Sounds of Scandinavia: Viagra Boys

Sounds of Scandinavia: Viagra Boys

Sounds of Scandinavia: Viagra Boys

Meet the post-punk gang refocusing hypermasculinity

Meet the post-punk gang refocusing hypermasculinity

Photography: Emilia Staugaard

Styling: Oscar Lange

Text: Kevin Ponce

This story appears in the pages of the VMAN x Copenhagen Fashion Week Zine inside VMAN 49: The Fall/Winter 2022 issue—now available for purchase!

With a name like Viagra Boys, it’s quite hard (no pun intended) not to be intrigued about the band. “Well, [the name] was the lesser of two evils, so if we put it next to the other candidate, then I think all stakeholders would agree that this was the best possible alternative.” Erected back in 2015, the Swedish band—which now consists of lead singer Sebastian Murphy, saxophonist Oskar Carls, bassist Henrik Höckert, drummer Tor Sjödén, and keyboardist Elias Jungqvist—first captured the attention of post-punk listeners everywhere with the band’s first EP, Consistency of Energy, which offered a fresh take on the ‘70s-born genre.

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Unafraid to torch the burdened notions of toxic masculinity and the tribulations of right-wing thinkers, the band has only elevated what they’re all about—dropping three EPs and two albums with a third on its way.  “After touring the world, we’ve definitely found out that things can always get worse and the lowest point always can get lower,” says the Stockholm sound wizards. “But that’s also where amazing things come from. Nobody makes songs about making a mimosa salad!” But it's their latest musical endeavor, their third studio album Cave World, that is helping champion the unique sounds of the Nordics and its place in music. “This album is for the truth seekers, the freedom fighters, and the stay-at-home scientists. More specifically, the young gentlemen with their roofs lined in aluminum foil.”

Discover an extended Q+A with the band and VMAN's Digital & Beauty Editor Kevin Ponce, below!

VMAN: How did the name “Viagra Boys” come to be? Who’s idea was it + what were the initial first reactions you’ve received from audiences and record labels?

Viagra Boys: Well it was the lesser of two evils, so if we put it next to the other candidate then I think all the stakeholders would agree that this was the best possible alternative. Then again, working with us is kinda hard from an email perspective. We do meet a lot of nice pharmaceutical professionals from India though.

VM: How would you define the sound of Sweden?

VB: We’re all big fans of Swedish House Mafia’s new line of furniture they’re releasing with IKEA, I would definitely define our national trademark sound as wooden and very accessibly priced.

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VM: From your first album Street Worms to your new album Cave World—what have been the biggest lessons you’ve learned?

VB: I mean, after touring the world we’ve definitely found out that things can always get even worse, and the lowest point always can get lower. But that’s also where amazing things come from. I mean, nobody makes songs about making a mimosa salad.

VM: How has your sound evolved from those few years of starting out to the present day?

VB: After computer processors and semiconductors have gotten more advanced, and we continue to follow the path previously and famously predicted by Moore’s law, our sound has become technically more advanced and aerodynamic, catering to the strict filters of the modern-day algorithmic genius.

VM: What can listeners expect to hear with the new album? Are you confronting any topics, genres, or themes that were once unexplored?

VB: This album is for the truth seekers, the freedom fighters, and the stay-at-home scientists. More specifically the young gentlemen with their roofs lined in aluminum foil.

VM: With the upcoming global tour, can you recall any wild experiences that you’ve all had whilst on tour prior? Any memorable fan moments that you can share with us?

VB: Timothee Chalamet was next in line for my bathroom stall at Coachella. I’m not sure if he was a fan, but he definitely isn’t now.

Kevin Ponce is VMAN’s Digital & Beauty Editor.

This story appears in the pages of the VMAN x Copenhagen Fashion Week Zine inside VMAN 49: The Fall/Winter 2022 issue—now available for purchase!

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Credits:
Grooming Mads Stig / Photo assistant Katy Alberdingk Thijm / Stylist assistant Nasra Mohamme

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