In the last year-odd, pop punk has seen a rebirth stemming right from its core. Whereas the likes of Blink 182, Green Day and Sum 41 flew the flag during its first heyday, bands such as Neck Deep, State Champs and ROAM have started taking the helm. Now, though, in a time where Sum 41 have returned bigger than ever, one newer band have emerged onto the scene – Newdrive. The Swedish punk rock outfit have just rounded up a tour with Deryck Whibley and co., and we sat down with the whole band in Amsterdam to get to know them better.
So, tell us a little bit more about yourself and how you guys came to form.
Erik (drums): They (Chris, vocals & Johannes, bass) started the band ten years ago, but it was more of a funny thing. It was a fun band, and a couple of years ago I joined too. We kinda reformed Newdrive, practiced really hard and wrote an entire album. I think we’ve really been a proper band since around 2012.
Tonight is your first show with Sum 41, and you’re also touring with Four Year Strong too. How did the opportunities to play with both of those bands come about?
Chris: I’m not sure how it happened with Sum 41. I think it was our manager who was in contact with them, and I believe that Sum 41 liked our music and chose us to tour with them.
Have you met the band yet?
Chris: Yeah, they’re really nice. Their crew are also really helpful!
So how are you guys planning on winning over Sum 41’s fanbase? It’s a very dedicated fanbase, but your sound is very comparable to theirs.
Chris: We’re gonna use our Viking strength, haha. We’re definitely going to give it our all to win them over.
Johannes: I think that the music speaks for itself, I’m sure that they will like our music if they like Sum 41.
Chris: We give our all in the scene and just go nuts, so hopefully they will like us.
On Facebook it says that you guys are influenced by the American scene, under which bands like Sum 41 also fall. Who else are you influenced by, though?
Chris: Simple Plan, Green Day
Erik: Yeah, Green Day
Johannes: The Offspring
Erik: Pennywise. There are so many bands, even Swedish ones like Millencolin and The Hives. We love The Hives, Pelle is great. (To Johannes) Name some bands!
Johannes: I like to listen to old school punk rock and hardcore, like Sick of it All. I listen to a lot of different music.
Of course your debut album is expected soon. Can you tell us a bit more about it?
Erik: It’s expected to come out before the Four Year Strong tour in May.
Johannes: The lyrics are based on things which happen in our daily lives, we wanted to do something real this time.
Any stories/experiences that stand out in particular? Or songs that you can’t wait for people to hear?
Chris: I think that Gone Forever is the big message, and a lot of people can relate to it. We got a lot of positive feedback on that song.
What is the scene like in Sweden right now then?
Johannes: It’s not that big to be honest. It used to be a lot bigger.
Erik: Our music genre isn’t that big. There aren’t a lot of bands from Scandinavia that play the kind of music we play at the level that we do it.
And do you, as a smaller band, face any of the struggles of the industry?
Johannes: Well we’ve done everything by ourselves, so everything is progress haha.
Chris: We did everything without any help and work really, really hard. It’s unbelievable how we’ve survived in the last years. Nowadays the hardest thing is finding a band where you have all people with same goals and the same views. You need to get along, and it’s really just hard to find a band actually – that’s the most difficult thing.
So is it just really tough in Sweden?
Chris: Yeah. We do have a fanbase in Stockholm, though. I think that if you’re surrounded by the right people you can make it. If you work hard, you’ll do it. And if you don’t give up.
Where would you then see yourselves in, say, five or ten years time?
Erik: Our big is to, erm…
Johannes: Hopefully to still be doing this and writing music!
Playing the same shows that Sum 41 are headlining now?
Johannes: Haha, yeah. We’re headlining and they’re supporting!
Thanks for your time!
Listen to Runaway by Newdrive below.