When talking about Swedish grindcore the conversation usually end up going on Nasum and Regurgitate, but another and perhaps a bit overlooked band is Birdflesh. These wackos differ quite a bit from the aforementioned two with their humour and colourful performance. With their new opus Mongo Musicale fresh in mind I decided it would be appropriate to get some info on the Swedes current activities and other things as well. Drummer/vocalist Smattro Ansjovis was the one appointed to answer my carefully prepared questions.

Smattro Ansjovis interviewed by PSL

You just returned from a UK tour with Sylvester Staline. How did that go?
Well, the tour went okay, I'd say. Not many people at the shows, but the response were great. We met a lot of nice people and we drank a lot of good beer. We had a good time and I guess we will never go back.

One of the immediate impressions you get when looking at a Birdflesh CD is that these guys can't be very serious. Are you a serious band?
We like to play fast music. We love to be silly and we love to have fun. We are a serious band, but we don't take ourselves serious. I mean, we've been playing for like 14 years and I guess you have to be somewhat serious to do this crap for so long.

Mongo Musicale is you third studio album. Where do you think it differs from the previous two records?
I really don't know. It's hard to say. For us it sounds like good ol´birdo. It would be best to ask someone who's not in the band. It is grind, thrash, punk and a lot of fun as always.

It's been almost four years since your previous album Night of the Ultimate Mosh. How come things have taken that long?
Because we have released three splits, re-released Alive Autopsy/Trip to the Grave and a live CD. And we had no money to record in a studio until we got in touch with Dental Records.

On Mongo Musicale it sounds like you improvise a bit a long the way. How much is spontaneous and how has been planned before entering the studio?
All songs and lyrics are always finished before we enter the studio. Then ideas come up all the time while we're in the studio. So we try a lot of ideas and if they're good we do something with them. Some improvising is good. It makes the sound more alive. Not over-produced, if you know what I mean.

Birdflesh and humour are two words that seem to go well hand in hand. How important is the fun aspect of the music?
The fun is very important for us, at least at live performances. We want people to see something funny, something to remember. There are so many bands standing there on stage with their Slayer t-shirts, looking like the band that played 10 minutes ago. It's not much fun to me. Anyway, our music has always been serious even though we put some fun parts in here and there.

You were previously signed to Razorback Records. What made you go with Dental Records instead?
We were promised a lot of money and fame. No, not really. But as I said earlier, we had no money to record another album so when we got in touch with Dental Records they offered us a good deal.

You've put out quite a few split releases along the way. Do you have any new 7', split CD's or vinyl releases on the way?
Yes, we have the Birdflesh/Splatterhouse 7" coming out any day now. Also a split 7" with Hatebeak is in the works. Then a vinyl version of the new album will be released later next year.

Power It Up released the Birdflesh live CD Live @ Giants of Grind in 2005 and there's also some Birdflesh footage on the Giants of Grind I DVD as well. Did those releases capture perfectly what Birdflesh is about live?
Pretty much, yeah. So go get them everyone!

At gigs you're dressed up in these odd outfits. What initially made you come up with that gimmick?
It was our former bassplayer who started it. He was so ashamed of the rest of the band so he wore a mask and pyjamas at our first gig. After that show we all started to wear funny stuff on stage and it has never stopped. It's like a drug - you got to do it.

Which albums do you think is essential in any goregrind or grindcore collection?

Repulsion Horrified, Terrorizer World Downfall, Brutal Truth Extreme Conditions Demands Extreme Responses, Macabre Gloom and of course all Birdflesh releases.

In terms of grindcore Sweden doesn't seem as strongly represented as with death metal. How is the Swedish grindcore scene doing these days?
I'm not really into the grindcore scene here. I think here are a lot of new bands growing bigger. We're getting old. You see bands that are 10-15 years younger than yourself, kicking your ass totally. So that's nice.

I know that both Adde and Hampus are involved in Jigsore Terror besides Birdflesh, but are any of you involved in other bands as well?
Yeah, me and Barbro are in Jigsore Terror. I am also in General Surgery. Barbro has his heavy metal band Bullet and Achmed has his solo project Banzai Kamikaze. He has not released anything, he has no songs and he never rehearses.

How has 2006 been for your concern?
The year has been pretty great so far. We finally have a new album out. We've done a small tour and some shows. Hopefully more shows next year.

Anything you wish to add to conclude this interview?
A big thanks to you for doing this interview and for your support. To all the readers - check us out if you haven't already. You won't regret it. 100 000 000 soldiers can't be wrong. Cheers!

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