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The Bristles performing in 1983 in Uddevalla, Swe. Left to right: Puma, Ingemar, Svegis & Lankan.
|Years active||1982–1985, 1996, 2008–present.|
|Labels||Hot Stuff, Aftermath Tapes, Majken Records, Pike Records, Civilisation Records|
|Associated acts||Dada 36, Nymphus Näste, Black Uniforms, DTAL, Bristles DC, Hyste'riah, Boxarna, Driller Killer, The Skalatones, The Negatives|
The band formed in the beginning of the second wave of punk, influenced by bands like The Exploited and developed from punk with Oi!-influences to a raw punk band (in Swedish, råpunk). Together with Swedish bands like Asta Kask, Sötlimpa, Existenz, Moderat Likvidation, Noncens, EATER, Anti Cimex and many others the Bristles were the new breed of fast playing bands that released mostly singles, and did a lot of gigging. The band broke up in 1985.
The band briefly reunited in 1996, and later in 2008. In 2012, the band's second album, Bigger than Punk, was released.
Early days (1982–1985)
The Bristles formed in 1982, influenced by the second punk wave with bands like The Exploited and the Oi!-movement. From the beginning, it was a five piece band. Svegis-Guitar, Nelle-guitar, Rotcher-bass, Lankan-drums, and Viking-vocals. Nelle left the band early to form D.T.A.L. Rotcher left after the Don’t Give Up EP was recorded. He was replaced by Ingemar. The Don't Give Up EP was released in the beginning of 1983.
Soon after the release of the Don't Give Up EP, Viking had to leave the band. He was replaced by Puma from Black Uniforms who had split up a couple of months before. The band now took another musical direction, dropping the Oi!-influences in favour for merely raw punk.
In the fall of 1983, the Ban the Punk Shops tape was released. It contained mostly old songs re-recorded with Puma on vocals. In the summer of 1984 the band broke up just to shortly after reform with a new drummer, Groll, replacing Lankan. During this period, the Boys will be Boys EP was released. Lankan now joined D.T.A.L.
The band recorded four new songs in Stockholm in 1985 that were supposed to be a new EP released by Rosa Honung Records. Instead the band broke up again due to musical differences fuelled with drug issues. The band had said that the argument of musical direction was typical at the time, when the second punk wave was dying, and some wanted to play harder and others wanted to play more punk rock a la 77.
Briefly reunited (1996)
The band briefly reunited in 1996 to play at Bollnäs-punken. Malwin from Svegis' band the Skalatones played drums. A permanent reunion weren't possible cos' of Svegis and Malvins engagement in the Skalatones.
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The Bristles "The End" from Bigger Than Punk Album (2012)
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The Bristles "Bristles Song" from Don't Give Up 7" EP (1983)
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The Bristles reformed after the making of the compilation No Future in the Past.
Harri from Svegis' band The Negatives became the new drummer. In 2009 the Union Bashing State CD EP is released. Soon after Harri left the band. He was replaced by Ray (DTAL, Hyste'riah G.B.C, Driller Killer), a friend of the band since the early days.
In 2010 the album Reflections of the Bourgeois Society is released. It contains 11 tracks. On the record there are guest artists as Emilush, Neli from Hoogans Hjältar, and Jyrki from the Negatives. The record is produced by Klas Ideberg from Darkane. The album theme is the latest capitalist crises.
In 2011 the band releases Beväpna er/Were only in it for the drugs no. 2, two songs of the Swedish band Ebba Grön. According to the press release, it was "a fuck off to the Swedish right wing government", as a digital single. Shortly thereafter it's also released on vinyl 7”. The release included a paper describing the political rights first four years in power in Sweden, 2006-2010, exposing the politics of benefit the wealthy at the expense of less well-off.
In 2012 the album Bigger Than Punk is released. The album contains 11 tracks. The album title is borrowed from Dead Prez, but concerning punk. The album is produced by Tommy Tift (Sista Sekunden, Vånna Inget). The topics of the lyrics concern more every day life than on the album before.
In 2013 the Schlagers Christmas single from 1980 is covered - Each artist with self respect is recording Christmas songs. Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan, Lynyrd Skynyrd, who has released two, to name a few. It’s Bristles versions of music magazine Schlagers Christmas single from 1980, Anders F Rönnbloms Det är inte snön som faller (It's Not Snow That's Falling) and Ebba Gröns Nu slocknar tusen människoliv (Now Thousand Lives Fades Away). - We thought it was appropriate to bring a different perspective on this feast, says Svegis, the band's guitarist. The pc-critical perspective which, although obvious, drowns in the peddlers praise to consumerism. - We choose the songs we cover with great care. Last time we did the Swedish National Anthem, Ebba Gröns Beväpna er (Arm Yourself). So when we discussed Christmas songs the songs on Schlagers Christmas record from 1980, Anders F Rönnbloms Det är inte snön som faller och Ebba Gröns Nu släckas tusen människoliv, became natural choices. They're both classic Christmas songs. Only out on digital platforms.
