Interview with Grundskolan!

Grundskolan is a pretty secretive band, not much is known about them more than that they’re pre-schoolers. They play some damn furious d-beat punk mixed with crust and hardcore-elements. They are recording stuff as we speak, but they haven’t released anything yet. They’re featured on the compilation Hotet Från Skogarna. This will be the first band out of eight other bands, featured on the compilation – that I’ve interviewed. I talked to the band about the music industry, Hotet Från Skogarna, their upcoming material and much more.

Why did you pick the band-name Grundskolan? Have you played in any other band before this one?
- There’s so much dirty, shitty things going on right now. The easiest way to put an end to all the madness and learn people some common sense would be to go back to the school bench. Therefore: Grundskolan! Release the fucking Fury, Popterror, The Dead, HOH, Brottskod11, Newsftf.

Tell me a little bit about yourselves! What do you prefer to do when you’re not with the band?
- Besides doing our share of hours in the rehearsal room we like to skate, building skate pools, hanging out with other bands on the compilation LP. Drive around on mopeds (piaggio super bravo).

What upcoming record would you sincerely recommend?
- A new band called Knivad from Gothenburg is releasing their self-titled cd this summer.

So you’re going to be featured on a compilation named Hotet Från Skogarna? Could you tell me more about the songs you’re contributing to the album?
- The songs are calles “Valfrihet” (Freedom of choice) and “Lev som förr” (Live as Before) The lyrics focus on stuff we find annoying, it doesn’t always have to be political. Both songs are pretty “crust” for Grundskolan and we have drifted a bit more towards pure punk on our new EP, “Allt enligt boken”. It’s gonna be released as soon as possible and it sounds fucking good.

Which five songs would be your all-time favorites?
Bäddat för trubbel – Bäddat För
Disfear – Get it off
AC/DC – Riff Raff
Masshysteri – Dom kan inte höra musiken
El parador – de e inte bara du

How did you get involved with the compilation-project? What do you know about the other bands? Do you usually hang out in one way or another?
- Most of the people in the bands know each other, and as in every small town there are a lot of the same people in the bands. We hang out pretty closely with all of them, the ones we know the least are Djävulskap, Heroinmissbruk and Moron Express. But we’re all starting to know each other after the compilation project, which is a really good thing.

What do you have going on besides this project with the other bands? Are you releasing any new material? It seems like you can’t be found anywhere on the web, besides on the blogspot of Hotet Från Skogarna – why is that?
- We just recorded a demo cassette which will be released any day now, it is a 5 track demo and it turned really good, better than we thought in the beginning. It sounds a bit more punk-rock than the songs on the LP, but we like it like that. There’s still a lot of d-beat, just mixed up with more straight 4/4 drums!

- No, we don’t have any homepage, and I think we will just skip that, nobody really cares, I mean, who is going to sit and watch our website? The same is for Facebook, we don’t think it is worth it. We focus on the music instead, so we will be putting up a Bandcamp with the demo songs! And we actually have a band mail, it’s: grundskolan(a)gmail.com (you got the reason to why we don’t use internet that much, couldn’t even do the at sign in this word programme. Haha.)

How much material have you written up to now and what are you most satisfied with? Could you tell me about the in-studio experience?
- We have about 8-9 songs now, and some stuff in progress. That’s pretty much what you manage to do in the time we have been playing. And I think we all hate long concerts so that’s perfect. It’s about 20 minutes. Isn’t it shitty when you go to a concert that is way too long, even if you really like the band, you loose focus and want to go home. That’s not something we want people to feel, we want them to want more!

- Since it is not that much yet it is hard to say, but the demo songs and the feeling of the demo is a little bit better than our contribution to the compilation actually. It sounds more like the way we wanted it to. Our drummer is a fast working machine in everything he does, so it is not that much slacking, hanging out and experimenting. But it’s fun, and no hard feelings and very high acceptance overall I think.

What tracks turned out the best from start to finish and which ones did you have to use more confrontational manners with to correct according to your vision of how they’d sound when finished?
- If it’s the songs for Hotet, which I guess, I think I would say Valfrihet, song number 2. It turned out a bit better than the first one actually, but we had to try things out, throw some shit, add some and then just press play. We had a bit of struggle with how to arrange the vocals also in the beginning, we wanted it to be three singers singing crossed vocals, but it sounded like shit and now we are two singers who carries the lyric burden together.

So, when you’re in your hometown – what do yougenerally prefer to do? Where do you hang out? Any good restaurants or pubs? Orare you straight edge?
- Let´s start with the last question, no we are not straight edge, we drink beer, but I think we do it responsibly, haha. Old man sitting at home style. And we often drink 2,8% alcohol beer. That’s also really good, and a bit of a lifestyle too. I don’t think the rest of the world has that beer system, it is called folköl (peoples beer direct translation) it is between 2,8% – 3,5% percent alcohol and can be bought in grocery stores and at petrol vendors. The stronger ones you need to go to Systembolaget to buy.

