Frustrerad comes from Belgium and have a Swedish name on their hardcoreband. Shalo was so kind that he in the midsummerweekend 2021 answered a lot of questions from me…


Please tell me a little bit history of the group?
Frustrerad started as a side project from me (Shalo) and our drummer (Stan) back in 2018. We wanted to play hardcore punk influenced by our favourite 80’s Swedish bands like Disarm, Anti Cimex, Avskum, Puke and Sound of Disaster.
After some jamming and putting riffs together we decided it was time for recording the material we had. So we invited our friend Koenraad to join us on the bass and with his recording gear he helped us record 6 tracks at our rehearsal room. Those tracks became our ‘Shadow of Life’ demo tape released in 2019.

We did a few local gigs together promoting the demo, but Koenraad needed more time for his personal projects. Luckily we met Pawel, who was into what we were doing and happily took over the bass duties.
By 2020 the new line-up managed to record 4 tracks again at our rehearsal room. This time Stan did the recordings and we both mixed it. We’ve always struggled to explain to other people the specific sound we wanted, so the natural thing was to do it ourselves.
These tracks would become our debut 7” EP called “The Truth in Lies’ which was mastered and sent to the pressing plant. Production took longer than planned, but by May 2021 it was finally released.

Please tell me a little about every member in the group right now, age, family, work, interests and something bad about everyone? Earlier bands? Other bands on the side?
-I’m Shalo and I play guitar and do vocals. I was born in Brazil in 1988 and live in Belgium since 2011. I’ve played in bands such as Chaka, Suffer Damage, Deathdealer and Darmstadt, but nowadays only Frustrerad. I’m married and have too many records. I work as a warehouse operator.

Stan plays drums. Born in 1989, he is actually the only Belgian in the band. He used to play in Darmstadt and Matrakk Attakk and his current bands are Frustrerad and Verpest. Stan lives together with his girlfriend and has a lot of dogs. He works as an air measurement technician.
Pawel plays bass. He was born in Poland in 1982 and moved to Belgium in 2016. His current bands are Frustrerad and his new one called Dodsmask. He is married and has two children. Pawel spends his free time making hand made tank drums from used metal gas tanks and works as a mechanic at a steel factory.

I can hear much different influences but mostly hardcore and some UK82 punk? Favorites from the past?
-We listen to a lot of different bands and each one of us has his personal influence, but Frustrerad is mainly influenced by 80s Swedish/Scandinavian punk as I mentioned before. Bands like: Anti Cimex, Shitlickers, Svart Framtid, Disarm, Svart Parad, D.N.A, Avskum, Asocial, Siste Dagers Helvete, Sound of Disaster, Agoni, Absurd, Asta Kask.

Frustrerad are you satisfied with the name? How did it came up? You weren’t afraid that some other band would be named like this? Which is the best bandname you know? Why a Swedish name?
-Yeah I would say we are, otherwise why would we use it right!? I came up with the name and made sure there was no other band called the same. You know, these days all the good names are taken.
It comes from a Swedish band I really like named Distortion. They released a 7” called Frustrerad back in 1982. And yes, I’m aware Frustrerad means frustrated in Swedish, it kinda fits our lyrics.
Best band name ever? No idea.

What´s the best thing with playing live? Are you miss it now in covidtimes? Any new gigs planned?
I think the essence of a band is their live performance. All members together create one identity which comes to life on stage. There is an energy to the songs that only liberates itself when playing live, nothing can replace it.
And as any band, we miss gigs a lot! They are some kind of therapy that helps us survive daily life. That’s where we meet with our friends and like-minded people, where we can be ourselves. So I really hope this Covid situation gets under control and gigs can start again.

And where is best to play? And the worst place?

-Any place is a good place as long as you can feel at home. But we prefer to play in squats and alternative places. The worse would be some commercial festival, that seems boring and numbed. What’s the point to play for people that don’t understand what you are doing? Quality before quantity.

