A CONVERSATION WITH
ERNIE FROM ASTA KASK
by Jones Rosenberg 

PUNK GLOBE- Hows things Ernie? 
 
ERNIE- Fine, thanks for asking!  
 
PUNK GLOBE- How would you introduce Asta Kask to the readers of Punk Globe Magazine? Whats new with the band? 
 
ERNIE- Well, originally Asta Kask formed up back in 1978 as X-Tas, but changed name -79/80 to Asta Kask and released their first 7" (För kung & fosterland) with song like "Ringhals brinner" (or "bighouse women" that someone from the U.S heard us sing). Right after it was released, the band broke up. After a few months the only remaining original member, Micke, decided to put the band together again. Now with three new guys - Ernie (bass), Bonni (git, voc) and Bjurre (dru). That lineup played together until 1986 when we quit. Two reunions 1989 and 1992 and finally a bunch of gigs 2003-2004 ended up with Bjurres farewell to the band. Instead Dadde joined us on the drums an now we funktion as a regular band and will continue playing as long as itīs fun. Now we have been signed by Burning Heart and recorded our first album in 20 years. Itīs very exciting and hopefully people will like it. Personally I hate old bands that make new records, so I wonīt be surprised if they donīt.  
 
PUNK GLOBE- Tell the readers how and when you started the band? What were your main influences? What have changed over the years? 
 
ERNIE- We listened to all kind of early punk, like Iggy, Ramones, Pistols and The Clash but brougt some other bands music of the 70īs with us in Asta, like Kiss, Sweet, Slade and that stuff. We also grew upp with the musik of the 60īs so perhaps we grabbed some of that too. Musically we have changed to a band that hopefully plays a little bit better than we did 25 years ago. Asta never decided how the music should sound like, it just came. We knew we wanted it fast, and we also wanted good melodies that you could whistle to after you heard it. Happy tunes with a seroious lyric. Today it is all the same. Now we are a bit older (hrrm) and perhaps the lyrics differ in some ways from the past, but they still have a serious message. Maybe not so naive.  
 
PUNK GLOBE- When I am on the road with The Vigilantes people often come up to me and talk about Asta Kask, and yeah they even got their own Rasta Knast, how do you feel about that? How come you are so popular there? Hell people even go to University to study Swedish just  to get your lyrics? 
 
ERNIE- The Germans are the Japaneses of Europe, Very special :) As long as I remember the Germans liked us. I donīt know why. When I first heard of Rasta Knast it was strange. Of course we were flattered and we always are when we hear crazy stuff, like people studying Swedish because of us or that a band from Brazil, Agrotoxico, make one of our songs and sing it in Swedish!  
 
PUNK GLOBE- What about going to Japan? Have you bought your dictionaries yet? What do you know about the scene there? 
 
ERNIE - We practice bowing to each other so we can be polite. We are invited mainly by the band Crispy Nuts that will join us on the tour in Japan. They been talking about it for a long time an now it finally gonna happen. It will be an adventure of course. We spoke to the guys in No Fun At All and som other bands that have been there so we got a pretty good picture what is waiting, including the phenomena that they are dead silent between the songs! Anyway it will be great to go there of course.  
 
PUNK GLOBE- How would you describe the swedish punk scene to the foreign readers? And in comparison to other punk scenes? 
 
ERNIE- Happy tunes with serious lyrics hehe! We have got a bunch of upcoming bands and for what I have seen the past 3 or 4 years there is hope for the future of punk in Sweden. The skate era is fading out and now we see a growing number of old-scool infued bands coming. Personally I like that.  
 
PUNK GLOBE-You recorded a record Aldrig en LP/Never a LP in 1986. How come you chose that name? 
 
ERNIE- Well, many bands of the first punkgeneration ended up, after a buch of excellent singles, to make a miserable LP and some of them completely changed to the worse when they made their first album. 7" vinyl is the perfect punk format and we said "-We will never make a LP". In 1986, when we knew we would quit we decided to make a LP anyway and - hey! letīs overproduce it and put piano, trumpets and all the stuff we can think of in it so people just will hate us when they hear it! Sadly it didīt end up as we hoped. We named it "Never an LP" because that is what we always said we would not do!  
 
