Interview with Sänkt
Fanzui Xiangfa drummer Jonas Lyxzen moved from China back to his hometown of Umeå, Sweden in 2009, but that hasn’t stopped him from rocking out. His new project Sänkt plays fast 80’s-style hardcore mixed with Scandinavian mid-tempo punk reminiscent of bands like the Regulations. I caught up with him and the rest of his bandmates to ask about the band, releasing flexis and possible plans to tour China.
Can you start by introducing the members and their role in the band?
Robin A: I play bass.
Jonas: I play guitar.
Robin W: I sing and Fredrik plays drums.
Umeå is a small but very active scene and I know you guys have all know each other and worked together before. Can you tell us how you decided to form Sänkt and what your goals for the band are?
Robin W: I moved to Umeå from Örnsköldsvik for studies in the autumn of 2010 and then Jonas asked me if I wanted to sing in their new hardcore punk project they had going on. Fuck yeah I said! Our goal was to play simple, stripped-down hardcore a’la 80’s America, I think we’ve managed pretty well, haha. I wanted to write lyrics in Swedish with Sänkt because I only sang in English when I did the vocals for The Wallrides.
Robin A: I met Jonas in the skate hall and asked him if he wanted to start a band. We started a different project but never found a singer so we changed directions and swapped instruments. That was the birth of Sänkt. Two weeks later we did our first show. Goals for the band are to play old-school hardcore and to keep it simple. Then conquer the world.
How did you get hooked up with SFO Records and why did you decide to release your first EP as a flexi?
Robin A: We played a house party show for Halloween. The band Thurneman played as well. And one of those guy runs the label. They released a series of flexi discs so it was actually not our idea but it fits in well our 80’s approach.
Robin W: Anders from Thurneman and Negative Lifestyle said he had this new punklabel going on and he liked what we had recorded in the studio with Sänkt so we went for it! Anders wanted to do a hardcore flexi series because not many labels release flexis nowadays and they are cheaper to press than regular EPs. We thought it was a really cool idea so, why not?
What has the reception been like both in your local scene and throughout the international punk communities?
Robin W: It’s been pretty good! I think we’ve got more fans in Asia than Sweden though, haha… A few random Asian punks have added me on Facebook to tell me that they loved our flexi vinyl, so thats fun!
Robin A: Pretty good actually. People seems to like it. I’m hanging quite a lot in Berlin and it seems like the punks know about it and like it there as well.
Can you share any stories of memorable shows or other experiences with the band?
Robin A: That show with Thurneman was great. It was a costume party. I was dressed up as a can recycling machine and my friend were throwing cans into my costume while playing.
Robin W: I think we’ve been a band for too short to have many cool and crazy tour stories or such hahaha. But we did one gig at Farmen in Umeå some year ago which only I seem to remember. I was saying to the others like, “But you remember that gig we did on Farmen? We played like five songs and the instruments were out of tune and then we got offstage.” But who knows… Maybe it was all in my head?
Jonas: I like the show in Umeå when we had fireworks shooting off the bass and guitar. That was fun!
Your lyrics are about stress, anxiety and depression. Why do you choose to sing about these things?
Robin W: It’s the only thing I can write about and be 100% honest from the heart I think. I’ve written some political lyrics for other bands I’ve played in too, but it’s hard when you don’t give a fuck. It just feels natural to write and scream about stuff that fucks up your life. It goes well with the live performance when you get it all out!
Robin A: Theres a lot of pressure from society. A lot of shit that you should fit in to—work, school, early mornings, money, this and that. That sucks.
Both Jonas and Fredrik have been to China before and have connections to the scene here. Are there any plans for you guys to tour China or work with any of the bands here?
Robin A: Would be awesome to come over and thrash.
Robin W: Jonas and I have full-time jobs at the moment, so I guess that’s a bit sucky if we want to tour China haha. But if I just have the time in the future I would gladly go and fuck some shit up in China with Sänkt any day!
Jonas: I sure hope we can go and play in China soon. China is my second home.
What are the future plans for Sankt?
Robin W: Our bassplayer Robin is heading to Umeå soon so we gonna rehearse and try to record some new stuff in the studio if everything goes well. There is also an upcoming split EP with Sänkt/Take it Back if we find a label that wants to release it. I think that’s pretty much it.
Robin A: Play faster.
Jonas: Make more songs, play more shows, release more records. Tour!
Thanks for your time. Do you have any last comments for the kids in China?
Robin A: Thank you too. Meat is murder.
Robin W: Yeah, keep the hardcore spirit alive over there so it’s wild and crazy when we come to play!
Jonas: Thanks! Support your local scene.