The members of Gothenburg, Sweden's Industrial Puke have previously been involved with such acts as Rentokiller, Blessings, and the mighty Burst, to cite but a few, and will soon be serving up their debut EP, Where Life Crisis Starts, via Suicide Records (pre-order now on Bandcamp, or pre-save on your streaming platform of choice). The release tears through four songs in just eight minutes, and its death metal-tinged take on ferociously crusty hardcore/punk absolutely nails their self-professed goal of achieving a sound that essentially boils down to Disrupt meets Dismember.
I'm excited to premiere "Banished"—my personal favorite from the EP—below, alongside a discussion with Jens Ekelin (guitar/vocals):
The crusty, death metal-tinged hardcore/grind of Industrial Puke is a different—though certainly not off-the-wall—sound from the bands for which your members are most known, and a niche of extreme music that seems like it would be fun to explore. Talk about how you landed on this direction for the project.
It's funny how some bands fall into a certain style of music and it sort of just happens and then you stick to it. This, however, was no accident. We really wanted to write songs with a direct impact. Often I'll worry about music not being interesting enough, and in that process make things unnecessarily complex. With Industrial Puke, I really wanted to capture what excited me the first time I heard Disrupt's "A Life's a Life" and Dismember's "Soon to be Dead." Those are still vivid memories. We haven't talked about it more than using those bands as references, but I think the promise of doing something relatively simple in comparison to Burst, Blessings, and Rentokiller (which we all love respectively) seemed really exciting to all of us.
Given the short, fast, and ferocious results—no tune hitting three minutes thus far!—it was interesting to learn that the band actually formed five years ago. What's the general backstory behind the length of time that it took to round out the lineup and put together your first batch of material?
It started with me asking out loud if anybody wanted to start a band that sounds sort of like Disrupt and the Swedish band Kontrovers, and Linus [Jägerskog, vocals] immediately said, "You had me at Disrupt." There was no gameplan or music ready, and it took quite some time to figure out what we wanted to do, find members, and get the practical issues of recording and starting a band sorted out. There was an idea of maybe doing it as a collaborative project online and not having to rehearse. That thankfully fell apart, but everything took a long time, because we weren't sure exactly how we wanted to go forward and also life got in the way.
Quite often the idea of starting a band and recording an album can be pure romance, but it's also a tedious process to actually make shit happen. We are very happy we eventually got it rolling, and it's now becoming a reality.
We're premiering "Banished," and while I haven't seen the lyrics, its seemingly HM-2-soaked D-beat excellence makes it the likely standout for me. Can you share a bit about the message or intent behind this particular composition?
As with the music, the lyrics strive for fast release. They're all written from my highly subjective perspective. The point was to use a fleeting thought or feeling, put words to it, and get it out with as much emotional release as possible. I didn't want to try to write analytical solutions to anything. However naïve, ill-advised, or unreasonable the outcome may be.
The lyrics for "Banished" deal with solidarity and the nationalist notion of protecting borders and culture. Integration is definitely not without challenges, but I've never understood why borders are important. Aren't we all pretty much the same assholes?
There's a reoccurring line in there that goes: "Exclusion is a dead end, keep on pushing (and) you'll be the first to go." In a broader sense of surviving as a species, I can't see another way than doing it together. Of course, it's conflicting with my sense of not liking humans in general, but as stated, this is no place for reasoning or being balanced. I feel something and it needs to come out. It's a knee-jerk modus of writing.
It's been said that the EP as a whole presents "songs about failing yourself, and the men that fail the world," so is it fair to assume that the lyrics overall cover a range of both the personal and the political?
Yes, tilting more toward the personal. Everything is written out of that perspective. Whether it's about greed, fear, or failure. This first batch of songs was all me writing lyrics, and they reflect what I feel. Later on, maybe the others will write some stuff and we'll get some fresh perspectives and not just me complaining about myself and people around me. I think we're all quite nice people to be around, and try to handle life and the world the best we can. But I don't think any of us need to vent feeling happy, if you know what I mean!? What needs to come out are the other feelings. So, I would bet that will continue no matter who in the band is writing.
Where Life Crisis Starts will be hitting the streets in a couple more weeks, but it sounds like you already have a full-length album, Born Into the Twisting Rope, set to follow during the first half of next year. What should listeners expect in terms of the album expanding upon the scorching foundation of the EP?
I'd say the EP is a representative hors d'oeuvre to Born Into the Twisting Rope. The album broadens the styles a bit further. We really wanted to have strong, clear-cut songs and focused more on that than trying to hone in on a specific style. There is an even spread of death metal, D-beat, and hardcore. No long, intricate ballads. If the four songs on the EP tickle your fancy, then Born Into the Twisting Rope will have you undulating. Also feels great to have Suicide Records release this, a very good match to Industrial Puke.
I was just remarking on Instagram over the weekend about the astronomical number of great bands from Sweden. When you think about Swedish bands of the past who might be considered kindred spirits to the Industrial Puke aesthetic, who are some of the more underrated acts that readers should make an effort to dig into?
Well, for instance, in past death metal: The Everdawn, the first Eucharist demo, Authorize, and Exempt from Gothenburg. In punk/hardcore: Avskum, Herätys (from Sweden, lyrics in Finnish), Radium Grrrls, Larma, and Kontrovers. There have been (and still are) so many good bands in all corners of music in Sweden, it's hard to choose just a few. We're all close to the Swedish hardcore scene since forever as well, and there are too many to mention there. It's worth noting that Sweden historically has been good at nurturing aspiring musicians, and in part due to that has had many proficient artists and songwriters in the pop/mainstream realm. Their influence cannot be denied. The immediacy of ABBA songs can easily be translated to any genre, even in-your-face crust metal! Don't bore us, get to the chorus! Thank you!
Where Life Crisis Starts will be out September 16 through Suicide Records. Pre-order now on Bandcamp, or pre-save via your preferred streaming platform. See more from Industrial Puke on Instagram. Keep up with Suicide Records on Instagram, Facebook, or their website.