What do you recall about the actual recording of the album with producers Pelle Henricsson and Eskil Lövström? Weren't you supposed to be in the studio for three weeks, but it expanded to six?
"Yeah, that’s right. It was rough. Kris and David were working 24/7. I’d show up and do my vocals and then I’d leave, because the vibe in the studio wasn’t exactly welcoming, it was very intense. I remember Jon was in a room editing drums, with a super early version of [music program] Logic, and it was a very fragmented process, it wasn’t four guys in a room banging out songs. I had massive tension headaches the whole time!"
There are so many brilliant lyrics on the album: have you got a personal favourite line?
"I still think that ‘I got a bone to pick with capitalism… and a few to break’ is a fucking great way of opening the record. The other guys were practicing a lot and I was writing lyrics to the side, in a way. I remember I met a friend and I said something like, 'Yeah, there’s a couple of the new songs I don’t really like,' and that got back to David and Kris and they came to my apartment and were like, ‘We need to talk.’ They were really angry and upset with me and they said, ‘We heard you were talking shit about the new songs.’ It was really intense. I distinctly remember David screaming into my face, ‘You don’t understand [jazz legend] Charlie Parker!’ Actually I seem to remember he said Charlie Mingus, but he says it was Charlie Parker, so whatever. But yeah, it was intense. I said, 'Look, okay, I don’t really get all the riffs, and I don’t really like all the riffs, but I’m going to write the best lyrics I can to complement the riffs.' I remember being told I had to get my shit together.
"And when we got back together in 2012 I was surprised by how many of the lyrics I felt had really stood the test of time, which made me very happy, because I could still back them. And I’ve seen so many lyrics from the album tattooed on people. ‘Rather be forgotten than remembered for giving in’ [from Summerholidays Vs. Punkroutine] is a very popular one. It’s kinda absurd but flattering. When you write a record, you’re in the moment, and in your head you imagine in a couple of years' time it’ll be just another record, so for that moment in time to matter so much to people that they’re willing to tattoo it on their body is pretty wild."
I wanted to ask you about one song that isn’t on the record. You gave Peek A Boo to a 1998 Burning Heart Records compilation called Still Screaming, and it has lyrics such as ‘Fuck you for pissing on me’ and ‘Fuck you for selling our ideas so cheap’ and ‘Somewhere along the way this became a one man crusade’. Were those lyrics aimed at your bandmates, and was it recorded at the same time as the album?
"No, it was after the record, it was the last song we recorded, two months before we broke up. And yes, it was aimed at the guys. I was really bummed out, because I felt that the band was important not only musically, but politically, and at that point I felt like there were people in the band who were like, ‘I don’t care about the politics, I just want to rock out!’ That was very disheartening to me, and it made me very frustrated. Of course, to write a song that says that the other people in the band are idiots is maybe not the best way to communicate your disappointment in them! But we were young kids, we couldn’t communicate that great at that age. But it makes for a good story, it fits the narrative of the insanity of the band!"
The title of the album is obviously a nod to Ornette Coleman’s 1959 album The Shape Of Jazz To Come. On one level, it’s a fabulously cocky, and entirely prophetic title, but given the circumstances in which the album was being made, was there a certain bitter irony in choosing that title?
"I think so. We were just so fed up of the hardcore punk scene, and so fed up of the expectations of what you were supposed to be, and so it was a ‘Fuck you!’ We could have called the record Fuck You. There was a lot of… contempt in that title, and it fitted the vibe of what we were trying to do, which was to break free from the constraints of the scene."
Two weeks after the band split, you started a new band, The (International) Noise Conspiracy. Was that a very conscious attempt to let everyone know, 'This is done, there’s no going back'?
"Yeah, it was. As I said, we’d had that talk about splitting, so I knew things were coming to a halt, and so I was already thinking that maybe I should start to take a look around for new people to play with. So, yeah, I had all the …Noise Conspiracy people lined up already. When we broke up in America I flew home, I moped around for a week, and then I called everybody and said, 'Okay, let’s do this.’"