Hurula and the band at P3 Session. Photo by Love Appelgren
The solo project of Robert Hurula of Masshysteri – Hurula – is the hottest punk in Sweden right now. Since the release of his full-length Vi Är Människorna Våra Föräldrar Varnade Oss För earlier this year, he’s been busy gigging all over the country.
The other week, to coincide with his latest EP Betongbarn, he played at Swedish public service station P3’s Session in Stockholm. Since radio isn’t exactly a 3D-experience, we went along and fulfilled our Hurula-needs further as we got the chance to catch up for a quick chat – featuring his Fender.
NOISEY: Your guitar looks a bit rough – time to change?
Hurula: I don’t have the money [laughs]… My first guitar was actually stolen a couple of months ago from a storage space. It’s such a fucking crappy and cheap guitar – still it was like the only thing they took.
Sorry to hear that, people can be so fucking mean. So if you were to choose any guitar in the world, which one would you choose?
This one! It’s a Fender Mustang. I find it difficult to play new guitars. You don’t know where to put your fingers, or at least I don’t. With this one I can play without looking.
Hurula at P3 Session. Photo by Love Appelgren
Betongbarn, your new EP was released like today. Tell me about the making of it.
I mean… we recorded it in two or three days. It took longer to write, of course. This song “Betongbarn” has been with me for over a year. It wasn’t my plan to record anything but I wanted to play the song live… so then it just happened that I recorded it too.
Some of your lyrics are very political. Are you a deep thinker?
People say that. I feel like a political person; I think and talk a lot about politics. I never thought it’d show so much in my lyrics though. What I write is never something I sit and think about in advance.
Masshysteri, your previous band, did a lot of touring and kind of hit it big, right?
Yeah… But we weren’t really that big back then. We never did the mainstream stuff. Masshysteri became more popular after the band quit.
Like a bit of a cult?
Ever thought of doing something else, besides from music?
When I was younger and really needed money, I worked as a stagehand. It’s suited me so fucking well. I really like carrying heavy shit and being physical. I tried to be a removal man too but that just wasn’t my thing.
So do you see music as your job now?
No, I wouldn’t say that. Although I don’t have time for anything else right now… So maybe it is then? I only play weekends now and it feels like having a long holiday.
[Someone from the band shouts that it’s not a real tour if it’s not five shows in a row.]
Hurula: Yeah, but with Masshysteri we did 37 shows in 31 days… That’s why it took me over three years to record my solo album – I was really sick of playing shows.
Do you work with any of your old band members today?
Yes, Erik [former drummer of Masshysteri]. He’s taken all my promo pictures and even done my videos. We actually have a band together. I think we just released a 7”…
Wait. What? Okay. What’s the name of the band – and where can I listen to it?
It’s called Cross. But it’s only released in the US and Canada [on Deranged Records]. I think we have a Facebook page. Maybe even a webpage…
What about releasing that in Sweden?
I don’t know. It’s in English, you know [laughs]. Honestly, I don’t know why we would release it here. We’ll continue do more stuff with it though.
Maybe you know, play live…?
Maybe. Maybe even record an album.
Making music on computers is a big thing these days. Maybe that’s why Hurula have become such a huge success? You have this genuine rock ‘n’ roll set-up and you play real instruments. What do you think?
Yeah, I hope so. Or I don’t know. All I know is that it’s fucking great when there are people at our shows. That’s the only measurement of success that I have. I don’t take anything for granted.
Hurula changing guitar strings on his Fender. Photo by Hanna Blåhed
[Suddenly, I get a how-to-change-guitar-strings-for-dummies led by Hurula.]
Hurula: The first string is really heavy, because it’s something wrong with the guitar. But OK – thread the string through here, and then pull through with this tong. I always pull the strings for like twenty minutes each. I have to change them before every show, or I know they’ll snap. Every fucking show coast me at least 75 SEK [€8]…
Because you play to rough…?
[Laughs]… Yeah. No. I don’t know why.
You’ve moved and travelled a lot. I feel like I’m always on the run, too. Do you ever feel like leaving?
No, I like Stockholm. It wasn’t always my home, but it is now. And I still feel like a tourist sometimes. But I really like the city I live in, although these days it’s almost a taboo to say so. You’re supposed to hate the town you live in. But I don’t want to go anywhere else.
So would you like to go back touring in like, say, the US?
Yeah, I really like being there. But I wouldn’t like to do in the same way as we did with Masshysteri. When we were in the US, I slept so much in the tour van because of the cats.
Everybody have cats in the States, these orange things… And I’m allergic to them.
Hurula's EP Betongbarn is out now in Scandinavia via Stranded Records. The LP Vi Är Människorna Som Våra Föräldrar Varnade Oss För is out on Stranded Records in Scandinavia, and Deranged Records in the US and Canada. Listen to Hurula's Session in full over at P3 (in Swedish).
Hurula will be playing live on Thursday November 27 at Debaser Medis in Stockholm, Sweden.