How is to play this sort of music in Belgium right now? Which types of bands do you have concerts together with?
-Scandinavian style punk, 
kängpunk as people say, is not that popular. People classify us as a “D-beat” band here, they say we play Discharge punk.
Belgium has way more influence of American style hardcore punk, you know, shorts, vans shoes and skateboarding. There is of course a bit of UK influence as well, but there aren’t that many crusties as oppose to Germany for example. 
Bands here are very diverse, everyone is doing their own thing. Sometimes it feels there is no group of bands that really belong together. This has positive and negative sides. There are a lot of geographical divisions as well, people tend of stick to their own region instead of attending gigs in other cities.

How would you describe your music in three words?
Raw, sincere and to the point. (That wasn’t three words was it?).

What does punk mean to you, is it only a word or is it a lifestyle?
-To me punk means doing what feels true to your heart without capitulation. That can be applied to music, art or lifestyle.
People like to give all sorts of meaning to it. And in the end, it’s a very personal thing. Some like to make rules and put a lot of energy into “who is punk and who is not.” I guess it comes from our tribal roots to classify everyone and put them in groups. You know: “I’m part of the group and you are not, I’m special!”

Which song/album or group was it who took you into punk/hardcore?
-As cliche as it sounds, the band that really changed everything for me was Discharge. I was hooked the first time I heard them. I remember being amazed at how perfect it sounded, I wouldn’t change anything about it.

What shall a young guy do today to shock their parents as the way we did when we were young? They have already seen everything ;-)?
-Do what you want to do not what is expected of you. This will always shock people around you.

How is it to live in Belgium right now? Politically? Fascists?

-Belgium is a really small country in the middle of Europe. The quality of life is ranked high by world standards and the geographical location is perfect to travel and meet people from everywhere. It is the capital of European Union after all. But if you go out of the main cities, the countryside is pretty old fashioned. A lot of farmer mentality!
People here have forgotten about history. Lately there has been a rise on nationalistic feelings and right-wing ideas. There is a far-right party called Vlaams Belang that used to be taken as a joke, but misleading ideas about immigration and cultural differences are getting spread a lot. So people started to vote for them as a final solution to their immigration problem, you know what I mean.
More and more people are getting sympathetic to the idea that left-wing socialists are destroying the country and their identity. That makes me really worried about the future!

Is there any good bands from Belgium right now? Is the punkscene/metalscene/hardcorescene big? How is it in your hometown?
-As I mentioned before, there are a lot of bands playing their own style here. The scene is big but not that united, it could be better. Little groups of friends create their own scene instead of trying to unite everyone. But some people still try to bring it all together from time to time. I guess everywhere is the same right?!
You should check out bands like: Silence Means Death, Raw Peace, Gagged, Permanent Debt, 
Arrogänt, Vort, Freddie & The Vangrails, Verpest, Netra.

What do you know about Sweden? Have you been here sometime? What is typical Swedish?
-More than half of the country is covered by forests and you like to assemble your own furniture!? hahaha
I’ve learned about Sweden because of punk music. I actually love the fact that growing up and listening to punk bands made me discover the countries where these bands came from. Like a geographical map that expanded together with my search for new music.
I’ve been to Sweden twice now, unfortunately only to Stockholm. But I have plans to come back soon and explore more.
Typical Swedish? harsh language and harsh weather equals harsh music! Haha
I would say that in Sweden people can play various instruments and form bands with each other because they love the music they play. It amazes me how the same people that play in punk bands also plays in metal or rock ‘n’ roll bands. The scene doesn’t seem to have a lot of division. But I might be wrong, the grass is always greener on the other side.

Have you heard any good bands from Sweden?
-A lot of them! From Rude Kids and Ebba Grön to Entombed and old Disfear. I really like your way of making music. I think the Swedish language works really well for punk, it sounds very aggressive and even when you sing in English, that aggressiveness is still present. But I must say I prefer old bands compared to new ones though.

Your lyrics, who does them and what influences you? Never in your own language?
I write the lyrics myself, because I’m the one who has to sing them. They are very personal and help me get my feelings out. But it takes me a lot of effort, as I find difficult to write relevant lyrics that fit the specific way I want to sing.
Once the song is more or less finished, I already have an idea on how I want the vocal melody to be. So first I record the vocals without any actual words and only after listening to the recordings, I try to come up with lyrics that fit to it.
And I prefer to sing in English as fortunately or unfortunately it is an international language and everyone can understand it.

