On their new album, Viagra Boys discover the web’s darkest corners

Lead singer Sebastian Murphy opens up about his debauched on-stage persona and the way esoteric web tradition impressed the Swedish post-punk band’s third album, Cave World

On “Troglodyte”, the lead single from Viagra Boys’ upcoming album Cave World, frontman Sebastian Murphy sings about an incel who goals of turning into a shooter. “He says he do not imagine in science/ He thinks that every one the information is pretend,” he creates out, earlier than dialing again the clock to pre-human instances “once we had bushy legs and arms/ And also you have been nonetheless swimming spherical in a lake”. It is the type of esoteric on-line content material that you just see strewn throughout the manosphere through Jordan Peterson movies and 4chan, with references to all the pieces from Return to Monkee to dinocore.

“The track has a bunch of timeline errors, as a result of once I first began writing it, I assumed a troglodyte was a type of fossils you discover in a rock,” Murphy confesses. “I used to be referencing somebody being up to now backwards that they seem to be a fucking seashell, like probably the most primitive type of life. However then, I noticed that I used to be fully fallacious, and a troglodyte is a fucking caveman.”

He is talking backstage at Primavera competition the morning after a very tough night time for the Stockholm singer, who has the vacant stare of somebody who’s seen higher days – “I am so hungover,” he says, with a sigh. Sitting on a bench beside a row of bathroom stalls – a surprisingly becoming context given the singer’s louche on-stage persona – he holds a can of beer in a single hand and a tin of snus within the different. “I like web tradition and I watch a whole lot of YouTube and figuring out the place memes come from,” he begins. “I noticed this actually attention-grabbing documentary concerning the cognitive trade-off speculation, which reveals how monkeys have actually good short-term reminiscences that we do not have. It made me take into consideration the entire world on the whole, like how folks fucking suck.”

Cave World, the Swedish band’s darkly comedian third album, is the results of a pandemics-worth of scrolling. With mentions of conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxxers, it’s, in some ways, a mirrored image of society at current, packaged in Murphy’s immediately recognizable pressure of debauched post-punk. “I believe there’s a whole lot of inspiration simply from the downfall of society and what’s been happening on the earth lately and the divide between folks and the extraordinarily polar reverse concepts of how the world needs to be – and simply this basic feeling of chaos and destruction ,” he explains.

For bands like Viagra Boys, whose values ​​are progressive however whose presentation is terminally sleazed-out, it is laborious to discern what’s a parody and what’s not. Ever for the reason that launch of their 2018 debut road wormsthe band have made a fame for skirting the boundaries of political correctness, whether or not that is lampooning poisonous masculinity whereas enjoying into machismo stereotypes, or reflecting on themes of classism on their chaotically exhilarating sophomore album Welfare Jazz. Even the band’s title is topic to controversy: ‘Viagra’ is routinely changed with ‘V**gra’ to keep away from PR emails touchdown in spam.

The natural-born frontman, Murphy, too, takes on the function of the anti-hero, with self-aware lyrics typically alluding to his personal dickish conduct. On “Ain’t No Thief”, for instance, Murphy rebuts somebody who’s accusing him of stealing their jacket (“I ain’t no thief/ We simply occur to have the identical stuff, motherfucker,” he spits), whereas on “Punk Rock Loser”, he insists that he is “looser than a bit of low-hanging fruit” in opposition to a rolling array of outlaw nation rhythms (Murphy, a tattoo artist by-day, has the phrase “LÖS” – which means ‘free’ in Swedish – written throughout his brow).

“I attempt to attempt to channel some type of inside battle,” says Murphy, reflecting on his debauched stage persona. “After we first began off with the band, all the pieces that was happening stage was actual. I might curl up in a ball and begin crying to get into this [state of] self-hatred.” He pauses. “I wish to hold being this sort of decadent individual on stage as a result of it is how lots of people really feel – and so they like seeing this asshole.”

Afterward that night time, Murphy is a person reborn. “I destroyed my life in Barcelona,” he broadcasts plainly to the group, pouring beer down his protruding, tattooed stomach from him. He jokes that he is the Swedish Home Mafia and denounces “this fucking home shit” from the close by Boiler Room x Cupra stage. It is this on-stage magnetism that makes it near-impossible to peel your eyes away from him. Blowing cartoon kisses to the group, he thrusts the air mic and screams down the mic: “However then I come out right here and see all you fucking freaks – freaks by no means die!”

Cave World is out July 8

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