Kontakta have a really good name because it´s in translation to english Contact and that´s really fun I think…bad humour. Really good hardcore they play anyway and this interview is done in april 2020.



Please tell me a little bit history of the group?  

(Ben) We started around August 2016. The band I was in with Edd had come to an end about a year before and I was looking to get something new going. I’d known Rich just from being at a few of the same gigs and had heard that the band he was in had recently finished.  I’ve known Luke for a long time from the local punk scene in Southampton. Luckily everyone was up for doing a new band.


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?

(Ben) We’ve got Edd on Drums, 40, he lives with his girlfriend and has 2 young kids. He runs a café, is a big sci-fi fan, Star Wars, Star Trek, loves Formula one motor racing. His Jagermeister consumption is mind blowing! Sometimes by accident he tells you the plot and ending to a film / tv show before you’ve seen it. He used to play in grunge band SHG (sex hungry grannies) and Chemical Threat.

Luke on Vocals, 34, he lives with his girlfriend and cats. Works self-employed as carpenter. He is a highly skilled martial artist in quite a few different styles, he’s into sci-fi and Marvel / DC films / shows and football (Eastleigh and St. Pauli). It’s not a bad thing really, but Luke always tells it straight, no feelings spared. At least you know where you stand, there’s zero bullshit with Luke. He currently sings for Liberty and was previously in Social Parasites.

Ben on Guitar, 39, I live with my girlfriend, teenage stepson and 2 cats. I work self employed doing interior painting and garden maintenance.  Watching sci films and shows, MotoGP racing, listening to podcasts about space and ancient civilizations / megaliths.

I’m a nightmare when we’re working on new songs because I often re-write riffs / or parts of songs, it drives Edd and Rich nuts! Used to play in Chemical Threat and have played briefly in Haywire.

(Rich)  I pretend to play Bass, 39, I live with my girlfriend and dog, I read water meters for a living, it’s shit pay but im outside all day and no one bothers me. My passions are pubs, friends, football, and The Simpsons. Im late for everything.  Previous bands  are Red Carpet Robots and Second-Hand Citizens. I’ve been trying to start a 90’s emo/post hardcore band lately but nobody else likes that shit and my girlfiend doesnt want to be in a band with me!


I can hear much different influences but mostly hardcore/anarchopunk from the 80´s? Favorites from the past?  

(Ben) Personal favourites for me are Totalitar, Doom, Crucifix, Battle of Disarm, Discharge, Varukers.

(Rich) My favourite band is Propagandhi, I have quite a diverse taste throughout most genre’s of punk though, I love a lot of old school american hardcore. Luke is well into Conflict, Crass, and all the angry anarcho bands, where as Ed i think loves anything heavy with a good drum beat!


Kontakta 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?  You know that it means Contact in Swedish so it got me a little bit confused?

(Ben) I think the name is pretty good for us. When we were starting the band, it was tough to come up with something in English that hadn’t already been used.

I’m a big fan of Swedish punk, so thought it might be cool to try a Swedish word. I was looking for a one-word name, thought of Contact and translated it to Swedish. It looked and sounded pretty good, and the other guys liked it. Checked on discogs and there was only an electronica band from the 90’s that had used it, so we went with it.

Rich’s mate has a band called Fun Crusher.


What´s the best thing with playing live?

(Ben) The adrenaline rush of playing a good set and seeing people enjoy it.

(Rich) I just love to get to play fast angry music, and have a good scream, its almost like a therapy session, that said, i love practising as well, it’s a good way to forget about work and concentrate on something of our own, im really missing it now we are in lockdown due to the virus.


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

(Ben) Genoa was awesome, such a cool place and nice people.  The Shooting Star pub in Southampton is the worst. The sound is shit and we always play shit. Great pub to drink in, not much fun to play music in.

