Headstag from Trollhättan is a new acquaintance for me and really nice one. Here is one of the last interviews for 2021. Or rather, the last one. .


Tell me the story of Headstag?

-Emil (The Guitarist) had a dream to start a punk band. He had seen Eric in the hallway of the school. He got his then girlfriend to ask if he wanted to be a bassist in a punk band. He said yes. At first there was another drummer, but he wanted to do something else. Albin was recruited through a joint drum teacher at the cultural school.


Current members and what do you do when you're not playing with Headstag Other bands? Working on what? Former members?

- Emil Nordström guitar/vocals. Studies IT. Product development. Eric Sjöqvist bass/vocals. Studying to be a music and history teacher for high school, work extra with cleaning. Albin Granbom drums. Trained baker. Working in a pastry shop. Former members. Samuel former drummer (2014-15). Felix former lead guitarist (2015)


I think there are influences from many punk styles, what do you say? What style would you say you are closest to?

-For a long time, we had a problem defining ourselves. We were kind of everywhere. In recent years, we have classified ourselves as a "skate" punk band. We have some influences from pop punk, skatepunk, surf punk, skapunk, not so much hardcore (Minor Threat hold). Very early Green Day and all Operation Ivy. What do you think?


Tell me a little about the songs... Bite Me? In Swedish? Protest Teargas and Gasoline

-The songs on the vinyl are from slightly different periods. Protest is a verbal riot, has an anarchist spirit. Instrumental way when we started the tentative a little for those who then became our 'style'. We see it as a break because they were the first new song we wrote after our last record. Bite me. The original of our second album was in English. A little insufferable lovesong. We had a lot of trouble recording it. We didn't really know the song form so Emil sang it in the slush mic during the recording. The result with the slush song was so much fun (Bite me - Training wheels) so we just got on with it, live and everything. This was before we knew things like "tone", music theory and the liked. Teargas and gasoline were written by Eric in anger at how refugees were treated by the EU during the 2015 refugee crisis. The refugees were fired with tear gas and their camps were burned down from a distance. Instrumentally, Albin managed to get out of his writer's block and was able to tear another proper drumming. Many songs are about some kind of mental illness. We have a recurring term in several texts, obstreosis. A type of panic attack.


Are you happy with the new record, I get some rehearsal roomfeeling, which I think is a nice feeling?

- Yes, yes. It's a bit of a Frankenstein's monster in recordings. From 3 different recordings. One take wonders. I think it's a good representation of us. Some of the most riveting and fun to play live. The genre width of the album tells us how wide we can be.


When we're talking about music, how do you seeon  punk? Is it just a style of music or a lifestyle? Were there some punk bands before in Trollhättan like Röten Tandkräm, Brutal Personal etc, is there anything you listened to?

- A lifestyle first and foremost. But they go hand in hand as a style of music. From Trollhättan they are Giftigt Avfall and part of Gubbjävlers. Eric's team leader's brother was part of Brutal Personal, unfortunately nothing we listened to.


Headstag how did that name come up? Weren't you afraid that any other band would be called that?

-We weren't afraid. The idea came from a t-shirt Eric bought on a class trip. Our first name was Softgoat. We named our debut after that.


How did it came that you play this kind of music today, what kind of groups inspire?

- A fantastic outlet. Energy, etc. Albin did not know what punk was when he was recruited, but in recent years has been evangelically saved. Punk has a good message. Feminism, equal value, system hatred, not being trampled on. An outlet towards commercialization in society.


What kind of audience do you draw? Are there any varieties you are missing?

- Surprising breadth in ages. We don't feel like we're missing a group altogether.


You've got a pretty typical sound on your records, do you do everything yourself or is there a producer involved?

-No producer. Just a sound engineer. Maybe because we're betting on rehearsal sense, we reach a certain sound. We just mick up the instruments and play straight off until a take is good.


Your texts otherwise, what are they all about? Does music and politics always go together? Why or why not?

-Music is an outlet. Sometimes you have to lift your heart a little bit. Sometimes they are serious political opinions, mental health or just things we like or are funny. Like Scooby Doo.


Are there any good political Bands you like?

