On April 25th 2006 Burning Heart / Epitaph Records release the DVD Refused Are Fucking Dead. Directed by guitarist Kristofer Steen, it will be the first and last word on this most remarkable of bands.
â€œRefused are fucking deadâ€¦.â€? With these words Swedish quartet Refused hammered the final nail into their own coffin and split in 1998 on the cusp of mainstream success. Their final album The Shape Of Punk To Come (sub-title: â€˜A Chimerical Bombination In 12 Burstsâ€™) transcended the hardcore tag and mixed jazz, socialism, punk, techno, straight edge, ambient and Situationist rhetoric to create a new form of protest music, their interviews, sleevenotes and communiquÃ©s littered with references to influences such as Guy Debord, Charles Mingus and Jacques Derrida.
With breakthrough single â€˜New Noiseâ€™ gaining substantial airplay the band split in the middle of a chaotic show during a police raid. Shortly afterwards they announced â€œWe will continue to at every attempt, overthrow the class system, burn museums and to strangle the great lie that we call cultureâ€? and demanding that their images be burned â€œso that we will no longer be tortured with memories of a time gone by and the mythmaking that single-minded and incompetent journalism offers usâ€?.
Refused Are Fucking Dead charts the band's rise and their glorious explosion amid ethical disagreements, realised dreams and much heat from the authorities. Musical differences? No. Refused slayed until the very last note.
All but overlooked at the time of release The Shape Of Punk To Come is now regarded as one of the most important punk rock records ever. Both musically and aesthetically, the bandâ€™s influence is widespread amongst todayâ€™s generation of bands â€“ the likes of Funeral For a Friend, At The Drive-In, The Hives, My Chemical Romance and Muse have all cited the band as particular favourites. Meanwhile former Refused band members continue to make music with The (International) Noise Conspiracy, Text, The Lost Patrol and a variety of non-musical projects.