Regimen’s self titled was a pleasant surprise for me. I really dig that album (it even made my end of year list). There’s very little information available online about the band, which made me curious. Time to have a chat with Kalle of Regimen to inform us on who is Regimen and what they aspire.
Hey lads, what’s up at the moment?
We released our self-titled LP last month and played a fun release show together with Knaegt, Agent Attitude and Hårda Tider.
It is actually pretty hard to find information on Regimen, apart from that you’re from Gothenburg and that (some of) you played in Commitment Crew. Please introduce us to Regimen (please discuss who are you, should we know you from other bands (who was in Commitment Crew for example))?
We like to be a little bit of a secret. That and there isn’t that much to tell really. We are just four humans (I believe). We live in Gothenburg and sometimes play music, which we do in Regimen at the moment. It’s probably better if I don’t write anything more so that the reader is allowed to imagine something cooler.
We like to be a little bit of a secret.
Hehe, we’ll leave it up to the imagination of our readers then. It is a nice bridge to my next question though. You’ve got a bandcamp (that’s not up to date), but no website, no facebook (that I’m aware of at least). Promotion of Regimen is not a big issue to you?
Regimen is important to us and that’s why we want to handle the band a little bit different than all the other stuff we have to deal with in life. Take for example your average job. It’s alright most of the time, or at least bearable. Unfortunately, sooner or later you have to do stuff that you don’t like, stuff that’ll make you feel dirty and disgusted with yourself for doing it. For us it’s the same with promotion so we try to avoid it. I also think that people who are subjected to promotion won’t always welcome the promotalk. A lot of them don’t need it, and I can really identify with that. I hate commercials. I believe that if someone finds our music and think it’s worth sharing, that person will do just that. And that person will probably be better than us in finding people who might like being exposed to our music because they are probably friends and into the same thing. It’s how it worked with CC. Sure, the music will not be heard by as many people, but hopefully the ones who hear it will appreciate it more.
The old school way, where you rely on friends and family to discover new music. Something else from back in the days, videoclips, seems to be coming back after being dead for a while. Any plans for making a Regimen video?
We did plan to make a video, but it never happened. It’s kinda hard, I think, to make a good video. One that isn’t too goofy or too pretentious. We need to have an idea that matches our lack of economical resources but still is interesting enough to watch. As for now people who like to see moving pictures with Regimen will have to settle for the live recordings which you can find a bunch of on Youtube.
I catch your drift. The downside of live video’s on Youtube is usually the crappy sound, but it does give you an impression of what a band is live. But let’s have a look at the past now. What happened to Commitment Crew? Why did this end?
Every former member probably have a different reason, but for me (Kalle) the band had gotten stale. I didn’t think the music was fun to play anymore so it was for the best that it ended. And I think that the timing was good since the last two records we release were our best ones.
Sounds like a wise decision in that case. As reunions are still big and happening I almost feel obliged: when will Commitment Crew reunite?
Now look here, we need lots of money since we’re still a long way from becoming economically independent. So when someone pays us 4 million SEK then we will reunite. And since there is probably nobody out there who is willing to pay that kind of money to get us to play (I sincerely hope not, because it would be perverse) it’s probably never going to happen. It’s for the good of everyone, believe me.
Language is shit as it is too limited to accurately describe abstract stuff like music. And that’s why we play music instead of writing books.
Hehe, If someone now decides to come up with 4 million SEK you’ll feel sorry that you didn’t come up with a bigger number! But enough of the past allready, let’s look at where you are now. I did really enjoy your album. There’s one thing that bothers me though and that is that I have no clue what I’m singing along to… Please enlighten me: what themes are you guys addressing in your lyrics?
It’s Herman who should be answering this question, since he’s the one who writes all the lyrics, but I’ll give it a go. Keep in mind that this is my interpretation of the texts, someone else might read them differently.
Det skiter vi i: There are certain values in society that you are sometimes expected to live up to. This song is about how little we care for that.
När dom sjunker: This song is about the shame you feel when you just stand and watch someone who is in need of help.
Lobbad Gbg: A song about our love/hate relationship with Gothenburg.
Konsekvenserna: It’s about substance abuse and how hard it is to quit when you have friends who are into the same thing.
Gick du på den lätte?: It’s about the positive thinking industry. I just wish the authors of The Secret and the like would realize the meaninglessness of life and commit suicide. They are not needed in this world.
ADHDAMP: It’s about a lot of things, but for me it’s about being restless without knowing what to do about it.
Snälla snälla: Just as members of a cult need “reprogramming” we believe that police officers need help to quit their jobs.
Regimen: A song about what it’s like to play in Regimen. Quite ego-centric.
Lämna kniven hemma: It’s stupid to bring a knife with you when you go out. You might just put someone’s eye out, or one of your own if you’re unlucky.
Döda vinkeln: I don’t really know what this song is about.
Punkpolisen: A song about people who can’t keep their noses out of other people’s business.
Jag tvättar mina händer: It’s a song about assholes and how we try to distance ourselves from them.
Stäng av!: Sometimes it feels as if you have to be an idiot to get somewhere in this world, and according to that logic one should turn off one’s brain to make that happen.
Sociala trycket: Human beings like to hang out with other human beings. This can be a good thing, but sometimes you have to change yourself to be welcomed into the group. The question is: is it worth the compromise?
