quinta-feira, 26 de junho de 2008


Skottkaran's Ande # 1: Anti-Cimex interview
Translated by Tony Gunnarsson

"Here comes an interview with one of Sweden's most known punk bands, ANTI-CIMEX from Skaraborg (1).

The interview is quite old, but but. Jocke-guitars answered all the questions..."

"When did you form?
Sept 81.

What is the line-up?
Me guitar, Charlie drums, Sixten bass, Tomas vocals.

How would you describe your music?
It's a kind of noise you know. (2)

What are you lyrics about?
Religion, life and lyrics about the threats that are around us.

Do you think that you can change anything with your lyrics?
It is probably both + and -, if someone reads a powerful lyric then maybe that can lead to contemplation.

What do you think about society?
Society is not safe, there are always lots of dangers around you. It is expensive to live, double standards, unemployment, waste emissions etc.

Hahahaha...Is it a joke? (2)

What is punk for you?
To have inner morals for that which matters/is real (3). To actually live a different way of life.

How many records/cassettes have you made?
2 vinyls and soon there will be a third. Cassette-tapes I don't really know, I don't keep track of that.

Do you think punk will change anything in the world?
I really don't know, but the world won't change me, I hope.

Why do you sing in English on your second EP?
Because a large part goes abroad.

Will you do army service?
Free-pass' first, but if I can't get that then it will be 'TOTAL REFUSE'. (3)

Do you have anything to add?
Do you have Anti-Cimex from Westsweden? (4)

Translator's Notes:
(1) This is a district region between the two great lakes, sort of between Stockholm and Goteborg but closer to the latter; more exactly some of the members are from the towns Mariestad and Skovde which is in the east of Skaraborg.
(2) English in original
(3) Exact meaning may be ambiguous, but essentially it means can mean both]
(3)Up until recently Sweden had mandatory army conscription at the age of 18, but significantly as a neutral country this service never meant that it was served in 'true' battle or 'real' war circumstances, in fact at most it meant what punks called "liberated from freedom", i.e. forced to do time in army barrack for a period lasting between 6 and 18 months.

At the age of 16 you go for a mandatory fitness test for army service. You could get a 'Free pass' if you managed to convince the psychologist or physicians that you were unsuitable for army service; in Swedish folklore, 1000s of would-be-recruits claim that they are 'bed-wetters' or simply crazy in order to get a 'free pass' (not that Jocke refers to any of this in saying that he will try to get a 'free pass').

Despite the army being a permanent peacetime institution, army service is a very common theme for tons and tons of Swedish punk bands, including Anti-Cimex's own 'Warmachine' ("Are you ready to die for your land?") which is of course about army service, originally it was sung with Swedish lyrics; most famous song is probably Ebba Gron's "Totalvagra" -which is what Jocke says he will do if he won't get a 'free pass', this carried a very serious risk of being sent to prison for up to 2 years -to say that you are going to 'totally refuse' was a sign of one's obvious hard line approach, though it is very sceptical whether any punks actually did any time for this]

(4) My italics. I have no idea what this refers to, could be a record or compilation or tape or article even or anything...But my guess is that it is a joke referring to what someone wrote in English, possibly because to say that Anti-Cimex is from west Sweden is not entirely correct. For e.g. Goteborg is on the west-coast while Stockholm is on the east-coast, Skaraborg as a whole is usually not considered to be west but sort of in between west and east. Incidentally, later Tomas Jonsson moved to Goteborg semi-permanently and at some stage Anti-Cimex became known as being from Goteborg, which is very usual for Swedes to say so to make it easier for foreigners to understand where about in the country they are from.
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