Viagra Boys talks about complicating the truth on new ‘Cave World’ album

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It’s a sweltering 88 degrees Fahrenheit in Sweden where Viagra Boys‘ Sebastian Murphy sits shirtless, in his underwear, hunched over a computer screen. Equal parts Darby Crash and Townes Van Zandt, and covered head to toe in tattoos, he wipes his brow: “It’s hot as shit in here and I’m dying,” he utters. He has just recovered from illness – one of the many joys of touring – after traveling halfway around the world. “We’ve been in super tour mode for three months and I just want to live a normal life for a month,” he says, rolling what appears to be a tobacco cigarette.

Right now, he’s taking a month-long hiatus before jumping on a plane and starting all over again, this time to promote the next one. cave world LP, the 2021 sequel Jazz Wellness. Full of vicious satire recited over a sweet mix of freak jazz, post-punk and noise, the new album couldn’t have come at a better time. We are living through one of the most difficult global times in recent memory, but also, in Murphy’s eyes, some of us are regressing to our cave-dwelling beginnings as a species. Both physically and mentally sick of what is happening in the world, Murphy was driven to create cave worldan album that tackles batshit conspiracy theories like QAnon in addition to blatant racism, homophobia and the more general insanity breeding under the Earth’s soil.

We got a chance to talk with him about the thematic impetus behind the album, his love of the country-western aesthetic, and the possibility of bringing back some post-hot-sauce-shot freestyles.

Where does cave worldDoes the idea of ​​all of us returning to the primitive age of mankind come from?

It comes from a general disregard for what is happening in the world today. With this whole pandemic, you’ve been able to see a lot of these crazy ideas that people have about what’s going on in the world. The world has been pretty polarized lately anyway, but it’s become so much clearer that everyone is on completely different sides of the spectrum. Some people think the whole world is a conspiracy against them, and some people don’t think so, and are hated by others – like masks against non-masks – and all that shit seems kind of ridiculous and retrograde. I was just a little sickened by everything.

Did you start to become more aware of it during the shutdowns and stuff?

Yeah I think so. I also watched a lot of documentaries, and I thought a lot about evolution in general and just the fate of the human race, and how we’ve affected the world. And then it kind of came from this feeling of desperation, this feeling of knowing that we’re fucked. Just seeing what’s happening in the news. I just have this general feeling that we’re going to destroy each other.

“With this whole pandemic, you have to see a lot of these crazy ideas that people have about what’s going on in the world.”

There’s this kind of “Creepy Crawlers” intermezzo song where you play as a bunch of different people with wacky theories about kids growing tails and being bred for adrenochrome. Thinking about it, I found it terrifying because there are people who perpetuate these myths.

Yeah, they believe that kind of shit. Because I don’t think the truth is complicated enough for these people. I kind of understand why people think that way – because they want to have a good reason why things are happening in the world, when in fact there really aren’t any good reasons other than , you know, like this disease, it’s just has come. He came and the world is cruel and ruthless. That’s it. And some people just can’t stand it. It’s so simple, so much so that they must have all these elaborate ideas about why things are the way they are.

Have you ever been afraid that people won’t take what you do as satire?

I thought about it of course, but I’m not really afraid of it. I think it would be funny, and I would almost cheer him on. Reagan used “Born in the USA” for his campaign when it’s an anti-Vietnam War song. I find it rather funny. When people do that, it’s like shooting themselves in the foot. So yeah, go for it.

The music video for “Punk Rock Loser” is one of my favorites of the year. This country-western theme was definitely present on Jazz Wellness, and I know you’re a big fan of Waylon Jennings, but where did the idea come from?

I have to pay tribute to the director [SNASK] for having the idea. My brainchild was going to be me in a limo in Romania, driving and saying, “What’s up? to people and thinking that everyone thought I was this huge rockstar when in reality I wasn’t and nobody recognized me and gave me the wrong look. But I think we couldn’t do it in such a short time and they came up with this idea of ​​a cowboy town. And I loved it, of course, because I love the cowboy-macho-man, dusty outlaw aesthetic. And it was kind of the same idea; that I think I’m this hot, super cool guy, but no one else really does.

And it’s a funny song, but also quite self-deprecating when you really listen. Is it from personal experience or just seeing how people act in clubs and bars?

I think it’s both, in a way, because there’s been times in my life when I’m either really stoned or drunk, and I think I’m the coolest motherfucker ever. the planet. It was sort of a throwback to that period of my life and the search for that feeling you get after drinking a few beers. You think you’re the shit, when in fact you probably aren’t. And no one really gives a damn.

“When I was writing this album, I was like, ‘Oh fuck, there’s all these ideas and they’re all connected.’ And that’s just because my brain only has room for three or four subjects at a time.

Is the music usually written before tackling the lyrics? For example, does a lightning-fast beat inspire the dot behind a song?

Yeah, I kind of write them in a short period of time, which I think has been effective for me because I’m changing what I’m interested in pretty quickly. And I think it’s good if I write it in a short period of time. In Swedish you say ‘common thread’, but it’s like something that ties everything together and gives it that theme. It’s usually unconscious. Like when I wrote this album too, I’m like, “Oh fuck, there’s all these ideas and they’re all connected.” And that’s just because my brain only has room for three or four subjects at a time. So once I start a song or two it usually comes pretty quickly and naturally.

When you’re writing the lyrics, do you kind of have to dive back into those themes, or is it something you constantly think about?

When I write a song, it’s always on paper, and then I think I start drawing a lot on those pieces of paper, just trying to start building a world in a way. This makes it easier to enter a new theme. Like with this one, I wrote “Who’s the real monkey?” and that sparked the whole idea.

Do you find that you have to remember these feelings when playing the songs live?

Not really. It’s mostly about memorizing and thinking, “How can I do this in the best possible way?”

But your stage presence is pretty wild. You pour yourself beer and run around sweating without a shirt.

Yeah, it’s sort of self-deprecating in a way. And I think it’s mostly because when I was younger I probably watched too many ’70s punk movies like The Decline of Western Civilization and I’ve seen The Germs play and I’ve seen people cut themselves on stage or, you know, staple bologna to their boobs or whatever. I’ve always loved this kind of pure chaos.

“When I was younger, I probably watched too many ’70s punk movies. and watched people cut themselves on stage or, you know, staple bologna to their boobs or whatever. I’ve always loved this kind of pure chaos.

Kind of like watching GG Allin?

Yeah, I like that shit – you know, even though I don’t wanna be GG Allin [laughs]. But I still like that kind of extreme performance. Even though I’m not really this extreme on stage. I don’t do anything crazy. I just crawled and threw up and poured shit on myself. But that’s about all. There’s no, like, jumping around or hitting me with anything. I’m too lazy.

I read in an old interview that you were doing hot sauce shots and then freestyle rapping?

Yeah, that was when I was, like, sober for a little while as a teenager, and I was hanging out with other guys who were sober and we were just doing as much crazy bullshit as we could without doing drugs. So we were drinking about 500 energy drinks and stuff, and we were pumped up all the time. I wouldn’t even call it being sober [laughs]. But that hot sauce thing was my buddy’s idea. He was a really good freestyle rapper. And like, he was doing all kinds of scripts and he was making punks rap all kinds of shit. I forgot that. I should probably do that again. Florida

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