(Rich) Yea, i’d never played anywhere outside of England befoer so playing a small day festival for an animal sanctury in Genoa was fucking brilliant. Our first proper gig was with Subhumans in our home town, that was a great night. Ben is right, we’ve played the Shooting Star pub in Southampton about 3 times and we alsways play fucking shit, I dont know if it’s because we are too drunk, not drunk enough, or fuck knows, its embarrasing!


How is to play this sort of music in England right now?  Which types of bands do you have concerts together with?

(Rich) This kind of music isn't particularly popular in the UK, the medium sized venues will only book big names, so now and again there may be a support slot up for grabs. Places like London can put on 5 or so bands like us (but better) that will draw a great crowd, I think a lot of people will travel to those. In Southampton the best gigs are DIY, with maybe 30-60 people. We put on a Christmas gig at the local practice rooms for 40 people capacity, it was a benefit for Refugee Community Kitchen and was an absolutely Great night. Abrazos, and Werecats also played. 


How would you describe your music in three words?

(Ben) Loose, tight, loud.


What does punk mean to you, is it only a word or is it a lifestyle?

(Ben) More of a lifestyle and a mindset. To think for myself, question things, and try and make good choices in life. No Gods, No Masters.

(Rich) for me its a moral position, punk means fighting authority and looking after your community. i dont class posers who are all about the image and don't do politics as punks.


Which song/album or group was it who took you into punk/hardcore?

(Ben) I think it was hearing the song No Reason by Snuff on a BMX video soundtrack when I was about 15.

(Rich) A mate at school called Jim (who went on to be the drummer in Ska band Lightyear) made me a tape, it had Bad Religion - Generator on one side and Propagandhi - How to Clean Everything on the other. I think he felt sorry for me because i had a shit haircut and listened to Oasis.


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 ;-)?

(Ben) Maybe a true act of rebellion would be to listen to Coldplay and choose a career as a copper? I know I’d be seriously pissed off if my stepson did that!

(Rich) I think the shock value has all been done before, But Kids these days are growing up seriously more switched on than their parents, To rebel these days is to kick back at the shit systems they see their parents maintaining. Just look at Extinction Rebelion - I think they will rebel by taking a moral standpoint and fixing this broken world. Dont let me down Kiddoes!


How is it to live in England right now? Politically?   Fascists?   Brexit?

 (Ben) It’s not good. We have a conservative government that has recently been voted back into power, headed by an ignorant, clueless, mop top, toff moron. As usual they are doing their best to break apart and sell off what’s left of the NHS. Making life hell for disabled and unemployed people by finding any reason to cut or stop their benefits. The Universal Credit system is a clusterfuck putting people deeper into poverty. The homeless population is growing, more and more people are having to use food banks to survive. It goes on and on, and Brexit will definitely make things a lot worse. Of course, the fascist idiots use all this as an excuse to try and incite hatred and turn people against one another instead of directing the anger towards the ones at fault: the uncaring, incompetent government and their mates who run the big corporations and who love to dodge paying tax.

(Rich) Yea, fascism is a serious threat it’s happening everywhere right?… I’ve not been as active as I used to be, but this year I even had to stop going to football after we heard racist chanting - 2 of us went in and kicked off with about 50 stupid teenagers… I came out of it with a bloody nose but i was quite pleased we’d made a challenge. The club did not do anything about it which really pissed me off and it shows how normalised it is now. I’m thinking that most of the youth are a lot more switched on though, so there is hope for the future. During this Covid-19 lockdown the far right has seemingly retreated under its stone, its the working class people who are organising in their communities, and doing the jobs that keep society going and help the rest of us stay alive. Apparently a survey said only 9% of people want things to return to normal. hopefully this pandemic has shown people where the real answers to their problems lie, and its not about blaming immigrants, its about supporting each other.


Is there any good bands from England right now?  Is the punkscene/metalscene/hardcorescene big? How is it in Southampton?

(Ben) Armoured Flu Unit, Abrazos, Hack Job are awesome bands from Southampton and surrounding areas. No doubt there are many more that I don’t know about, the South Coast punk scene has gotten bigger and more productive again in the last few years, it’s great to be a part of it.


