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Backyard Babies.

THE BACKYARD BABIES have made their dent in rock and roll whether you know it or not. Four LPs, 12-inches, seven-inches, and comps, they've stood their ground since 1989. The rhythm section of Johan Blomquist and Peder Carlsson, the ripping riffs of Dregen, and the powerful vocals of Nicke Borg have forged their own share of the rock. The lights go down and they hit the stage--ladies and gents, we give you the Backyard Babies.

Where are the Babies from?

Sweden. Actually, a little city pronounced "Neckra," but you wouldn't be able to tell that from its spelling: Nassjo.

Did you guys know each other before the band was formed?

Johan and Peder (bass and drums) knew each other since they were in diapers, it seems. They lived a couple of houses down from each other on the same street, and then they met Dregen in school. So they've known each other for awhile, and I didn't meet them until 1987. I heard they had a band, so I started hanging out with them. I eventually joined as a bass player, and Johan was on guitar They kicked the singer out, then I took his place, and I swapped instruments with Johan; I took the guitar and he took the bass.

How many albums do you have out now?

There are four full-length albums out now and there is a new one called Tinnitus, which is a medical word for constant ringing in your ears, which everyone should relate to. It's a four-song EP of songs from our last three albums. We didn't want to call it a "Best of," because Stockholm Syndrome and the previous album weren't released in the States, and that's why we gave it a new name and packaged it differently. We want to keep our name on the map until we come back, hopefully early next year, with a new album.

Why has it taken so long to get another studio album from you guys?

Our last album is only two years old, Stockholm Syndrome, but that was only released in Europe and Japan.

Why wasn't it released in the States?

I have some idea, but it really isn't a good one. You should ask the record company. RCA turned it down and we did some showcases for some record companies and they thought it would be hard to have that out ... "It's not going to be in sync with Europe." Basically a bunch of bullshit excuses.

So you guys are working on some new material now?

We're working on new stuff now, but it's still kind of in the rehearsal stages. When we got off the tour with Social Distortion early this year, we started messing around with demos and stuff. Then when we get off this tour, we're going to pick up where we left off.

When was the last time you guys toured the States?

With the exception of the last stint with Social Distortion, it's been five years.

How was it touring with Social Distortion?

It was great. They brought us over in '97 and we became good friends, and now we're great friends. A lot of their crowd is really hardcore. But if you can open for AC/DC like we did in 2000, you can open for anybody. Bottom line, they really helped us in the States.

What about the Scandinavian rock invasion over the last few years?

Any band from the same country that can turn the American or English eye towards Sweden is a good thing, but I don't know, there have always been a lot of good bands. As far as the perception goes, it's just like what happened in Seattle or LA back in the day. The media decides all of sudden that this is the shit and they jump on it, all of these bands from there, and all of a sudden the media was all focused on it, and all of sudden it became this thing. There's always a danger when shit gets hyped up and you have to live up to some expectations.

What is the whole story with Dregen and the Hellacopters?

That's a band he started with Nicke in '95. We've been going since '89 and we had this down period. We had just lost this record deal, and so did Nicke after this American tour. They were friends and they just decided to form a punk band and record a seven-inch, because they were sick of all the record industry bullshit. So they did this single under the Hellacopters name, as a joke basically. Then it blew up.

Give me a rundown of all of your albums.

Diesel & Power came out in '94, then we had Total 13 in '98, then Making Enemies is Good in '01, and Stockholm in '02 or '03. After 2000, my years are blurred.

What do you guys like to do when you tour the States? Anything special?

It's hard to say; sleep, drink, watch TV, drink, and sleep some more. The hard thing about touring America is that it's so big and there is so much distance between cities, so basically you're stuck in a fucking bus. Thank God you have a bus, though. After a show, you'll roll away on the bus, and sometimes you drink yourself to pieces just to pass out because it's so fucking boring. You wake up and you're still not there, then eventually you get there, then it's soundcheck, the show, and the process repeats itself. Tomorrow, luckily, we have a day off.

How has the music evolved since you guys started?

First off, I think we've become better players. I know that sounds a little phony and all, but with that we are better songwriters as well. I think we are developing all of the time, and I know it's a band's worst nightmare to one day discover that they can't write songs anymore. A lot times a band's first album is amazing, the second is good, then it's all downhill from there. I really don't feel we've ever had or been in that situation. With this band, I think we have an open style where we can take different turns with the songs. In the beginning we were more a metal band. We had been heavily influenced by all sorts of shit, Maiden, WASP, Priest, and shit like that. We were so young, it was like the more distortion the better--the easier it was to play. We were also pretty lousy musicians. Eventually you realize your dad was right, the Rolling Stones are better than Maiden, and you evolve. So I would say we had a metal/hard rock/punk thing going on in the early days, but that's also what I think separates us from some of the other bands in this so-called genre. We've always had a more metal edge than some. I still like Maiden--maybe not their latest album, but they are still good.
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Author:Pimp, Chinese
Publication:Thrasher
Article Type:Interview
Date:Mar 1, 2006
Words:1162
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