Lars-Erik Nilsson & Christel Henriksson, parents--Malmo, Sweden
Max & Marikk Henriksson, ages 10 & 14
What do you think of your children's music?
An intergenerational interview by Rock Revolution
|RR: Why do you listen to music like the *BHG?|
|Lars-Erik: It really depends. If we think of *BHG as a group that is anti establishment there are many reasons for me to listen. Listening to music like that teaches me a lot about what kids are attracted to. When I was young myself I listened to early Bob Dylan because I agreed with many of the things he said. Later I listened to artists like Country Joe and The Fish, Chicago, Bonnie Raitt because I believed what they said was right. I don't think many artists have attracted me because they were disliked by grown ups or society. Sometimes it has not been the lyrics at all that have made me listen but the music itself.||
Marikk: Because I like the texts. I think the lyrics are funny. They sing about
such strange things in a nonsense way.
Max: I don't really know. I just think they are good. I thought the music was good when I listened to it at my firends. They played well so I bought it. I don't really now what you mean by music like *BHG. It's just music.
|RR: Why do you think they're popular with young people?|
|Lars-Erik: Mostly because I think they are tickled by the fact that the songs couldn't be played at school or wouldn't be liked by their parents. I don't think many kids agree with the content. What troubles me is that there really are kids that would say "let the m***** f***** burn" if it was the house of an immigrant or someone of another race that was burning.||
Marikk: I think most younger kids are attracted by the swearwords. Take a text like
"the roof, the roof, the roof is on fire, the roof, the roof, the roof is
on fire, we don't need no water let the m***** f***** burn, burn
m***** f***** burn" in the song "Fire water burn". I don't think they really
get what it means at least not here in Sweden but they think it's cool.
Max: Because it's rock. I don't know it's kind of just fashion and then everybody does it.
|RR: Do you think kids like the music for the music itself or more for its shock value or rebellion?|
|Lars-Erik: My problem is I must admit that I actually like the way they play with words. Shock has never appealed much to me and I have never been rebellious for the sake of rebellion itself. Therefore I am open to the fact that kids might actually appreciate some of the finer points of language, poetry, irony or sarcasm that often are part of that kind of music. But I had to guess I think that they represent a type of forbidden fruit that at least younger boys will like. Most girls would chose other music to shock or rebel.||
Marikk: I think they like the music too, it's hard with a fast tempo but the most
important thing is probably that it's a bit shocking not really words you
are supposed to use or things you are supposed to think.
Max: No I don't think so at least I don't.
|RR: What do your parents think about the BHG?|
|Lars-Erik: Well my parents would not understand the lyrics. But they were brought up on jazz playing swing and dancing a lot. I have been told that my father danced with another guy trying to introduce a new dance they had learnt and had to leave the dance palace because as the band said "there are ladies in the audience to dance to." So maybe he was a bit avant garde to. My parents have never fought with me about my music taste. The strange thing is that the only fight we have had over music was when my mother sung old religious songs of the type where young children die and go to heaven to my children. I remembered that I was scared when she sung them to me when I was young so I didn't want her to. And we had an argument.||
Marikk: My mother don't like them at all. She doesn't like many sorts of music. It
has to be soft. She likes to dance to rock'n roll though. It's not my
fathers favorite music. It's too loud and to few variations. I think he
reacted to the lyrics first but after reading them thought they were quite
interesting. It's not his values with hate and violence but he probably
likes to read and listen becuase he wants to know about youth culture.
Max: The only thing I have heard about it is -Please turn it off I am listening to something on the radio or please go into your room if you want to play it. I guess they don't like it. At least my mother doesn't. Well maybe my father doesn't object too much.
|RR: What do your friends' parents think about them listening to music like the BHG?||Lars-Erik: I don't think many Swedish parents react much to the lyrics. Generally they are not easily shocked and maybe their English is not so good they fully understand it. I don't remember any friends parents that have forbidden any music. They have yelled at them when they have played too loud of course.||
Marikk: Well my best friend's father gave them the record without knowing what it
was all about. He doesn't like the things they say. I don't think he likes
it. He probably regrets giving the record to his children. My teacher
laughed at it. He thought it was crazy. I don't really think parents like
their children to listen to music like that.
Max: I don't think they care as long as they play it in their rooms.
|RR: Are there any other groups like the BHG that are popular?|
|Lars-Erik: Yes there are. In my eyes BHG isn't such a problem because I can't really think they mean what they sing. It's different when they really mean it. In the 30s brown clothed troups of young men marched to racist music. When I was young we had a lot of bands singing songs against imperialism, racism and a lot of things. That was my music. Today my country, I am ashamed to say, is considered to be the centre of the music of the neo-nazi music. It is displayed on the web and sold. One of those bands managed to become really popular played by kids all over Sweden. Some think the way is to forbid the music. It has never worked and will not work now. I hope that grown ups all over the world including commercial giants selling culture what agree to fight the ideas. That way only the BHGs of the world would survive teasing youth for rebellion but the real hatemongers would be helpless.||
Marikk: No I don't think so but then I haven't looked for music like that.
Max: Yes but I can't think of any right now. Right now I prefer Savage Garden and Fiesta which is a record with Latin samba music.