Besides having the most Scando punk name ever, and running one of the best punk blogs, Peter Swedenhammar has a rich history in the Swedish punk and hardcore scene. As part of the legendary mid 80s Linköping band Raped Teenagers, (a band that drew from Koro, Die Kreuzen and The Feederz), Peter also did time in Pusrad, a band known for not producing any song much longer than 15 seconds.
He's returned with Isotope Soap, a solo synth project, named after a track by Geza X , a personality from the 70s LA punk scene who produced records for the Dead Kennedys, Germs and Black Flag. In his own band Geza X and the Mommymen, he is credited as having pioneered the use of the headset microphones.
Isotope Soap takes the same frantic energy of Geza and blast it through some basic synth punk. Have a listen below and read a short chat we had with Peter.
Noisey: Geza X has obviously influenced your sound. What is it about Geza that makes him so special?
Peter Swedenhammar: Well, I love Geza X and about everything he has been involved with as a musician and producer. Be it Deadbeats, Geza X & The Mommymen or producing The Germs' Lexicon Devil and the Dead Kennedys, Modern Warfare. And he's still very vital today as an older man. He never seems to be out of crazy and funny ideas. I love that. But to be honest Geza wasn't a huge influence when I started doing Isotope Soap (the name was Clockout first). It was more bands like Devo, Punishment of Luxury, Iko 83, Das Ding, Five Times of Dust, Screamers plus the usual punk/hardcore I consume on a daily basis.
One song is called "Hate" which is such a pure emotion. What are you hating at the moment?
Lots of things. To be honest I may not hate that much, it's more despise. I try not to complain to much even though it can be fun. Some good advice I heard was that the best way to complain is to do it better yourself. But when it comes to "Hate", it's about those people in need of showing off: cars, houses, pets, children, record collection, vacations and so on. No I don't get jealous I feel bored and empty when that happens. Show me some crazy shit instead, a fun idea. Don't be scared to show that you're mentally insane ha ha. But if you need to show off cars, houses, vacations etc you're actually insane. Truly insane.
Do you enjoy doing music solo?
It's great fun. I did it a long time ago and started to miss it. And when I acquired some synths the inspiration just exploded. It was like starting all over again. It felt fresh. I knew nothing about synthesizers a little more than a year ago except that they've always intrigued me and I've loved the sound. Sometimes I can get stuck but I have some others bands that I play with like Nazca Airline Pilots where I can refuel again.
What is news with Pusrad ?
We got tired of it. We took the concept as far as we wanted. Our moto was that all the true great hardcore bands make a couple of records then quit: Deep Wound, Koro, FU's, Jerry's Kids, Missbrukarna, ISM and so on. We recorded songs for a last 12" EP but no vocals. So maybe one day they'll see a release. I think I'm going to bring some of them into the Isotope Soap set too since I think there's some really good tracks in there.