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coverpic flag Sweden - Luna Kafé - Full Moon 13 - 11/14/97

Hellacopters
Goes Holland

The following interview took place at the Waterpop Festival at Wateringen on August 16th 1997.

How did it all get started?

Nicke: We started out like in late 1994. We got together, rehearsed three times, and then we recorded our first single.
Kenny: Stick it out to play, and that's all we did since then. Followed by a bunch of singles and a LP.

What bands are/were your musical influences besides The Nomads, New York Dolls, etc.?

We don't have any more influences besides good rock, Supersuckers.

Why did you decide to make this kind of music?

Kenny: I dunno. We thought that we wanted to do it, I guess.
Nicke: This is the kind of music we all share, because we all got different kinds of taste.

What are your favorite Swedish bands?

Nick: We got the Nomads of course.
Kenny: Union Carbide. Three guys from Union Carbide has now back vocals on Soundtrack Of Our Lives, which are really cool.
Nicke: They rule.
We got: Role Bucks, 8 Bombs, Puffball.

What about the Swedish punkbands which sing in Swedish?

Kenny: Well I dunno. Sometimes I don't think it works.
Nicke: That got tired about in '82 or something.
Kenny: A good band that sung in Swedish was KSMB.
Nicke: Yeah, that's a brilliant band. Ebba Grön...
Kenny: They had their good times, I think rock'n'roll works better in English.
Nicke: English is the international language of rock.

I've got a lot from the Hellacopters on tape, but the 7"s sounds a lot better than the CD. What's the reason for that?

Kenny: I don't think that the guitar sounds different. It's just on CD, the vinyl sounds better.
Nicke: Yeah, pretty much, older songs didn't work on a CD. The guitar music, definitly the distorted guitar music, you, cut down a lot of the...
Kenny: ...high frequency and things like that. It just don't work on a CD, because there's just too little ones and zeros. It's easy to hear if you have the Highway To Hell CD and the vinyl, the vinyl of course sounds better.
Nicke: We had a discussion with Jello Biafra about this yesterday. He said something like:

"When they constructed the CD machine, the CD player they figured: well we want it this way, like all the music, but that would be very, very expensive. That costs 1,000 and 1,000 of dollars and people won't know the difference. So we make that cheap machine. And we fuck you up in a time of 10 years and then you have to buy a new one."

The concept of the CD industry has got enough conspiracy to ruin your appreciation of music. I prefer vinyl.

Kenny: It's not a matter of preferring vinyl. Vinyl is better, end of discussion.
Nicke: It's just the system of keeping you down and don't give you the source of sound. They give you the CD, because it's cheaper to ship, to handle, for the companies. It's cheaper to produce, but it's more expensive to buy.

What do you think about festivals?

Nicke: I love them.
Kenny: Yeah, it's good.
Nicke: It's nice lads around here. Like we got here 15 minutes before our gig, before going on stage. We got stuck on the road.
Kenny: We made it and we're happy. We got to play on the same festival as Dead Moon.
Nicke: That rules!

What did you think about the heat when you were playing at the Hultsfred Festival (located in Sweden - editor's note)?

Yeah, it was very hot. Were you there?

No, a Swedish friend of mine was there. She fainted and couldn't hear 1995 and all the new songs you were playing.

Nicke: She fainted?

Yes, she fainted, because of the heat.

Nicke: Wow, that's pretty wrong for you.
Kenny: It's like you're in the 70's when you play at a festival.

What are you doing besides the Hellacopters?

Nicke: I play in a band called Entombed, I play drums. Except that we hang out I guess. Make music, listen to music, watch other people play music.
Kenny: Pretty much about music. No more school, work. No, no none of us work or go to school.

Are you doing a repress of the 1995 7"?

Kenny: Yeah, it's coming out in America on Get Hip, the same label as The Dummies.

Also in Europe?

Kenny: It's coming out in America and that's it, but it's coming to Europe anyway.

Nicke, where do you get the ideas of your drawings?

I dunno, I think it's from cartoons like Tex Avery (Tex Avery rules! - editor's note) and drawings from other people.

How did you come up with all those nicknames?

Kenny: It's fun, we all think it's fun.
Nicke: When we are not playing we think "who was here today?". And when Dregen is not here we think...
Kenny: ...of a stupid nickname

Like Pamela Anderson?

