Formed from the ashes of Those Dancing Days, Swedish post-punk duo Vulkano are gearing up for the release of their debut album. Due out on 3 February via their own label, the album’s title speaks volumes about where Cissi Efraimsson and Lisa Pyk-Wirström were when they wrote it.
Live Wild Die Free is a wonderfully tempestuous affair, filled with pop hooks and underlying frustrations, but you don’t have to take our word for it, because you can listen to it in full right now and read about it, in track by track detail, courtesy of Efraimsson.
Trolls is about the power of nature. I wrote the lyrics in a period when I was thinking a lot about environment and what we do to nature. I was kind of playing around with how it would sound if the forest, the sea and the mountains could speak up for themselves. The music really sounds like trolls throwing a party deep inside a cave so I let the trolls play the main characters in the song. We must listen to the nature because it’s going to get back to us one day.
“Choir of Wolves”
Civilization verses the wilderness. It’s a about escapism and frustration. We were on tour with our old band Those Dancing Days, driving through the Alps and I was dreaming of leaving everything behind and moving up to one of the mountain tops to live a lonely still life close to nature. Quite the opposite of how my life really is. “Choir of Wolves” also brings up questions like what is instinct and what’s learned? How are we affected by the society without our knowledge? Who am I without my society? I don’t mean that civilization is all bad or anything like that, it’s just interesting to reflect where different behaviour comes from. We want people to let the animal out a little more often!
It’s quite fun how this song came up. I invited Lisa over to my place for a hit workshop. We listened to one of our favourite songs “Electric Feel” by MGMT and analysed it like investigators. Then we wrote “Vision Tricks” very inspired from what we learned but it didn’t turn out anything like it.
The lyrics are written about everyday life, about how everything can feel meaningless and empty. The days seem to look the same. I was stressed out because I wanted so much but nothing happened. But there’s also a light in this song. That’s where the dreams, hopes and the faith in the future come in. What keeps you going when you’re in a place like that?
This song was born in the rehearsal studio when we were jamming and playing around. It’s fantastic to be able to write a song in this way. So playful and free. We really got into some kind of fantasy vibe while writing it and playing it for the first time. Without speaking about it before I was thinking of Lord of the Rings and Lisa was imagining some medieval knights riding up a hill. There’s definitely some horse riding going on in this song. Lyrically it’s about mine and Lisa’s friendship and the adventure we’re in, but also about paranoia.
“Too Young To Die”
It’s a story about the fear of death and the fear of getting old. About the fear a lot of people feel when they’re going home alone in the night. That’s fucked up. Especially as a young girl in a bigger city you always need to keep an eye over your shoulder in the dark. In this fiction story I pretend I’m Uma Thurman in Kill Bill or Angelina Jolie in some action movie where I just rule the world. I’m strong, immortal and never afraid.
This is the first song I wrote for Vulkano. We weren’t even a band at that time, but I got my first gig booked and that’s when I asked Lisa to join and we finished the song together. It’s a very honest song about how I felt at that time. Friendships can crush hearts and the song is about feeling betrayed and unfairly treated by people close to you. I gathered a lot of aggressions during a longer time until I couldn’t hold it inside anymore and it all exploded – like a volcano.
Spider Spider is about seeing love as a game. Playing with other people’s feelings just because you can just for fun. I think I did that for a while, but really I was just terrified of falling in love and being hurt.
When we wrote the album we had a quite special rehearsal space. It was a secret room inside one of Stockholm’s tube stations. It was very small and was cold, dark and wet even in the summer. We could stand there for hours and hours jamming. It was like we had our own little world there totally separated from the ordinary world. From one of those jamming sessions “Jungle” was born. Rebecka started with the bass riff then Lisa and I started following our intuition. I made up this story about living in the jungle while singing. I guess it was a way for us to escape our own lives for a while. I think we had an iPhone 45 minutes live recording of it. I listened to it when I came home and picked out those parts I liked the most and put them together to a shorter version. I’ve been in the Mexican jungle once. That had a really strong impression on me and we’d love to go there together one day.
“Clap Your Bones”
“Clap Your Bones” is an apocalypse. I’m a ghost coming back to the earthly life to scare the shit out of people like ghosts do. I’m very excited but when I come back to my old hoods I don’t recognize the place. Everything’s dead because of some kind of nature disaster. Just like Trolls, it’s a reminder for us to take better care of our planet. This was the second song we ever wrote together.
This was the last song written for the record. It’s about the cutest little girl who turns out to be a monster. She uses her pretty looks to get what she wants without no mercy. It’s not about one special girl but I had a few people in mind when I wrote it. It’s also about myself. Keep in mind everything’s not always what it seems like. You shouldn’t judge anyone too easily from the surface. It was a fun song to make and I was experimenting a lot with my voice. Singing extremely soft, screaming for my life and meowing like a cat. It turned out really creepy. Lisas synth really put the horror movie vibe into it.
Live Wild Die Free is out on 3 February via Vulkano’s own label.