This punk band is sure to end up in your spam folder

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about half A decade ago, the growing group sat with buddies in Stockholm’s Blecktornskällaren bar trying to figure out a name for themselves. At the time, any potential problems with the spam filter were “pretty out of my head,” says Sebastian Murphy, the band’s lead singer. He was worried that he was “trying to come up with as extreme a name as possible”. Then deus ex machina. One of the friends at the time was taking Viagra and bellowed, “Guys, you should be called the Viagra Boys.”

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“And I thought,” Murphy pauses, echoing a bit of reflection on this pivotal moment, “yeah, that’s a pretty good idea.”

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They arbitrarily wanted “boys” in their name. Any audible matches with the Vengaboys, best known for the song “We Like To Party” from the album. Party Album! — did not occur to them. They did not see anything clearly offensive in the Viagra Boys. “So we just agreed,” says Murphy.

Since then, the Viagra Boys have released two albums of praise, 2018. street worms and 2021 Charity Jazz, full of talkative, deadpan, surreal punk. (If a I think you should leave there was a band, that band could have done a split EP with the Viagra Boys). In his first song to gain momentum, 2018’s “Sports”, Murphy begins by singing the words “Baseball / basketball / sausages / short shorts / cigarettes / surfboard / ping pong / rugby ball / sausages / skiing, down the beach / ssssport. Believe me, it’s fireworks. After the third album cave world, will be released on July 8, they will be touring festivals around the world. And all this happened despite the fact that these guys had what could objectively be called a stupid fucking name.

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Photograph: André Geoffre

Misunderstanding began immediately after it was formed. “We had a Facebook page and we got all kinds of weird messages from men all over the world,” says Murphy. “They’re like, ‘How much to buy?’ They thought we were some salesmen.” And then they will have the same conversation over and over again. “We sent you an email guys.” – Not. Everything went to spam. Now, clumsily, every promotional email from the band promises material from the V**gra Boys, and then immediately explains: “(**=”ia” because spam FILTERS)”.

Says the group’s publicist Ryan Cunningham: “For the last four years, I’ve only used this. Their manager, Oscar Ekman, advised me from day one never to write the band’s real name in emails. During an advertising campaign, I check spam as regularly as I check my inbox.”

Ekman adds in an email with a distinct air of resignation: “People make weird assumptions when you have a stupid name like Viagra Boys. Over the years, I’ve had to turn down hundreds of gigs with various crotch rock bands. I think the intellectual side of the WB is often overlooked or misunderstood.”

Maybe there is something depressing, self-willed, senseless compression here. But there is also something wonderful about it. The working nature of it all. rigid graft. At first glance it sounds ridiculous, but this is the work of these people. They are promoting a great band they love and the name of that band is the Viagra Boys.

For the band itself, the secret to success with that name seems to be not to take too much care of yourself. All of them are still working intermittently. (The jobs mentioned include tattooing, carpentry, cleaning, and cooking.) As for their online presence, they are thankfully clueless. Murphy says he checks the group’s Instagram but never Googles the group. (WIRED didn’t make or receive pill ads, just links to Viagra Boys music and social media profiles. They have good search engine optimization.) On the whole, he admits, “I didn’t really think about it.” However, our conversation reminds him of their Coachella performance earlier this year. Playing at this festival can be a career-defining moment for many bands, and by implication it was for the Viagra Boys as well. “It felt like there were 20 people there who knew who we were,” says Murphy.

So, naturally, “the other 1500 teenagers” had to be there because of the title. The network called Viagra Boys does not make any sense. But personally it was: the human connection. Which makes Murphy quite happy. “If I were younger and walked past some poster with the inscription “Viagra Boys” – I would definitely look at it.”

As for what other names sounded that long ago in Blackthornskellaren – what other paths these eternal Viagra guys could go – Murphy laughs. “I can’t tell you,” he says, “I’m sorry. Not a single chance.

However, on one point we have some closure. Viagra addicted buddy? Who came up with the name? “He doesn’t use it anymore. It was just a short term matter. Because he used amphetamines.”

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