What do you know about Sweden?  Have you been here sometime?

(Ben) I’m sorry but I don’t know much about Sweden, other than it produces some of the greatest d-beat punk in the world!   I have never been but hope to one day.

(Rich) I went to Copenhagan once and saw Sweden in the distance! I also had a snowball fight       with a coach load of elderly swedish tourists which was fun, i think they were as drunk as I was!


Have you heard any good bands from Sweden?

(Ben) Totalitar, Mob 47, Asocial, Anti Cimex, Expolator, Institution, Wolfbrigade


Your lyrics, who does them and what influences you?

(Ben) Luke writes all the lyrics so I can’t speak for him on what his influences are. What I do know is that he is a very angry guy that hates injustice against animals and people.

(Rich) Yea Luke has been into animal rights stuff for years so a lot of it comes from that.


Is there any subject that you never will write anything about?

(Ben) That question would be for Luke to answer.

(Rich) I can´t see him ever writing a love song!


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?

(Ben) I think they don’t necessarily have to go together. An emotional or story-based song can have political meaning / protest in its own way. Through the artists reaction to an event, or the way society / the world has made them feel. When it comes to fast and raw punk music, for me personally, this music style and politics go hand in hand as a voice of protest.

(Rich) Yeah, they totally don't have to go together, i like loads of stuff that isn't political, but the bands that are really important to me are political. All of our songs are political, i guess its our way of coping with the way things are. We recorded our song Tory Cunt as a one off digital release in the run up to the last elections, and our friend Iain from Armoured Flu Unit made a video for it…. we were well aware that it was never going to make any difference in the grand scheme of things, but it was our way of feeling like we could do something, however small, to put our anger into music. Needless to say the Tories (Conservative party) got in again anyway.


Best political band/artist?

(Ben) Doom.

(Rich) Propagandhi, Conflict.


Do you think that music(lyrics and so on) can change anyones life, I mean people who listens to music?

(Ben) I think so, if a person hears the right song at the right time in their life, it can have a profound impact.

(Rich) Yea absolutely, or a collection of songs, back when i was 20 i’d never even thought about what i was eating, and i didnt know any other punks or anarchists, propagandhi made me think about stuff differently, and ive been vegan for 20 years as a consequence!


Your favorite recordcover alltime?  Who does your recordcovers?  And do you have any good recordstores in your hometown?

(Ben) Totalitar / Disclose split. A comic book artist based in New York called Soussherpa did the cover art for the ep. We gave him the concept and were blown away by what he came up with. Sadly, I don’t think there are any decent record stores left in Southampton anymore.

(Rich) Yea theres fuck all record stores, there is one in Southampton but its more for Indie fans and hipsters, It doesnt matter though because Theres usually distro’s at the gigs where you can pick up what you need, I love that fact that people will take boxes of records along to a gig knowing that they might only sell a few, they do it for the love of punk. Fuck going shopping haha.


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 ?

(Ben) It’s very important to us. Downloads, Spotify, Mp3s etc are good, but still nothing can beat having the physical release of a bands work. You feel more of a connection to the band. Listening to the music, taking in the artwork, reading the lyrics, it’s like a ritual. Vinyl, cassette, CD, Digital, they’re all good formats. I think vinyl looks the coolest though. Also, what happens if you only keep your music collection digitally, for some reason your computer dies, and your back up hard drive is corrupted? You’ve got fuck all to listen too!   

(Rich) Whilst i agree with everything Ben says, there is a big part of me that just thinks we should only release stuff digitally so we cut down on what will one day become waste, I like getting records, and putting cd’s in my work van, but i cant help but think its all a bit unnecessary to satisfy our desire to own things…. maybe thats just me though.


Please tell me a funny thing which have happened during your career and under some gig?

