Refused formed in early 1991 with Dennis Lyxzén, David Sandström, Pär Hansson and Jonas Lidgren and released their first demo, Refused, the same year. With an already altered lineup the band released their first studio album, This Just Might Be the Truth, in 1994.
Refused's final line-up consisted of the members Dennis Lyxzén, David Sandström, Kristofer Steen and Jon Brännström who released everything from Songs to Fan the Flames of Discontent (1996) to the definitive album The Shape of Punk to Come. The band never found a permanent bass player.
Refused broke up in late 1998. It is believed that this was a result of expending all their creative energy and wanting different things. Band members have stated that their first shows after the release of Shape of Punk to Come were devastating to them emotionally and that their final tour was not a good time at all, but awful. The band canceled the tour and announced their split up. Their last show was played in a friends basement on their United States tour and was shut down by the police.
Among other things, they said that they "will not give interviews to stupid reporters" and demanded "that every newspaper burn all their photos of Refused".
Lead singer Dennis Lyxzén went on to form The (International) Noise Conspiracy while the other members, as well as venturing into their own projects, formed the group TEXT. As of May, 2008, Dennis Lyxzén and David Sandström have formed a new straight-forward hardcore band under the name AC4.
Before the Umeå hardcore phenomenon went into full bloom, the band was seen as part of the scene centered around youth oriented venue Galaxen, along with the punk rock scene as well as metal acts such as Meshuggah.
Drummer David Sandström states that before the band formed he was a "glue sniffing death metal kid" but eventually a fan of Step Forward, the embryo of Refused. As Step Forward called it quits and friendship between David and Dennis Lyxzen grew stronger, Dennis took him home and made him listen to Youth of Today's We're Not in This Alone album over and over again in a room alone.
The album This Just Might Be the Truth was mostly influenced by popular American hardcore of the time (such as Earth Crisis) as well as various bands from the New York hardcore scene. By the time of its release, the band already had a strong anti-establishment profile.
With their final albumThe Shape of Punk to Come, Refused drew heavily on the influence of Swedish bands such as Breach, Fireside, Randy, Millencolin, Entombed, Teddybears, Candysuck, Starmarket, Liberator, Satanic Surfers, Loosegoats, Mindjive, Nine, Abhinada, Bloodpath, Saidiwas, Final Exit, and DS13. Refused also drew influence from New York Hardcore bands Sick Of It All, Madball, and Earth Crisis. Besides musical influence Refused also used the writings of Karl Marx, anarchist Errico Malatesta, and the Situationist International. The band were already well known for their vegan and straight edge stances.
- Dennis Lyxzén - vocals
- David Sandström - drums, guitar, melodica
- Kristofer Steen - guitar, drums, bass guitar
- Jon Brännström - vocals, guitar, samplers/electronics
- Magnus Björklund - bass guitar (1992–1995) (also played on The Shape of Punk to Come)
- Jonas Eriksson - bass guitar (1996-1997) (also took part in the pre-production of The Shape of Punk to Come)
- Pär Hansson - guitar (1991–1994)
- Magnus Höggren - bass guitar (1995–1997)
- Henrik Jansson - guitar (1992–?)
- Anders Johansson - bass guitar (whenever needed)
- Jonas Lindgren - bass guitar (1991)
- Ulf Nyberg - bass guitar (1997–1998)
- Jesper Sundberg - bass guitar (1994)
- This Just Might Be the Truth (1994)
- Songs to Fan the Flames of Discontent (1996)
- The Shape of Punk to Come: A Chimerical Bombination in 12 Bursts (1998)
References in media
- The song New Noise has been featured in:
- The song New Noise is the theme for UFC fighter Clay Guida and for the German football show "Bundesliga Aktuell".
- Rock bands, The Used, Snot and Crazy Town, have covered Refused's "New Noise" on numerous occasions live.
- Sonic Boom Six named one of their song "The Rape of Punk To Come" in reference to "The Shape of Punk To Come".
- The band Paramore used the line "we want the airwaves back" from Refused's "Liberation Frequency" in their own song "Born For This" on their second release, Riot!.
- The Montreal punk band, The Sainte Catherines have a song entitled The shape of drunks to come in their release Dancing for decadance
- The UK magazine Rock Sound gave their album The Shape of Punk to Come number one spot in the magazines list of 100 albums that most influenced the music that Rock Sound is about itself.
- The band Bomb the Music Industry! have a song called "Bomb the Music Industry! (and Action Action) (and Refused) (and Born Against) Are Fucking Dead" on their 2005 album To Leave or Die in Long Island
- On the Thrice DVD If We Could Only See Us Now, guitarist Teppei Teranishi can be seen pretending to scream along to "Worms of the Senses/Faculties of the Skull" off The Shape of Punk To Come.
- A short clip from The Real is featured near the end of the Green Team video on the comedy website Funny or Die.
- Hip Hop artist P.O.S used the line "rather be forgotten than remembered for giving in" from Refused's "Summer Holidays vs. Punk Routine" in the song "Music For Shoplifting".
- The hardcore band featuring members of Thursday, Converge, and Glassjaw known as United Nations have a song entitled "The Shape Of Punk That Never Came" which is devoted to Refused and its members.
- British post-hardcore punk band Million Dead took their name from a line in the Refused song The Apollo Programme was a Hoax
- American club DJ Steve Aoki used the Erol Alkan re-edit of New Noise in the 2008 album Pillowface and His Airplane Chronicles.
- Burning Heart's Refused page - Official Refused site (biographical details obtained here)
- Refused Profile on Punknews.org with reviews, related bands, news
-  - Refused feature on Rockmidgets.com
-  - Interview with Kristofer Steen, discussing the DVD and reasons behind the breakup.
Biography from Wikipedia