Viagra Boys are still pretty new, but already legendary. Mostly due to their crazy shows with their vocalist – Sebastian Murphy – onstage antics. In – what felt like – double-packed Hydrozagadka in Warsaw we experienced smoking and half-naked rolling onstage to trance-y post-punk music from the swedish 6-piece outfit. But the best thing waited for us after the show – one of our craziest but yet wise interviews to this moment. And yeah – it ended with Sebastian climbing the backstage walls and hanging from the ceiling.

[MOŻESZ TO TEŻ PRZECZYTAĆ PO POLSKU]

How was the tour?

Sebastian Murphy [vocals]: It was great!

Your album came out few months ago. Quick progression from a band that doesn’t have an LP to a band that sells out a rather big club in Warsaw. Must be a shock for you.

Sebastian: A little bit, yeah, but we don’t have any expectations. We just do our shit.

Henrik “Benke” Höckert [bass]: Some time ago our manager said: “You’re gonna be this big blah blah blah” [Laughs], but suddenly playing for 500 people in Warsaw feels weird.



Such crowd doesn’t happen very often in Warsaw.

Henrik: Wow. And this is first time we came to Poland.

Sebastian: I always wanted to come to Warsaw. I heard so many good things about your country and I see so much cool culture coming from Poland and I always wanted to be a part of it.

How do you like it?

Sebastian: I’ve met all the people downstairs and they were nice and just great. Wonderful!

Tor Sjödén [drums]: I don’t know why, but I feel some kind of connection to Poland.

Sebastian: I used to take a lot of speed, so I always felt a strong connection to Poland (laughs). I’m part polish!

Some people even call it “Polka”.

Henrik: Like the dance?

Sebastian: It’s nothing I support, tho! Honestly, I think it’s shit. It ruins your life and it makes you into a monster, but at the same time it’s part of my history. It’s what made these muscles!

Henrik: How come we’re that big in Warsaw?

Tor: Yeah, how? We don’t have any idea.

Why? Was this the biggest concert on your tour, or what?

Sebastian: Yes!

Henrik: Yeah, before we had 300 people tops. And 500 tonight!

Tor: Did they play us on radio or what?

I don’t think so, to be honest.

Sebastian: Maybe it’s just Kurws? You know them?



 

Yeah, of course.

Sebastian: They’re our friends. Our saxophone player plays with them. We hanged out with them last night in Wrocław. They are the nicest guys in the world. And they’re gonna play with us and I’m gonna do a song with them. I‘m gonna get those motherfuckers famous, man! (laughs) Yeah, but I love them. They’ve shown me a part of Poland that’s just… wow!

Let’s get to the thing that’s written about you very often. You look uber-masculine. To be honest, if I saw you in some dark alley in Warsaw, I would fuckin’ run. Yet you mock machoism in your lyrics. In fact, they’re pretty feminist.

Sebastian: It’s nothing, we’d ever thought about as “ok,we’re gonna make a feminist band”, never. It wasn’t our goal. But it’s very important. Most of the band is men and if people ask us if we’re feminist – of course we are. These questions are very important for us, because it’s part of our daily life in Sweden. You have to take a stand somehow to say “fuck you” to all these assholes.

Henrik: We believe in equality.

Sebastian: And for us it’s so natural – women and men are equal and men just have this responsibility to step down and let women take more place. We did an interview in Germany and we were asked about this. We were like: “Nah, it doesn’t matter”, but then she [an interviewer] said: “It matters for us, because the men in Germany are so fucked up. No one says, they’re feminist”. So we said: “Well, fuck those men, because in Sweden it’s just natural”. And the same with our lyrics – they’re feminist, but for us they’re just natural. It’s just how we think. I wouldn’t have any relationship in Sweden, if I wasn’t a feminist. The girls I like, are of course feminist. It’s just natural and we respect that movement. Our name sounds like bunch of men being like “Aaaaargh” and we are those men but it’s also important for us that everyone feels included – all races, all sexes, whatever. We don’t give a fuck because we love everybody. It’s not political, it’s just being a nice person.

Henrik: Nobody asks us those questions in Sweden.

Sebastian: Yeah, we’re way ahead of all you, guys. We don’t even think about it, because If we weren’t feminist, we wouldn’t have any friends. All the people we hang out with are on the left side – hey care about human rights and everything. And we are the same.



But there’s a strong right-wing movement in Sweden, I believe.

Sebastian: Yeah, and that’s what I mean. If the right is so strong, there’s no chance that we would be in the middle. That whole political debate that the rest of the world has – we’ve already gone through that 15 or 10 years ago. And I was an asshole, like, 12 years ago. I was a teenager with chauvinist ideas and then some lady probably said: “Hey, shut the fuck up” or something like that. And then you learn.