(Ben) Rich got given a knackered looking old Peavey bass head. Tested it at practice the week before a gig, worked fine, sounded awesome. We turned up to play a local gig with a couple of metal bands who had all this flash gear. Electronic trigger drums, a guitar with no headstock etc, each to their own I guess. Anyway, we go on to sound check, Rich turns this piece of shit bass head on, and POP!!!……………. The old thing was so fucked that it managed to trip out all the power circuits on the stage. The poor sound guy nearly had a heart attack! It took him 30mins to get the power going again and we think he lost all his sound pre-sets from the other bands soundchecks. To us it doesn’t matter, a sound check is nice, but we’re equally happy to just plug in and thrash, but metal bands tend to like their sound a bit more professional. He made Rich swear to condemn the amp as a death trap and never turn it on again. The other bands thought we were complete morons but were cool enough (or took pity enough) to let Rich run through one of their bass heads. I’ll never forget the look on the sound guys face when that amp blew, absolutely priceless!

(Rich) yea that was fucked, i tried the amp out at practice, i thought it was just the fan that was knackered as it kept over heating, so i was just spinning it around with my finger in between each song, haha. i’ve actually bought my first proper Bass amp head recently, after about 15 years of borrowing from people at gigs!


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?

(Ben) It’s a mixture of people. Some a bit older, some younger. Mainly punks, but not always. It would be good to see some more young people at gigs and in the scene, they’ve got more energy! We’ve played with Anti-System. Killer band, great people.

(Rich) It seems a lot of people at our gigs are losing their hair! We’ve played with Subhumans as well, and Sham 69, but i prefer playing with bands more our style like Armoured Flu Unit or Active Slaughter.


Please rank your five favoriterecords, five favoriteconcerts and five most important things in life?

(Ben) Totalitar – Sin Egen Motstandare, Discharge – WHY?,  Varukers – Another Religion, Another War,  Framtid – Defeat of Civilization, Black Flag – First Four Years

Live : Violent Arrest, Discharge, Anti-System, Armoured Flu Unit, Clutch

Family, Health, Animals, Friends, Music


First, last and most expensive record ever bought?

(Ben) The first was a Punk o rama compilation, I think. Last was Asocial – För alltid Underground. I can’t afford expensive records!

(Rich) My first record was the 7” Bart Simpson - Do The Bart Man. My last one was Jodie Faster - Blame Yourself.


Is it boring with interviews? Is it much interviews?

(Ben) I like doing interviews and I think we’ve done couple since we started.

(Rich) its nice that people might want to hear from us, but theres something about interviews that are limiting, you cant really get the answers across in a short answer, especially with questions about politics, i could moan for hours about that!


Do you care about reviews? Which is the most peculiar you ever had, with this band or any other band you have been to?

 (Ben) It’s always cool to get a good review, and you can learn things from a bad review. It’s best to remember that it’s just one persons’ opinion. Everyone has a different view point and can hear different things in the music. I have a lot of respect for anyone who does music zines, blogs, podcasts, radio shows etc. It’s a massively important part of the scene, giving bands exposure, and listeners the chance to find new music to their taste.

Someone said in a review that they thought that our lyrics about animal testing were cliched and 30 years out of date due to the laws being changed to stop it. I don’t agree with this. Things may have gotten slightly better over the years, and there is more awareness of the issue. But animal abuse is still perpetrated by corporations in the pursuit of profit, and it’s still disgusting.

(Rich) Yea pretty much every review we've had for the last release has been super positive, so i’d by lying if i said i wasn't surprised and really happy about it! its so nice for good reviews to come from places such as MMR that you've always looked too growing up, and then to hear that people in different parts of the world are getting what you do, its really humbling!


Which bands do people compare you to, is it boring that people compare you to other bands or is it understandable?

(Ben) We’ve been compared to a few different bands, as I said, everyone can hear different things in music. Personally, I don’t mind if people compare us to other bands, it gives a frame of reference for people that haven’t heard us before.

