Band of the Day

2013.05.30

Division Of Laura Lee

Hyperactive, aggressive Swedish rock/punk with killer melodies amidst the chaos
We can't claim to be that free, we're just going nowhere.
lyrics from Rudderless

Division Of Laura Lee, Circa 1997

Why did we even start a band in the first place? Out of weakness we suppose. Or pure genius. Growing up in Vänersborg, a small village built upon the muddy banks of lake Vänern, without a chance to become neither lawyer or star quarterback, might have had an impact on our choice of career. Maybe the many factories, maybe the forest. Maybe the drunks on the corner, the bars and the time behind bars. Maybe not.

Jonas, Håkan and Henrik Röstberg started a band in the beginning of September 1997. Per joined us on our second rehearsal. Our first show was at a friends house, the living room floor was the stage, fireworks went off as we played.

Sonic Youth, Fugazi, Nirvana, Drive Like Jehu, Suicide. Those first chords just fell like the axe from a headsman´s hands. We knew. Enough to give it some time. Let the music nourish in our troubled town. Make up our own sound. The following shows were wild and chaotic, and ravished by the greatness of our creation we just kept on going, spreading the word and making sure it was heard.

At the royal club. First two years was all peaches and cream without higher purposes than joy. We drove around Sweden a couple of times, performing our songs, making fun of ourselves. A handful of seven-inch singles were recorded and sold and later compiled on CD and released as our first album, "At The Royal Club". All tunes dealt with issues such as sex and clothing, we had a laugh writing the lyrics, not aware of the darkness still to come.

After a couple of years and a couple of tours around Europe, a whole lot of medication, sex and introverted rock, the time had come for us to move up the ladder, to join the top of the flops. Per established contact with Kalle Gustafsson of the Soundtrack Of Our Lives and asked him to record and produce our second album. At the time we didn't have a record deal, a truth we hid well the first month of working with Kalle. When he realised that the width of our talent was threatened by the emptiness of our bank account he decided to score us liars a deal himself. He did. Together with Kalle and co-producer Don Alstherberg, real music was put on tape and released as Black City. Claustrophobic and energetic, the noise we made took us far away from our small hometown and our cold studio.

Henrik left the band to become a tattoo artist. Or maybe we had to sack him for being the toughest punk rocker alive, for not sharing our idea of the shape of the joke to come. Ask him. We´ve remained good friends and we always will. That´s chemistry.

David joined Division of Laura Lee at the start of 2002. His first show was on the last day of January. He immediately became our brother. We travelled half the world together.

We don´t know anything about gravity. Why stay glued to the usual pattern. Our third album was a huge step forward, aim for the stars and land on the moon, at least. Black City was heart and soul, Das not Compute brain and blood. We wanted to explode in hyperactive stress and at the same time soothe the nerves with cool melodies. We think we did.

After endless touring, trying to squeeze the last cent out of Das not Compute, we had grown tired of the whole idea. The band and the songs, travelling, music. It took us two years to write and record a single tune. But after some time apart we found our way back to the practise place, made way for our imagination to flourish and created way better music. And as those ten years slowly came back as good times, we were inspired enough to force that monster of an album out of our cold, dead hands entitled "Violence is Timeless". Or at least, just bloody do it. We never said we could change the world, we're having a hard time staying alive. All we ever wanted was to show our parents we were good enough to finish what we started. There´s no future in rock n roll, no money, not anymore. Finally.

A brief statement 2013.

We've been planning this since 1997. Division Of Laura Lee collectively has gone through a large number of shows, 3 full length albums and disputes to get here. Past mistakes that now seem colorful and beautiful. 

The easy way has never been the chosen path. With uncompromising equality as a guiding principle, it would seem we don't make it easy for ourselves, and it is definitely one of the reasons why it takes so long, too long, between albums. When the time comes, you understand why.

Tree is the fourth album by our band, Division of Laura Lee. After the four years it took to write and finalize the 2008 "Violence is Timeless", we swore it would never take that long between albums again. Tree took five years.

Plenty has happened over this period of time. The band, together with friends, constructed a new rehearsal space and built a studio in an abandoned house in Gothenburg, allowing them to experiment with new sounds and arrangements and Tree was recorded during two chaotic weeks together with Grandaddy's Jason Lytle, Hans Olsson Brookes and Olle Björk. Released on their own label "Oh, Really!?, Tree is an album we hope will provoke by being less aggressive but still way better that its predecessors.

Free your behind and your ass will follow.