Capturing both their ethos and the spirit of their explosive live show, Refused have released “Blood Red,” the first single off their upcoming album War Music, which will be released globally via Spinefarm/Search & Destroy on October 18. The album is available for pre-order here.
Blending the musical and political passions that have helped the band rise to near legendary status since their founding in 1991, the accompanying music video showcases the band’s roots in early ’90s Umeå, Sweden juxtaposed against the present day, making it clear that the dynamism that brought the band to international prominence shows no sign of slowing down in 2019.
“We didn’t play a single show during the making of the last album. It
was a long time to be away after the addictive chaos of our reunion
shows in 2012. Playing to houses packed with maniacs losing their minds
right in front of you is a narcotic to rival actual narcotics we’d
venture. (Not our field of expertise, but Keith Richards definitely
seems to feel that way, and he’s an expert on both.) So as we went out
on tour in the summer of 2015 we were getting pretty high on our own
supply (of songs that is). It was amazing, simply put.
But it was also obvious that Freedom was, for the most part, a studio record. A great record, to us, but there was something missing as we started playing it live – something visceral, direct, relentless. At a soundcheck somewhere on the road (Austin?), Kristofer started playing this riff and we all got into it (jamming, as it were). After a while we noticed that our crew had stopped working and that the people working at the venue were standing around watching us play. Now, people at venues usually hardly notice you, they’ve seen a thousand bands more famous than you fool around with their precious ditties as they’re re-stocking the bar or setting up barricades.
So as we were settling into the riff proper and it started rolling and bouncing the way you’re hearing it today, whatever we felt had been missing, it was clear that we had begun to fill that gap. The riff turned into ‘Blood Red’, the first song we finished for the new record and the first song we played live off of it. It’s fitting that it’s now the first song you’re gonna hear from the new record because it was truly inspired by you, our live audience, the old and the new, who come out and help us turn every venue into a boiling hot mess. This one’s for you.
If I fall, you’ll help me up, ok?
Welcome to War Music. We’ll see you in the pit.”