The (International) Noise Conspiracy

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The (International) Noise ConspiracyThe (International) Noise Conspiracy is a rock band formed in Sweden in the late months of 1998. The line-up consists of Dennis Lyxzén (vocals), Inge Johansson (bass), Lars Strömberg (guitar), and Ludwig Dahlberg (drums). Up until 2004-05 guitarist/organist/keyboardist Sara Almgren was also a member of the band. Dennis formed The Inc almost immediately after the breakup of his former band, Refused. The Inc takes pride in blending the roots of at least four other bands, including Totalt Jävla Mörker (Johansson), Separation (Strömberg), Saidiwas (Dahlberg and Almgren), and Doughnuts (Almgren).
Influenced by a quote from 1960's folk singer Phil Ochs, the lead singer Lyxzén, the band wanted to achieve an ideal blend of music and politics that was, "a cross between Elvis Presley and Che Guevara." Furthermore, according to the liner notes of their debut album, The First Conspiracy, the band wanted to combat music's function as spectacle. This is a concept taken from Guy Debord's work The Society of the Spectacle.
There is much fanfare about the band's Marxist ideology and position as communists, a label they in fact give themselves. However, they don't belong to Stalinist positions and are politically opposed to hierarchy and the state. Much of their images and writings reflect Situationist and left communist political positions and influences.
Having roots in five different bands, the (International) Noise Conspiracy came to exist in the latter portion of 1998 in their hometown of Umeå, Sweden. The group's five members set out to use its music as an attack against capitalist culture at large by taking the universal idea of popular culture and molding the basis of its phenomenon into statements of resistance. As far as the music goes, it's a hybrid of garage rock and soul of the 1960s mixed with the punk of the late 1970s. Since their formation, the quintet has released a handful of 7" records and two full-length albums, which include 1999's The First Conspiracy and 2000's Survival Sickness.
Fascinated by a quote from singer/songwriter Phil Ochs that states "the perfect rock outfit would be a combination of Elvis and Che Guevara," guitarist/vocalist Lars Strömberg and lead vocalist Dennis Lyxzén decided to start a group in the fall of 1998 that would make reality of that statement. Lyxzén had just witnessed the implosion of his hardcore band Refused and was hungry to start anew with a group that would use the music it created as a political vehicle. Strömberg shared the same enthusiasm and immediately co-founded the (International) Noise Conspiracy with his friend Lyxzén. At the time, Strömberg was performing with the Umeå punk band Separation, with whom he still plays. The duo set out to hunt down more members who shared their ideals. They found a bassist in their friend Inge Johansson, who was, and still is, playing with the Umeå art/noise band the Female Anchor of Sade. The final two pieces in the (International) Noise Conspiracy puzzle were found in guitarist/organist Sara Almgren and drummer Ludwig Dahlberg, who were both performing with the political rock band Saidwas. Prior to Saidwas, Almgren had made a name for herself playing guitar with the Umeå metal outfit Doughnuts. With the lineup in place for the (International) Noise Conspiracy, the band stepped into the studio in 1999 to record 12 songs. The tracks were released as a series of five 7" records later that year on four different labels, including the band's own The Black Mask Collective, as well as on Premonition, Car Crash, and Trans Solar Records. The majority of the tracks that comprised these 7"s were presented on the band's first full-length LP, The First Conspiracy, released later that same year on the G-7 Welcoming Committee imprint. The band members also kept busy with side projects throughout the year. Lyxzén released a full-length album, titled Songs in the Key of Resistance and a self-titled 7" record with his band the Lost Patrol. The style and message of the group remained in much the same vein as that of the (International) Noise Conspiracy. Johansson also kept his hands full with his other band the Female Anchor of Sade, which released the 10" Tanks to Everyone. The (International) Noise Conspiracy returned in May 2000 to release their second full-length album Survival Sickness on Burning Heart Records. The band worked out a deal with Orange County, CA-based punk label Epitaph to distribute the album in the United States. First Conspiracy appeared in early 2001, and was met with a mixed reaction due to the heavy political content. Later that year, the Capitalism Stole My Virginity EP was received better due to the growing interest in the Scandanavian rock scene from US garage rock fans. In the spring of 2003, the band released Bigger Cages, Longer Chains, an EP that included several videos and was significantly short on political messages. The soulful, Rick Rubin-produced Armed Love appeared in Europe in 2004, while its American release followed nearly a year later.