Backyard Babies

This “5 and Dime” interview was conducted in person with Dregen, the guitarist for Backyard Babies when his band rocked Sayreville, New Jersey’s Starland Ballroom on February 25, 2005.

Tell me about your band, your sound, yourself and your bandmates.

I’m Dregen, the lead guitarist and vocalist. Nicke Borg, our lead singer, also plays guitar. Peder Carlson drums and Johan Blomquist is on bass guitar. It all started back in 1987 for us. We’re four guys from a small town in the south of Sweden. We went to school together, three of us were in the same class since we were 7 years old. “In our town, you did sports, were into music or became drug addicts. So we chose a little of all three.” Growing up, we had a mutual interest in hard rock and punk music. We were all born in 1973, growing up with The Ramones, Stooges and New York Dolls from the U.S. punk scene; as well as The Clash and Sex Pistols from the U.K. punk scene. At the same time, we were being influenced by the new wave of British heavy metal, bands like Iron Maiden and Judas Priest. “I don’t know if Backyard Babies is a punk loving hard-rock band or a hard-rock loving punk band. We’re the missing link between KISS and The Ramones.” We’re growing as a band all the time. The songs on our previous album “Stockholm Syndrome” were written as a band, not individually. “Our first songs were one chord because all we knew was one chord. Now he we are, fifteen years later, and all the songs are four chords. We don’t need more.”

Tell me about your band’s current, or soon to be released CD, its musical direction, where we can hear it, and where we can buy it.

When we were signed worldwide with RCA, it was great for Europe and Japan, but they wouldn’t release our back catalog. We got out of that deal and signed with Liquor and Poker music. Our new album “Tinnitus” is a compliation of our last three European releases, giving “a hint of our past.” Our website,, has samples and Liquor and Poker’s website has an mp3 to download. “Tinnitus” will be released in the U.S. on April 5 and it should be in stores everywhere.

Tell me about your band’s current tour.

We’re touring the U.S. with Social Distortion, but when they have a day off, we’re scheduling headlining dates. A new U.S. tour is already booked for club headlining dates after the album is released. We’re going home to Sweden first, touring Scandinavia for two weeks, then coming back here. Then we’re touring Japan once again.

What does your band have in store for your fans in the next 12 months?

A lot of touring. We have a live album, import only from Europe, called “Liv Laiv in Paris.” We also have a DVD called “Jet Lag.” It’s a one hour documentary of our 15 year history. It has our videos, live shots, interviews and backstage footage.

Feel free to promote anything else you’d like that applies to your band.

Backyard Babies is all about live music, so we needed a live album. If you like Backyard Babies records, you should see us live. Too many “radio bands” can’t back it up on stage, nobody wants to watch them play live. “Making albums for Backyard Babies is a necessary evil to go out on tour.” Plus, wish us luck. We toured the U.K. with Velvet Revolver, maybe they bring us with them on some U.S. tour dates.

Please share your thoughts on Dimebag Darrell.

I only met Dimebag Darrell once in Spain. He was very influential to all metal bands. I haven’t gotten over his death yet. We’ve talked about it, our band, knowing things like that are going to happen. It is so sad, I have no other comments.