The Swedish artist talks new single “You Don’t Want Me When I’m Sober” and addressing his past addictions in his music.
Two decades ago, you could easily box an artist into a specific genre whether it be pop or rock. Nowadays with technology, artists are refusing to be categorised and Swedish singer Boy Destroy is one of them with his new single “You Don’t Want Me When I’m Sober”. Somewhere between emo-pop and trap, Boy Destroy exists, revelling in commanding bass lines, punk guitar hooks and vulnerable lyricism. Accompanying his latest single with a dark symbolic video, the artist dives deep into his past dealing with addiction, as he switches been his distorted reality and society’s perception of him during his troubled times.
“There is a certain type of person I’ve met many times during my dark periods,” Boy Destroy candidly reveals. “Sometimes just by looking into the mirror… someone who counts the seven mortal sins on the tips of their fingers and feels no remorse causing pain. This is for them. We all wanted to destroy some part of ourselves. I dug myself down a hole I didn’t think I was going to get out of, I tried to disappear completely. But when I turned away from the path of self-medication, it felt like I had betrayed some sort of code. The code of the living dead perhaps.”
Taken from his forthcoming EP titled “Warpaint”, Boy Destroy serves this latest single as a teaser, as his upcoming project is set to further dive into his troubled life. With the release penned for this spring, we caught up with the artist talking, his past addictions, musical heroes and what we can expect from the project.
Check out the interview below…
Hi Boy Destroy – how have you been during this uncertain time? How has it impacted your music and creativity?
Hey! I’ve been really lucky, I think. Since so much of my life is based around creating, which I can really do anywhere, my life hasn’t been affected as much as some people’s have. I have definitely taken more time for writing, almost every day. But of course, it’s a grim situation out there and that affects everyone. It’s a bleak time, but I think it’ll get better.
Why the name Boy Destroy?
When I chose that name I wanted to combine the innocence with the darkness, somehow. So this image of the boy came up, which in many ways is me as a kid. And then the destruction that followed in my life through my addictions and unwholesome living. And it rhymes.
How did growing up in Sweden influence you sonically? Who were your musical heroes?
There is a lot of great Swedish music. But growing up, I didn’t listen to much of it. My first obsession was Nirvana. I was completely hooked. Then followed punk rock, The Ramones, the Misfits. Billy Idol was someone I listened to a lot. I think the harsh climate definitely helps when it comes to creative processes. There is always this tension, this give and take, 9 months of the year. Just going out your front door.
How would you describe your genre?
I like what is happening with a lot of artists nowadays where you can work within the lines of many genres without necessarily being considered an experimental artist. I feel like that wasn’t the case just a few years ago. I am as influenced by punk rock and alternative bands from the 90s as I am by Travis Scott. But somewhere in there I exist. Alternative, emo, grunge, trap, pop.
Congratulations on your new track – “You Don’t Want Me When I’m Sober” – on it you tackle your past addiction – was the process of putting it out cathartic?
Thank you so much. Yeah, it really was. When I got the idea for that song I was still inside my self made prison in some ways, trying to get out but not finding the key. Finishing it and putting it out has been a real trip because it still speaks to me so much. This sense of being trapped by your surroundings. Hopefully other people can relate to it too.
And the super trippy music video in the abandoned mansion is so dark – what did you want to evoke with it?
The idea behind the video came from working with the director Nowell Englund. He wanted to tell this story within a story, of me being trapped inside my own mind, judged by society. This sense of loneliness, completely exposed to the demons of your own mind.
And it’s taken from your forthcoming EP “Warpaint” – what ties it all together as a body of work?
Lyrically the songs deal with different aspects of addiction and self-destruction. Sonically, I think it blends together through my influences of grunge and alternative music.
How does it feel releasing new music when most of the world is in lockdown/everything feels so uncertain – what do you hope your music will bring?
It’s crazy, man. It is such a strange thing, putting your thoughts and feelings out there and not being able to meet the people that are connecting to it face to face. Through live shows and whatnot. I really hope this EP can both bring a sense of togetherness and as a means to escape, whatever they are experiencing right now that might not be so pleasant.
What’s next for you? What are you looking forward to in 2021?
The EP will be out mid-April. Following that, I’ll keep releasing music for the rest of the year. Hopefully, play some shows once the restrictions pass and we can all go out again. The only constant in life is impermanence. I try to remember that always.