INTERVIEW: INVSN – Groezrock 2014

1897924_818155131534284_308394937_nWe are here at Groezrock today. Have you ever been here before?

Yes, I have been here, twice before. I was here in 2012 and I was here in 2013. I was here in 2012 with Refused and last year I played in a band called AC4 and this year it’s INVSN (Invasion), so 3 years in a row, it’s pretty good.

If you get some spare time are you going to see any bands today?

Yeah, I’ll try. I wanna see the Descendents, I like them and haven’t seen them so that’s kinda my event today. I wanna stick around and see Quicksand play.

You’re from Sweden. What’s the best and worst thing about living there?

The best thing is that it’s Sweden is a country that’s very in the front line of everything cool that’s happening. Sweden is very conscious. Music, fashion, culture, arts. It’s the best thing about living in Sweden, but it’s also the worst thing about living in Sweden. So, it’s like a double-edged sword. It makes Sweden pretty awesome but it makes Sweden really annoying, because when people always try to be in the forefront of everything cool, they get really worried, like always looking over their shoulder. Like “What is that? What’s going on over there?”. It’s cool cause you get to discover new music, you get to see what’s happening but it’s also kind of annoying because people are so subconscious in a really boring manner.

Would you ever want to live anywhere else?

I mean I tour, basically like 4-5 months of the year and I like to come home to my small town and do nothing. I like it there.

You’ve had a few band name changes, where did INVSN come from?

Just a couple of years ago we started this band and we were called Invasionen, which is Swedish for ‘the invasion’ and we did two records in Swedish and then when it was time to do this record, the 3rd one, we realized cause we were gonna do it in both Swedish and English, we realized that no one out of Sweden is going to be able to pronounce Invasionen. So when we play in Sweden we still call ourselves Invasionen and when we play outside of Sweden we call ourselves INVSN (Invasion) and that’s why we spell it that way, it’s very practical.

Is there any reason behind the name then?

Nah, it’s just a good name. I mean, one of the hardest things about forming a band is not so much about how we’re gonna look and what we’re gonna sound like. The hardest part is always ‘what is the band going to be called?’ and coming up with a band name is horrible and I think it’s good.

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formed in 2008, you’ve been a band for quite a while, are there any lessons you’ve learnt that you could share with us?

Just don’t start a band, if you wanna have a normal life (laughs). I mean a lot of people might not want a normal life but I dunno. Lessons learned are just work hard, that’s what I learned, if you wanna do something just work hard and figure out what you wanna do. I think a lot of people they get into music for just wanting to be in a band or whatever and they wanna sound like that band. I think one of the first things you need to do is figure out why you wanna be in a band and what you want to do with your band and what you wanna accomplish and then just work hard. You’ve got to learn from your own mistakes.

If your band had a motto what would it be?

Work hard.

A lot of bands do what they do and then they kinda do it but I don’t like it when it’s a half arsed thing. If you’re gonna be a band then be conscious about why you’re a band, be conscious about the way you look, be conscious of the way you present yourself, be conscious of what you’re singing about, be conscious about the whole package.

I think a lot of people don’t think about that. We’re very conscious about everything, everything you do as a band sort of ties into a bigger concept of what we want to represent and for our band it’s always been conceptualize an idea and then kind of follow that through but that means working hard and that means like formulating an idea of what you want.

I don’t like any bands. There are very few bands that I like. But that’s not really an issue you’ve got Syria going on, you’ve got Sudan, you’ve got real issues happening and I really don’t care, if you have a crappy pop punk band and make millions of dollars singing the same song over and over again, go ahead and do it I don’t care. That’s not important.

I think that people who tend to get involved with politics or people who don’t really have a grasp on what the world looks like, it is a big world out there and there are so many issues to sing about. And who’s sold out or who’s on what label, it’s not one of the issues I care about. I’ll do my thing with my friends, that’s the only thing that matters to me.

If you’ve got a good band, I’ll be the first to say, you’ve got a good band but if I don’t like your band, I don’t care, you know what I mean? There’s too much pettiness going on. Competition in one way can be good because it gives you an incentive to be better, you see a great band and go “oh wow, those guys are great, I want to be that great!” and it motivates you to become even better but just the pettiness and talking shit about other bands there’s more important stuff to talk about than that kind of stuff.

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You guys signed to a label in 2013, what made you make that decision?

Cause a guy called me up and was like I love your band can we (9 mins) .. it’s not like a big mystery secret. Someone offered to work with us and we were like “oh, that’s cool. Lets make it happen”.

Do you think it gives you any advantages being signed to Burning Heart Records?

No, I mean the music in itself is what gives you the advantage, if you’ve got a good label that can work you, that’s fine but I think the band has to be the one who works it, but what do I know?

Describe your band’s music in 3 words.

No, never. I don’t think its up to me to decide how we sound. I don’t think its important. If you see something in our music, I don’t wanna take that away from you and say no this is what we sound like. It’s always in the ears of the listener who decides on their own references because I’m pretty sure everyone that is gonna see us play this afternoon is going to think of something different to what im thinking of when I wrote the song, so I don’t think that matters and I think that it’s another crutch for people to be like, “yo, we sound like those guys”. I mean whatever, we sound like INVSN. It’s like dark, dystopian pop music. There we have it.

What do you have planned for the rest of the year?

Just keep touring. We’re doing a bunch of dates with against me in june and then a couple of festivals in Sweden and then in fall we’re gonna write a new record and keep touring. Yeah I’ve been doing this for 20 years and it’s what I do, I don’t have an education I don’t know anything, I know how to make records and I know how to play music, so that’s what I do. Its like any other life, sometimes life sucks, but sometimes its awesome. It’s weird because I woke up one morning and I was like “I guess this is what life is going to be like”, when you were a kid I thought that music was something I’d be doing for a couple of years til I get my shit together and then you wake up one day and you’re like no, this is what I’m doing, this is my life, whether I like it or not and just gotta roll with it.

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What are your parents like?

They love it. They’re very supportive. They come to all our shows and wear our t-shirts. They’re proud parents. When I started, they were not so supportive, they were like you need to get a real education and a real job and then they were like “ah, I guess this is what he’s doing”.

That’s all of my questions. So, unless you have anything else to say?

Come check us out. There’s 131 musicians playing today, 3 female and its all in our band so its kinda crazy. Of the entire festival there’s 1.7% females on stage and today the only 3 females on stage are in our band. It’s good for us, but its kinda sad that that’s the way it is. It’s a very sexist and chauvinistic industry and I think the sad thing is that the pop punk world is meant to be very open-minded and aggressive and conscious, but people don’t think about it. I tell people I meet and they’re like “really?” and I’m like “yeah”. Cause INVSN is 3 girls and 3 guys and we’re the only band at the festival.

 Interview by Kaori Manz.

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—LIVE DATES—

29.05.14 – Stockholm, Sweden

30.05.14 – Aalborg, Denmark

31.05.14 – Odense C, Denmark

01.06.14 – Aarschot, Belgium

03.06.14 – Prague, Czech Republic

04.04.14 – Hamburg, Germany

05.06.14 – Berlin, Germany

06.06.14 – Dresden, Germany

Buy tickets here!