Umea, Sweden’s INVSN (pronounced Invasion) is a 5-piece group consisting off some of the most influential and recognizable names in the Swedish music industry. Some of us over here in the states may recognize them as well? Ever heard of Refused? The Doughnuts? Lykke Li or The (International) Noise Conspiracy, perhaps?

Regardless of the members’ past individual successes, INVSN now functions as a complete unit with aims to take their music to the global masses. As luck would have it, the group is on a brief run of dates that will take them down the East Coast, hopefully expanding their travels into a full US onslaught in the near future.

Touring in support of their self-titled album, on Razor & Tie, I caught up with Dennis Lyxzen (!!!) prior to their NYC performance at Best Buy Theater to discuss the album, plans for 2014, and Umea’s striking impact on the Western music world.

G- Hello and thank you for taking the time to speak with Live High Five today! Welcome back to the US… How has everything going this trip?

D- Everything is going pretty well. Always a challenge to do your first run with a new band and to be the support act to a band with a dedicated following. But so far so good. No nervous breakdowns or anything.

G- You recently released your latest self-titled album on Razor & Tie Records.  How do you feel about the final product, and what is it like working with Razor & Tie? Have you noticed any fan favorites off of the record?

D- We are really happy with the way the record turned out, both sonically and the songs themselves. So far, working with Razor & Tie has been fine. It is still early on in the process though, so time will tell I guess!!

People really like the song the “Hate” when we play it live. It just works surprisingly well.

G- Can you tell us about the recording process for the album? Where did you record it, who was behind the boards this time around, and how long did the release take to record and get ready for release?

D- It was recorded in Stockholm in Studio Ingrid by a dude called Nille Perned. Then, we did the vocals and overdubs at home in mine and my brothers studio Parasit Studion, and additional overdubs in a studio called 2nd home where we worked a lot over the years. The actual process of writing and recording and such matters is really boring to talk about though, and very few people apart from a couple of nerdy nerds actually care about it. 

G- Given the nature of Refused/The Doughnuts and their social/political bend, does INVSN have any particular issues they attempt to bring to light in your music and message?

D- All great art and music has an agenda, and of course we do as well… Just read the lyrics and you will find it. We still believe in the same issues that we’ve been talking about our entire lives and we still think that music should be a liberating factor. Not only in our everyday lives, but also as a tool to bring about a better world and to make people aware of the circumstances that we live under. 

G- What should your fans, both old and new, expect of the performances when you guys hit the road? What should some of the first time listeners expect to see when you take the stage?

D- Just a bunch of punks playing good music. The performances are of course colored by the music and the way the music flows, but it gets pretty intense at times.

G- How would you compare with your stateside performances to those abroad, both in terms of how you play and the audience reaction? Do you find one area of the world more friendly or hospitable than another?

D- There’s not really a ton of difference in the way people respond to music. It has to do more with cities and scenes and the knowledge that people might have of you before you start playing. However, in Europe, people get more excited the further south that you go. People up north where we live tend to be really stiff and boring.

G- What are the plans for INVSN for the upcoming year? Worldwide touring/festival appearances/recording???

D- Just more touring. The record just came out and we are releasing it all over the world, so just get in the van and do it. Hopefully we will do festivals this up and coming summer but, all in all, we will try to spend our time in a van for the nearest future.

G- Do you have a favorite song you have ever written? If you could only give 1 song to someone who’d never heard of you before, to try and make a new fan, what song would you give them and why?

D- Not really. I’ve written way to many songs to have a favorite. I try to treat them all equally. Usually it is one of the newer songs that is closest to the heart, since they recently just left me. An INVSN song that I would play to people might be “Down In The Shadow.” I think that it represents our band pretty good at this juncture.

G- What question do you wish you’d be asked as a member of a band, or what question are you generally sick of asking? (Apologies if I have unknowingly included it within.)

D- In general, I would prefer more questions about my record-collection or football (Soccer that is, for you heathens). In general, I am fine with most questions. If people are curious, then they deserve an answer. I hate lazy question taken straight out of the press-release. Oh, just remembered. When people ask how the new record sounds. That is not a great sign.

G- 4 albums every fan of you should know about and why. Go!

D- Minor Threat – Complete discography

Slayer – Reign in Blood

Bad Brains – Rock for Light

The Sound – Shock Of Daylight

Because without these record you are not able to live a full life.

G- Lastly, what advice can you give some of the young, up and coming bands everywhere who want to make it in music, on the road, and as a professional musician?

D- Get an education!!! haha

No, here are the basics: Work hard. Get your own identity. Play music because you love music. Don’t worry about what other people think. Work hard.