Interview with Sjöberg by Theron Moore
for Rock Chronicles (website)

How many demos do you actually have out that folks can buy? you sent me four: "Low On Karma, High On Speed," "Acid Worship," "Hallucination Generation," and "Acid Fuzz Rock." Are these all four or are there more?
Well, we've actually only made three demos ("Low On Karma...High On Speed" in 1997 and "Hallucination Generation" and "Acid Worship" both in 1998), that "Acid Fuzz Rock" tape you mentioned was only some sort of a promo-tape I made out of the two tracks we recorded for two different compilations. This tape was only sent out to a couple of friends and some labels just to give them the possibility to hear our latest recordings. We haven't got any copies of any demos left at the moment, but if anyone's interested we'll make new copies. 

You've told me through several e-mails prior to this interview that you're a huge BLUE CHEER fan. tell me how you came about being a fan of this band, and also of this style of music.
It seems that most folks tend to go more mainstream, you know, getting into music that doesn't "rock the boat." that kind of thing. it seems that in terms of today's music, it is absolutely not hip at all to dig music that was done 30 years ago, that's the kiss of death, so why do it? why not get into a Metallica groove and go from there? what motivates you to go all the way back to BLUE CHEER?
It may sound quite silly, but the first time I heard Blue Cheer they played "Second Time Around" on the national swedish radio, and I just fell in love with that song and wanted to hear more (this was just a couple of years ago). "Second Time Around" is still my fave with 'em (gee, what a surprise!), and I really like their first two albums - then I feel like the intensity got lost somewhere. 

The thing I like about Blue Cheer is their intense, take-no-prisoners approach on their songs. I grew up with an uncle that's 9 years older than me, and he was a hardrocker during my youth, so I think I got lots of my interest in heavy music from him. And the thing about looking 30 years back in time for bands to like...well, if the music's good - I don't give a damn if it was made in 1999 or 1969. 

And i shouldn't make it out like you're a BLUE CHEER type band, because you aren't, altho you've told me you are influenced by them. You've got definite Ground Hogs, Sir Lord Baltimore and Monster Magnet influences in there as well. tell me how that happened.
I don't listen to either Ground Hogs or Sir Lord Baltimore myself, but I believe that if we're influenced by a band like early Monster Magnet we get their influences without us not even realizing it. Every band around has a little bit of some other band in their music, and if there comes a new band who are inspired by another band, they get automatically influenced by the influences of the other band. 

I want to play devils advocate here for a second. what do you say to the critics out there who might say you sound like a "Monster Magnet Wannabe" type band playing a variation of "Superjudge" ? Obviously MM was a big influence on you guys....
The first Monster Magnet MCD (including their first 7" singles) were together with early Mudhoney stuff the main reason we started this band back in 1992, and I think it comes naturally in our music even today as those bands were two of the cornerstones in the beginning. 

Myself, I think we're leaving some of that sound behind us and we're heading for our own sound, by mixing garage/psych rock from the late sixties together with elements of space rock in the music. 

We're nowadays listening to the bands that influenced Monster Magnet at their beginning, so it's hard to differ in the sound that much. I also think it's easier for people to label us as a MM wannabe band as there aren't that many bands that play this kinda music (at least not many that I've heard), it seems like you must either be a Hellacopters-clone or a Kyuss-clone to succeed. 

Tell me how you hooked up with Black Widow to record "Second Time Around" by BLUE CHEER, for their tribute record. 
A friend of ours (Gabriel Lilliehöök of G.L. Productions) told us that another swedish band he's in contact with had been asked to participate on the tribute, and as we had played "Second Time Around" for a while we thought it was a good idea to contact Black Widow Rec's to see if they were interested in our version. We sent them the "Acid Worship" demo and explained that our cover version had the same sound as the stuff on the demo. They liked the idea so we recorded it for them. 

Is Space Probe Taurus currently signed to a label, or are you recording for several different labels?
We're not signed to any label, and that's not anything I feel at the moment I really wanna be. I want the freedom to be able to record something for every label that are interested in us. At the moment we're rehearsing for a 7" single on the US label SlowRide/Game Two Records, we're gonna record it in mid-November and it will be released in early 2000. 

We've also been contacted by a couple of other labels, but nothing is sure yet. Our plans are to make a couple of 7" on different labels, that should help us to spread the name better than if we'd for a first recording should record a full length album. 

How long has SPT been around? and why pursue music, why not just get a straight job and earn some serious cash, what is it about the music that motivates you to do this? 
The whole thing started already back in 1992, we really tried our best to do what we're doing now but it turned out really shitty. It wasn't until early 1997 the band took off in the right direction. The reason why we pursue this music is simple: it's so damn fun! I love to play, and I don't think I ever could stop doing it. Maybe it's because I still feel like I'm a teenager (I'm 26) and really don't wanna grow up. 

Who are you currently listening to? just to kind of lift the lid of this demon, do you just to listen to metal, or do you listen to other styles of music as well? 
I'm not such a huge metal fan you might believe when listening to us. My absolute favorite band is the Misfits, I like lots of punk like Ramones, the Dickies, Sex Pistols and that kinda stuff. I'm also into weird groups like The Cramps and the Meteors, and even electronic music like Front Line Assembly and Covenant (swedish electro band). 

I think that one thing that all these bands have in common is intensity, and I like it when it's fast and hard. Of course I like bands like Monster Magnet (early stuff), Fu Manchu, Stooges, Hawkwind, Blue Cheer etc, but I must say that I like playing this kind of music more than I like to sit at home and just listen to it. 

