The (International) Noise Conspiracy
The (International) Noise Conspiracy's first gig outside Scandinavia was an illegal underground tour of China on the month of the ten year memorial of massacre at Tiananmen Square. The I.N.C. are the ambassadors of the New Wave Of New Angry and are set to blow away the apathy of Nu-Metal and small time whinging of the British Nu-Sensative Scene's. We caught up with Ludwig Dahlberg to find out more about the band who set out be the perfect symbiosis of Elvis and Che Guevara and realized the prostitution of being in a anti capitalist rock band. Bring on The Revolution!!!
Q: The (International) Noise Conspiracy, in a mainstream sense, are very much a lone voice in the fact that you are talking about important issues. Do you find it a shame that music and politics are kept separate nowadays?
A: Yeah, most bands don't talk about issues like that...not to say that what they're saying isn't important...but we got into all these ideas through music and that's what we want to do - just give it back to all the people!!! Through all these political and punk bands we got exposed to the ideas that we have today and I feel it is kind of separate because people don't see politics as part of their life's. When people think of politics they think of an old guy in a suit an tie and they can't see how it connect to their life.
Q: You formed back in 1998. Was it case of you started with the idea of forming a political band or you formed the band and lyrical ideas then came very natural to you?
A: Were in a band and we play music so that's what it's all about. But at the same time people listen to what you say if you're in a band so it's just a good opportunity to use that position to say something important. We have an agenda, but it comes kind of naturally because that's what we want to talk about.
We all grew up listening to punk band so questioning things comes naturally and that sense of feeling alienated like everyone, but then connecting to a musical scene. We got into the politics through bands like the Dead Kennedy's and The Clash, but musically were influenced by so much.
Q: Do you find it an insult that the word punk is used to describe great bands like the Dead Kennedy's and The Clash...and then encompass bands like Blink 182?
A: Punk is basically just another youth culture that's not going to change anything. If Blink 182 want to call themselves punk they can, but it's not relevant to me. They're a big band and they talk about nothing when they should be taking that opportunity to say something important.
Q: In the punk generation a lot of the bands still didn't walk it like they talked it. The Dead Kennedy's for example, Biafra ripped off the other members royalty payments. One of the things you've always done is walk the talk especially when you do things like Illegal underground tours of China. There's no compromise with the (International) Noise Conspiracy is there?
A: We wanted to start of big and crazy...and we lost a lot of money. But we don't want to be part of a specific scene. These ideas that we have are too important to be just talked about in an underground scene like punk - that's not a youth culture anymore and I'm not going to diss it because it was really important to us, that's why it is quite dangerous to talk about what's true punk and whatever.
Q: You're trying to reach out to as many people as you can and in the process you have to use the media as a means of international communication. The idea that one day a publication could be covering you as part of their arts supplement and then the following week possible whipping up right wing propaganda the next day must be of some concern. Do you find it strange that you are in bed with these people to a certain extent?
A: It is, but its also the only way to reach out there. There isn't that much good media and it's kind of hard to reach out through the good channels. And like I said you'll be kept within and underground community. There really is no outside of the system unless you want to be the Una Bomber and live in a whole growing your own vegetables.
Not to sound all cynical but you can't destroy or change the system from the outside because there is no outside. We have to be prostitutes too using all these commercial channels, our record label just signed us because they want to make money off us and we use them because we want to get our records out - it's all a necessary evil!!!
That can also be used as an excuse to not really care and that's not what were trying to say either - you have to change it from the inside. People hate us because were on MTV and people say how can you be an anti capitalist band when you sell T-shirts. We have to pay our rent and buy food and that's the truth - we have to prostitute ourselves!!!
Q: As well as the essay in the "A New Morning Changing Weather" album sleeve notes which goes on further to explain the ideas behind the statement "there is no outside", there's is also a suggested reading list for each song on the album. Do you feel that you politics are too deep to get over in a 3 minute song and hence your songs are really just the tip of the Iceberg?
A: It's that and also the fact that unfortunately sometimes people look to us for answers and we don't have a f**king clue. We just in a rock band with some ideas, were not politicians or we don't have any real answers to the world problems.
All those book references are just to show were trying to be a stepping stone to people to get into those issues on their own and look for their own answers in these books. Were just trying to make understand that the revolution doesn't come from us - its up to everyone!!!
Q: It's so hard to convince a 40 year old who is set in his ways that this way is right so in that sense the future lies in the hands of the kids. If a 14 year old kid was reading this interview and is interested in the issues, but doesn't necessarily know where to start in terms of authors and books. Where would you suggest they started?
A: A lot of them are in the sleevenotes...but Karl Marx, the Situationists and there's a really good British book called "Lipstick Traces" which is about Situationism connected to the Sex Pistols. Also, the Charles Mingus biography. But really you've got to just devour everything you can and learn from that.
Q: The far right is becoming very visible across the UK and Europe. With this in mind do you believe there can be a real revolution in our life time back to socialist ideals?
A: Sometimes obviously you look at the world and just get bummed out, but then you just try and think of the positive aspects. The last couple of years so much has happened and the fact that 2 months ago thousands of people protested in Rome or all the riots in Gothenburg or Seattle. That was the theme of our last record, all these people taking action, so just seeing that make you really positive about the future.
I don't know what the revolution is going to look like and that is the whole point of revolution. Its up to everyone to make the revolution and its going to be really confused and beautiful and funny and weird all at the same time. You just have to strive for the revolution all the time!!!
Q: Teenagers don't listen to politicians or necessarily read political literature each night so it is down to rock stars and celebrities to an extent. What do you think of the elder statesmen of rock like Bono making political statements?
A: I don't know about Bono and who he represents. He's kind of being everyone's spokesperson and he's sitting down with George Bush. Like I said earlier, when kids actually understand that politics is part of their life's whether they like it or not they will understand that it can actually be interesting. You don't have to have dreadlocks or listen to crass to get into politics.
I guess hip-hop is the biggest genre amongst kids today so I'd like to see a lot of political hip-hop bands like Public Enemy - if that happened there would be a riot in the ghetto's cos' that's what the kids are into. We just toured with a Swedish hip-hop group act called Loop Troop and we wanted to show it's not just about a specific genre of music. We don't just want to play to rock and roll crowds!!!
Q: Finishing off and trying to bring together this kinship between yourselves and bands like Miss Black America and Kenisis. What does the New Wave Of New Angry mean to you?
A: Of course were upset with the way things are but more in a happy, passionate way without trying to sound too pretentious. I guess you can get pretty angry about all the bands were trying to react against and as long as people are singing about things other than a broken heart its a cool thing. You need the love songs too, but not every single song needs to be about the girl!!!
For More Info
Post Your Comments About
The (International) Noise Conspiracy and The New Wave Of New Angry
The Designer Magazine Message Board