(Rich) Again, its so humbling to be compared to bands that we look up too, although sometimes i don't really get the reference, we've been compared to Poison Idea, Conflict, Oi Polloi, and Doom… just to be mentioned in the same sentence as those bands is something i could never have dreamed of. .. so perhaps its a bit self indulgent, but if i'm honest it really makes me smile, im showing my partner, like “Look.. they say we sound like Conflict, how cool is that? !” and shes like, “yes, thats very nice for you” ha.


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?

(Ben) Totalitär, Crucifix, Battle of Disarm, Asocial, Motorhead


Is music a good way to get out frustration and become a nicer person outside the music?

(Ben) Absolutely. It just about keeps me sane.

(Rich) not sure it keeps us nice people, but 100% it blows out the cobwebs and acts as a pressure release valve.


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

 (Ben) I remember in an old Chemical Threat interview they asked some weird question about insect porn!?? I had no answer. Is that even a thing? Mental!

(Rich)  I imagine they heard a rumor that Ed was into it. some of those locusts are pretty sexy.


Which is the question you want to have but you never get. Please ask it and answer it?

(Ben) What has been the most embarrassing moment when playing live?

At the Shooting Star pub supporting Grand Collapse. We’d played a good set up until 2 songs from the end. Then one of the guys running the gig decided that Rich’s bass sound wasn’t loud enough, so he turned it up. What we didn’t know until we started the next song was that he’d turned it up so fucking loud that none of us could hear what the other was playing. Obviously, the next song  went to complete shit. We stopped playing and started having a big public slanging match blaming each other for fucking up. This went on for a bit until Luke said ‘Fuck this, that’s your lot’ into the mic, and walked off. I’d like to add that this was all being filmed for posterity. We then carried on arguing in the garden at the back of the pub while a lot of people were out there after our set. We looked like complete twats, but in hindsight, why did the prick wait until 2 songs from the end to decide the bass wasn’t fucking loud enough! So since then, no one touches the amps apart from the person playing through it. Fucking hell that was a shit gig.

(Rich) Yea that was an excruciating moment, for about an hour afterwards i didnt want to be in a band anymore! We agreed pretty quickly to never play the Star again, we always fuck up when we play there! Later on that night some arsehole threw a drink over our female friend who was celebrating her birthday, all hell broke loose, there was a guy with his shirt off swinging a pool cue around, it was apparently his first night out of prison. Luckily he got thrown out before Luke got hold of him, Luke is like a black belt ninja, the guy would have really regretted his actions. hahaha.


Futureplans for the band?

 (Ben) We’re currently writing songs for the next EP. Hopefully it’ll be out late this year or sometime next year.

(Rich) yea, and we got a few great older songs that i’d still love to record, maybe as one off digital releases


For yourself?

(Ben) To try and be positive in life and keep to making / playing music.



(Ben) Always take more than one guitar pick with you to a gig (looks at Rich) 😊

(Rich) Its ok, I have 3 now!


Something to add?

-(Ben) Big thanks for the interview Peter and massive respect to all your work on the long running Skrutt Zine. The review and interview database are incredible. It’s an awesome resource for music fans.


And a last one. Do you like football? If you do answer this question. How is it possible to play 2-2 against my team Arsenal away when you lose 0-9 at home to Leicester? I have tattooed one Swedish team and Arsenal on my arm and both is shit….why do we bother about football you think?

(Ben) This ones for rich

(Rich) Ha ha, well actually non of us are Southampton FC fans. Luke and me used to go and watch the smaller local team Eastliegh FC (it feels less like cheating on me childhood team Derby County), but we’ve stopped going for the time being after the event I mentioned earlier. We also try to go to St Pauli games, we have a St Pauli supporters group in Southampton, Luke gets to about two games a year in Hamburg and I go to one per season if I can, but my liver does not thank me. That night when Southampton got beaten 9-0 we were practicing around the corner from the stadium.. at half time loads of people were leaving the stadium looking sad so we looked up the score, it was fucking hilarious. Im afraid I can't tell you why Arsenal are Shit though hahaha!