Sweden’s longstanding punk kings No Fun At All have returned, firing on all cylinders with their first album in 10 years. The follow-up to 2008’s Low Rider, the aptly-titled Grit—released via Bird Attack Records on April 13—is a powerful comeback after some ups and downs over the years.
Guitarist Mikael Danielsson explains, “For some time, it didn’t look that bright on the horizon of getting a new album out and doing more frequent touring.” He goes so far as to say that the band almost called it quits and were ready to just be “happy with all the great stuff we had done up until then.” Thankfully, they came to the conclusion that they had more new music to offer the world. “It’s like the last six miles of a marathon,” he says, “find the last energy, and get it done.”
That’s not to say No Fun At All had been inactive since the release of their last full-length. To the contrary, they had been playing around and touring, they just hadn’t released any new material. Danielsson says he started to write new songs about four or five years ago, then brought up the idea of putting out a new album with the rest of the band. Vocalist Ingemar Jansson and drummer Kjell Ramstedt were excited about the idea. However, he didn’t hear back from guitarist Christer Mähl or bassist Steven Neuman. When he checked in again, the two members decided to quit the band. “After that,” Danielsson says, “we did a ‘farewell’ tour with them in Brazil and Chile.” He adds, “It felt good to go out in style with them.”
In early 2017, guitarist Fredrik Eriksson and bassist Stefan Bratt came aboard. “It was an absolute need to bring in some fresh blood to get this machine rolling again,” Danielsson shares, and he asserts that this lineup is in it for the long-haul. “We’re going all-in again.”
Of the songs that comprise Grit, the guitarist says that since this record came out such a long time after the last one, quality was key. “You want to come out with a big bang and let everyone know that you’re back, sounding as vital and relevant as ever,” he notes. “And there’s no doubt about that, I can assure you.”
Since the spring, No Fun At All have been playing myriad European dates and festivals. When asked if they will be returning to the U.S., Danielsson doesn’t hesitate. “We will most definitely come back,” he says, mentioning that, incredibly, they haven’t been Stateside since 1995. Also, one has to wonder: having so much material in their arsenal, is it ever hard to finalize setlists? Danielsson says compromise is essential, “but this set is going to be a massive one.” He views the process of coming up with setlists as “a fun challenge.”
In the end, No Fun At All—who first started way back in 1991—just want to tour and let their new songs be heard. “I hope the album will get us out on the road as much as possible,” Danielsson concludes, excitedly adding, “[We] can’t wait to play the new stuff live!”