Influential Swedish hardcore band Refused were formed in 1991 by vocalist Dennis Lyxzén, guitarists Jon Brännström and Kristofer Steen, bassist Magnus Höggren, and drummer David Sandström. Debuting in 1993 with the EP This Is the New Deal, the group issued the full-length This Just Might Be...the Truth later that same year. The Everlasting EP followed in 1994, and in 1995 Refused returned with another EP, Refused Loves Randy. After 1996's Songs to Fan the Flames of Discontent, they issued the EP Rather Be Dead; in the wake of completing 1998's classic The Shape of Punk to Come, Refused disbanded, unable to reconcile their anarchist leanings with a career in music.
Following their split, Lyxzén went on to form the (International) Noise Conspiracy, while other members created TEXT, among other side projects. The complete split lasted until 2008, when Lyxzén and Sandström formed hardcore outfit AC4. A couple of years later Epitaph Records caused a stir among the band's cult following after posting the cryptic message "Coming Soon" on the old Refused website. Speculation went into overdrive about a possible reunion, before it was announced that the promotion had been for the reissued version of The Shape of Punk to Come, which came packaged with a live album and Steen's documentary Refused Are Fucking Dead.
In 2012 BBC Radio 1's Mike Davies announced the full reunion of both Refused and At the Drive-In, with the Swedish band confirming rumors of its slated appearance at Coachella that year. Following the announcement, Refused confirmed a host of summer festival appearances, before indicating that their re-formation was for 2012 only. To cap off their year, they returned to their hometown of Umeå in December for a special performance. They were awarded the "Special Prize for Swedish Music Exports" by the Minister of Trade in 2013, and in 2014 Jon Brännström left the band. Despite claiming their reunion was limited only to 2012, they were announced for the 2015 Reading and Leeds Festivals.
Their fourth studio album, Freedom, was slated for release in 2015, coming 17 years after The Shape of Punk to Come. They recorded with Nick Launay (Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Killing Joke), while also turning to Swedish pop producer/songwriter Shellback -- whose credits include Taylor Swift and Britney Spears -- for lead single "Elektra." ~ Jason Ankeny & Scott Kerr