En dag som den här: Spring time in Sweden is kinda special since the winters are long, dark, cold and wet. This song is about that time of the year, spring that is.
Skaka röv: A song about the joy of dance.
What’s your favorite song and why?
From the Regimen LP? Well, it differs from one time to another. Sometimes I can’t stand the songs and think they’re all crap. Sometimes I like a couple of them and usually it’s Konsekvenserna or ADHDAMP. To me it’s just good songs, I can’t explain it in any other way, unfortunately. Language is shit as it is too limited to accurately describe abstract stuff like music. And that’s why we play music instead of writing books.
On your bandcamp one can find three (demo?) tapes. Now that’s old-school! Unfortunately that will also limit your market. Why the choice for tapes?
Tapes are still an inexpensive way to release music if you want a physical format. It’s especially cheap if you can record it in your rehearsal space with equipment you’ve borrowed from your kind friends. So that was what we did. We just set up the old 4 channel cassette portable recorder and recorded a bunch of songs. The sound isn’t the best but I still think you get the picture of what we wanted to do. Yes, the cassette format is somewhat limiting nowadays, but that’s why all the demo songs are available for free download. As are the songs from LP. Well, not for download, but at least for streaming.
A bunch of songs from those tapes were re-recorded for the album. Are you going to do something with the other songs as well?
Not that I know of. We just picked the songs we liked most and tried to add something or play them a little bit differently. You see, I think that a song should never be seen as done. There is always a possibility that you can make it better or at least different.
if you ask me again in a couple of month I have probably come up with some kind of reason behind them being there.
Yeah, sometimes songs really evolve over time. It’s cool to hear live registrations of bands and hear how different they play a song that they wrote years back. Even when I don’t always enjoy the direction that band is heading. The artwork for the LP is very simple and basic. Is there an idea behind it you wish to express?
We wanted a cover that looked good to us, and just as with our music it usually works best when less is more. The artwork was made to look clean. The circles on the front don’t mean anything, but if you ask me again in a couple of month I have probably come up with some kind of reason behind them being there. In Swedish it’s called “efterkonstruktion”, something you made up later for something that already existed. It’s one of the greatest things in this life.
Curious to see what you’ll come up with. You are now signed to Gaphals, how did that come to be?
After we recorded the songs for the LP we just mailed a few of them to labels we like to see if they were interested. Gaphals said they were so we started talking about it. I hope they haven’t changed their minds about us yet.
I’m going to aks them a couple of questions as well, perhaps I should ask them how they feel about you now! 😉 Gaphals has very diverse roster. How does that work for you? Does it generate “strange” shows where you’re playing for a crowd that expects NWOBHM or more synth oriented music for example?
Not yet, unfortunately. We would love to play more diverse or strange shows. It’s more interesting since you get the opportunity to surprise some of the listeners.
Mostly you just sit around in a van or at a venue. It’s a lot of waiting, and me being the restless type it’s difficult to handle because I get bored and tired.
What plans do you have for the future (please discuss tours, new material)?
At the moment we’re trying to play a few shows here and there to get the LP out. We got enough songs to record another album but we’ll probably have to work on them some more. Tours I don’t know about. We want to play a couple of shows in the northern parts of Sweden, since we’ve never been there. We will also try to do some weekend shows in Europe, maybe with Hårda Tider, but I don’t know. Touring, at least to me, is boring. It’s like going to your day job.
Wow, that’s a big surprise! Almost every interview you read you will find band members going on about how playing their songs live is what makes them do what they do. What is your main motivation for playing in Regimen if it’s not the tour (and playing live)?
I have nothing against playing live, on the contrary: I think it’s great most of the times. But you know, playing live is the smallest part of being on tour. Mostly you just sit around in a van or at a venue. It’s a lot of waiting, and me being the restless type it’s difficult to handle because I get bored and tired. That is what I meant when I said that touring is like a day job. On the other hand I’m glad that I play in this band since we don’t do the weird male bonding thing where you subject each other to mean and degrading “pranks” like some kind of hazing thing. Why one would do that I don’t know.
No clue either. People do strange things. What do you hope to achieve with Regimen?
I don’t know about the others in the band, but I want to play music I like. It’s a way to relax. If people like our music than that’s just a bonus. I don’t think we can hope to achieve more than that. For example, I don’t expect our music to be life changing for anyone except ourselves.
As 2013 is over it’s a good time to look back and reflect on the last year. Let start easy: was it a good year musically for you? Discovered any great new bands?
Musically the year has been as it usually is: sometimes it’s a blast to play/listen to music, sometimes one wonders why one even bothers with it since it all sounds like crap. There’s almost nothing in between those extremes. I’m hardly qualified to answer the other part of the question. I don’t remember which bands I discovered in which year. My memory doesn’t work that way. For example: I could say “oh, this record was the best this year” and then somebody informs me that the record in question was released a couple of years ago. What I can say is this: this years most memorable show for me was when Patti Smith played at Dalhalla this summer. Great rock music, awesome (in the words actual meaning) place, good weather. And as for the punk I would say that I enjoyed the new records from Fucktards, Nuclear Spring, and Lady Banana.
And on a personal level: what happened this year?
I’m not sure if I want to answer this question.
Haha, ok, we’ll not go into that. Well, that’s it for now. Anything you want to add?
No thanks, I’m good.