Is there any subject that you never will write anything about?
Stupid subjects, as I call them. I would never write about partying, getting drunk, having sex with hot girls, fast cars or pretending to be tough. I find that if you gonna take the time to write something, you might as well take it seriously. Why use the opportunity if you not gonna say anything relevant? It’s easy to make a joke out of everything, but isn’t that just a defense mechanism?

Politic and music, does it goes hand in hand? Which is your most political song? Is it important to get out your opinions in music?
-Anything you do or say can be political. If you gonna communicate with an audience through words, you end up expressing your political views. Of course, you might not use political ideologies or terminologies, but your values and beliefs are always politically charged.

Best political band/artist? The best unpolitical artist?
I guess I’ve mentioned my opinion about that in the previews question. But yeah, if I must, here it is:
A classic political band: I would say Crass, they really got me thinking a lot back when I was younger. Non political: I would say Pentagram, their lyrics really speak to me on a personal level.

Do you think that music(lyrics and so on) can change anyone's life, I mean people who listens to music?
-Any exchange of ideas or thoughts can change someone’s life. I think people always take in consideration what a band has to say or how they say it. At least I do! So yes, music definitely changed my life.

Your favorite recordcover alltime? Who does your recordcovers? And do you have any good recordstores in your hometown?
-I would say Discharge’s Fight Back single is an iconic one that set the tone for a lot of bands that came after them. But I find difficult to choose a favorite record cover as I believe we attribute meaning to the artwork based on how much the music means to us. Have you ever thought that the art from a record you really like, would seem totally uninteresting if you didn’t like the band?
The artwork from Frustrerad is done by myself, in the most amateur and time consuming fashion.
Record stores? Well, Ghent has some decent ones, but nothing really specialized in underground music. There are some people with DIY punk labels or distros. We actually have a record fair that happens once a year and brings sellers from all over Europe, that would be the best chance to find good stuff here.

Is it important to get out physical records of your stuff? Why or why not? Vinyl, CD, cassette, what do you prefer if you could choose whatever ? You wrapped in your record you sent to me very well. It almost took me ten minutes to open it!
-In these internet times it’s really easy to release music online. You can get a lot of exposure without having physical copies. But at the same time, it’s so easy that people forgot how it feels to hold the music in your hands. I like the effort that takes to release physical copies! Things are too easy now, you don’t need a real amp, real drums, real records. Life became too virtual!
I prefer vinyl and cassette, it has that analog sound to it and feels more real to me.
Music used to be difficult to find, you had to save money and buy a record without listening to it first. Or a friend had to make a cassette copy for you. You would hold the cover in your hands, read the lyrics and watch the pictures while the record was playing. It was way more intimate and ritualistic experience. You would listening to the album so many times that you could sing along to it. Now everyone listen to music on youtube, bandcamp or spotify, you can have the whole discography of a band in seconds but won’t even remember the song titles.

Please tell me a funny thing which have happened during your career and under some gig?
One thing that comes to mind was a tour I did with my old band Chaka. We’ve booked a European tour in 2008. But failed to find someone with a van to drive for us. So instead of canceling the tour, we decided to do it by public transport! We took trains, buses, got a ride with people from one gig to the other. It was a total nightmare! But we managed to make it to almost all gigs, expect one which we had to cancel because there was no buses in time. It was a great experience, but I would never do it again!

How does your audience look like? Which people do you miss on your concerts? Which is the biggest band you ever have played together with?
I have no idea who listens to us actually. My guess is someone who still likes to listen to the 80s classics? I’m not sure there are that much people listening to what we play these days. Some must think we are boring and are living off the past. I have no idea!
In our concerts I miss people who listen to the same bands as we do.
Biggest band I ever played together? I would have to say Discharge. They don’t really sound that good these days, the drummer ain’t doing his job properly! But I really don’t care about playing together with “famous” bands.

