The enigmatic, imaginative alternative rock duo The Lost Poets illuminates the shadowy world known as Insubordia.

Hello David and Petter!  I’m totally taken by your recent debut album, Insubordia II, which saw the light of day on February 26th.  It continues with the dark, enigmatic, and potent vibe of your previous EP, Insubordia.  How are you both doing at the moment and what has the momentum been like for the release of Insubordia II?

Petter:  Thank you so much! The response for Insubordia 1 & 2 has been incredible and we’re so grateful. I think for us personally, the positive comments and feedback from people who like what we’re doing are the most important. That we also got great reviews as well doesn’t hurt, of course, but it’s not essential. When we released Insubordia 1 we had no idea how it would be received. Interest in Sweden was close to none and we couldn’t understand that because we thought it was a decent album.

We put so much heart into it, and when nobody seemed to care, we were actually on the verge of giving up. Then when the great reviews from overseas, the US in particular, started pouring in, we were stoked and it definitely felt we were on the right track again. We almost couldn’t believe it.  It was like night and day compared to Sweden. It has been exactly the same story this time around. Insubordia 2 hasn’t received any press in Sweden, but it’s been widely and greatly received in the US and around Europe.

Before we go into your new album, your background, and recent happenings, can you please list who is in the band and what instruments you play?

Petter:  Me and David are the only ones in the band and we play all the instruments ourselves. My main instruments are drums and bass and David’s are vocals and guitars. On top of that we both play all the different instruments that you hear on the recordings. On stage we sometimes hire musicians, but we try to stay true to the two-man band constellation if we can. It really depends on the venue.

Your music conjures up the best aspects of 1990s alternative rock – the foreboding menace and powerful dynamics of bands like Alice In Chains, Stone Temple Pilots, and Soundgarden, as well as a heavy element of swamp rock and blues rock, and at brief times even the classical symphonic genre (for example, the dirge-like sawed strings at the end of “Danny Electro”).  Would you agree that these bands and/or styles have influenced your own sound to some extent?

David:  Definitely. Petter and I actually have quite different tastes in music and I think that pushes our sound in pretty unconventional directions. I actually don’t listen to a lot of music at all since, when I hear something, I need to go and write new stuff. I’m over-creative in that sense and that’s a good thing and a bad thing. On one hand I produce a lot of material, but on the other hand I’ve got so much stuff to get back to when I go through ideas that it sometimes gets overwhelming. Also, it’s a shame I can’t enjoy music like a normal person.

Anyway, to get back to your question… I used to listen to 90s rock, but also a lot from the 60s and 70s. I guess that’s what’s lingering in the back of my mind and that’s probably why the songs often tend to lean in that direction. I do listen to a lot of classical music in my spare time as it’s so far off what we do that it doesn’t interfere with my creativity.

Petter:  Yeah, I listen to a lot of different bands and styles, and that’s where my input comes from when David writes the material. I tend to steer David into more conventional songwriting when he wanders off too far sometimes. When we write stuff together we’re a really good team and, without each other, there would be no Lost Poets.

While you originally hail from Stockholm, Sweden, as you just mentioned, you are both ‘lost poets’ who inhabit a world named ‘Insubordia’ which you view through a lens darkly.  Is this realm that you’ve created a fictitious Earth, or a possible future Earth, or inside the mind, or is it another sphere altogether?

David:  Actually it’s all of the above and more. Insubordia is wherever or whatever you want it to be. All we can tell you is that it’s a wasteland of huge proportions. Lain in ruins by a dark force greater and more maleficent than anything else in the universe and The Lost Poets are there to defeat it.

The subject matter of your songs is very stark and bleak, in keeping with the portentously forceful and grittily noir sonic atmosphere.  On “In A Wasteland” the lyrics include “…the shadows are haunting me.”, the compelling lead single “Danny Electro” warns that “Your source of fire is about to die.”, and “Insubordia” is wracked with paranoia and the ominous line “Careful what you think of…”.  Where does all of this frustration, anxiety, and unrest coming from? 

David:  I tend to see my lyrics as poetry and that I do not have to abide by the laws of lyricists, i.e. telling a story from A to B, rhyme, or even make much sense at all, actually. As long as I have my own vision of what the song is about, my mind takes me there. Sometimes I have no idea where I’m going with it, but it always works itself out, at least in my own head. The beauty, I think, is that in the sometimes-vague message, listeners can make up their own story. A story that takes on a life of its own, that I may have nothing to do with in the end. Makes sense? 