PUNK GLOBE- Tell me about the upcoming record on Burning Heart records? How did that co-operation come about? What can we expect from the new album? What was it like working with Matthias from Millencolin? Any conflicts considering the fact how slick and produced the latest Millencolin records are? Many re-takes and overdubs?  
 
ERNIE- We chosed Matthias because he and Millen are old fans of us and he really knew the core of Asta. In the same time he know a lot of more modern sound so he was the perfect link metween the old and the new music. We worked very well together and  we decided early that it should not be a slick or overproduced album. That would not suit us at all. You gonna hear a even better Asta Kask than you ever heard. We took the best of our old stuff, put it in a bag together with all that we learbed from our other bands over the years and out came 12  songs that sound like...Asta Kask. Som of the songs we already played live and people really like them so it will be very exciting to release tis album. A bit nervous too. What will the old fans think? We will see. We are very proud of the album anyway. Personally, as I said,  I donīt like when old, retired favourite bands make new songs. That sucks :)  
 
PUNK GLOBE- What would Asta Kask never write a song about? Your songs are often about religion, war and stuff like that. What is the most important question in the world today? 
 
ERNIE- Peace and environmental questions are the most important issues today. We have to shapen up there. All of us. You too! Asta Kask can probably write about any subject, we even have a lovesong (Psykopaten). Well...heīs a psycho and he kill heīs girlfriend but anyway...  
 
PUNK GLOBE-So Ernie what does your mother think about your choice of career? What is your profession? Can you keep a 9 to 5? 
 
ERNIE- My mother is my greatest fan! She always supported my descision (and prayed that i would earn some mone on it and not get into drugs) and often walk around in a Asta Kask t-shirt. Playing in Asta has not give us enough money so we could quit our jobs. Well, it could have come to that in 1986 if we decided that we would like to be proffessional musicians. In fact, that was one of the main courses that we killed the band then. None of us wanted to have Asta Kask as a work. So we always have other proffessions. Mine is working as a networking engineer and PC support.  
 
PUNK GLOBE- Do you remember when and how you discovered punk rock? I remember my first punk cassette, a C-60 with Asta Kask "Aldrig en LP". My favourite songs were and still are 
"Ringhals Brinner" and "AB Böna & Be". Tell me about your favourite Asta songs? What is the worlds best Punk Rock Song in your opinion?  
 
ERNIE- I heard the Pistols playing "Anarchy in the UK" on Radio Luxemburg back in 1977 and thatīs it. This is how the music of the future will sound like! AB Böna & Be is a nice one, one of my favourites. I still enjoy playing it so i agrre with you there. Best punkrock song ever? Thatīs hard...i go safe here and say "Safe european home" with The Clash from the best album ever - "Give īem enough rope". I canīt get tired of listen to that album.  
 
PUNK GLOBE- I remember asked you about two years ago about joining The Vigilantes on our next Euro tour and it seemed to me that you were about to call it quits, sell the instruments and settle down with your families. What made you change your mind and go record a new studio  
album and go to Japan? 
 
ERNIE- Since 2003 we had no plans for the future and, yes, we considered to end the game once for all, especially when our drummer for the last 25 years, Bjurre left the band two years ago. But then we decided to try a new drummer an we got Dadde. Suddenly the spark was there again! The fact that Burning Heart signed us gave us a kick too, suddenly we got a opportunity to make a new album, something we didnīt plan from the start.  
 
PUNK GLOBE- How many gigs have you done with Asta? Which one was the best? Which one was the worst? 
 
ERNIE- Many many... I canīt pick the best one but one of the worst ones was in Tibro, Sweden in 1985 or so. It was a "festival" gig and no one came...well perhaps 7-10 people were there. And it rained and there were no roof over the stage. No good.  
 
PUNK GLOBE- Anything else you want to add? 
 
ERNIE- Thankīs for asking all the question! Visit us at myspace.com/astakask or www.astakask.com! Download our new album, you pirates, but please buy it later on and you will receive a hug when we meet!  
 
Thanks for your time. Best of luck with everything 
 
- You too! Bye!

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