Today, punk is strong in Sweden again and it is fucking fun! Then it has been categorized with lots of different names like trallpunk, crustpunk, oipunk and everything it's called… ..we play punk and have never understood it with categorization

It can make organizers look at it when they book a band so it is in the same category…

But get us, it is just punk regardless of whether you play 4-beat 2-beat eg.


I myself am 57 and you are 54 I understand at the email address. Isn't it funny that we ourselves have become like the ones we complained about ... that we are doing the same thing as we did 40 years ago? Imagine when you were 17-18 and saw a 30-year-old at a concert and wondered what that old man did there. Your concerts which ages do you attract?

-Very mixed for us, then also depends on what bands you play with and what audience they draw.


What does punk mean to you? What is the difference between your attitude on punk if you compare when you were a young punk?

-Have always been joy, community, a form of entrepreneurship you can say when you got to fix everything from recordings, gigs etc.


I think I hear both UK82, hardcore, Streetpunk and Psychotic Youth in your music? What would you say you are closest to?

- As we said, it's difficult to categorize it may be up to the listeners, but we grew up with the punk in the late 70's early 80's so it's obvious that the influences are coming from there.


You started 2016 again I understand. Have you made any more records since you started than Meltdown?

-We did a rerelease on Let´s get drunk… 2018 then we released a split album They can´t control it with our friends in Irish The Nilz 2019


Is it important to get out physical records? What do you like best CD / Vinyl / Cassette / Spotify?

-Yes we think so, many think that to owe something and you can physically take on it. Then it is important for us to be able to sell at gigs in order to make it go together. Of course, putting on a vinyl record is a special feeling! To listen and find music quickly, Spotify is very comfortable today.


On the new disc you chose not to be included in the picture (the CD version anyway) and no texts. How come?

-Yes it was nothing dramatic, was just more that we wanted to get as much as possible out of our budget on the disc and wanted to put it on the recording and number of physical discs etc.


Now with the Coronavirus and everything, there will be canceled gigs and less revenue. Now it becomes more important than ever to sell music and merchandise when you miss those opportunities. Do you have a plan now when the new album arrives?

-Our record label Heptown Records has a good distribution throughout the world and a lot of distros who order discs so they cover that part. Then we work in the band with social media, very face to face, contact people we know and do not simply know DIY.


What else do you think about living in Sweden, politically, SD, KD etc?

-It feels unbelievable that things that were unthinkable 10 years ago have become normalized today in the society of many people. Fortunately, they are "only" 20% of the people, so it is important for all of us to continue to fight and listen to it.


Your texts, what inspires you, is there a topic you would never write about?

-We write our texts a lot based on our own lives and values, everything from going out and having a few beers with mates, societys problems, global problems etc. We have never written a love text.


Music and politics, does that go together? Which would you say is your most political song?

-It doesn't have to do that, thinks it's up to everyone to make their own decisions in what to write for some texts. On the new album it is Where are we going and Hatred. We have never seen ourselves as a political band at the same time, we are very confident in our values, so we mix our texts from our everyday lives and even more serious texts


Which artist / group is the best political group you know?

-Världen Brinner is a band that has very strong lyrics that touch and has a good drive in the music.


There are some really good Swedish punk bands today. ? Old good bands doing it good yet? New Swedish bands?

- As for Swedish punk bands today, there are some really good ones that we think. The Headlines from Malmö is a really good live band that also has very strong songs. Baboon Show is another great band. As for old bands, the whole band immediately says Troublemakers! A band that has been delivering for years! New bands so it's really fun that young new bands like Borgerlig Begravning and Rättegång come up that you recognize a lot in when you were at that age yourself.


If you couldchoose completely free from history to have a big concert with 5 bands plus Existenz, which bands would you like to play with then?

-A one-day Festival with Bob Marley, The Damned, Doors, The Clash and Chuck Berry


Tell us a little about the following songs / lyrics ...

      -Screaming Meme

      -Where are we going

     -Going down

Screaming Meemie: We wanted to get a 4-beat song with drive and a nice guitar loop. The text is about living with panic anxiety.

Where are we going ?: A 2-beat smoker with good drive who might as well have been on one of our records from the 80's. The text is about all people's equal value and standing up for it and a really big kick in the ass on SD.

Going Down: A song we did with our roots in the rock n roll with a touch of Ramones

The text is about a pub round with the guys before going to a gig.


In the past, it was almost enough to cut the hair and have a safety pin on the jacket to shock, what should a young man today do to shock his parents?

-Come home and ask if we should spend time or have a summer job fixed


Tell us a little about each album

       -Your first album? - A mix of our first albums are Slade, Kiss, Doors etc.

       -The album that changed your life? - Must be The Clash London Calling. Only when you saw the cover did you think wow, then you were floored when you listened to it.

       -The album that makes Existenz sound like they do? - That we sound like we do is inspiration from GBH, Minor Threat, Anti Dote, English Dogs and more

       -The album that always has to be on the tour bus? - The album in the tour bus is of course Sham 69 That´s Life, great music while there is a story

       -The album you would have liked to have played on?- Never Mind the Bollocks 


When since the Corona hysteria has settled, will you go out and play a lot then? Abroad?

-We have a number of gigs booked in Sweden this fall with The Exploited. Will also be a turn to Denmark, Germany and Ireland as we know today.


Tell us about a funny incident that happened during Existenz concerts / gig / tour?

-In 1983 we played with UK Subs and Vibrators in London and in the middle of a song the drums ended. When we turned around, Stefan was gone, he had slipped off the stage that was type 1-1.5 m high and fell down behind it. But as a panther, he was quickly up behind the drums again


What's the best thing about playing live?

-To meet a lot of new people and the kick you get when you get the audience with you.


What are the band's future plans?

-To continue playing live as long as people want to hear our music. Hopefully make some more new songs.


Words of wisdom?

-Stay Punk!