Last year’s Coachella for the most part ignored heavy music. And while this year’s lineup still lacks any metal acts, Coachella has snagged two big reunions that will certainly excite hardcore fans.
First up, it’s been confirmed that Swedish punk legends Refused will be playing the festival on April 13 and 20. This marks the first time the band will have shared the stage since breaking up in 1998 (after seven years and three albums together). The members of Refused themselves released a joint statement explaining their decision to performing at the festival (now being held during two consecutive weekends). Here is what they had to say:
“We had a band once, in Umeå. We would pile in a van, like every other punkband, and thunder off in pursuit of friends and glory in some basement in front of 20 people, 50 people, in towns 4-5 hours away. Sometimes there would be more than a hundred people and we would later in the week refer to that as a ‘big show.’ We were ambitious, but we didn’t think of it as a career.
We never made any fiscal sense whatsoever during seven years of touring. Like most punk bands, it never occured to us to even try. We had a scene, we had some politics and we had just a hint of artistic ambition. True to our Swedish roots, we got very serious very fast. And then suddenly we got good. It’s a delicate path to tread for precocious twentysomethings anywhere on the planet, but this particular bunch didn’t make it. And that was fine. Most enterprises in life are unrelated to incredibly violent rock music.
It’s been a motley 14 years since our band came apart. We’ve all kept busy in our respective endeavors, but we’ve all remained friends and kept in touch. There have been offers, and lots of jokes about these offers. We’ve sort of looked down from our high horses and made fun of people who’ve just wanted to share the psychopathic intensity that we would deliver on a nightly basis in our post-pubescent prime. A reunion has just seemed irrelevant to us. Too much other shit to do.
But then Kristofer [Steen, bass] got his degree from the Swedish opera academy, Jon’s [Brännström, guitar] medical studies began drawing to a close and Dennis [Lyxzén, vocals] and David [Sandström, drums] started a new hardcore band together. Finally, after a decade-and-a-half hiatus, Kristofer picked up the guitar again. Which made David want to play the drums again. Which in turn led to all four of us suddenly making new music in assorted constellations.
As all this was brewing, Coachella got in touch. There were a couple of phone calls, lots of skepticism, some hesitant enthusiasm before one of us basically said, ‘This is ridiculous. There are friends of ours who would murder close relatives just to go see bands there. Let’s just do it, one last time.’ And with that, socialist fag-loving PC scumbags were on the road again.
We never did The Shape Of Punk To Come justice back when it came out; too tangled up in petty internal bickering to really focus on the job. And suddenly there’s this possibility to do it like it was intended. We wanna do it over, do it right. For the people who’ve kept the music alive through the years, but also for our own sakes. We feel that you deserve it and we hope the feeling is mutual. See you in the pit.”
As if Refused’s reunion wasn’t enough to excite fans, At The Drive-In have also been confirmed to play Coachella on April 15 and 22. This comes right after the post-hardcore group announced their return after an eleven year absence. Since yesterday, the band’s newly launched website has been updated with the two Coachella dates and a short teaser (which can be seen after the jump).
So both Refused AND At The Drive-In are making their return at the music and arts festival, being held in Indio, CA. It’s unclear as to whether this will be the only appearances made by both bands (at least in the States and in 2012, though Refused have also confirmed a Swedish festival appearance). Two punk/hardcore legends, with a classic album each to their name, playing the same festival. So with that in mind, who’s planning to go to Coachella this year?