- There's a lot! System of a down, Operation Ivy, Dead Kennedys, Anti Flag, Bad Religion, Blå Tåget.


Are there any other bands in Sweden that you can recommend?

- There's a lot! Slaveriet, Mormor kommer, Attityd boys, Giftigt Avfall, Böset, GUBBJÄVLERS!, Madam Skam, Lost Wisdom, Kid Feral, Civil Olydnad, Borgerlig Begravning, Sputnik Falls, Koma Asociala.


Any good bands in your hometown?

-Gubbjävlers(not so active), Giftigt Abfall (founded in Trollhättan), Home tape


Do you think it's important to get physical records out? Is it vinyl you prefer to release? Do you still have a good record store in your hometown?

-It's fun with physical, the most fun is vinyl. VInylskrubben is located in Trollhättan. More physical will come in the future.


Do you buy a lot of records yourself, are you collectors? What is the most expensive album you have?

-Emil and Albin buy a little sometimes. Eric goes in phases. The most expensive vinyl records are probably 1500 - 2000KR. Same price for the most expensive CDs.


Just releasing music digitally, is that for you? Do you feel like you'd even release an album if you were just released on Spotify?

-It's largely a money issue in the past. We are happy to let go physically if we have the means. There are some burned CDs around.


How else do you think it is to live in Sweden today, politically with the brown-blue mess and covid strategy etc?

-We haven't been focused on covid. Fuck take V through SD. Especially S through SD. Has Ulf forgotten about Heidi? Invertebrate mask.


Do you play a lot out? Abroad? How was the gig with my old friends Straw Dogs from Uddevalla (I come from Uddevalla from the beginning)?

-We gigged a lot in 2019 but covid put an end to our momentum. We were off in the Czech Republic in mid-October 2021 on a small tour and had a great time. Several awesome gigs. Booked with the help of Lars Wallin from Straw Dogs. The gig at Bastionen was very nice.


If you made a beer like many other bands do, what would it be called and what kind would it be?

-Steve, after the goat in our lyrics. Sort we have not contemplated. We drink beer.


What's the best thing about playing live?

- The adrenaline rush.


Please rank your five favorite records, your five favorite concerts? The most embarrassing record in your collection?

-Difficult. Emil: Operation ivy: Energy. Nirvana: Bleach. Arctic monkeys: Whatever people say i am, thats what im not. Idols: Brutalism. Gorillas: Plastic beach. Albin: Arctic monkeys: Tranqulity bass hotel and casino. Velvet Underground: Andy Warhol. Dead Kennedys: Plastic surgery disasters. Operation ivy: Energy. Gubbjävlers: Analysera varenda jävel. Eric: Operation ivy: Energy. No Cash: Run your pockets. Ramshackle glory: Live the dream. Days n Daze: Songs we recorded for splits. Green Day: Kerplunk. Konsert: (Albin) Gubbjävlers 2018, Do-re-micke 2020. Böset 2019. (Emil) när Dave Grohl broke his leg in Gothenburg. (Eric) Anti-flag 2016. The most embarrasing record: Albin: Pink Floyd: The wall. Emil Sex pistols: Never mind the bollocks. Eric Green day: Gods favorite band


Do you play a lot of covers live? If so, which ones?

- Yes, yes. Operation ivy: Freeze up, Hedgecore. Nirvana: Breed, Territorial pissings. Green Day: Longview, welcome to paradise, 2000 light years away. James and Karin: Fjärilslarvens sång.


There's going to be a lot of interviews, is that boring?

-No, no, no, no.


What is the most common and boring question?

- I don't know, we're pretty green when it comes to interviews.


Future plans for the band?

-The dream is to be able to gig full time, money be damned.


For yourself?

-Eric: See the last question Albin, the band 79%, job 20%, some sound engineer on the side, press your own merch. Emil: Look at the last question.


Anything to add?

-We cook new songs in Headstag, feel that we have managed to find a sound that is our own. Host* we have another band host*. The same members in Swedish. Tre is it called the band. A split with a Stockholm punk band is at the press office, an album should only be mixed

Pictures fby Chin Reed