Formed in Umeå, Sweden in 1991, hardcore-punk legends Refused are one of the most influential rock bands of the early ‘00s. Artists as diverse as Linkin Park, Frank Turner, Steve Aoki, Duff McKagan and Paramore have been heavily cited crediting the 1998 album The Shape Of Punk To Come as being a fundamental influence on their musical styles. That album has become a cultural touchstone for the entire post-hardcore generation as the origination of stylistic genre-bending – including electronics, jazz and slick production for the first time – tent-poled by politically progressive lyrical intent and further strengthened through use of album artwork and energetic live shows to spread their message.
After a 14-year pause, the band reunited in 2012 playing much anticipated shows like mainstream festival Cochella and were subsequently awarded the “Special Prize for Music Exports” by the Swedish Ministry of Trade in 2013. In 2015, they released their fourth studio album Freedom which was recorded with Nick Launay (Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Killing Joke), while also turning to Swedish pop/producer Shellback –whose credits include Taylor Swift and Britney Spears –for the lead single “Elektra”. Out October 18, 2019, War Music will be their fifth full-length studio album.
“In the present moment, we who believe in the equal distribution of wealth in an egalitarian, ecological direct democracy, we who use gender-neutral pronouns and words like solidarity, moral responsibility, intersectionality and class warfare, we who believe in the Marxist dictum, “from each according to ability, to each according to need” are on our back foot, on our backs, backed up against the wall, surrounded by enemies, our movement curtailed, our rights violated. It’s been clear for some time: the sun is setting on our beliefs.
But we still believe that capitalism is cancer
and we still believe it can be cured.
We still believe that the patriarchy is cancer
and we still believe it too can be cured.
We still believe in the power of art to transform and expand the mind.
And last but by no means least:
We still believe in the total violent obliteration of the one percent.
Blood red until we’re fucking dead.