Please rank your five favoriterecords, five favoriteconcerts and five most important things in life?
Well, my favorites keep changing, depending on my mood at certain moment. But I will try to list 5 records that made an impact on me:
Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath LP
Motörhead - Overkill LP
Misfits - Collection I LP
Discharge - Realities of War single
Anti Cimex - Raped Ass EP
Riistetyt at Mosh in Porto Alegre
GBH at Trix in Antwerp
Motörhead at Brielpoort in Deinze
Avskum at Dead Rhythm Fest in Stockholm
Asocial at Smash The Silence in Ghent

Important things in life:
Family and friends

First, last and most expensive record ever bought? And the most embarrassing record you own?
The first was Iron Maiden - The Number of The Beast.
Last one I think was Anti Cimex - 
The Complete Demos 82-83.
Most expensive was Black Uniforms – Faces of Death. I really don’t like the crazy prices of second hand punk records. The money doesn’t even go to the bands, but to some asshole trying to make money out of music. But unfortunately, supply and demand rules our world.
Embarrassing? Some Bob Dylan records I have. They used to belong to a girlfriend, but she didn’t want them back. I don’t actually listen to them at all.

Is it boring with interviews? Is it much interviews?
People have short attention span these days, I wonder if anyone still reads long interviews. This one was the longest I’ve ever done, but I wouldn’t say it’s boring, it just takes a lot of time.

Do you care about reviews? Which is the most peculiar you ever had, with this band or any other band you have been to? Have you ever changed anything after a bad review?
I find important to have an outside perspective of our own music. It’s a good feeling when someone understands what you are doing and describes your sound as you hear it yourself. But of course everyone has their opinion, and I respect bad reviews as well. We actually had one about our new EP where the person said we have 
fabricated melodies and wouldn’t classify us as hardcore punk. Wtf?! But I guess everyone hears music their own way.
And no, I wouldn’t change anything about our music because of a bad review. You should do it because it makes sense to you, not to be accepted by anyone.

Which bands do people compare you to, is it boring that people compare you to other bands or is it understandable? Do you do the same thing when you talk about other bands?
-We haven’t actually been compared to other bands that much, maybe to Disarm?
I find comparing things to be a natural reaction. We all do it, knowing it or not. I see no problem with comparisons and I actually do the same when I talk about other bands. Some people don’t like it. They don’t want to be put in a box or limited their bands to genres. I understand what they mean and their intentions, but in the end, everyone is copying something they’ve heard or seen before. Or do you think people dress in black and have a mohawk because they came up with it themselves? Na! We like to pretend to be unique, but punks kinda look all the same.

If you could choose five bands from the past and the history and nowadays and both dead and living bands to have a concert together with your band. Which five have you been chosen?
I have no dreams of playing together with any specific bands. I think playing together with a big or famous band doesn’t really affect your band. I mean, just because the other bands are great it won’t make you sound any better. Wanna be a rock star? Wrong music!
On the other hand, it’s nice to hang out with great people and learn to know them. So I would maybe like to hang out with my favorite bands and exchange ideas and experiences. But for that you don’t necessarily need to share the stage.

I would have loved to share some beers and listen to music with Kawakami from Disclose for example, he really seemed to be into the same stuff as I do. I’m still sad about his passing.

Is music a good way to get out frustration and become a nicer person outside the music??
-I think people always find a way to get their feelings out or to cope with life. Music is one of them, and to me, is the one I chose to use. But there are other healthy ways to do it as well. I don’t really believe that playing music makes me a nicer person, it just makes me feel better. Maybe it makes me more friendly?

Which is the most odd question you ever have got in an interview?
This one?

Which is the question you want to have but you never get. Please ask it and answer it?
I think you already did a great job! No more questions, please! Hahaha

Futureplans for the band?
-Playing as much gigs as possible and touring outside Belgium would be great! We are already working on some new material, but no releases planned for now.
I guess our main goal is to just keep doing what we love to do.

For yourself?
-Continue to make the music I have in my head even if people don’t understand it. (I cannot survive without playing in a band). Stay alive, discover new music that inspires me, travel as much as possible and have meaningful experiences.

-The answer to most of your problems is inside yourself. Don’t place this burden upon others.

Something to add?
Thank you Peter for the interview and interest in our band. Keep doing what you do and always be true to yourself.