In 2014 the EP Val? On Tape - in English Election/Choice? - released to the upcoming Swedish election, and the lyrics are completely in Swedish. The songs are recorded in one take, and no overdubs. The band has no illusion about a labour government, but the last 8 years of Right wing rule has been a disaster. The Right wing got re-elected at the same time as a fascist party got in the parliament. The recording and production is completely done by Tommy Tift (Sista Sekunden, Vånna Inget) and released on his Majken Records.
In 2015 (November) The Bristles new album Last Days of Capitalism is out and it is a review of the past two years' events ending up in the current both economic and political crisis. The economic crisis has led to war, and the political crisis consists of the fascism it brought. Racism and chauvinism are now norm. Other topics covered are the West's mass consumption, men's global war on women, the Left's failure, and multinational companies grip on people. Then there are some more traditional working-class songs about work buyers reprimands and neglecting ones job for the last time. Musically it follows the frustration over the state of affairs. It's fast, hard, simple and crude. There are no false notes, it's not out of tune, no-one's playing anything wrong, although it may appear so, it's exactly the way it's supposed to be.
- Current members
- Svegis – guitar (1982–1985, 1996, 2008–present)
- Ingemar – bass (1982–1985, 1996, 2008–present)
- Puma – voice (1982–1985, 1996, 2008–present)
- Ray – drums (2009–present)
- Former members
- Nelle – guitar (1982)
- Rotcher – bass (1982)
- Viking - vocals (1982)
- Lankan – drums (1982–1984)
- Groll – drums (1984–1985)
- Malwin – drums (1996)
- Harri – drums (2008-2009)
- Don't Give Up 7" EP (Bristles Punx and Skins Records, 1983)
- Ban the Punk Shops Tape (Ägg Tapes, 1983)
- Boys will be Boys 7" EP (Rockin Rebels Records, 1984)
- Ban the Punk Shops Tape re-issue (Jungle Hop International, 1985)
- Union Bashing State CD EP (MCR, 2009)
- Reflections of the Bourgeois Society CD/LP (Switchlight Records, Anarkopunx, Noise of Sweden, 2010)
- Beväpna er/We're only in it for the drugs no. 2 Digi/7" single (Bristles Records/Hot Stuff, 2011)
- Bigger than Punk CD/LP (Switchlight Records, Turist i Tillvaron, Noise of Sweden, Heptown Records, 2012)
- Schlagers Christmas single DIGITAL (Bristles Records, 2013)
- Val? EP Tape (Majken Records, 2014)
- Ban the Punk Shops Tape re-issue (Aftermath Tapes, 2015)
- Last Days Of Capitalism CD/LP, (Heptown Records, Civilisation Records, Pike Records, 2015)
- No Future in the Past (the best and the rest) 2CD's + DVD (MCR, 2008)
- No Future in the Past (the best and the rest) Part 1 LP (Noise & Distortion, 2008)
- Welcome to 1984 LP (Maximumrocknroll 1984) "Don't Give Up"
- Really Fast Vol. 2 LP (Really Fast Records 1985) "Nowhere"
- We don't need your nuclear force LP (Mülleimer Records 1986) "War Heroes", "1984 Part II"
- Varning för punk 3CD's (Distortion Records 1994) "Bristles Song", "Sick"
- Really Fast 1-3 2CD's (Really Fast Records 2000) "Nowhere"
- Svenska Punkklassiker Vol. 2" CD (MNW 2007) “Don’t Give Up”
- Landskrona CD 2007 "Landskrona Song"
- Dimmorna skingras vol 2 LP (Pike Records 2012) "Checkpoint Sweden", "A Prayer for the Employer"
- Ny Våg - Svensk Punk/New Wave/Synth 1977-1982 by Peter Kagerland (2012)
- The encyclopedia of Swedish punk 1977-1987 by Peter Jandreus (2008)
- OX Fanzine #106 Feb. 2013
- Ny Våg - Svensk Punk/New Wave/Synth 1977-1982, Peter Kagerland
- The encyclopedia of Swedish punk 1977-1987, Peter Jandreus
- Pike Zine #2 2011, Cow Mag #9 2012
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