The Swedish band, INVSN, is currently on a North American tour with Minus The Bear and Slow Bird. While they’re on this tour, Dennis Lyxzen (vocals/guitar), will be writing a blog of his experiences on the road. You may recognize Dennis from his work in Refused and The (International) Noise Conspiracy. You can check out his third and final blog, after the break.
So Lou Reed died. It happened a week after we visited the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh. That visit might have been the highlight of the tour so far. There is something really fantastic about when music and art and life collide like it is supposed to do. For me this, what we are doing here, is bigger than music. It is connected to pop culture and to art and to revolution and things and more important things then songs, chords and melodies and words. Lou Reed life was saved by Rock ‘n roll and he wrote a song called Rock ‘n roll that I played a couple of times when I found out that he was gone. It sums up so much of life in a small town. It sums up the alienation and frustration of growing up and feeling like an outsider. This is what good art does. Always working, working, working, and working. People ask me if have something to say to young people wanting to get into music. Just work hard. That is the only thing that matters. Lou Reed knew that. Andy Warhol knew it. Our tour manager Dylan managed to get us a guided tour through the museum. We got to go into the offices and check out the time capsules that Warhol was working with. He made more than 600 of them and they’ve been working for years to go through them and now they only had 2 left. It is a bit strange however to realize that old bills and unanswered letters becomes works of art when you leave them in a box long enough. But still work hard. That is the only thing that matters in the long run. We work hard. Everyone is pulling their weight and I amazed by the fact that half of the gang did not play on the record. Two of them have never been on tour before. But it is a fact that I don’t even think about or notice. They act like they were born to do this and that might actually be the fact. Somehow we all ended up here and even though my Marxist self does not really think in terms of destiny and faith I still would like to believe that this was meant. At least that’s how it feels when we go up on stage every night. We were meant to be exactly here. I am so used to going out and playing in front of big crowds that I don’t even think about it. As we are getting closer to the east coast the shows are getting bigger and bigger and for me this is just natural. One night after we walk off I realize that this might be the biggest crowd that Christina and Patrick ever played in front of. Not a word. They just do it. It might help that we are taking comfort in each other and that a couple of us has done this before. But it is remarkable how easy it feels. No jitters or nerves or fucking up. Just focus and energy. Minus The Bear’s crowd is open-minded and curious but most of them might not share our background and ideals. It is fine and makes it into more of a challenge. Makes us work even harder. They never heard of us before. We’ll make you remember us when you leave tonight. The shows fly by and we are getting tighter and tighter. Every night feels better and better. Even though we drive all day and we could use more sleep and our bodies are fatigued and worn out we still deliver every night. Before we leave the stage we have left it all up there. For some people that will not be enough but it is enough for us. That is all we can do. Leave it all up there. Days go by fast. Boston is great and feels warm and welcoming which might not at all be the Boston that I’ve played before. In New York people are booing the socialist rants but it is all good. I would not have it any other way. Philadelphia is slow but we get them going and we play like we mean. Night after the night it is the same routine. My body is getting slowly worn down. My left knee has been bugging me for the past 8 months. Believe it or not, it is not because I jump from speakers and roll around on the floor, but from playing too much football. So my knees hurt, my back hurts, my neck hurts and we are all tired. But when it comes to showtime it holds no relevance. Pop some painkillers. Look out into the crowd, grab the mic or the guitar or whatever tool we need and just go. For 40 minutes that is all that matters. That is why we are here. Work hard. Rock ‘n roll is supposed to liberate as Patti Smith once said. And for us it does. Every night.
Lou Reed – Rock & Roll Lyrics
Jenny said, when she was just five years old
you know there’s nothin’ happening at all
Every time she put on the radio
there was nothin’ goin’ down at all
not at all
One fine mornin’, she puts on a New York station
and she couldn’t believe what she heard at all
She started dancin’ to that fine-fine-fine-fine music
ooohhh, her life was saved by rock ‘n’ roll
hey baby, rock ‘n’ roll
Despite all the amputation
you could dance to a rock ‘n’ roll station
And it was all right
it was all right
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