It is time for revolt. The pressures of social expectation are ours no more. We will not do as our fathers command, we will not be what our mothers wish and we will not fit into the mold that they made for us. We are the firstborn and we will make our own destiny…
The bible already sets the tone: God’s wrath taking the firstborn sons of Egypt and saving the Israelites’ by the mark of sacrificial blood. Religion wielded as a weapon then as it is wielded now. FIRSTBORN refuse this logic of sacrifice and strain against the what they perceive as a means of control: “It is one of our key messages, that everyone will try to manipulate you with everything they got at their disposal. We want to fight that, resist that climate of demands and sacrifices. We want everyone to be able to be who they want to be!”
Alternative rock band FIRSTBORN are claiming this right for themselves, too. They are setting out to find their own path by releasing their self-titled debut album with 2808-MGMT/Rough Trade. Hailing from small town Borås in the Southern regions of Sweden, the lives of Marcus Carlzon, Joachim Ragnarsson and Simon Näsström were headed in quite a different direction, in a way already sacrificed to the world. Working backbreaking hours for the local sawmill or at a factory, music was their best chance of escape. Thus Marcus made the first step of resisting and quit his dead-end job. He wanted to teach music and ran into prejudices the minute he tried. “You have no degree, they said. You can’t make a living, they said. Well, I had my ambition and I made it work. I succeeded where everyone expected me to fail.” But that was just the beginning; he spent every free minute he had on the songs that would later become their debut album. Whenever possible, Joachim and Simon would rush over from their shift at the mill, so that FIRSTBORN could work on their ticket to creative freedom.
Where everyone expected them to fall in line and just work their days in the rural economy, FIRSTBORN stood up for their beliefs – and this is at the heart of the music as well. The songs deal with the realization that you have a choice, that you are not fated to do anything unless you accept it without a fight. “You have the freedom to be passionate about things. If you have that secret inner desire to do something, go ahead and do it! Don’t listen to what anybody says you should do, just don’t listen when they tell you that you can’t or shouldn’t do it! You are your own person, you should decide what you want to do! And if you try, you might just prove them all wrong.”
For FIRSTBORN this realization means being musicians and shouting their wisdom over the rooftops of sleepy Southern Sweden where the closest cultural hub is Gothenburg, miles away under the rainy and grey sky. But no matter how the odds stand, they will make their way: 11 songs on their debut album are a stark reminder that it does not take much to make great rock songs. “Some of the songs were written in a cold dark room in the middle of winter, with nothing but an old six-string worth less than a grocery list and a drum set that sounded like pounding cardboard boxes. But so what? We made music, we recorded the songs and now we can finally say. Here we are, we are FIRSTBORN!”