So, the festival season is upon us and there's only one that's really set the cat among the pigeons: yes, that's right, Download that may, or may not, see the return of Guns 'n' Roses (if we're lucky). Nobody knows this more than Dregen, lead guitarist for Backyard Babies, who declares: "I will give you my left finger, I promise you, if Guns 'n' Roses are gonna play Download," even though "I think they're gonna cancel." Like most people he thinks, "They should get their shit together and reform the real Guns 'n' Roses." Even if they don't play, he's still totally up for it; "We keep coming back to the UK 'cause the crowd is fucking great."

Surprisingly enough, this is the first time the band will have played Download. "It's going to be great... we've only played Reading and other festivals like that." All becomes clear, however, when he talks about their troubles playing over here. When signed to former label, Sony/BMG (their worldwide label), "We had to cancel a tour because they didn't want to give us tour support - there was a lot of shit going on. So we're really looking forward to getting back to the UK."

Backyard Babies might have stated that 'live is the only fuel this band needs to keep on being the counterweight to this fucked up business' but playing festivals is more than just another gig. It's easy to see just how enthusiastic Dregen is: "I love festivals in general... [Tours] tend to be, I wouldn't say lonely, but it's the same thing everyday, but at festivals you get to see a lot of people and see a lot of new bands and favourite bands and you meet friends you haven't seen for years... It's a big fucking party."

By all accounts, it seems to be a running theme for the band these days, with a fellow Swede Nicke Anderson from The Hellacopters producing their most recent album, 'People Like People Like Us'. "We were working with Nicke Anderson as the producer of the album... and I've been in that band too and we're really good friends. It's very easy to work with him 'cause we know each other on a personal level too."

In fact, there were changes made from the beginning starting with the songwriting, as Dregen explains: "The new album is pretty much the first real band album. We made it together, whereas before I maybe would've written a whole song at home, come down to the rehearsal place and we played it, now maybe I had a riff in my mind and then we try out the riff and somebody else comes up with the idea of this. Nowadays, just about everyone's involved."
All in all, the whole album had a rather European feel to it; "I guess it also has a bit more, should I say, Scandinavian touch. I mean, the last two albums we pretty much recorded and mixed in Los Angeles and it's not that I had anything against them but when you get to mixing in America, you get some kind of a American-sounding feel to the whole production. This is a bit more organic, a bit more AC/DC sounding and also probably the most dynamic album as well."

Dynamic, you say? Dregen seems to think so: "Since we've been playing for such a long time together, I guess we can make songs where you hear that all the songs are Backyard Babies but we can be quite wide in our arrangements and stuff because now, finally we've got a sound for the band." It's a fair enough statement, but not surprising when you consider the confidence within the Backyard Babies camp. "It's easier to write now and the older you get, the more confidence you get, you know?"

That confidence has seen the band touch on previously unchartered waters; "'Roads' is kind of like our first ever mid-tempo song - it's not a ballad and it's not a heavy song - it's like Kiss mixed with Rolling Stones." If that doesn't whet your appetite, 'Cockblocker Blues' should, a song he calls a mix of Led Zeppelin and Aerosmith.

It's not bad going for a band that started off in a small town in Sweden with a sole desire to escape that dead end "shithole". To this date, Backyard Babies have spent most of their band life on tour and, if you've got any sense, you'll go and see them at Download.

If you want to know what RoomThirteen thought of 'People Like People Like Us' then click here.