Interview: Norra Hospitalet

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Please start with an introduction of the band

Well, there are three of us; Rebecca sings and plays guitar, Mattias plays bass and sings backup vocals and Anders plays drums.

According to the legend, Mattias and Rebecca had a brilliant drunk idea while sitting in a sauna on a stormy mountain – why don’t we start a punk rock band? They did give it a go, but it didn’t really work out and the plans were momentarily put on a halt. Some time later they decided to try their luck again and started searching for a drummer. After posting an ad in a buy/sell group on Facebook they got in touch with Anders, and after an initial audition the three-piece lineup was complete.

We started rehearsing late February 2019 and just two months later we played our first show at Punkhus 33 in Överkalix, opening for Umeås Kardinal Synd. After that good things started happening for us, and in early July we recorded seven songs.
We ended up sending the songs to Second Class Kids, and luckily for us Pelle liked what he heard and decided that he wanted to release our stuff. The seven recorded songs ended up being the CD Bakom Ljuset, released in November 2019.

Do you remember the first time you got in touch with punk, what was the feeling? 

Rebecca: Well, I didn’t really have a clue that it was punk that I was listening to back then, but when I was somewhat around the age of 12 my uncle visited my family. He brought with him two cd’s with Coca Carola. I absolutely loved them and played them over and over and over again. Along with that I also listened to The Distillers, Räserbajs, Mimikry, Flogging Molly, and a bunch of other bands, but never knew that it was punk. It was somewhere in my twenties that I first realized that I had been into punk for several years.

Mattias: Around 1990 I saw Sex Pistols video Anarchy in the UK, actually on MTV. I didnt know that it was punkrock at the time, but something totally different from what I had heard before, something raw. There was no going back after that.

Anders: I really remember the first time I heard Bad Religion, probably around 1990. I remember thinking that this was something entirely different sonically from what I had been listening to until that point. After really listening to the lyrics of the same band there was no turning back.

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Beyond the fun of playing music, what made you form Norra Hospitalet? 

Our love for punkrock.

Can you describe your sound in a good way? 

Our sound is straight forward, quite melodic punkrock. The vocals are what makes our music melodic, while the chords, bass and drums are straight and quite simple. It seems that some people really like it while others think there should be more hooks and clever riffs in there. Our songs usually derive from strong emotions and we tend to sort of take the shortest possible road from inspiration to finished song. Less is more!

Why should people listen to Norra Hospitalet? 

Good question. If you like classic punk rock and/or if you are walking around being discontent and angry with today’s society and especially with the cold right-wing winds that are blowing through Sweden, Europe and large parts of the rest of the world, chances are that you might enjoy our stuff.

If you were going to put a punk show togeheter, which bands (active or non-active) would you choose, except for yourselves of course? 

That’s a hard question to answer for us, since the three of us have somewhat different tastes (and also, not) when it comes to favorite bands, but let’s see if we can agree on something:

Mattias: Ramones, Misfits with their original settings + Bad Religion (Early) with a touch of Klamydia.

Rebecca: Darn, I hate this question. Not because it is a bad question, but because it is so hard for me to make up my mind and answer it.It is no secret that Lastkaj 14 is my favourite band all time, and I’ve seen them twice, but beside them I would probably pick The Distillers, Flogging Molly, DLK, Coca Carola, Troublemakers, aaaaaand… a lot more. 😉

Anders: It would be cool to see DLK, Strebers and Asta Kask since they all have been around for such a long time and also all were important to me learning to appreciate Swedish punk. Non-active, I would say Masshysteri. International bands, Ramones and the Stooges with their original lineups, if that was possible.

You are from Luleå in the northern part of Sweden, what can you tell about the local punk scene? 

For the past 15 years or so, the central point of punk in Luleå has been Föreningsgatan 7, or FG7, an autonomous house located on the outskirts of central Luleå. The scene has had its ups and downs and we feel and hope that the local punk scene is now heading for a new peak. There are several really good local bands that haven´t gotten wider attention yet. FG7 still remains an important institution as it provides an alternative stage for smaller local bands and also houses out of town acts.

There are also more well-known artists and bands from Luleå such as Mattias Alkberg, Hurula and Raised Fist.

What about the future, do you have any plans? 

We have had a break since November when Mattias and Rebecca had a child and we are now itching to get back together again and start rehearsing new material. We hope to record some more songs and hopefully release them and also play more shows at places we haven’t already visited.

Feel free to add anything you want…

Got a stage, need a band? Don’t be a stranger, send us a message!

Norra Hospitalet Facebook

Norra Hospitalet – Bakom ljuset review 

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