And without consciously trying, Peder Stenberg appears to have harnessed one of rock music’s most important but also most secret motivators: to bring a tear to your mother’s eye.
This is a deeply honest, extremely moving and – here and now – really liberating moment.
A minute later, we’re surrounded by friends, fans, journalists and colleagues. There is a warm and upbeat buzz around us. Backs are slapped, drinks downed, gossip shared and on stage Umeå artists such as Syket, Annika Norlin and Jakob Nyström take turns performing their own interpretations of Deportees songs. Annika does The Doctor In Me, causing all the guys, and at least half the girls, in the audience to instantly fall in love.
Numerous journalists make a beeline for Peder and the most common question is about the band’s political ambitions. Things were different when the previous disc came out – despite the title, Under The Pavement A Beach, being inspired by Paris during the student protests, few people understood the political dimension in the band’s music. That time around, Peder was not happy.
“We have our roots in the hardcore punk scene of the 1990s and we haven’t given up on the values we had then. I may not write in political slogans, but I think it’s perfectly clear what the lyrics are about and whose perspective we’re taking.”
And that energy from the punk era and the ever-present DIY spirit can come in useful in many different contexts. Like when, a few years ago, original bassist and childhood friend Jonas decided to quit at the same time as some dim-witted bean counter at the record company decided to slim down the product catalogue and drop the band.
“We really did have every reason to give up, but instead we decided to carry on, sinking our own money, that we really didn’t have, into recording new material. It was commercial madness, but we drew on that feeling we had from our hardcore time. We did it because we wanted to and could, not because someone else expected anything from us.”
And now there ended up being six different companies vying to release the new disc. Ironically, the old company was one of them, and it was actually to them that Deportees eventually returned.
“It maybe goes without saying that we have a much better deal this time around,” laughs Peder.