I often get the question about the darkness in my lyrics and the simple answer is that I don’t know. That sounds easier than it is though, because what I mean is that I don’t know where the lyrics come from when I write them. Yeah, I’ve been through a lot of fucked up shit, but who hasn’t? I mean, it’s like it all comes together there and then (when I write it) for a reason. “As Long As I Am Conscious And Clear In My Mind” has a special meaning to me though, and it has very straightforward lyrics. I think it’s some of the best lyrics I’ve written so, if you have the time, really try to listen to them.

You both cut very striking and mysterious figures in the usually too-familiar social media world.  Why have you decided to hide your faces, wear more formal suits and top hats, and not give out that much personal information about yourselves? 

Petter:  We kind of got sick of all the posing and we wanted people to get the full experience of The Lost Poets. We’ve got nothing against the bands that do, but it just wasn’t us. Our band is actually more of an art project in a way since we do everything - rock, films, books and film scores - as The Lost Poets.

Going into your live performances, do you have any late spring or summer dates lined up?  What do you use to cover your facial features when playing live and does it interfere with your performance at all?  What is your live show like?

David:  We don’t play live as much as we should because the interest in music like ours is so limited in Stockholm. Gothenburg is much better in that sense when it comes to playing in Sweden, so we have a few gigs lined up there this summer. We’re also putting together some small tours around Europe and California this fall.

We usually cover our faces, which can pose a bit of a problem sometimes, as vision is limited to say the least, haha. Our motto when playing live is “Fuck it, let’s rock!” This, to us, means that it doesn’t matter if we mess up the chords or beats sometimes; it’s the energy that matters. People who pay for tickets and drag their asses out to see us, deserve our best, so we always try to put on a great show. Our goal is to make each show better than the last.

You played the Viper Room in L.A. this past December in support of Volto (Tool drummer Danny Carey’s band).  How did that come about and what was the experience like?

Petter:  Before we left for LA, I asked Viper Room’s booker, Jeff Fioretti, if they wanted us to come play. At first he was mildly interested, but then he listened to our stuff and really dug it. He asked us to open for Volto and we didn’t say no, of course. It was an amazing opportunity and we managed to do a great show. The guys at The Viper Room are the greatest and they’re really professional. We’ve never had such a great sound at such a moderately sized venue before. The place was packed with Volto fans, but they were a really cool crowd who gave us a lot of credit. I mean, they’re waiting for Volto who has some of the heaviest names in the rock scene, so it felt very special to be there and do something everyone seemed to appreciate.

Were you both in other bands and/or involved in different artistic ventures before you joined forces as The Lost Poets in 2014?

Petter:  Yes, we’ve been in a lot of different bands before, but none of them felt nearly as good as The Lost Poets. Since David and I started playing together (again, but that’s another story…) a few years back, we’ve had three different constellations before we became The Lost Poets. It’s been a long journey of people dropping off or being asked to leave. We are very set on our goal and our vision, so as we didn’t sync one hundred percent with the people who we worked with, we decided to do it all ourselves.

You currently have several other creative projects in the works, including a short film titled Tales Of Insubordia and, of all things, a children’s book named The Lost Poets.  Can you give an update on and some details about these endeavors?

David:  The short film is ready for the cutting board right now and feels like it’s going to be something different to what you normally see. We’ve shot some of the footage in California and some in Stockholm. What we can say about the story is that it revolves around finding the light that surrounds and inhabit us. In our minds, The Lost Poets are somewhat lacking in empathy and need to find it to defeat the darkness and free the people of Insubordia. It’s all very black and white. Both the film and the book will feature The Lost Poets characters and takes place in Insubordia. Regarding the book, we first set out to write a poetry book including new poems and lyrics. Then one day I was standing at the children’s department in a bookstore. The books all featured happy children doing happy things and that’s just not how things are. Life can be dark sometimes and kids understand more than we give them credit for. I think they need something deeper sometimes.

What is your involvement in the upcoming film with Dolph Lundgren titled Without You I’m Nothing?  Will a song of yours be included on the soundtrack or will you actually appear in the film? 

David:  First off, we’d like to send all our love to Dolph. He might just be the coolest guy in Hollywood. So down to earth and he understands and remembers how it feels to be the underdog. He really digs our stuff and we can’t thank him enough for all that he’s done for us. We don’t really know how many songs will be included in Without You I’m Nothing. We’re hoping for a few at least and maybe write some of the score for the film. We won’t make an appearance since it’s not that kind of story. We can’t get into it in detail, of course, but we think it will be very cool. It’s not your typical Dolph Lundgren film at all and it’ll have a more noir feeling.

We will also have the song “Mouth” included in the upcoming film Don’t Kill It! directed by cult director Mike Mendez.

Lastly, can you please list your official site(s) where we can find out more about you and your music?

Official Site