On their new album, the Viagra boys explore the darkest corners of the internet

Frontman Sebastian Murphy talks about his bohemian image on stage and how esoteric internet culture inspired the Swedish post-punk band’s third album, cave world

In “Trogloyte,” the lead single from Viagra Boys’ upcoming album cave world, frontman Sebastian Murphy sang about a man who dreams of being a shooter. “He says he doesn’t believe in science/he thinks all news is fake,” he cried, and set the clock back to pre-human times.”When our arms and legs were hairy / You were still swimming in the lake”. It’s the kind of esoteric online content you see scattered across the manosphere through Jordan Peterson’s videos and 4chan, which mentions everything from Return to Monkee to dinocore.

“The song had a lot of timeline errors because when I first started writing it, I thought a caveman was one of those fossils you find in the rock,” Murphy admits. “I was referring to a very backward person who was a fucking shell, like the most primitive life forms. But then, I realized I was totally wrong, cavemen are fucking cavemen.”

Speaking backstage at the Primavera festival after a particularly rough night for the Stockholm singer, he has the look in the eyes of someone who’s had a good time — “I’m so hungover,” he sighs said with a breath. Sitting on a bench next to a row of toilet cubicles – a fitting setting given the singer’s laid-back image on stage – he holds a can of beer in one hand and a can of snuff in the other . “I love internet culture, I watch a lot of YouTube and know where the memes come from,” he began. “I saw this really interesting documentary about the cognitive tradeoff hypothesis and it shows how monkeys have really good short-term memory that we don’t have. It made me think about the whole world, like how bad the fuck people are .”

cave world, the Swedish band’s dark comedy third album, is the result of a pandemic worth rolling over. Speaking of conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxxers, it mirrors current society in many ways, packaged in an instantly recognizable slutty post-punk style that Murphy recognizes. “I think there’s a lot of inspiration from the collapse of society and what’s going on in the world lately, the divisions between people and the extreme opposites of how the world should be – and this general feeling of chaos and destruction,” he explained. .

For a band like the Viagra Boys, where their values ​​are progressive, but their performance is ultimately wiped out, it’s hard to tell what’s a parody and what’s not.Since their debut in 2018 street wormThe band is known for circumventing the boundaries of political correctness, whether it’s satirizing toxic masculinity while playing with macho stereotypes, or reflecting on themes of classicism on their chaotic and uplifting sophomore album Foley Jazz. Even the band’s name was controversial: “Viagra” was often replaced by “VPNgra” to keep PR emails from going into spam.

born vocalist, Murphy also played the role of the antihero, with self-conscious lyrics often alluding to his own dick behavior. For example, in “Ain’t No Thief,” Murphy rebuts someone accusing him of stealing their jackets (“I’m not a thief/We just happen to have the same thing, asshole,” he spat), while in “Punk Rock Loser,” he insists that he is “looser than a low-hanging fruit” Against a series of cheerful, illegal country rhythms (Murphy, a tattoo artist by day, has the word “LÖS” – “loose” in Swedish) written on his forehead.

“I’m trying to channel some kind of inner struggle,” Murphy said, reflecting on his debauched stage presence. “When we first started working with the band, everything that was happening on stage was real. I would curl up into a ball and start crying into this [state of] Self-loathing. He paused. “I want to keep being this decadent person on stage because that’s how a lot of people feel — they love seeing this asshole.” “

Later that night, Murphy was reborn. “I ruined my life in Barcelona,” he announced bluntly to the crowd, pouring beer on his protruding tattooed belly. He joked that he was a Swedish mafia and denounced “this fucking house shit” on stage at the nearby Boiler Room x Cupra. It’s this on-stage charisma that makes it nearly impossible to take your eyes off him. He blew a cartoonish kiss into the crowd before pushing the air mic off before screaming into it: “But then I came out and saw you fucking freaks – freaks never die!”

Cave World will be released on July 8

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