Profile: Norwegian Hardcore Punk Rockers The Good The Bad and The Zugly

The Good The Bad and The Zugly
The Good The Bad and The Zugly

Norwegian hardcore / punk outfit The Good The Bad and The Zugly will be releasing their third full length, Misanthropical House, February 16 and it sounds just like the album cover looks. If you thought about Animal House while you caught a glimpse of it, that’s the feeling you get throughout these raucous twelve tracks. Punk attitude meets a hardcore delivery for some 30 minutes of fun — what more do you need?! Everyone needs some fun so don’t miss this thing. Just ahead of the album’s release we had the chance to ask the band our set of Profile questions and their answers completely live up to the wild music they’ve made. Plus there’s a stream, do it.

The Good The Bad and The Zugly - Misanthropical House

How did you first get into playing music and have you achieved the level of success that you always hoped to achieve?

Eirik: We started playing together in 2010, but we had all played in other bands prior to that (Wonderfools, Hellride, The Abusers, Brat Pack, Saudi Arabia). The level of ambition was pretty low back then, and our main objective was to play a gig at Zugly’s sisters birthday party. After that we didn’t have any plans to take it further other than to record an EP, which turned out pretty ok, and its just gone on from there. So in that sense you can say we have achieved all the success we hoped for, but only because the expectation of success has always been devastatingly low. Don’t expect Wembley, Last Train is just as cool!

Magne: Honestly, I started playing in marching bands as a kid, but thankfully I switched to rock music at thirteen or fourteen. At least for my part I think now we’re right where we want to be, or almost. I wouldn’t want to be touring full time. When we started this band our goal was to play the Øya festival in Oslo. Now we’ve accomplished that twice. And we’ll be playing at Hellfest this summer, which is crazy beyond our wildest dreams (ok, at 12:30 in the afternoon, but on the bill nonetheless.)

What’s the most you have ever debased yourself to get your band onto a show, into a magazine or otherwise promoted, covered, debased and praised? If you don’t have a story please tell us any embarrassing story.

E: Since the level of ambition has been so low we have never really been any good at promotion. Luckily our label Fysisk Format is doing a great job in that department. When you mention it, I do remember we nagged a long time to get to play Øya Festival in Oslo in 2012. And at the moment we are annoying Gluecifer in order to get to play support for them on their comeback shows in Oslo next fall. We don’t usually get too embarrassed ourselves I think, its more the other way around, other people being embarrassed on our behalf.

M: We did a quite embarresing tour of Germany in 2013 together with our Tromsø hardcore friends Die A Legend where one venue said “this is the lowest pre-sale of tickets in our 20 year history, do you still wanna do the show?” Almost every night was like that for nine days, except from Friday and Saturday for some reason… But we still brought in our two double stacks of Marshalls and Ampeg 8×10″ and had a blast! We’ve made some deals with the devil though, i.e. a clothing company for free stuff in return, which was cool enough. And with some eyewear company, WHICH WE NEVER GOT BTW!!

What do you see as some of the great things happening in music and what are some of the worst things happening inside the scene right now?

M: I was just in Australia and saw some really cool bands down there. Never been before so maybe it’s always been good, but in Melbourne in particular there seems to be a lot of young bands that have revived the punk scene and been influenced by, and taken under the wing of 80’s bands like Cosmic Psychos and The Hard-Ons. New bands like Amyl and the Sniffers and Bu$ Money are starting to take off before they’ve hardly released anything. That recently happened to the Dune Rats who have just broken into the major audience. In Norway most people listen to whiny ass indie bands, electro-pop and singer/songwriters. It’s starting to be addressed as a problem that the national radio station, the big papers and the music award people are just one big, happy family who put their friends first and on top of the playlists and award shows. But Norway is a tiny country in which everyone knows everyone so it’s unavoidable that this happens. Apart from the metal scene, which is still quite big, you have to dig a little bit into the underground punk scene to find the really good stuff. But it seems like it’s a good community for new punk/hardcore bands who play together and support each other and festivals like the new Harpefoss Hardcore Festival which we played this year, and the Tunghørt Festival that we played last year. Lots of the same bands and the same people, and a really good time.

