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By Dale Wyatt
It's not every day you talk to someone who claims they had their virginity stolen by capitalism.
The (International) Noise Conspiracy's bassist Inge Johansson explains how it happened.
"Me and Dennis grew up in small villages in the North of Sweden where everything was isolated and reality was cut off," he says. "We were told 'The world is running smoothly, Sweden is a country with no real rich people and no real poor people, everybody's got a stable economic situation and there will always be opportunities, as long as you don't make too much trouble.'
"Then when you came out into the big world, that wasn't really true and that is what the song ('Capitalism Stole My Virginity') is about."
Today, INC use their music as a means of conveying the band's leftist message.
"When we go on tour, people pay money to see us and they expect some sort of entertainment. They are really focused on this thing that's going on on-stage and it's a great opportunity to put out a political message," Johansson says.
"I do think there are some good aspects of working within the system, but I love doing music. It's so much fun and I think politics should be combined with fun to be vital, so that you can put your energy and emotions into it."
Unlike most politicians, INC don't want to hand out the answers.
"It's not the idea of the band to be the ones that paint the picture of the ideal world or teach people how to act or what to do. We just want to inspire people to think and act for themselves," he says.
"We're not interested in handing out the answers 'cause all people who have done that throughout history have been assholes.
"We raise questions and ideas but it's up to the people who actually buy our records or come to our shows to make what they want of it," Johansson explains.
Clearly, the events of Sept. 11 have inspired the band to continue spreading their leftist message.
"In every Western country, including the United States, there have been huge demonstrations against the war and against the U.S. bombing in Afghanistan," he says. "It's an excellent opportunity for people who have a critical perspective on things to talk about it with people and think 'Why did this happen? What kind of culture creates terrorists? What kind of economic structures are those people living under? And what's the U.S.'s role in this?' I think it is a great time for left-wing organizations to reach out to people.
"I don't have any idea about what I would prefer people to do, I just want to see something happen. I want to see some form of thinking and organizing. I think the [protests] that have happened in Seattle and Quebec are awesome 'cause it brings people of different political perspectives together, not to criticize one government or one corporation, but an economical structure," he explains.
After playing their unique brand of rock music across the world, The (International) Noise Conspiracy have never questioned their choice to be political.
"It was a choice we made unconsciously," he says. "Everyone in the band is political and we talk about records and books with the same sort of passion. It wouldn't feel right for any of us if we [weren't] a political rock band. There has never been an alternative."
Noise Conspiracy play Call the Office Monday night. Tickets are $8 in advance and $10 at the door.