- Not too many good pub or bars, there are some but I don’t know if they are worth mentioning. Doesn’t really matter where you go as long as you are with people you like. There’s nothing more ridiculous than “cool and trendy” bars, when you go there, nobody in the room has a good time cause they are to nervous that someone will think they aren’t cool enough, yo! We hang out in our homes and in the summer we hang out around the skate spots or maybe the lake here.

What would you say are your favorite tracks from Hotet Från Skogarna?
- We haven’t heard the compilation yet, that’s just to keep the interest up from all the bands all the way til’ the release. Of our songs I think we agree on Valfrihet. It turned out pretty good in the end.

I like how you’ve got a cat with a bat on your cover featuring a short presentation on blogspot – could you explain why you chose acat to represent you? What does old-school mean to you? I mean, you’re virtually named: “grade school”?
- The thing with the cat I think was that I asked my girlfriend when I was creating a Facebook-event for some part or club. Don’t know what I was looking for exactly but she said ”pick a cute little cat instead of something that’s just fake cool”. She loves animals by the way, so I picked a cat picture, and kept the same idea when we needed a band logo for our band. It is just a cool cat who is really enjoying itself and is in everyone’s face all the time.

- We haven’t named him yet, but it should be some classic Swedish “going-to-prison-name” like Johnny, Conny, Ronny etc. I don’t know what old school means to us really, I think it’s doing stuff like they did it in the beginning, you know, two guitars, bass drums and three chords. No unnecessary extra crap.

What is the single most annoying thing pissing you off right now? Also, what makes you soft and happy?
- A lot of things but to take something that you can answer in this form, Music on the radio, there are so many good bands out there that needs or deserves to be heard, but I think the radio bosses are too scared to even try. That’s just sad. We hate house music also.

- There are a lot of things making us happy, like playing with our band and bands, skating, our drummer is a moped fanatic since he bought one a few weeks ago, he even cancelled rehearsal to go and buy it! One of us is moving out on the country-side this summer to fish and sauna and just chill. That’s some of the things.

Have you been playing live or anything yet? Will you be doing that in the near future?
- We had our first gig last week at Tingshuset together with damage from Linköping, which is a good place for alternative music. Pretty much people came and it was great. We are playing on the first of the two release dates, the 31/5, and two days later in Stockholm at a punk festival thanks to our friends in Thräshers. Really looking forward to it, all of us. Maybe not Patrik, he only likes to rehearse. Super weird.

What do you think about the music industry? Have it affected you in any way?
- This was a strange question. Of course it has affected us. If we are referring to the really big commercial music industry, I think it is soulless. It’s not about doing what you think is good or what you believe in, only about making a lot of money in shortest amount of time possible. The same goes for all these talent shows on TV, don’t go there! Do something that you think is great and let them come to you if you have to get rich and famous off your music.

- And with that not said that making money from you music is bad, as long as you like it and don’t have to compromise all the way there won’t be no problem. Like with AC/DC, they have like one or maybe two songs all put together. They have been doing the same records since they started and they are rich as hell from doing what they think is the shit. Lucky for them.

So what do you think about this whole D.I.Y-thing? Since this compilation is one? Do you have any other D.I.Y-project going on or any that you know of?
- It’s great. But it’s really nothing new is it?! As long as there has been a music scene in Östersund and probably the rest of Sweden it has always been depending of doing the work for yourself. It’s really ran by what we in Sweden call “Eldsjälar”, a word that translates to enthusiast or a person that does a lot of work without asking for anything back (like money etc.). It’s a lot of work sometimes but you get it back in freedom to make your own choices about the product, like how the music should sound and the merchandise should look and so on. We’re right now about to release our first demo. It’s a 5 track tape and and it’s a D.I.Y project. But that’s about it.

What would you say about the hardcore-scene as it is in Sweden right now? Is it a thriving place? What is positive and what is negative about it?
- I have no idea really. Grundskolan just started playing and we have not been striving to get a lot of gigs and so on right now. I’m not a huge HC-fan myself (Roddarn) and I’m not sure if it’s even HC we are playing?! Haha! When I think of HC I think of Black Flag and Gorilla Biscuits. And we’re not sounding like them at least in my humble opinion. But I’m sure that there is a lot of awesome bands playing HC in Sweden but I’m not the right man to ask. But I like Hårda Tider, they are great!

Do you have any encouraging words for anyone starting up their own D.I.Y-project? What are the single most important things to think about before marching on?
- Practice makes perfect! If you don’t have a clue how to do something just try it and it will turn out just fine. Grundskolan seldom know what to do. Again, I’m not sure I’m the right man to ask…

What last words of wisdom would you like to share with the readers?
- Dear kids, most of what you can find on the internet has happened. If you leave your home it can happen to you too. Shut of the screen and switch on your brain. För i helvete.

Check out their 5-song demo Allt enligt boken here:


You can find them here:

Hotet Från Skogarna-blogspot: http://hotetfranskogarna.blogspot.se/p/grundskolan.html

Bandcamp: http://grundskolan.bandcamp.com/

E-mail: grundskolan@gmail.com & robinejne@gmail.com

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