Tjänstemännen is a group with an odd name, some odd songs but a really good punkband and they come from Nyköping. At the beginning of December 2023, the answers to the questions I sent arrived and go ahead to read.

 

Please tell me a little about when you started and who you are in the group, previous bands, work and what do you do when you don ́t play music? 

We were three friends who mostly drank beer. Then sometime before 30 we felt that it became a bit tedious. Then we decided to drink beer and play music. Now there are four of us. The new official who plays drums has experience in music from several bands and another from a Death metal band. 

 

How do you come up with a name like Tjänstemännen(The Civil Servants)? 

That sounds tough. 

 

Svensk källarlukt(Swedish cellar smell), tell us... Is that smell something special? 

Just go down into any basement. That smell. The funny thing is that it would be Swedish. Kind of like Swedish minced meat.

 

Your lyrics isn ́t like everyone else or rather you have some lyrics which are etched like Inte rädd för nått men jag är livrädd för jobb (Not afraid of anything but I ́m terrified of work). Is that something you've embraced? 

People are afraid of a lot of things. Snakes, hills, etc. When we wake up in a cold sweat at night, it's work that haunts us. Meetings, middle management German Shepherds, colleagues. Nasty. 

 

You ́re not a band which ́s fans of political slogans? 

Nope.

 

But to mix in politics in music is OK or what do you think, is it a good way to get out your opinions? 

That's ok. But if you want something, I wouldn't recommend playing punk. Or at least to sound like us. Almost no one wants to listen. 

 

Speaking of politics, how do you think it is to live today in Sweden with SD-KD-M, increased prices, inflation, electricity prices etc etc? 

It's horrible to be alive. However, I don't think KenRock has raised the price of Svensk Källarlukt. So buy it now before it costs 475 SEK.

 

But Swedish bands is some that you like or what do you say? Any favorites from Sweden right now? 

It will be difficult to summarize several people's tastes. But some we have relationships with and that we like are Hjelle och ormarna and Kalle Hygien and The Manikins. 

 

You ́re going to release a splitsingle with Hjelle and Ormarna....tell me? 

Hjelle is probably the one who has been the kindest to the officials. Kinder than our own municipality. He's dragged us along on a lot. Now he asked if we wanted to do a splitsingle with Hjelle and Ormarna and Härvan from Malmö. We said yes. We each play one of the others' songs. 

 

Aren't you going to release a new LP while you're at it? 

I calculated sometime that we do about three songs in a year. Svensk Källarlukt was released in 2021. So it will probably take a while. I don't like to work so hard. 

 

How come that you sing about Björn Skifs anyway? 

Met Björn in a grocery store once (or someone who looked a lot like him).  He greeted me kindly and smiled. Very nicely done. That's when we decided. We like Björn but think he should get his act together. If he wants to, he can take over Sweden. He just has to open his eyes.

 

No other famous Swedish that will get a lyric/song? 

One of our songs called Online bar was first about Jan Emanuel. It was less positive than the one about Björn. But it never happened. But sometimes you hum it "you're so fucking terrible, Jan Emanuel, Jan Emanuel.... Death and war, nothing is as horrible as you" No great finesse perhaps. But it feels good in my stomach.

 

When you play live, which type of people comes then? 

It's fun to generalize. Old men with good taste and a slightly higher BMI. Tough culturewomen with previous punkdreams and good taste. 

 

What ́s your biggest advantage when you play live? And your biggest drawback? 

Often fun people and "free" beer. The downside is to be hungover the next day and have to carry things around and get home.

 

What ́s the most peculiar which have happened during a gig with you? 

We played live on Swedish radio once. According to the technician on site, it was the first time that lowered the main signal out. We had brought broken microphones with us and raised just before it went live without them noticing. Sounded terrible. They never heard from me again.

 

I was probably the first one who reviewed you, you say, haven ́t you got any more reviews? 

No, not in written text anyway. A little backslapping after gigs with kind words, "but it ́s a shame that you don ́t hear what you ́re singing" they often say. 

 

What do people compare you to otherwise? 

Rarely compared. I don't know if anyone has ever said something like "you look like..."  Maybe good, maybe bad. 

 

If you could choose five bands, any band, living and dead, to have a concert together with Tjänstemännen... Which ones would you have chosen then? 

Dead Moon, Räjäyttäjt (again) Entombed BC, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Björn Skifs. We play last. 

 

Do you play any covers, why or why not? If you do, which songs do you play? 

Almost never. Personally, I don't think it's that fun. Occasionally we have played a New Bomb Turks song. But that was probably 10 years ago. And then sometime some Hjelle-songs. Mostly because we once rehearsed them for a gig at Kafé 44. We rarely learn anything new.

 

Do you think music can change anyones life, I mean lyrics etc? Do you have a song that has made you change your mindset? 

Whale singing might help someone. Then you can possibly influence 13-20 year olds in some way. It's unclear how you affect someone else, other than that you get happy in the few minutes the music is playing. It goes away as quickly as a beer makes you happy. 

 

Your cover is really nice on your new record, who have done it. Is it important to have a cover that you understand which type of music you play? Which is your favorite cover of all time?... 

We are the ones who have done it. But the logo has been made by Ted Lood. If you understand the music by looking at the cover, I don't know how we would sound. Like freshly showered middle managers in ugly suits. Favorite cover of all time is difficult, I have to answer for myself and then it becomes nostalgic from the age of 8. Comander Cody & His lost Planet Airmen. (on the back some scary space dragon)

 

Is it important to get out physical records? Vinyl or CD or both?  Is there any good recordstore in your vicinity left? 

None of us buy or collect records. Here in Nyköping there is a store called Nunan Records. It seems sympathetic. I think it's most fun to make videos and post them on Youtube. There we have significantly more listens than on Spotify etc.

 

Are there any questions that you miss in interviews? 

This is the first interview in 10 years. So no. 

 

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

None of us are any big punklisteners today as far as I know. The last years we have played more rock. But of course I like the basics of punk. It's just go on and express yourself. 

 

Back to the music, about someone who has never heard you and would be initiated into your music.... Which songs would you start with then? How would you describe your music in three words? 

Description: Three chords of punk.  Maybe Svensk källarlukt, Syd Östra Sörmland or Taser X 26.  Soon there will be two songs called Schäferschef and Inatt Boko. They should be listened to.

 

Futureplans with the band? 

Get a little bit better. Get to go to fun gigs. Preferably Gothenburg where we never played, Finland or Copenhagen would be fun. Maybe Gävle. Drink even more beer and meet nice people. 

 

For yourself? 

Take it easy. 

 

Wisdomword? 

Bad for me, good for the municipality. 

 

Something to add? 

Vote Björn!