Volume 95, Issue 14

Tuesday, September 25, 2001
Search the Archives:
Tips for searching

Campus and Culture
Submit Letter
Contact Us
About the Gazette


Randy's revolution not to be televised

Everyone loves beer! Why not read a book about it?

Randy's revolution not to be televised

By Dale Wyatt
Gazette Staff

Torbjorn Persson/Gazette
"You can't drink a soda or buy anything without supporting the big fuckers." Johan Brandstrom explains the complications of his punk rock lifestyle.

After talking with Johan Brandstrom, vocalist and guitarist for Swedish punk band Randy, it doesn't take long to realize this is a band with a message.

But the message is not "girls are hot" or "drugs are fun." Instead, it's a message of equality and freedom.

Together, these four activists strive to share their vision with others through music. Yet this unification of vision does not correspond with a consistent sound.

"I think Randy is one of those bands that doesn't stick to one kind of music. We tend to change every time. People may think they can't trust what they are gonna hear but we just do what we want and don't care so much what people say.

"It would be so fucking boring playing songs, like you hear on The Rest is Silence, on and on. We want to revolutionize the sound," Brandstrom explains.

Apart from the sound, Randy focusses strongly on lyrical content. Their spreading of a passionate, leftist message is important in order to reach their utopia.

"The perfect world [for Randy] would be an equal world. Gender, race, equal in any sense, without the state controlling it. We are basically anarchists so we believe the state is an evil institution.

"With the free markets and the general economy just growing all the time and these kinds of things controlling the world, the world is getting even more unequal," Brandstrom observes.

People often dismiss comments like these because they tend to sound childish or naive. It's hard to ignore them however, when the band has had such a diverse education.

"Me and Johan [Gustafsson] went to university. That gave me some more flesh on the bones. Everything is education in your life. Life's own education is maybe the best one. I actually learned more travelling around the world, looking around and talking to people than I learned in school. We are smarter now than when we first started. We have also read more books."

As is obvious, the members of Randy have keen eyes for observation. Wanting to destroy the current political system while being forced to work within it, has forced them to be careful with what they say and do.

"You basically can't avoid this money machine or whatever you call it – capitalism – in any way. Maybe [to escape it] you have to fucking live in the forest and grow your own stuff without buying anything. You can't drink a soda or buy anything without supporting the big fuckers."

Sparking his emotional side, Brandstrom begins to address the current situation in the United States.

"Like these things happening in the U.S.. It's really sad so many innocent people got killed, but you can't deny it has a great impact over [the] world economy and capitalism. It really proves that capitalists are fragile. Everybody, every single person in the whole world, is affected by this in some way. I'm not saying I agree with this terrorism, but I'm not sure I'm a pacifist anymore," Brandstrom maintains.

"I'm so fed up with the media's representation," Brandstrom continues. "Especially when we listened to the radio and read the paper when we were in the U.S.. I couldn't believe a word I read. There is only one opinion showing, and that's pro U.S.. If you watch, read or listen to the media, it doesn't seem like there could be a reason for doing this and, of course, there is," Brandstrom insists.

"It sounds like there is this maniac terrorist that doesn't have a fucking thing in his head so he just flew a plane into the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon, but that's, of course, not the case."

Quieting down, Brandstrom continues. "I think it's so sad that another country is going to be bombed. I'm not saying this was a good thing – I can't imagine the extent of harm it has caused the leftist movement – but I hope this can be used for good. We have a growing thing here with all of these protests against the International Monetary Fund and World Trade Organization."

Brandstrom finishes on a more positive note.

"If you look at the whole picture, things are getting better even though the world is more fucked up than ever. When the world gets fucked up enough, we will have a revolution in some way. That's what Karl Marx says.

"The gap's growing between the rich and the poor, [and] in the end, the poor ones will have had enough and things will happen."

Randy revolutionizes Call the Office tonight. Tickets are $6 and doors open at 9 p.m.

To Contact The Arts and Entertainment Department:

Copyright The Gazette 2001