Radar Band Of The Week No:95 – ‘Holograms’


Being young and poor in Stockholm stings just as bad as it does anywhere else. To scrape together the kronor to tour, three Holograms temp at a warehouse an hour outside the city. “Not even a factory, there’s no working-class romance,” laughs guitarist/vocalist Anton Spetze. “It’s a shitty way to make a living.” Holograms were too skint to afford the ferry to London to play with labelmates The Soft Moon recently, so instead Radar interviews the band – Anton, his brother Filip (synth, vocals), Andreas Lagerström (bass, vocals) and Anton Strandberg (drums) over a wobbly Skype connection outside a venue in Nantes, where they’ll earn just enough to cover their petrol.

That’s life, though. Debut single ‘ABC City’, released in March, was a hymn to the dour concrete of the Stockholm projects, the Arbete Bostad och Centrum (Work Housing Centre) complexes built in the ’50s to house Sweden’s working class, now characterless sink estates where boredom and poverty reign. “There’s no jobs, it’s hard to get an apartment,” says Filip. “You get pissed off at the world…”

They met at Vieille Montagne, a boat moored in central Stockholm that’s home to the city’s best garage punk shows. Their music, though, is hardly so easy to categorise. Debut LP ‘Holograms’ is swaggering hooligan punk shot through with primitive kosmische electronics, courtesy of the antique Korg that stands stage centre. Lyrically, too, it avoids cliché. ‘You Are Ancient’, for all its glorious evocations of Vikings sailing the high seas, addresses the rise of the far-right in Sweden. “People are proud of their heritage, but it’s false pride,” says Andreas. “The Vikings built this country on blood. Raping and pillaging is a weird thing to be proud of.”

Getting signed wasn’t tough. A couple of hours after emailing their homemade video for ‘ABC City’ to Brooklyn label Captured Tracks, they had a deal. Half the advance went on a car and petrol, but that only gets you so far. “We got broken into in Amsterdam,” says Andreas. “Now we need a new GPS, because we have no sense of direction.” He laughs. “Things are pretty rough right now!”
Louis Pattison

Need To Know

Based: Stockholm
For Fans Of: Iceage, Blank Dogs
Buy It Now: ‘ABC City’ is out now on Captured Tracks. Debut album ‘Holograms’ follows July 10
See Them Live: They return to the UK this August to hit the festival circuit
Believe It Or Not: Holograms’ Korg MS-10 was borrowed from one of Andreas’ friends, who later passed away: “It’s been part of our sound since the beginning, so his father gave it to us as a gift”

This article originally appeared in the June 23rd issue of NME

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