Interlace: ‘90s Swedish Hardcore Band on Their History & Debut Album Reissue

Interlace in the '90s.

Formed in the early '90s, Interlace was part of the fertile Swedish hardcore scene of that era. Based out of Linköping, the released their debut album, Universal, on the Bridge of Compassion Records in 1997 label before breaking up soon after.

During their initial run together, they played gigs in their home country with the likes of Integrity, Snapcase, and CIV, among other bands.

In late 2020, Interlace returned with the comeback EP, As the Blood Thickens. They've returned yet again, this time with a remastered version of their aforementioned Universal album.

To get some history on Interlace and their album, I spoke with guitarists Jens and Viktor via email.

For those No Echo readers who might not be familiar with Interlace yet, how about a quick history lesson on your start in the '90s?

Interlace was formed in the early nineties in Linköping, Sweden. As for many other bands from Linköping during this time, everything centered around the local club Skylten and the vibrant (and almost mainstream) hardcore scene at the time.

After a first split cassette in 1995, A Split Vision, Interlace released the song “The Ender of Me” on Bridge of Compassion Records' compilation LKPG Hardcore (Where We Belong) in 1996.

Interlace then got the opportunity to record the first and up to date only album, Universal. It was released in 1997 by Bridge of Compassion Records. Last recording before breaking up was a metal-inspired 4-song demo EP. This recording never saw the light of day but is still around. Unfortunately, the quality of the recording is beyond saving—even with the modern tools and filters, etc. of today.

After the end of high school, some of the band members moved to other cities for various University studies and so on. It was quite natural to split up the band. No hard feelings and all friends.

Fast forward many years, Jens and Viktor ends up in the capital of Sweden: Stockholm. Jens was already playing in various punk/rock/screamo constellations, so we tried to make some electro music. It was quite fun in the beginning and a few songs was made and recorded, but we soon realized, it’s the creative process that is the most fun and not the technical recording process. We ended that project after a while.

How would you describe Interlace's sound? Influences, etc.

From a hardcore point of view, we all really like bands like Guilt, Metroshifter, Shift, Quicksand, Helmet, Handsome, Faith No More (not hardcore but amazing music), Elder (also not hardcore but amazing music), to mention a few.

We try to write songs that contains the “heavy” stuff but we also want to have the contrast to heaviness in a tune somehow and somewhere—the melancholy, softer or slower parts. We’re not so theoretical about the song structure and content—anything’s that gives us “vibes” could have a place in a song we are creating and I think you can hear that on Universal—each song has a lot of different sections. 

We think this makes the album Universal sound pretty unique. Sure, all bands say that about their music, but we have not found any hardcore band from the nineties that also has this...grunge style wrapped inside a hardcore music package . We loved hardcore, but we were also deeply inspired by Alice in Chains and the guitar harmonies they used to play. Niklas, the singer, was also into clean singing, which can be heard in different parts of the songs on Universal

These days our songs more straight forward, likely due to our limited time together for practice, etc.

Interlace in the '90s.

Universal was recorded in 1997 when you guys were so young. What was that experience like?

It was such an adventure for us being 16 years old. We took a week off from high school and put all our equipment on the train to Vännersborg, another hardcore city / scene in Sweden at the time with bands such as Outstand and later on Division of Laura Lee, etc. We bunked at local hardcore enthusiast while recording the album in an old mental hospital building turned into a studio.

Unfortunately, the sound quality of the original recording was very poor so we had our member Anders spend a lot of time re-mastering the tracks during the summer of 2023. Now we would love for more people hearing it. It sounds really good now and this is without having access to the original recorded tracks.

2020 saw Interlace return with the As the Blood Thickens EP. Last year saw you drop an EP called Struck by Weltschmerz. It must be so different when you guys write/record these days compared to the Universal days.

When we create record new music today I think we have really found an fun, no prestige and interesting approach to making music, mostly due to the band being spread across the globe but its fun and without any expectations. 

We meet up 3 days every year in a studio and that is it. Prior to the meet up in the studio we send ideas to each other. The first day in the studio we use for practicing and finalizing the song while day 2 and 3 are used to for recording. Mainly instruments on day 2 and vocal on day 3.

How is your local scene doing right now, and who are some other bands from your region that we should all be looking for right now?

There is a vibrant scene today in both Stockholm and Linköping. Hardcore music has a revival, and you can see that also in South Asia (where Jens lives at the moment). Music comes an goes in circles. Subcultures comes and goes, and as far as we are concerned, '90s hardcore music is on many peoples agenda again. 


Universal is out now across all streaming outlets.


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