I see now that I never told you the real story about me. …Instead I told you a fake story about me. There was a reason for this. The real story was unflattering and, therefore, embarrassing. So therefore, I slightly altered the real story.
I meant only for these alterations to be minor. I made some alterations in chronology, heightened some lines of dialogue, omitted certain things that you didn’t really need to know. As I said, these adjustments were meant to be minor. However, these adjustments had a cumulative, even exponential effect. So, thus, in the story that I told you, I made a funny speech to a crowd of people at a party, who then praised me for my funniness. However, what actually happened was that I hid in a bathroom at a party and started punching the wall.
I am sorry for not telling you the real story, but I had good intentions. The real story was depressing, for instance, and I didn’t want to bum you out. Also, I wanted you to like me, and also, I wanted you to have sex with me. Thus, in the fake story, I made myself seem funnier, wiser, more noble. Again; these are natural things to do… right?
“That was a funny story!” you said when I told you the fake story.
“I know; right?” I said. Then we had sex.
However, I see now that it was a mistake to not tell you the real story. But now, even if I try to tell you the real story — well, that won’t really work. Telling you the “real” story will involve admitting that I lied in the first place. And so, then, you won’t believe any other stories that I tell you, because I’ll be a liar, so there’s no point, really, in even bothering to attempt the truth, since you wouldn’t believe it anyway.
But I am sorry about all of this. Believe me that I am sorry. I had good intentions? But I see now that the fake story is like a closed door, blocking you from the truth about me. The real story is like an open door that would give you access to the truth. But I can’t show you that door now. The open door still exists; it’s just that you don’t know about the open door. It’s a door, in a house, in the middle of the wilderness somewhere; a house that you won’t visit. …It’s a door. And when the wind blows through it, it doesn’t make a sound.
“The new noise theology is a resistant force of violence and seduction. Since the spectacle of the modern ways of production are killing the true creativity we would like to bring about a new beat that we can scream along to, disguised in the guise of popular culture. Within the sphere of capitalist alienation every aspect of our lives is controlled and manipulated and we need to use the powers invested in us to bring about the total destruction of the industry that supports us with uncreative and lame sounds. Scraped from the walls of Rude de Asas, the unknown poet could have designed the impeccable essay of linguistic anarchy and we need within the musical medium to redesign the thoughts and ways supplied to us by the perverted music industry. Turning the focus from the producer/consumer relationship into communication and dialectics, we need to challenge and to become more than nostalgia items. We need to obey our own laws and desires, those of revolution and those of change and unpredictability. We need to apply the new noise into our everyday lives to make it a truly inspiring force.”—Liner notes from “The New Noise Theology EP”
“Must I paint you a picture about the way that I feel? This situation of Art vs. Life and the present elitism within the bourgeoisie and upper-class. The critics hold their heads high cause they know about the real suffering and the real work while we get the easy accessible forms of communication and entertainment, pinned down simple for us to comprehend. The lack of stimulants within art, politics and life lowers our standards which is why we settle for talk shows and MTV. We are not stupid, but if we are treated like ingrates we will start to act like children. The lack of challenging forms of expression and thoughts of fire and self-confidence gives us a passive and hollow nature. So reclaim art, take back fine culture for the people, the working people, the living people and burn down their art galleries and destroy their fancy constructions and buildings. Cause we, unlike the bourgeoisie, have nothing to lose and therefore our expression will be the only honest one, our words will be the only challenging ones and our art will be the one revolutionary expression. We need new noise and new voices and new canvases to become something more than the last poets of a useless generation.”—Dennis Lyxzén, liner notes for Refused’s ‘The Shape of Punk to Come’
"Refused Are Fucking Dead" (The last official press release, 1998)
Just like the political theorists and philosophers (Baudrillard, Foucault, Derrida, Debord and so on) we also managed with a sort of self fulfilling prophecy. A manifestation of an idea to a concrete action. When Quilapayuns in 1972 realized the importance of widening their spectrum of action by dividing the band into five different sections to be able to spread their ideas on as many locations and to as many people as possible they had realized the principle of collective mass organization. A division into five new directions means in practice five new projects that can challenge and fight the boredom and death that sneaks into our everyday life. Five new ways to make the political manifesto that once was known under the collective spanner of “the Refused Party Program” concrete, five new forces that can devour and choke every tendency of the bourgeoisie shackle that keeps us down.