Nicke: Yup.

Last year I got some songs from Supershitty To The Max from a girlfriend I have in Sweden. (Gotta Get Some Action) Now!, Fire Fire Fire, Born Broke, Random Riot, Fake Baby, Spock In My Rocket. I didn't know they came from that album then, but I wrote a review about it. Now 4 big zines (latest issues) are reviewing that as a new album, what do you think about it?

Nicke: Actually??? That's strange.
Kenny: That's not our new album.
Nicke: We've got a new album coming out at September 30th. It's all recorded.

What's the name of that album?

Nicke: Payin' the Dues.

Did you press Supershitty To The Max on white vinyl, cuz it's out on White Jazz Records?

Kenny: It's cool.
Nicke: In Sweden, when you press an album, they don't have that many colors to choose from. They've got different colors every time. It all depends on what colors they have. The album would be white, the singles in blue, transparant. Everything besides black.
Kenny: Black is nice.
I have nothing against black, but if you have some color it's more colorful.

I've heard about the splits with Turbonegro (Norway) and Electric Frankenstein (US). Are they already out?

Kenny: The Electric Frankenstein is out now. And the one with Turbonegro - we have talked about it.
Nicke: A long way.
Kenny: Yeah, almost one year ago. I don't think anything will happen, the idea was to cover a song from each other.

I also heard something about a Hellacopters/BGK split, is this true?

Nicke: No, it's with the Nitwitz, because the Nitwitz just got back together about a year ago. We love to do something with them.

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What do you think about the Dutch punk bands?

Kenny: I don't know much Dutch punk bands actually.
Nicke: BGK is really, really, really good, they're a lot different and they're on Alternative Tentacles, that's a great album. Also Lovesluck. My old band sung Lovesluck in Swedish way way way back in '89.

There's something I don't understand, because I read you were opening for Kula Shaker?

Nicke: No, they talked about that, but instead we did some other strange English bands: China Drum and Nada Surf (from the US - editor's note) for some strange reason.
Kenny: I don't know why.

You've already covered Low Down Shakin' Chills by the Nomads, but which other Swedish punksong, sung in Swedish, would you like to cover?

Nicke: We covered the song I gotta Riot, a B song with ????, a Danish 7". Other covers are from: Misfits, Kiss, and the Dictators.

I think that the Dictators are coming to the Netherlands.

Kenny: Ahh, go see them, they're fucking great.
Nicke: I don't know if we support them, probably not. We talked about suporting them in Spain.

What do you think about religion?

Nicke: About religion or Bad Religion?

Just about religion.

Nicke: I'm very much interested in Religion, in all religions, not so much in the wordly traditions of the humans, but the song Suck Sex of the Suilty said what it's like, and some of the Shewaa worshipping said something.
Kenny: Nothing to do with it.
Nicke: It's not like that. I'm not a religious person. He's very, very destructive that evil god, if there is one or whatever you use to call him. I'm interested in this, it's a fascinating fact that it's so important to mankind, to the development of mankind. We did sort out a white/red mushroom with white dots on them in Siberia...like 20.000 years before Christ, that's where religion started.

I have this drawing from Nicke which says: "Jesus loves The Hellacopters".

Kenny: He does, everybody loves The Hellacopters.
Dregen: It's not that he loves us, he helps us.

What kind of action do you want with the song: (Gotta Get Some Action) Now!!?

Nicke: Any action.

I also have some Backyard Babies recently at home on tape. Dregen, did you take some influences from the Backyard Babies into the Hellacopters? Because when I'm listening to the Backyard Babies, I might think sometimes that it could be a Hellacopter song.

(Everybody is laughing.)
Dregen: I don't think so. No, maybe guitarwise, I play guitar in both bands, but I think it's very different. It is the something but we don't have any of the the MC5 of the sound recording.

It's more straight on like Glamrock?

Dregen: Yeah.

Tomorrow there will be another festival called "Pop against racism".

Nicke: Pop against racism?
Kenny: That's good.

Jeah, but there aren't any punkbands, what do you think about that?

