Influential Swedish hardcore punk band Refused, may have helped shape The Shape of Punk to Come, during the late 1990s, however their most recent release, the 2015 album Freedom, may not have been up to par for many of the band’s fans. The band’s frontman Dennis Lyxzén says that fans of their influential 1998 album should not worry however, as they are about to release “the record that people wanted us to do last time,” according to Consequence of Sound.
“We have a new record that’s almost done — not quite,” Lyxzén stated during the Someone Who Isn’t Me podcast. “It’s been one of those, in typical Refused fashion, it’s just been going on for a long time and no one’s enjoying the process of making the record and it’s been kind of grueling. But we’re almost at the finishing line, which feels great. It feels like it’s gonna be a really fantastic record.”
Refused originally broke up only a few months after the release of The Shape of Punk to Come, which is considered a landmark moment in the history of hardcore punk. This record made numerous references throughout its tracks, cover art and even album title (taking its name from the classic Ornette Coleman record The Shape of Jazz to Come) throughout classic pieces of pop culture.
“I think this is the record that people wanted us to do last time,” he explained. “But I think it’s good that we did Freedom last time, cause it kind of levels the playing field… It’s not like we’re gonna do The Shape of Punk to Come 2 — ’cause that’s not it.”
Due to the large appeal the record receive, along with the band’s lengthy hiatus, their last record was highly anticipated by many who loved the classic record. This album, according to Lyxzén, however did not satisfy the fans of the previous one. He hopes that this recent release will be a middle ground for The Shape of Punk to Come and Freedom, however, allowing the other album to “make more sense” in the band’s discography.
“I think that the people who love Shape will be like, ‘Oh yeah, this makes a little bit more sense,’ because we just had to level the playing field a little bit for ourselves,” Lyxzén stated.
Although he states may not have given the Freedom project warm attention, Lyxzén explained that the album was still an important moment. It allowed him and the band to help understand themselves and push themselves as a group.
“I think Freedom was just reclaiming the band and reclaiming these ideas. And now we’re just a bit more comfortable and a bit more relaxed and I think we know what type of band we are, ” Lyxzén further explained. “And I think it’s gonna show on this new record, I think people are gonna listen to it and be like, ‘Ohhh, alright. I get it.’”
Refused will be making an appearance at Punk Rock Bowling this year in Downtown Las Vegas, alongside acts such as The Exploited, Pennywise, The Murder City Devils, Sick Of It All and Killing Joke.
Photo Credit: Owen Ela