So why does Refused have to die to be able to rise from the ashes like the Fenix??? It is impossible to take part of a revolutionary program when every aspect of existence has to be projected as entertainment and music, a tradition that both in expression and creation has been dead for far too long. We were hoping that we could be the final nail in the coffin of the rotten cadaver that was popular music, but unfortunately the rectification was too big for us to succeed with our feeble attempts to detour this boring discourse.When every expression, no matter how radical it is, can be transformed into a commodity and be bought or sold like cheap soda, how is it then possible that you are going to be able to take “art” seriously? When every political idea has to become safe and categorized just so that it can be defined by disgusting “journalists” who¥s only aim is the selling of issues and the cashing in of paychecks, how can we then show the seriousness of the situation? When the single purpose of every song written is to accumulate capital for the record companies that will only kill every attempt at spontaneity and creativity, how are we then expected to create? When every show played just becomes another brick in the wall between people, between “fans” and “stars”, when we instead of getting communication and interaction are being forced to become nothing but consumers and producers. When people are being praised as geniuses and idols just because they play music or write books or something equally boring and “cultural”, when the widespread belief that their creation is more important than that people take part in everyday life…What does that say about the rest of us and what does it say about the system that we have? When we continue to uphold the bourgeoisie myth of self realization by saying that anyone can make it, just as long as they work hard, or pick up a guitar, we uphold the dream of good vs. bad jobs (rockstar = good, factory worker = bad) thus we also uphold the class system and the justification of it. When the self appointed elite talks about culture, the culture that tricks us into believing that there is such a thing as culture, without any thought or consideration of the political or economical system. When we become just another subculture with all the right attributes instead of a real counter-culture, then it is time to die, to revalue the position that we are in.
Refused “broke up” on the 26th of September 1998 in Atlanta, Georgia, and in a last feeble attempt to break the linear timeline that the modern ways of production has forced upon us we played the last show in Harrisonburg, Virginia on the 6th of October 1998. The show was interrupted after 4 songs by the local police force who thought that they’ve had enough. We knew that they were onto us but it was both a chock and a relief that they did not catch us until the last show. Then, after 7 years of trying, we finally managed to create our own time space within the capitalist power structure. The crowd managed to manifest a moment of passionate living when they continued to scream “rather be alive…” to the corrupt and useless preservers of private property.
So what now??? We will continue to, at every attempt, overthrow the class system, burn museums and to strangle the great lie that we call culture. We will continue with new projects and forces to do everything that is in our power to overthrow the capitalist structure that alienates us from every aspect of life and living, smash the rectification that forces us to dress in outdated identities and rules: we will continue to demand revolution here and now, and not in some vague future that all reactionary leftist fundamentalists and reformists are talking about. We want every day and every action to be a manifestation of love, joy, confusion and revolt.This is the last that we have to say about it, WE WILL NOT GIVE INTERVIEWS TO STUPID REPORTERS who still haven’t got anything of what we are all about, we will never play together again and we will never try to glorify or celebrate what was. All that we have to say has been said here or in our music/manifestos/lyrics and if that is not enough you are not likely to get it anyway. WE THEREFORE DEMAND THAT EVERY NEWSPAPER BURN ALL THEIR PHOTOS OF REFUSED so that we will no longer be tortured with memories of a time gone by and the myth making that single-minded and incompetent journalism offers us. Instead we need to look forward. We got everything to win and nothing but our boredom to lose.