Kenny: I don't like pop.
Nicke: I don't like racism either. I guess I have a harder time with racism than with pop.
Dregen: Rock against pop!
Nicke: Yeah. That's about that.
Kenny: We played that kinda thing in Sweden. Sometimes it takes too long time, up to five hours, often you have to play for free. It's about racism and stuff, and I think that on some of the festivals, somebody else is taking the money.
Nicke: The wrong people get the money.
Kenny: In the pop-version - do something good.
Nicke: I think it's a good way to go to get into politics, or try to do something just like pop. We played one festival in the summer in Sweden.

Did you play with Liberator?

Nicke: Yeah, actually they did play later on that evening, I think. Yes, I think so. All sorts of weird bands.
Degen: We don't like ska music.
Nicke: The Jamaican ska is great stuff until the mohawks come in.
Kenny: Come and listen to German ska bands.
Nicke: Actually I heard one yesterday, they played at the same place we did. They are called: Frau Tokkietok, or something. Ska in Germany must be something.

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When I listen to Another place it sounds familiar, because the bass sounds like Pretty Vacant by the Sex Pistols?

Nicke: It's a total rip-off.
Dregen: It's the guitar, not the bass.

I first heard it in the bass?

Kenny: You'd be drunk.

Probably.

Dregen: Sex Pistols rules.
Nicke: Yup.

I dunno, I don't have much from them.

Nicke: That's a lesson for you to learn.
Kenny: You got the haircut and you don't like the Sex Pistols?

I didn't say I don't like them, I don't have much from them.

Kenny, Dregen: They only have one album.
Dregen: That's all you need as long as you live.

They're already popular and I try to buy things from bands which are less popular over here.

Dregen: I don't care though I mean if a band is good, the band is good. I don't care if a band is popular or not. It's like Grant beer, and, ehh, Bettie Serveert.
Kenny: Good music is good music, you can't argue with that.

Whats your favorite quote?

Nicke: "On and on."
Kenny: "Go ahead, punk, make my day!"
Nicke: "Nothing is true, everything is permitted" - possibly!
Kenny: I mean you're right there.
Nicke: "Allah, always the lord, and Mohammed is the profet, Satan is a friend of mine."

Do you know some other good punk bands?

Kenny: Ohhh so many of them. (Kenny is looking in the festival paper and spot a picture of Dregen)
Kenny: If this was in Sweden, it would be a full page.

(I have another one and show them a zine.)

Dregen: Guitarrock with a tattoo and a piercing.
Nicke: That's Biohazard.

(And the reviewer of this zine thought that Supershitty To The Max is a new album.)

Kenny: Maybe this is the big foul. Is this a new magazine?

It's the latest issue. (I show them Knuffelpunk #3)

Kenny: Is this your magazine?

What do you think about free stuff?

Nicke: Ohh we like free stuff.

Also to give away things for free?

Kenny: If we can, yeah.
Nicke: Oh yeah.
Kenny: Do you wanna have a guitar? I give it to you, I don't need one.
Kenny: I can give you cymbals if you want.
Nicke: We'll sign them for you.

Nicke, do you get a lot of requests to draw something for magazines?

Nicke: No, not really.
Kenny: That's strange.

That's strange, because there are a lot of people who like it, I know I do.

Kenny: If you know someone who wants to buy a drawing, he's dropping a vinyl in cash.

Would you like to draw a cover for the zine?

Nicke: Yeah, I can try to do that.

It's only in black and white. That's something new?

Nicke: No, I only do black and white. And then we color it afterwards. I just do the drawing.

I don't have any 7"s from the Hellacopters yet, but I saw some covers on your page.

Kenny: Oh, you went to the homepage? The good homepage, I guess. The one you've been to is not the official one, it's from some guy.

I think it's the official one, because I have been to Cabal.

Kenny: That's the official one.
Nicke: There's the better one.
Kenny: You don't get that information from this other Hellacopters homepage, some guy in Sweden, he's doing it. The chords, if you wanna know the chords. We don't even know the chords.

You don't know the chords?

Kenny: No, he even wrote the lyrics before we wrote them. He's trying to figure out what we're saying. (He's not the only one...:-) - editor's note)

That's a lot of work to figure that all out.

Kenny: Yes, and that's the good page. You should try to find that one.

(After this the tape fucked up, but we continued about Swedish punk and punkbands, and then they had to eat.)

Copyright © 1997 Marcel Etten e-mail address

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