February 2003
interviewed by Ian C Stewart

"We started using the name Severe Illusion in 1998 as we decided to create more danceable music. We had already been playing together for quite a while by then, but the music was more experimental before."

Fredrik Djurfeldt is describing the genesis of the Malmo, Sweden "riot electronics" group Severe Illusion. First, the name. "We are asked if it comes from some Revolting Cocks lyrics somewhere. I canít really remember, maybe it does."

What's the distribution of labor in the noisy, beat-driven Severe Illusion? Djurfeldt continues "Well, in the studio it is me and Ulf Lundblad who write all the songs. We write the lyrics together and I sing. Ulf is usually responsibe for the production and recording. We really donít let other people into the creative process at all. We lock the door, disconnect the telephone and work about forty-eight hours a day for about a week at the time. The result is usually four or five good songs, and a whole lot of garbage that we have to throw away. When we play live Ulf plays distorted bass, Karel Szebesta plays various forms of percussion and I sing. Occasionally we have other musicians onstage playing violin and even more percussion."

Given Djurfeldt's background (he's the artist formerly known as Karl Spoke, experimental noise musician), he's not a big fan of today's music scene. Asked to name five musical influences, he says "I hate to admit that five is too many. There are not that many interesting artists around today. That is one of the main reasons why we play the music we do. The frustration we feel in this normalized mainstream world where Sony and the Warner Brothers have replaced all culture. I think we were inspired by the Swedish punk movement of the late 1980s, especially bands like Ruska Tupp and Strebers. Not so much the music as the attitude. Okay, thatís two. We did listen a lot to Skinny Puppy and Numb back in the days when they where still active. If there was anything interesting after that, we missed it."

With gigs in Yugoslavia, Hungary and the Czech Republic, expect more live action from Severe Illusion. "We will start the work on our new album on Monday. Then there is a small tour in Central Europe comming up. Everything is still possible."

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