Whilst the world is still in the grip of this Pandemic it’s always great to have a distraction from the daily grind of life currently under restrictions and social distancing and not being able to get out there and spend time with like-minded music lovers. However, one thing this damn virus hasn’t stopped is the release of great rock and roll records and one of 2021’s most impressive releases so far is without a doubt the awesome new album from Swedens The Boatsmen so with our masks on we made contact with the self-confessed kings of Party Rock and Roll and fist-bumped before we engaged in the chatter that matters. Welcome to your new favourite band kids please be upstanding for The Boatsmen…
Give us a bit of background to the band? You formed in or around 2008 when the first demo came out but didn’t get around to releasing the debut album in 2013 right?
That’s right, we started out wanting to be a contrast to a lot of the other bands around at the time. The Boatsmen is about letting loose and doing exactly what you feel like, just for the fun and the thrills with no boundaries. Stop taking yourself so seriously, stop overthinking and psychedelick my ass. During our first years, the focus was more on partying than recording. After a while, though we had mastered the art of partying to its full extent and got to work with our first album.
Yes, the band is from Örebro in the middle of Sweden and we grew up with a great music scene with bands like The Accidents, The Peepshows, The Strollers and The Pricks. When we started the band however the scene had been losing some action and we felt the responsibility to show the kids how it’s done.
I’m curious as to where the name comes from?
The band is named after the dog “Båtsman” (“Boatsman”) in the Swedish 70s kids show Saltkråkan. We thought a logo with a big anchor as the T in the middle would look cool.
Who were your influences?
We have a big mix of influences but we have a steady ground in the old 60s garage music with band such as The Sonics and Music Machine but with the rock action from MC5 and The Stooges, some boogie from The Hurriganes and Eddie Meduza, and a whole lot of punk approach from bands like GG Allin, The Damned and Ramones. But the main influence is good songs in general. Of course, we listen to and love the Scandinavian rock scene with bands such as Turbonegro, The Hives, and The Hellacopters. Reigning Sound and Henry Fiats Open Sore are two other favorite bands.
We have worked with Ghost Highway before and we really like the stuff they put out and the way we work together. They also got American Spaghetty Town on this boat and we like many other bands dream of the US so we are really happy about that.
Where was the new record recorded?
We recorded ourselves in our rehearsal room/studio, Super Studios, that we have together with our friends in V8 Interceptor.
How has it been since Covid hit the globe? Sweden didn’t strictly enter a lockdown is that right? We there live shows then?
The main difference in Sweden compared to most other countries is probably that the lockdown is more about “recommendations” than laws. No public gatherings with more than 8 people allowed so no shows.
Who writes the songs in the band and how do you come to the finished record? Is everything done before you enter the studio? Did any of the writing get changed much when you started recording?
The last record we rehearsed a lot before we went into the studio and recorded everything live, all songs in one weekend. This time we pretty much recorded every song as soon as it was made, less rehearsing. We jam the music up together and all the lyrics/poetry are written by lead singer Håkan.
What about how long it took to get it finished from the start of the process?
Martin the drummer moved to another city so we just met during weekends and partied and recorded. It took almost two years because we really like to party. Also, we were waiting and hoping for the pandemic to be over before putting the record out, but eventually, we had teased ourselves too much and had to release it.
We would love to bring our rock’n’roll circus to the UK as soon as we can!
The Boatsmen profess to have a good time all the time. What constitutes a good night out with The Boatsmen and where do we sign up?
There´s a discussion about a repress and we hope we can get it done soon.
What has the band done differently from album to album? The new one is so good you seem to have hit a rich vein of form did it feel good when the songs were finished? Having had some distance from finishing recording and releasing is there anything you’d have done differently? What’s the process for The Boatmen.
For every record, we have had a different approach just to keep it fresh and not to do the same thing over again expecting a different result. This record we did everything ourselves, even the cover design, so maybe next record we’ll do nothing ourselves.
Talk us through the songs on the new album. Obviously, there are some reoccurring themes but are there any hidden depths we need to know about?
First off is the track “Action Delivery” and it’s about the anxiety and excitement of playing in a rock band that believe they´re the best. Next up is “Friday Night Forever” and that song is summed up in one of the lines of the lyrics: “Close your eyes and close your ears, be shitfaced don’t face your fears”. “Blame It On Me” was the first single from the album and it’s about the fact that everyone already thinks we are fucked up drunks, so if you do anything bad you might as well blame it on us. “Thirst Song” is a love song about a drunken relationship. “Saved By Rock” is about the fact that rock’n’roll saved us from boredom, sobriety, and virginity. “Even The Good Times Were Bad” is about how the times you thought then were good times can look like from behind. “I Don’t Wanna Lose This Time” is about not wanting the weekend to end. “When I’m Drunk” is about the superpowers you get when you’re drunk. Everything good that I have achieved in life I have done while being drunk. “Big Waves” is about remembering that you are the captain of your own ship. “Clap Canon” is a Swedish expression that describes when someone is really drunk. We have with our magic linguistic capabilities turned it into a story about making the audience clap their hands to keep the band on fire. “Gimme Your Money” is about the fact that alcohol is very expensive in Sweden. “Better Man” is what I keep telling my wife every day that I’m going to be. After Party In Hell is about the fact that if you end up in hell for doing the things you like I’d rather go there already.
What next for the band?
We would like to tour the world, but since the world is closed down right now we’ll release a bunch of music videos and do stuff online to keep the people’s thirst and hunger up until we can bring our exploding rock’n’roll chaos to your town! Cheers and thanks for the interview man, keep up the good work!
Verses The Boatsmen review Here