I’ve been reading the Dee Dee Ramone biography “Poison Heart” [more of a pharmaceutical guide book really, but worth buying alone for when he gets knocked unconscious in a car wash…]. It’s not really the best advert for wanting to sling your Perfecto jacket over your shoulder, curl up your lip and and head out onto the road with a punk band. So as a welcome antidote to all the whinging, pampered punkers we are delighted to have Beyond Pink here for giving us the following snippet of a glimpse into the machinations of touring with an all-girl Swedish hardcore band on their annual summer jaunt around Europe…..; Many thanks to Clara [Bass] and Patricia [Drums] for taking the trouble to do this for us;
What was the most listened to song in the van on the tour and why? [Who is in charge of in-van-entertainment?]
Clara: Since the van had a shitty cd-player that refused to play records at all we didn’t listen to much music at all. But we did, as we always do on tour, sing in the van. Halo is always a good tune, we never get tired of it. [I think it’s a song by Beyonce about struggling with her Xbox or something.. ]
Patricia: I don’t think we listened to one single song more than one time this year – and that’s not because we didn’t bring so much music. This year was a “no music in the van”-year. We talk, sleep, eat and play singing games in the van rather than listening to music. Everyone’s in charge of their own entertainment and satisfaction in the van and a bit of the others’ as well. Like Clara and Tijana brings tons of food, I brought like 15 different colours of nailpolish that everyone could borrow and Ida always makes sure to buy chocolate and crisps. None of us normally eat so much or change their nailpolish every other day but when you’re just sitting around in the car for like 7 hours a day you get those extra needs.
Clara: Yeah, and Cajsa’s van-entertainment is to sleep. And I like eating, as you said. I’d get really fat if we toured all year long.
Who was the best band you played with? [Worst band aswell if you want to dish any dirt..?!]
Patricia: I liked the band Masakari, that we played together with in Hamburg, a lot and I also really liked Deer in the Headlights from Bosnia that we played together with in Ljubljana – they we’re real fun and nice people to hang out with as well. I loved to watch the drummer in Loma Prieta, he was insane, and I also always like to watch the drummer in The Fight, Wolfie. And off course I liked Coke Bust because as persons they were definetely our kindered spirits of this tour. We played together a few times but we instantly realised we understood each other like 2 minutes after meeting in Wienna and already being able to joke around and be ironic. It was also nice to play with Stay Hungry since they’re our friends from back home and a cute Norweigian band called Evolve. You know, I LOVE to dish dirt, it’s like the essence of my personality, but right now it feels like I’m wearing the opposite of a thinking cap and it’s blocking all the memories of people and bands that I completely hated, but there were mos def some of those as well.
Clara: Yeah, this year we played with some really nice bands but I think I liked Coke bust best of them. They are really nice people too.
Did you lot have a favourite slogan/saying on tour and why…..?
Clara: This year I don’t think we invented any new sayings, we just went on with oldies but goldies like “we play, you like it, fuck off”. This is from when we played with Doom several years ago and the singer said this on stage. Or at least that is what we thought he said. We had kind of a hard time understanding his heavy british/heavy drunken accent [They’re Brummies [from Birmingham UK] – No one else here understands them either…!]
Patricia: Our favourite saying is and probably forever will be “little lady, what you doin?”. It’s from Budapest like 3 years ago when men (important men, at least they thought so) kept on calling us little lady when we put up our backline and they were also trying to interfear, like they somehow could know better than us how I for example want my drums to be positioned. Since then, everytime something is moved on stage, or in the car, or anyone is doin anything basically, its “little lady, what you doin?”.
Clara: yeah, everything and everyone in the van is “Little lady!”. We also sang the “I am a cat lover”-song quite a bit.
BP are very fond of their cover versions right? Which ones were you favoring this time around?
Clara: We’ve done a new cover for every summer tour. Two years ago we did Blink 182 – What’s my age again, last year Halo by Beyonce and this year we did Metallicas Motor breath. We love doing covers, mostly we get so fond of them we start seeing them as our own songs. I think that What’s my age again? was my favourite cover all time, but maybe that is because I got to sing it, because I also love Let it ride, and I also sang on that one.