If someone wanted to put SPT on a comp tape, could they do that, or is the band against that?
Some bands out there feel that comp tapes don't get promo'd as much as "real" tapes by the band do, you know, that they want their own tapes put out by a label who can promote them. what's your feelings on this? 

If it's not a song that belongs to any label, I think it's quite cool if anyone would be interested in doing something like that with us. I don't buy that "compilation tapes won't get promo'd, so we won't get anything out of it", shit, man - we didn't promoted our demos at all (well, we made some flyers of our second demo), and they got spread really well. 

I know that if you put out something on tape it will get spread through the tape-trading underground almost better than a label could spread the stuff.

You're music seems pretty chemically influenced. what are your thoughts and feelings on drug and/or alcohol usage? 
Do you think it's harmful for people to practice this or is it a personal choice? to me, personally, it seems like a "state of mind" type thing where if you're just a naturally trippy person, you'll get into it. do you condone drugs and/or alcohol? just curious... 

If you wanna do it, I'm not gonna tell you not to do it! I really can't stand when people are telling us what we can or can't do, that kinda "we know better than yourself what's best foryou"-mentality is something I really hate! I know that drugs and alcohol can be harmful if you overdo it, but if you do it just to feel good and relax then no one should tell you not to do it. 

Where does the inspiration come when it comes to writing lyrics? 
As both Boder (guitar) and I write the lyrics I can only speak for myself (although I believe we think pretty much the same about this), I get alot of inspiration from old drug & biker movies from the 60's and 70's. I can't say that we put that much time into the lyrics as it pretty much doesn't matter what the hell I'm singing anyway. 

When we're working on new songs I usually sing some jibberish, just making up stuff that sounds like english words, that's how I make out the vocal"melodies". Sometimes real words appear and íf they sound good I'll keep 'em. 

Same question as above. what about writing music? 
Nowadays my main-inspiration in writing new songs are our own songs...It probably sounds really corny, but I listen a lot to our older songs and try to make something in the same vein. Except for the more obvious groups that inspire us, I really dig the instrumental music in biker movies from the 60's and 70'. 

That can be noticed as we like to do covers on biker-movie music, on the "Hallucination Generation" demo we did "Blues' Theme" from the movie "The Wild Angels" (although we rechristened it "Motorcycle") and on the upcoming 7" on SlowRide/Game Two Records we will record a track from the great movie "The Dirt Gang". 

Do you guys tour over in europe a lot or not? 
Hell, no! We haven't played live yet, but that's mostly due to that we haven't been a full group until now. But when we're a tight full group there will be a change. There have been talk about us playing live in Finland, Denmark and Sweden (of course), and that's hopefully just the start. I really want to spread the name Space Probe Taurus to wherever we can. 

If you could tour with any bands, past or present, who would they be? 
That's hard, man...probably The Stooges circa 1969/70, it would have been a riot playing live with Blue Cheer on a Hell's Angels party. It really would great to play with Monster Magnet back in 1990 (when they were still great), and on a personal note, I would love to have played with Misfits back in 1982...OK, it's not the music we play, but shit, that should have been fun!

What can fans expect in Y2K? 
They can expect our first 7" single on SlowRide/Game Two Records, and hopefully some other releases on other labels quite soon after that. They should be able to see us live, our website should be up and running and I think they will be able to hear that we got ourselves a third songwriter in our new bassplayer Stålhammar. 

I believe (and hope) that the year 2000 will be our most productive year this far. 

You seem to be somewhat of a huge cult phenomena, yet not a lot of people have heard you. what's going on here? how did this happen?
I think we got the good luck in becoming friends with the right people, Gabriel Lilliehöök (of G.L Productions) have really helped us spread our name and music through his tape-trading and contacts. I also think that the fact that we really early were to appear on the soundtrack-CD to the movie "I Am Vengeance" have spread our name that way, the same goes for the Blue Cheer tribute. 

The SlowRide/Game Two guys have also mentioned us alot when talking about their future releases on for example the Roadburn site. We also got a name that sticks in peoples minds.

Have you considered contacting dick petersen from BLUE CHEER who currently lives in Germany, and setting up gigs with him? 
I think I would be too ashamed to even mail Dick Petersen if he'd ever hear our version of "Second Time Around", but it would be so god damn cool play with him or talk him into singing "Second Time Around" live if we'd ever play live down in Germany.

Any plans to come on over to the US?
Not at the moment, but it would sure be fun. I think that we should probably release a couple of recordings first before thinking of it. I don't know how fun it would be to either us or the people coming to the gigs if no one ever had heard of us.

What are your feelings on the underground scene? i mean, if someone said they wanted to put out a 7" by you or a tape by you, or a CD by you, and do it totally underground and totally DIY, are you into that? for you as a band, is about the money or is about the exposure? Are you into the whole DIY thing or against it?  
For me it's totally all about spreading our name, I want as many people as possible to hear us. For me the money isn't the main thing, what I want from the band is hearing people say that they like what we're doing. If anyone should be interested in releasing anything with us, it's just fucking great. I don't give a shit if it's the smallest label in the world with a pressing of 50 copies or a the most professional label with world wide distribution.

I'm just interested in spreading our music to as many as possible.

OK, thanks bro for the interest in Space Probe Taurus and good luck with the website!