How long have you been on the scene? Who are the members of the group? Where do you come from and live? How many records did you release? What does Mahalium mean? Did you have problems in finding a place to play at the beginning?
Daniel Starfighter: We have been active on the scene since August 1998. The present members of the group are; on base guitar, Daniel Starfighter (That's me). On vocals and guitar, Tholle Starfighter. On guitar and vocals, Arvid Starfighter, and last but not least, Masken Starfighter. The bands headquarter is Falköping, Sweden, but the members live in various shitholes in and around Falköping.
We have released two Cd's, one vinyl 7", two cassettes and loads of tracks on various compilation Cd's and tapes. However, we do not have a record contract. All exclusive Mähälium releases are made by us alone, apart from the 7" (which was released by 'Falafel Media').
The word Mähälium, comes from the Swedish satire-comedy-sci-fi Tv series 'Kenny Starfighter'. Mähälium, in the series, is a space-drug that turns people into deranged weirdo's, just like we do with our music!
We had no big problems in finding venues to play in. We were involved in starting up a big culture project, with studio spaces, rehearsal spaces and gig venues, so we had a big basement that we could use any way we liked ... and we did.
Do you think your sound comes mainly from hardcore or from street-punk and Oi? What groups did you like the most and did influence your production?
DS: Our main influence in the beginning was the legendary Swedish punk-band 'Ebba Grön', but as soon as we had recorded our first demo-tape, we noticed that the music naturally turned more into something like English 70s punk. We write and play whatever we feel like at the moment, without consciously trying to sound like anything else, but we realise that subconsciously, we are always influenced by what we listen to. Examples of what we like are; Sex Pistols, Sham 69, The Clash, Asta Kask, Troublemakers etc, but at the end of the day, it all ends up sounding a lot like Mähälium anyway.
In the songs I listen to, your singing remembers me of the Misfits' Glenn Danzig... Where did you take that melodical aspect?
DS: I'm sure our vocalist is delighted to be compared to Glenn Danzig, even though his whole body is about the same size as Danzig's biceps.
The melodic aspect is common in swedish punk, with groups like Asta Kask and Ebba Grön, being the originators in the late 70's and early 80's.
From the pics you posted on the site I saw you are a straight-edge group! Aha aha... Are you politically involved?
DS: Straight Edge? Hell no! We drink and smoke like morons. Some of us even eat dead animals. The music and the lyrics are, however, very political. I suppose a lot of people would regard us to be very left-wing, but we do not support any political party or organisation. We often take part in anti-racist events to show our engagement. We also do gigs against social oppression in general.
On the catalogue where I first came into Mahalium you were defined as the "Swedish Bloody Riot". Did you like that group from Rome? Which other Italian punk/hardcore groups from the 80s or present do you know and like?
DS: I think Swedish punks know just as little, perhaps even less, about Italian punk, that Italian punks do about Swedish punk. Unfortunately, that includes us. We would be happy to learn more about the Italian punk-scene and we would be grateful for any information.
Maybe if you don't know that group, it must be something in your behaviour... Aha aha! I saw you drink a lot, there are fights that happen at your shows, between other punx or against the police?
DS: Haha. We never start the fights but we sometimes finish them. If the police shows up at our gigs, then obviously trouble lays ahead. You know punks, eh? On a more serious note, we can not make any specific comments to that question, since we may then risk being charged. I'm sure you can appreciate that?
Do you have a big fan contingent in Sweden? How is the Swedish scene now compared to the past? Do you enjoy playing live?
DS: How big is big? It seems to be bigger than we think. We feel the punk-scene in Sweden goes up and down like a rollercoaster. Unfortunately, at the moment it seems to be very low. That is a shame, since what we live for, is playing live.
Have you already toured Italy? If yes, I'm sorry I didn't notice you, but I come from a "musically depressed area"... If no, when do you think you'll be able to come?
DS: We also come from a musically repressed area. We have not played in Italy, but if there are venues there, that would consider booking us, we will be happy to come over and punk your italian asses off!
A song I really like is Landet Dagen After... I don't understand Swedish, but I think it's about drinking all the night and waking up with a terrible hungover! What does that song actually deals with?
DS: It deals with drinking all night and waking up with a terrible hangover, and about promising oneself never to drink again ... but the next weekend, there you are, headfirst in the gutter again!
I'm sorry, but at the moment I only have Välkomen till Sverige and BlåGula ögon ser dig; how did your sound evolve up to Du är såld! ? And are you already working on another record that will come out soon?
DS: ONLY? How the hell did you get hold of those? I can tell you that 'Välkommen till Sverige' only exists in 140 copies, and 'Blågula ögon ser dig' in about 250 to 300. Up to 'Du är såld', we have become a bit faster, more aggressive, and more melodious, thanx to our excellent new (since summer 2000) guitarist. Our latest Cd, 'Ditt Liv/Ditt Krig (Your life/Your War), is even faster and more aggressive. After our latest recording, we have a new drummer who is also active in the Swedish crust-band 'Hellshit'. We're excited about how this will influence our next recording.
Which is your favorite Mahalium record? Does it picture the group at its best?
DS:'Ditt Liv/Ditt Krig' is doubtlessly the best recording we have made. It is the best evidence of how the band sounds today since it includes several new versions of older songs, and some new.
I think that you release mainly EPs, compilation tracks and records with few songs... Why did you choose to do that? Do you give importance do self-production? Why?
DS: That is mostly for economical reasons. We can't afford the studio time we would like, but we still would like the audience to hear what we are doing, and not have to wait too long. The reason for our self-production is that there are few punk-labels, and so it's difficult to get a contract. If a contract shows up that meets our requirements, we would sign.
I haven't seen MP3's on your site... Are you against that form of exchanging music? What do you think of Internet and Webzines?
DS: We download as many mp3's as our computers will allow. We just haven't got our thumbs out of our starfighter asses on that side yet. Mp3's will come, however. Be patient. Webzines is the way of spreading the underground culture of the future. All hail!
Last question! Give a suggestion to your Italian fans!!
DS: Stop drinking from your boots for fuck's sake!!