Backyard Babies are touring and promoting their new album "Stockholm Syndrome". was given a chance to sit down with singer Nicke and bassist Johan before their gig in Tampere. Here's what the guys had to say.

Rockunited: You have a few shows in Finland. You're from Sweden, and at least in sports these countries have had some sort of love/hate-relationship. Can you see that during the gigs?

Nicke: No, not at all. I like to play Finland. I don't know if it has to do that we went here already in the early 90's. It's sometimes way better than Sweden… they're a very honest crowd. They don't suck up to you but they really appreciate if you're a good band. Also I think is has to do with that there are not that many really good live bands around these days that really put on a show. What the audience gives me I give back 100 %. I hate myself if I do bad show, I don't feel like I'm giving anything. But for example the last gig was a good proof that Finland and Backyard Babies will continue to have a strong relationship, so fuck the sports. (laughs)

Rockunited: I saw you guys supporting AC/DC in Helsinki. What was it like touring with them?

Nicke: That was probably one of the biggest and coolest experiences we ever went through so far. It was like rock school. When you learn on that your, you learn more than you ever learned as you started as a band. There was so much stuff happening. It proved to us a lot of things. For example like a big band like AC/DC can be really gentle to support band, be nice guys even thou they are the biggest rock band in the world. We learnt to play big stages. We've played festivals and even bigger stages before but when you do it every night you get some kind of training and you just realise we fit pretty good on an arena stage too. At that time "Making Enemies is Good" was just out so we played mainly new songs. So if an AC/DC crowd, which can be pretty narrow minded, they on only listen to AC/DC, fuck everything else, the crowd was really into us as well and that was also really nice. We got well treated.

Rockunited: Have you had bad experiences with other bands?

Nicke: Not as big bands as AC/DC…

Johan: Rob Zombie…

Nicke: Who the fuck is Rob Zombie anyway, we we're touring with him and he was a complete fuck ass. Bands that are afraid that their support band would blow them off stage must behave like assholes. Turn down the volume, you can't use any lights, blah blah blah, fuck with them on purpose so they can't make a good show. Why even bother having a support band. But AC/DC, all the respect for the greatest rock ´n´ roll band in the world, I'm happy that we got to the chance to support them.

Rockunited: Your new album is a bit more straight forward than the previous one, at least songs like "Colours" or "Painkiller" can't be found. Will that be the direction also in the future?

Nicke: I don't think there are any directions for us in the future. We don't like to repeat ourselves which is part of the reason why it's taking some time between the records. I don't think it's taking that long time between records but some do, but it also has to do with a lot of touring that we do between records, and also with finding new inspiration, new energy, and new ideas for everything. We could have gone to studio a bit earlier but then it would have turned out to be some kind of "Making Enemies Is Good part 2". But we had to recharge the batteries and think new ways… but I think Stockholm Syndrome is the most Backyard Babies album so far, it combines a bit of everything that we've been influenced by. A bit of everything from our previous albums and the new stuff… but the producer's idea when he saw us live was, he said: "I want to make a record about how you sound live and I don't think that you've achieved that with Making Enemies Is Good". When we do songs from that album live they don't sound like they do on the album, they're more stripped down. I'm just happy that people like the album because we are really proud of it. I don't know how much cliché it is to say that it is by far the best album we've done so far, the most genuine album.

Rockunited: You're not really a ballad writing band, that's not really your style.

Nicke: Actually we rehearsed "Colours" for this tour, we rehearsed a lot of songs, it worked on the album, even "Painkiller" worked on the album, but we are more of a punk, you know, 1-2-3-4 band than epic, slow it down candles and all that…

Rockunited: The song "Friends", eventually that turned out to be a tribute to Joey Ramone.

Johan: Yeah, kinda

Nicke: He was really sick when we met him…

Rockunited: Did you know what he had at that time?

Nicke: Yeah, so it didn't come as a surprise when he passed away, he was really ill. He recorded with us and was really anxious that he could record with us. The song was just fooling around idea in the beginning. I wrote it and send the song to people who we know, people who inspired us and who we've come to know over the years. Everybody seemed to love the song and they wrote the lyrics and we recorded it when we were in their cities. We had kinda small studio with us when we went to New York or whatever and finally we had a lot of people on it. The coolest thing is that they wrote their own lyrics. And they hadn't heard what the other people had done. They hardly knew who were going to be on the song but everyone was so positive about it. So when we put it all together it was like Christmas, opening a package. Open up Joey Ramone file or open up Nina Persson file then put it all together like a big puzzle. I'm really proud of it, I can't remember anyone else doing something like this. Maybe Bob Geldof and the Band Aid, but this is the punk version and I think that people who are on it are really proud to be on it.

Rockunited: You have two videos out; I watched them from your website Do they get air play?

Johan: Really good actually, around up here, Sweden, Finland, Norway.

Nicke: We're not a band that focuses on singles. But this time we have 'em. With "Minus Celsius" we had the opportunity and we were lucky to know the director Dean Karr from before. We shot the video in one day and he just did a fantastic job, the video and the song work really well together, he made it bigger. The new video, "A Song for the Outcast" is really cool too, a smaller budget than the other one but still it's already started to climb the Swedish singles charts.

Rockunited: How did you feel when Muse released a song called Stockholm Syndrome?

Nicke: Yeah, and Blink 182, that was released after our album so that was kinda irritating, but who gives a shit. It's our city, get the fuck off! (laughs)

Rockunited: One final question, our site has a column called Beast Side Story where the bands can tell people about stuff that has happened to them over the years. Do any funny incidents come to mind?

Nicke: So many stories… but I can't think of any right now. Well Dregen got really beaten up when he got robbed when we were recording the demos for the new album. That was pretty scary because they broke his jaw in four pieces. That delayed everything a bit and they didn't really know if he could open the mouth properly again. So it can be dangerous even in Stockholm walking around at night time. It was nothing personal, he just happened to be in the wrong place at a wrong time.

The guys had also some time to sing a few copies of their new album "Stockholm Syndrome". Enter our competition to get one for yourself! You can read the review of that album from our archives.

Interview & pics by Petri Kautto and Risto Pajari 2004