Henrik: We were all outsiders when we started that band. We never felt that we are a part of the society. And being a feminist in that times was something similar – you were treated like an outsider.

You said, you were an asshole. So, are you mocking or parodying your younger self?

Sebastian: Of course. I mean, I’m still not perfect. Even being a feminist and politically active person – you’re never perfect. I made a lot of mistakes. That’s the thing that can make a lot of people come to that state of mind. No one is right from the beginning. People are fucked up and I was fucked up. But I was a teenager then. Now I care for everyone to be equal.

Tor: Yeah, it’s great to grow up.

Sebastian: It’s great to be older and learn new things. To learn that you’re not right about everything and in fact you don’t know anything. That’s why I love these guys. When I met him [shows at one of the other guys], he was an asshole too.

So you were growing up together.

Sebastian: Yeah!

Tor: We don’t even know, why we are on this planet. We don’t know anything. Yo have to deal with that.



You’re making music in the #metoo era. For example – the news about Ryan Adams abusing women came out just yesterday. So many musicians did that. Do you feel that there’s a kind of tension in the music industry at the moment?

Sebastian: No, I was talking about this with a guy from Canada who interviewed me yesterday. He asked me how we adjust to that political tension and blah blah blah. And I was like: “Man, you know what? We went through that six years before you!” You know, I went through that and I felt this tension a long time ago. I’ve gone through periods where an ex of mine said: “You need to start thinking about this”. I was like: “Why are you angry with me that I’m not picking my socks from the floor? What the fuck is a problem?” And then I got it – she was angry because she was angry with that social structures. You know, when I leave my socks on the floor, I expect her to pick them up. That was 12 years ago. And when this #metoo movement came, I had already gone through this political, social shock – that “Oh fuck, I need to change myself”. All of us had already been through that.

Henrik: I don’t think that we will end up in the #metoo headlines.

Tor: It’s like in this old swedish saying: “Treat everybody as you want to be treated”.

Sebastian: Yeah, we’ve worked it out. I’ve done some weird things in my life. 10 years ago I went through a mental breakdown. My girlfriend said we need to rethink our relationship, so I went down the street and I saw some girl walking with her boyfriend down the street and I’m like “oh, shit”! And I recognised her. I slept with her years ago. It was really weird. We were both drunk and we just had sex. And when I saw her 5 years after that, I went up to her with tears in my eyes and I was like: “Hey! I’m really sorry!” and she was like: “No, that was cool”. That was my only #metoo situation and that was 6 years before #metoo. I’ve sorted all this shit out. And I don’t have any problem with that anymore.

So the world is finally catching up to you.

Sebastian: I think so! (Everyone laughs). No, but we’re still assholes!

Let’s change our topic for a second. I wonder how a band like yours, ended up in a label that’s mostly known for releasing Yung Lean.

Tor: We just think alike.

Henrik: When we started a band and got a little bigger, I asked my friend from that label [YEAR0001] for some advice and he said, he could be our manager if we’d like. So he became our manager and it all just happened.

Tor: Our guitarist had a hardcore band [NINE] with the founder of YEAR0001, because this guy came from the hardcore punk scene.

Henrik: We both love music and our relationship is personal. It feels great. And Yung Lean is an outsider too.

Sebastian: And I’m actually glad that we’re not in a label with a bunch of rock fuckers, you know?

Henrik: Yeah, I don’t like that shit too.

Sebastian: We’re sensitive boys (Laughs)

Tor: We have to change our name to Sensitive Boys.

Sebastian: Very Sensitive Boys!



 

What are your plans now?

Henrik: We’re gonna do a new record.

Sebastian: Yeah, and it’s gonna sound like shit. It’s gonna be an auto-tuned R&B record [Starts singing R&B]. You’re gonna hate it!

We’re sure polish people will love it.

Sebastian: I met a guy downstairs and he was like: “I used to listen to black metal and I love your fist EP, but your new album – not good”. And I’m like: “HAHAHA! GOOD! Because you’re a bitch, man! And you have to go forward in your life, because you’re a fuckin’ loser man! I don’t give a shit. You think you’re hard, man?”

Henrik: Was it a guy in a Behemoth shirt?

Sebastian: I don’t care! I was like: “I’m glad you didn’t like it, because then I don’t have to have you as a fuckin’ fan”. After the next album, some young guy or girl will come to me and say: “I love that album” instead of that metal guy.

Well, if people have expectations and can be disappointed with your music, that means you’re successful.

Henrik: Yeah, there are always people who love only the first EP.

Interview by Agata Hudomięt & Krzysztof Sarosiek

Check out our other interviews – HERE!

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