This is an old SHIPWRECKED interview that featured in the German fanzine OPENYOUREYES – Issue #6, run by Sebastian and Michael. You can check out OPENYOUREYES Facebook page. Let’s get into the world of the Last Pagans.
Let’s start with an introduction like most interviews do. A few basic facts about Shipwrecked. What are you doing in daily life?
Everything from demolition to advertising and engineering.
Shipwrecked consist of different members or ex-members of a bunch of other bands. Next to Enforcer and Insurance Risk also Common Cause. Are you involved in other bands at the moment?
In March this year you played with The Flex, Blind Authority, Skaggs and few other bands together at the Mongrel-Fest in Sheffield. Tell us about your impressions and feelings during the show and your own set.
We got the impression that hardcore is better off than ever. At least in Sheffield and in the UK. All the bands were really good. Different styles represented but all within the hardcore family tree. No barriers, political agendas splitting people up, great comradery and great fun. People seemed to be enjoying themselves.
What are you thinking about the whole current scene, not only in Europe? Are they things you see in hardcore in general that piss you off and that you wanna change or miss? You can be truly honest!
We are not part of no scene. We always did Shipwrecked for us and our friends. And for men and women like us.
No doubt that Shipwrecked sounds like early 80’s hardcore like SSD or NFX, influenced by British-Oi. Is there any other band not mentioned you wanted to sound like or wanted to pay tribute or whatever?
It’s Oi and skinhead stuff from all over really, not just the UK bands. Same thing with hardcore. Obviously the Boston thing will always be there, but YDI, Bad Brains, SOA and like Svart Framid has meant loads too. Loads of hard rock has had a huge impact on us. It’s the stuff we grew up with and first heard. Lyricswise, I have always liked Circle One, Chokes Storytelling, Bathory, Motörhead, Forced Reality, 4 Skins, Minor Threat etc.
No one can deny that many bands are really superficial, speaking about irrelevant things and their only goal is fame. You came back in 2012 with your latest full length « Last Pagans ». 21 songs full of criticism and what you want to say. Can you explain us the story behind the two songs, Last Pagans and It’s grim up north?
Grim up North is about the Ättestupa phenomenon– Ättaupa from the summit of which, according to tradition, the infirm, the ”utlefvade”, or those who had out-lived their powers, and those who were weary of life, were accustomed in crowds, and after feasting and drinking, to cast themselves headlong; for, according to the creed of their great hero and lawgiver Odin, by thus committing suicide, they qualified themselves to enter into the joys of Valhalla! The Last Pagans is about the actual last pagans, us believing that there is a exception to every rule and every event throughout history. Example, after the christening of the North we are sure that the old gods were still worshipped amongst folks here and there. Women and men who wouldn’t give in to christian imperialism. I’m not talking about those who went to iceland now, but families that stayed and kept their beliefs. They were the last pagans. Its the same thing with hardcore and the whole underground today. If you look at things really fast it comes off as unvalid, commercialiced and dead. All the symbols and all the looks have been stolen and have become mainstream. So called big bands trying to get as big as possible and make as much dough as possible because they’re too fucking dumb and lazy to work regular jobs monday to friday. They turn hardcore into a business and it hurts something that, at least to us, should remain underground. So who are the last pagans in this context? It’s us, it’s bands like Reckless Aggression, Chunks fanzine, Phil and Carl of The Templars, Rod from Huddersfield, Toni from Valencia, Tigran, Max from Cold Cave and Peter from Forced Reality, Peter of Crucial Response, our friends all across the world knowing what the fuck is up. We are the last riding pagans of the underground. Those who are keeping the underground alive and can tell whats good and whats not.
Why did you picked out the Middle-Age and Vikings as a central theme in your artworks, especially for your latest LP?
We didn’t pick anything. We are from here, the norsemen were our forefathers, Asatru was our culture. The so called scene if there is one would benefit from realness. Why act like you’re from a housing project in the US if you’re from Köln or Copenhagen? Why act like it’s 1987 when it’s 2014. It’s just as stupid as American skins and punk bands talking with a cockney accent or when Europeans want to sound like they were born and bread in a US suburb. There is nothing wrong with having a bit of a broken accent if you are from Europe. What’s wrong is trying to be something that you are not. Why were the finnish bands playing Discharge style hardcore so fucking good? Because they took that style and made something finnish out of it. Why were the French Oi-stuff so fucking good? Because they took the first wave of UK Oi and created their own French style. It’s fucking awesome if some dutch band want to sound like Raw Deal as long as they don’t act as if they’re from NY.
Can you tell us why you made a Skrewdriver rip-off shirt? Is it only a joke or is there an other reasons why you choose this band for a shirt design? You can imagine that such a shirt would lead to controversial discussions, was that your aim?
Our aim? We were asked by the club to bring our own security so we did. Everyone thought the t-shirt was an excellent idea, our black, jewish and also friends of ours who are Antifa. So it’s a Driver rip-off t-shirt – so what? The only shitty comments we got were from germans. Maybe you germans still suffer from some sort of guilt. But it’s kind of funny having a Hans or a Rudolf from some german village lecturing Jon about 10 t-shirts he did. Jon had relatives in death camps, Jons country was occupied. It was probably PC-Hans grandfather doing the occupying. If we were extreme to the right, we wouldn’t be on Crucial Response would we? Anyone who thinks we are some sort of undercover agents for the right after more than 20 years in hardcore/punk – can fuck off.
Can we expect something new from you in the future? Perhaps a tour through Germany or a new release?
Re-issue of the first EP on Brass City Boss Sounds. Crucial Response will do another pressing of the LP because the first one is almost sold out. We would play Germany if we got to play with our friends in Stomper 98.
« Lifting weights to early TAANG! » are the first words spoken on your latest LP, I need to know what’s your favourite TAANG-Record?
Negative FX’s self-titled album
Any last words …?
[what follows was written in swedish and seems to be the 56th and 57th poems of a book called SAMLADE SKRIFTER by swedish poet called Erik Sjöberg and better known as Vitalis.]
På ättestupan vid Halleberg.
Här stod mannen uti fordna dagar
Med förakt för lifvet och dess Härd,
Och, till trots utaf naturens lagar,
Hängick dristigt till en annan verld.
Tiden sträckt sin jättearm kring Norden:
Kraften, åldrad, tynar på dess berg;
Och snart finns en skilnad ej på jorden
Mellan Nordens man och Söderns dvärg.
Höge fäder! uppå edra grafvar
Hören eden, som en ättling svär:
Förr’n ert Manhem trampas utaf slafvar,
Vill jag dö, som eder värdigt är.
Och när bojor andra skuldror trycka,
Deras jern skall studsa från min arm.
Frihet! Frihet! mannens första lycka!
Dig jag äga skall vid grafvens barm.
När en ättling vandrar se’n på fjällen,
Af hvars boja klippan genljud ger,
Skall han rodna vid en blick på hällen,
Som påminner veklingen om er.
Och måhända, fäder, skall ert minne
Stiga opp kring branten af en graf,
Och ge styrka åt hans dufna sinne
Till att kasta slafvens boja af.
Based in Melbourne, Australia.