From Punk to Rojava

The Adrestia Interview

Adrestia are one of the most important hardcore bands in Sweden today.

Blending metal-infused riffs into aggressive d-beat compositions, Adrestia’s music exudes power and commitment. But it’s their political conviction that sets the band apart. 

On their first two albums, The Art of Modern Warfare (2016) and The Wrath of Euphrates (2019), the Swedish band helped popularise the Kurdish struggle for the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria, otherwise known as Rojava.

Active in the Punks for Rojava network, in 2017 the band released a split 7” with fellow metallic crust punks Martyrdöd, In Solidarity With Rojava.

In 2019, Adrestia were about to go on a US tour when COVID-19 shut down international travel and much else. Prevented from playing live, the band undertook an ambitious recording project, recording and releasing two full albums that came out in digital form earlier this year.

III: The Betrayal and IV: The Mark of Cain comprise a creative whole, with the former addressing political themes and the latter more personal matters. The project is held together by razor-sharp production, making these candidates for the best d-beat records of the year, even at this date.

John Foster, co-host of The Battleground’s Left To Burn podcast, spoke with Adrestia’s Martin Shukevich (guitar/vocals) and Elma Roth Sandell (bass) about Swedish politics, the rise of the country’s far-right and the situation in Rojava, and what makes their music political.

Photograph courtesy of Adrestia. All rights reserved.