Patricia: But even though we haven’t played it in a few years now (like 10 years!) Barbiegirl by Aqua was still probably the most fun cover ever to do according to me. And Let it ride by Floorpunch was also something that we really took to heart. Like when some band just recently covered that song Ida was like “Oh, for one second I thought they were doing a Beyond Pink cover, then I realised, oh, we didn’t write this song”. But this years Motorbreath got some good response as well.
Your drummer/singer swap over sometimes? – [I love it when bands frig about like this,I remember even Green Day doing this years ago at a tiny gig in a billiards hall in the UK!!] You do this to alleviate boredom i guess?
Clara: No, our drummer never sing and our singer certainly doesn’t drum. Patricia, the drummer, sang on one song back in 2004 or so, but then Ida, our guitarist played drums. Now it’s only me and Tijana, the singer, who swap on one song and that is because I like to sing. When I made that song “Jag lever på hoppet” I felt it was really personal and I wanted to sing it in my way, so it felt natural for me to sing it.
Patricia: Now you’re making me really interested in the idea of having Tijana to play drums once in a while.
Clara: Yeah, maybe we have a unknown drumming-talent in the band, who knows? You oughta listen to Patricias other band, where she actually does sing, though: Slöa Knivar. They are really great.
BP line up is the same since you started 10 years ago [correct?] That is an admirable testament to friendship, so the tour must be more like an annual holiday with your mates rather than a grinding tour with a smelly drummer you hate!?
Patricia: Yeah, if you remove the word mates and replace it with family. Like your annoying aunts and nephews, etc. Of course we love each other but since it obvious we’re not the type of band to ever change a member for any reason in the world, no matter how good that reason might be, you gotta regard us as family rather than friends. Actually we started 11 years ago even, but I’m still the smelly drummer they all hate….!!
Clara: We are definitly more like sisters than friends. We know everything about each other and love/hate each other deeply.
Most bizarre happening/venue/audience member/meal?
Patricia: The opposite of the thinking cap is back on my head. I got to ride a water slide somewhere in Germany. In Kortrijk, Belgium, a drug addict walked like 50 meters behind us during our whole walk through town screaming out, like some midieval new announcer “These girls are from Sweden, they are a band, they’re gonna play tonight”. Since telling him to just stop didn’t have no effect whatsoever we finally managed to outrun him. When we got back to the Pits where we were playing he kept on saying he was sorry that he had left us. In Wroclaw we met a sad story of a man who seemed to have no friends and the sad part was that you understood why. This poor shirtless blond mohawk dude kept on getting on stage without any ambition whatsoever to stagedive but just to “hang out” or try to say something that no one could understand in a microphone. People tried to carry him out of the room but he kept coming back, even though he could hardly even stand up. This is off course no uncommon view at punkshows, but that’s really what makes it so bizarre. Like, some people must have been this dudes friend sometime. I for sure know that I have a lot friends like that and that’s why I feel bad about it when I have been mean to drunks at tour, which I always am, cause I guess that even if I’m a concerned human being in theory – in reality I’m a heartless bitch.
Clara: Since my stomach can’t handle beans very well almost every meal was bizarre to me. But other than that we got really well taken care of in general. Like taken out to an old military hospital in the Belgium countryside and served tons of luxurious desserts in front of an open fire in the middle of the night.
Patricia: There’s like this death battle between when Clara accidentaly tripped on stage at Zoro in Leipzig and made Ida’s amplifier fall down from the cabinet and break and when Cajsa had a nervous breakdown in Neubrandenburg over a moth. Or maybe it’s every morning when I woke up with pee all the way up in my eyes, and since I sleep in the van because I’m a midget, risked getting arrested by running out halfnaked and peeing in public. Or it could be Tijana almost hitting a guy for calling her “my friend” during and interview at Köpi. Or it could be Ida not going to sleep. Not going to sleep is always a stable thing to choose as being the punkest thing to do.
Clara: Definitly NOT me and Tijana freaking out over all the rats that were tumbling around, squeaking just beneath the sleeping loft at Köpi, Berlin. We we’re definitly behaving like the hysteric women we are then.
Any plans to expand the tour to the UK?
Clara: We definitely want to tour the UK but we plan to go on a separate UK tour for like a week or a bit more some time. We just don’t know when. We are such busy ladies.