Oh. My. Fucking. Fuck. I just shot a creamy load straight through the teeth of my zipper, and it hit my cat in the back. She’s not happy.
Long-defunct seminal Swedish experimental hardcore band Refused will reunite for an appearance at this year’s Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival, to be held for the first time over two consecutive weeks in mid April. I had heard there was a Smiths reunion in the works, but clearly, I was lied to.
Refused, for those that don’t know, are perhaps the one band I never imagined would reunite, and threw in the towel well before their time. This reunion, I am more psyched for than even the At The Drive-In reunion; they’re also playing Coachella. Refused were fucking revolutionary.
Coachella will be held over two consecutive weekends, the first on April 13 through the 15 and the second on April 20 through 22.
Refused were only together seven years (from 1991 to 1998), but released three full-length albums before calling it quits. Their LP The Shape Of Punk To Come LP is considered one of the best experimental punk albums ever.
“We had a band once, in Umeå,” the band says in a statement. “We would pile in a van, like every other punkband, and thunder off in pursuit of friends and glory in some basement in front of 20 people, 50 people, in towns 4-5 hours away. Sometimes there would be more than a hundred people and we would later in the week refer to that as a ‘big show.’ We were ambitious, but we didn’t think of it as a career.
“We never made any fiscal sense whatsoever during seven years of touring. Like most punk bands, it never occured to us to even try. We had a scene, we had some politics and we had just a hint of artistic ambition. True to our Swedish roots, we got very serious very fast. And then suddenly we got good. It’s a delicate path to tread for precocious twentysomethings anywhere on the planet, but this particular bunch didn’t make it. And that was fine. Most enterprises in life are unrelated to incredibly violent rock music.
“It’s been a motley 14 years since our band came apart. We’ve all kept busy in our respective endeavors, but we’ve all remained friends and kept in touch. There have been offers, and lots of jokes about these offers. We’ve sort of looked down from our high horses and made fun of people who’ve just wanted to share the psychopathic intensity that we would deliver on a nightly basis in our post-pubescent prime. A reunion has just seemed irrelevant to us. Too much other shit to do.
“But then Kristofer [Steen, bass] got his degree from the Swedish opera academy, Jon’s [Brännström, guitar] medical studies began drawing to a close and Dennis [Lyxzén, vocals] and David [Sandström, drums] started a new hardcore band together. Finally, after a decade-and-a-half hiatus, Kristofer picked up the guitar again. Which made David want to play the drums again. Which in turn led to all four of us suddenly making new music in assorted constellations.
“As all this was brewing, Coachella got in touch. There were a couple of phone calls, lots of skepticism, some hesitant enthusiasm before one of us basically said, ‘This is ridiculous. There are friends of ours who would murder close relatives just to go see bands there. Let’s just do it, one last time.’ And with that, socialist fag-loving PC scumbags were on the road again.
“We never did The Shape Of Punk To Come justice back when it came out; too tangled up in petty internal bickering to really focus on the job. And suddenly there’s this possibility to do it like it was intended.
“We wanna do it over, do it right. For the people who’ve kept the music alive through the years, but also for our own sakes. We feel that you deserve it and we hope the feeling is mutual.”
Bless my fuck.
Other reasons to attend this year’s Coachella: God Speed You Black Emperor and Atari Teenage Riot.
Now, here is one of my favorite Refused songs.
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