It seems that now everyone has a passion for some cause and that those people are very open about displaying their passions. This is probably a very, very good (and progressive) thing socially. What are some of the most important issues (social/political/humorous/etc.) for you and how do you insert those issues into your music? 

E: The new record is filled with social and political commentary. Like the unspoken tabu of widespread hemorrhoid pain throughout the country in the song “Vik Bak Meg Satan,” and the fact that some people need to travel across the globe to get a decent cup of noodles in the song “International Asshole.” Have a listen and I am sure you’ll pick up some more urgently pressing issues of contemporary politics.

M: We just want people to drink beer and feel fine. It’s a dark world and dark times, but I guess it’s always been. That is addressed in some of the lyrics, but we don’t wanna bring people down. That’s why we don’t print the lyrics in our albums. We’d like to give people a break from reality and just have a good time.

What, or who, got you into heavy music and how old were you? How did your family take the news?

E: Personally, it was my brother who gave me a record of Turbonegro for Christmas when I was thirteen. For my following birthday he gave me my first guitar. I think he secretly got the money from my parents ’cause they thought I had asbergers or something and wanted me to get cooler friends.

M: I guess it was my step brother, my older brother and my friend’s older brother in the late eighties, early nineties that introduced bands like Mötley Crüe, Iron Maiden, Guns n’ Roses and that stuff when I was a kid, like eight to ten. Then a bit later at fourteen or something it was an older friend and my cousin who gave me casettes, or mixtapes with more punkrock stuff. Fat Wreck, Burning Heart, People Like You and all those lables and bands. The family had given up already.

What advice do you have for aspiring music critics and outlets out there? How can we all better serve the genre in the eyes of a hard-working musician?

E: No specific advice other than to check out, listen to and buy music of local bands and labels. And to drink beer and feel fine.

M: Go to shows, listen to music, talk to people. That’s it I guess.

What’s your goal? You guys thinking world domination? Maybe saving a continent? Maybe invading one? Any interest in starting a cult? Do you guys have day jobs or hobbies you want to share? Whatever it is, please let us know.

E: No goals, no world domination and definitely no invading, although starting a cult sounds pretty cool. We don’t all have jobs, but at the same time we have never considered music as everyday work either. When it comes to hobbies Ivar is big on solitary fishing expeditions deep in the forest/jungle outside of Oslo. I know Kim is fixing up an old boat these days and Zugly has just invested some money in a small but profitable tattoo-removal company. Magne has just taken up traveling the far east and I have a small model train collection going. So you can say we lead lives packed with excitement.

M: I’m quite satisfied with where we are now. I could happily play a few more shows, tour outside of Norway a bit more, even tour outside of Europe, but we’re not gonna quit our day jobs. Not that we have that good jobs, but I just think we’re too old and lazy to try to concuer the world. Our singer and one of the guitarists are very into fishing, so in the fishing season we have to plan ahead if we wanna do some shows around that time.

When you’re not obsessing over your own material, what are some of your favorite albums to listen to currently? 

E: I think the latest Satyricon album is pretty great. And label mates Beglomeg released a new tune called “Kom deg over” on New Years Eve which is pretty fun, although the lyrics are in Norwegian so people might not get it.

M: Audacity from California or something keeps running through my head on my holiday. King Gizzard from Australia and The Black Angels are current favourites at the bar I work. If you’re into heavier stuff I would recommend our friends in Okkultokrati and the new Oslo based band Outer Limit Lotus. Viagra Boys and Pig Eyes from Sweden are also good. Just played some shows in Denmark with some guys called Night Fever who were pretty cool as well.

Summarize your band in exactly one word. (Disclosure: If you include additional words, we will select our favorite for the final publication.)

E: Oilpunk!

M: ZUGLY (google it, meet the guy, it’s an experience…)

Many thanks to the band for their time!

Misanthropical House will be available February 16 on Fysisk Format. For more information on The Good The Bad and The Zugly visit their Facebook page.

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