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Refused are Fucking Dead!

On April 25th 2006 Burning Heart / Epitaph Records release the DVD Refused Are Fucking Dead. Directed by guitarist Kristofer Steen, it will be the first and last word on this most remarkable of bands.

“Refused are fucking dead…” With these words Swedish quartet Refused hammered the final nail into their own coffin and split in 1998 on the cusp of mainstream success. Their final album The Shape Of Punk To Come (sub-title: A Chimerical Bombination In 12 Bursts) transcended the hardcore tag and mixed jazz, socialism, punk, techno, straight edge, ambient and Situationist rhetoric to create a new form of protest music, their interviews, sleevenotes and communiqués littered with references to influences such as Guy Debord, Charles Mingus and Jacques Derrida.

With breakthrough single New Noise gaining substantial airplay the band split in the middle of a chaotic show during a police raid. Shortly afterwards they announced “We will continue to at every attempt, overthrow the class system, burn museums and to strangle the great lie that we call culture” and demanding that their images be burned “so that we will no longer be tortured with memories of a time gone by and the mythmaking that single-minded and incompetent journalism offers us“.

Refused Are Fucking Dead charts the band’s rise and their glorious explosion amid ethical disagreements, realised dreamsand much heat from the authorities. Musical differences? No. Refused slayed until the very last note.

All but overlooked at the time of release The Shape Of Punk To Come is now regarded as one of the most important punk rock records ever. Both musically and aesthetically, the band’s influence is widespread amongst today’s generation of bands – the likes of Funeral For a Friend, At The Drive-In, The Hives, My Chemical Romance and Muse have all cited the band as particular favourites. Meanwhile former Refused band members continue to make music with The (International) Noise Conspiracy, Text, The Lost Patrol and a variety of non-musical projects.

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