Fri, 25 Oct 2013 10:00:57
"I'm very excited to get this going! It's been a long time coming," says INVSN vocalist and guitarist Dennis Lyxzen.
With a resume that boasts Refused, anything Dennis does is worth digging into. However, the immediately infectious and invasive sounds of INVSN rank up there with his most legendary rock. You'll feel it the second you crank the band's self-titled new offering. It's "alternative" done the right way with the perfect amount of hardcore unpredictability and energy.
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, Dennis Lyxzen of INVSN talks the group's new album and so much more.
What threads the INVSN record together?
As most of us in this band, I grew up buying records on vinyl. When music was still a piece of art, you had the start of the record and the end of the record. It's a complete thing with the artwork and the layout. That's how we grew up listening to music, and that's how we still listen to music. I'm not one for iTunes or Spotify. They're good compliments, but I'm still a vinyl record collector. I'm a huge vinyl guy. Having that in the back of our heads when we write songs, we don't consciously try to write "ten hit singles", but we want to write music that ties in together and works well as an album. There are always themes and moods and things like that. You can bring those in from start-to-finish, but I don't think there's an overlaying theme on the record. I think it's more of a consequence of us growing up over the course of the record. We view music very differently than most people playing music today.
Was the chemistry instant?
We're a new band as far as the States go. Some of us have been playing together coming up on ten years. We've done two records before in Swedish. We've played a hundred shows over the past couple years. We know how to play together. Early on when we started writing these songs, we had a clear vision of what we wanted the music to sound like when it was done. There's a specific style of drumming, and the instrumentation is pretty sparse as it's happening. Also, if you listen to some of the songs, there are three chords throughout the song. There are so many elements of the way the guitars play and the keyboards that changes a lot of the mood. Early on, we knew how we wanted the record to sound. From start to finish, there's a clear vision of what we wanted to sound like and how we play together.
You've definitely struck something that's your own.
It's our own identity. As a music nerd, you can certainly hear things, and that's part of any creative process. It's not completely our own sound, but the way we play together and make things it makes it new for us. If you listen to some of the songs, they're pretty poppy, but the way we play is hard and sparse. There's no jamming. Everything is very stripped the way we play it. That was an idea we had. It's a reaction to the jam-y music out there now. It's stripped and controlled.
What's the story behind "Hate"?
Our guitar player Richard had the idea for the little melody on the guitar. He sent it to us. That's usually how we work. We do small melodies and guitar things. Then, we record them at home and send them to each other. I'll do the lyrics and vocals after. He showed it to us, and we added the big crescendo ending. It's been a theme of the lyrics I've been writing since I was 16-years-old. It's about alienation and being an outsider. When I was a young kid, I sort of hated the world around me. I hated a lot of the grownup world, authorities, and everything that was preventing me from becoming who I wanted to be, even at that time I had a very vague idea of who I wanted to be. I used that hate and anger and channeled it. I started a punk rock band. I wanted to write a song about it. Where I grew up, there were a lot of bullies. People put you down because you want to be different. I grew up in a small town in the middle of nowhere. I was the only punk kid, and people picked fights with me and were assholes. I wrote a song about finding the strength to be different and getting even with the bullies.
What artists shaped you?
I still listen to a lot of punk rock and old school hard rock. When you consume culture, it's always a part of your life. I've been listening to a lot of Danzig.
If the album were a movie, what would it be?
That's a tricky question. I'd say it be something dark that ends on a good note! It'd be very film noir and in black and white. Maybe Alphaville or something like that. I'd have to think about that for a week to come up with a good answer [Laughs].
Have you heard INVSN?