Clubbing: Garageland


Photo: Iva Horvatovic

Garageland is Stockholm’s new indie and rock club, founded by music writers Felix Lindén and Sofie Gustavsson. They’ve already booked the likes of Mankind and Moon City Boys and play some of the best punk and rock hits around. We met the duo to learn all about it.

So who are you guys and how did the idea for Garageland come about?

Felix: Me and Sofie are two obsessive music-nerds that write for the Swedish music magazine HYMN. We met last year, at a Dolores Haze gig that HYMN organised. A couple of months later we tried DJ-ing together and it was just so much fun. So we decided to keep going. Eventually we started a club. No one really knows how that happened.
Sofie: And suddenly we had a premier at Cosmopolite. Which lead to our first liveclub at Bar Brooklyn. Both the bands (Mankind and Let’s Say We Did) put on great shows. It was such a great night, people were singing along and dancing like crazy. And when we cut the music at 3am no one wanted to go home.
Felix: It was just great. I want more nights like that.

There are a lot of electronica clubs in Stockholm, but do you think there’s a lack of more rock-focused clubs and is that one you want to fill with Garageland?

Sofie: That wasn’t the idea from the beginning. We just wanted to DJ and listen to bands we love.
Felix: There are some really good rock clubs in Stockholm but for people like us there are never enough indie and punk shows.

As well as being a club, is promoting local Stockholm bands and giving them a place to play a big part of your ethos?

Felix: Well, they don’t have to be local Stockholm bands but we love booking and promoting smaller bands. There are so many great new bands in Sweden right now.
Sofie: There’s something special about helping a band. Getting people to discover them and watching their crowd grow. Brian Fallon (Singer in The Gaslight Anthem) always says: “If you could help a band out, you should.” And for some reason that stuck with me.

What do you think are the vital elements for a rock club?

Felix: A good rock club should be like a good party. Great music, nice people and a little bit of chaos.
Sofie: And dancing! If you see people move their feet, you know you´re on the right path and it’s going to be a good night.

If you had to pick a song to define the spirit of Garageland, what would it be?

Felix: ‘Garageland’ by The Clash seems like the only logical choice here. It’s the name, it’s the spirit.
Sofie: We always play The Clash. We had a golden rule when we started this club: “If you don´t like The Clash, get out.”. It’s not really a rule, more of an inside joke between us.
Felix: But really, who doesn’t like The Clash?

Finally, what advice would you give to attendees to get them pepped to get the best out of Garageland?

Sofie:  Put on ‘A Town Called Malice’ by the Jam really loud and start dancing. There’s gonna be a lot of dancing later on so you should come prepared.
Felix: We always dance in the DJ-booth. If the DJs don’t dance, you can´t really expect somebody else to dance either.