“Fatal Casualties are Stefan Ljungdahl & Ivan Hirvonen. The band was born in Stockholm, Sweden 1986. Active years 1987-1991, with live performances and some demos.2010 was the reunion a fact, and august the 1st 2012, the debut ep “Paria” saw the light.”  

A promising duo from Sweden whose latest album on SEJA, ‘Filter’, is one of the finest genre-free gems. Let’s discover them… 

Well, let’s start from scratch. Fatal Casualties were initially active during 1986-1991. What happened that period. What can you recall? How did you decide to reunite in 2010?

The years 1986-91 were a time with big dreams. No obstacles, no responsibilities. It was fun. And our reunion was initially because of Stefan sent Ivan one new track as a demo (that later became the track ‘Aim’ from the debut EP ‘Paria’), and as a joke Stefan wrote that this track will be the comeback. The rest is history.

Would you like to talk about your latest album Filter? In what way does it differ from your previous ones?

Ivan: On ‘Filter’ our sound & songs are developing into something new…’Filter’ is a more compound album than our earlier releases.

Stefan: It’s still experimental but I’d say there’s more structure than on previous releases. The sound is warmer and richer.

You blend various genres in your sound. New wave, experimental, electronic, post-punk just to name a few. Is this because you are listening to various genres of music or something else?

Stefan: I don’t even pay attention to what genres we move between anymore. Being locked to genres kills the creativity.

Ivan: The life itself is a big mix of everything. I believe we would get quite bored if we wouldn’t challenge us in different ways. The mixture in our music is a part of that – to challenge us (and our listeners) and not to get bored.

Drown is an excellent industrial-noise-new wave gem. Would you like to talk about this track? How did it emerge?

Ivan: For me it was a challenge to find a sound for the voice to fit the music, and I think the “effected singing” suits the music very well! The red thread for the lyrics is a dream I had about my mother.

Stefan: I remember being a bit concerned that it would be too long. But there are quite a few interesting twists and turns in that song that makes it work.

You have so far released 3 videos from your latest Filter album. Would you like to talk about these videos individually then?

From the start of making the ‘Filter’ album, we said that if there was going to be any videos for any of these new tracks, we wanted someone else to interpret the music with free hands, and make visuals for it. And we found 3 interesting video directors who helped us making one video each: Grete Stitch Laus, Maria Levin & O.b.i. All the 3 videos (‘Kramp, Drown’ and ‘Jag Ar Inte Rädd…’) are interesting in their own ways.

Do you prefer the live experience or the studio one? I am asking this one because your music is more studio-friendly

Ivan: Why do you think the music is more studio-friendly? The live experience is, as I believe the next chapter to discover for us. We’ve done some shows, but there is a lot more to explore. I wouldn’t say that I prefer live, but it will for sure challenge us!

Stefan: Trying out ideas in the studio is probably why I still work with music, so that’s number one for me.

Why have you chosen SEJA label for you releases?

SEJA received our first demo (digital self-released ‘Paria’, later also as a limited cd on SEJA), and replied back that they were interested in us.
It’s a small and very familiar label with nice people that doesn’t want to change our sound.

More and more bands prefer to go dark these days! What do Fatal Casualties have to say about this? Does dark sell more? Or…?

Stefan: I’m not surprised if Music in general is getting slightly darker at the moment. It’s a reflection of these fucked up times that we live in.

Ivan: The basic receipt is writing good music. And a helping hand are trends. If media “discover” a band they like, they´ll write/talk/play them, and that will help and affect more people to discover the music.

Please name 3 directors, 3 movies and 3 bands that Fatal Casualties adore…

Francis Ford Coppola,‘‘The Godfather’’, Depeche Mode, The Cure.

Although you are Swedes you live and reside in Netherlands. Correct? How come? Have you created strong bonds with the local Dutch scene?

You got it wrong. We live in Sweden, Stockholm, but our label SEJA is Dutch.

Let’s end this one with your hopes and targets regarding the future of the project.

To play some bigger live shows, and to explore the future sound of Fatal Casualties.

In these dark eras most people go through which is Fatal Casualties’ message? Any recipe to improve somebody’s life?

Keep smiling! Kindness is magic.

Photo credits: Alex Dawson

Christos Doukakis