Find another interview (with ‘Zyklome-A’) from this zine (Fetvadd #1) elsewhere on this website. It was the zine of Magnus Grehn (’16 B.U.H.’ vocalist; brother of Fredrik Grehn, who did Byt Ben zine), Mikael ‘Löken’ Karlsson (’16 B.U.H.’ guitarist; ex ‘Rövsvett’) and Frank Bergsten (’16 B.U.H.’ drummer; ex ‘Rövsvett’); all from Tranås (Sweden). Additional info in the previous post… ‘Löken’ provided more stuff so here’s an interview with the ‘Stupids’ from the 3rd issue (1985).
I saw the ‘Stupids’ in Belgium at Werner E.’s 50 years anniversary and I talked with Tommy ‘Stupid’ for a while but he didn’t seem to remember me, nor the interview or that we had them on a compilation-tape…
‘I Refuse It’ (from Italy) was in Fetvadd #4 (besides ‘G-Anx’, ‘No Idea?’, mostly Swedish bands). Fetvadd #5 had ‘No Lip’ from Japan, ‘Kafka Prosess’ from Norway…
Mikael ‘Löken’ Karlsson
The ‘Stupids’ were from Ipswich (U.K.)…
[Translation below; by Frank Bergsten – scans/pics provided by Mikael Karlsson]
Interview conducted by ‘Löken’, answers by Tommy.
The guys come from Ipswich and they’re a three-piece band, and have made three demos, have three songs on Putrid Evil [compilation-7” with ‘Civil Dissident’ & ‘Septic Death’] and now  they released the 8-song EP Violent Nun. We, the Fetvadd shitworkers, think they’re the best hardcore band from the UK. The music’s got a cool, distinct sound, reminiscent of American hardcore; with a hell of a lot aggression. This band shows there’s still hope for the UK scene.
STUPIDS were formed January ‘84 with Tommy [Tom Withers] – guitar/vox, Wolfie [‘Retard’] – bass and Ziggy – drums. Ziggy was thrown out of the band September ‘84 with Tommy taking over the drums and Marty [‘Tuff’, Martin Hawkes] joined on guitar.
What does the name ‘Stupids’ mean to you?
We chose it because it was different and funny. People reacted to the name, but it doesn’t mean anything in particular.
You have a special sound, reminding a lot of American hardcore, how come?
Yes, we’ve got a very US-influenced sound and also an international sound. It shows that USA produces the best hardcore bands. The reason to why we’re inspired by US hardcore is that’s what we listen to mostly, and Tommy is actually from the States but he’s been living in England for a long time.
Your opinions on anarchism, pacifism, squatting, vegetarianism, etc.?
Anarchy is a very complicated issue, and would only be appreciated by very few people. OK, pacifism is pretty useful when I want to jump someone and beat him up like hell.
Are you straight-edge?
Yeah, of course I am, and so are Marty and Wolfie, but we don’t want to be called straight-edge or being labelled in any other way either. Occasionally we have a beer but we never get drunk. But don’t think of straight-edge as some kind of law, it’s just a song by ‘Minor Threat’. We want it to be the way they sing about it, I mean don’t take a lot of drugs and become addicted.
What’s a ‘Stupids’ gig like? How does the crowd respond?
In Ipswich people just stand around looking, saying it was OK. But up north people are slamming and stage-diving.
Are you involved in Greenpeace, animal liberation?
No, but we like what they’re doing.
What do you do when you’re not playing?
Wolfie and I (Tommy) make a fanzine named B.J. Comics. We skate a hell of a lot and write lots of letters.
What about the military service? Will you do it or refuse?
We love the army and will join as soon as possible.
Why did you call your tape Leave Your Ears Behind ?
No particular reason. Marty came up with it one day.
What’s the punk/hardcore scene like in your town and in England?
The scene in Ipswich pretty friendly and the bands are pretty good, but since no band’s communicating with anyone they’re not going anywhere and no out-of-town bands come here to play. But we’ve just started to set up some gigs.
How many times have you played live and with whom?
We’ve played about 15 times, mostly with local bands, but we’ve played with ‘A.Y.S.’, ‘Chaos UK’, ‘Onslaught’, ‘Scum Dribblers’, ‘UK Subs’ and more.
Have you sold a lot of your tapes?
It’s been sold out for a long time, we only made 50 copies. But since then we made more copies for people who wanted it.
Are you a political band? Why/why not?
No, we’re not. We don’t think we’ve got anything new to say which hasn’t already been said by bands like ‘M.D.C.’, etc. Not that we think any different.
Got any problems with cops, nazi-skins, etc.?
No, hardly ever. English punks almost never getting hassled by the police and the nazi-skin movement has almost died out.
Tell us something about your songs.
Most of the lyrics don’t mean anything really. Elephant Man is about that man and his life. When we wrote that song we didn’t want to be funny to impress people or anything like that. We’re really moved when we saw the picture. What Happens Next? is a meaningful song but very hard to explain. This Is The Norm? is about what people expect from you. The Pit is about people who ruin gigs, fighting and causing trouble during the pogo.
What happens in the future. Any plans?
We’ll be on a split-tape with ‘A.Y.S.’ [Admit You’re Shit]? on Mortarhate records [‘Conflict’s Colin Jerwood’s label], which will be out when you read this [That didn’t happen; the ‘A.Y.S.’ recordings appeared on their Expect No Mercy… 7”]. This summer we’ll maybe tour in the UK or Europe.
Do any of you guys skate?
Yes! We like to call ourselves a skateband. It’s our biggest interest outside the band. Well, mostly mine, the other guys have cheap plastic boards. I have a friend called Ed who’s the other serious skater here in Ipswich. We skate a lot together. Other skaters: feel free to write.
What would you like to call your music? (thrash, hardcore, oi, punk)
We really don’t care what people call our music, as long as they don’t call it oi.
Hardcore, thrash, punk-rock, ‘Ramones’, ‘D.R.I., ‘Minor Threat’, ‘Double-O’ [Washington, D.C.], ‘7 Seconds’.
Your favourite bands? Do you like any Swedish punk?
‘Impact Unit’, ‘Siege’, ‘Double-O’, ‘Ramones’, ‘M.I.A.’, Willful Neglect’, ‘G.I.’, ‘76% Uncertain’, ‘Decry’, ‘Negative Approach’. The bands I remember from Sweden are ‘Mob 47’ and ‘Asta Kask’.
Anyone you want to thank?
We want to thank Andrew Fryas, Ed, Dig, John, ‘A.Y.S.’, ‘Löken’, Charlie, Kalv, Bruce Irvine, Simon, Chaz, Mart, Graham, Collin, Hippy, Dune, Bill Ropes, ‘Conflict’, Paul, Maximum Rock’n’Roll and loads of other people I’ve forgot.
We’ve released an 8-song EP on C.O.R. [Tim Bennett’s label Children Of The Revolution] called Violent Nun . It has 8 songs from the tape Leave Your Ears Behind. If you want it, or the tape, you can write me. Feel free to write for any reason because we answer all mail.