Scandinavian Indie - Green Interview
Scandinavian Indie Presents: A short interview with
by Erik Söderström (firstname.lastname@example.org)
after a gig at Herrgår'n, Linköping, Sweden, 04-May-95.
Fredrik Persson (drums)
Björn Palmberg (guitar)
Henrik Langdal (bass)
Lars Wirten (guitar)
Magnus Fridh (vocals)
Helen Widmark (violin, keyboard)
(c) 1995 Scandinavian Indie
If the answer is "A." it was answered by the group as a whole.
Q. WHAT DID YOU THINK ABOUT THE GIG TONIGHT?
FP. It was really hot with that many people! A lot of people actually. The sound equipment was great this time too, compared to last time we played here when it just stunk, but it was as fun as last time anyway. We always play 'My Special Applepie', our very first song really, and that was a stunner! Everyone seemed to know it! We never rehearse it, but we always play it.
Q. ANY PROBLEMS?
FP. The guards pushed down a bunch of stage-divers at first, but after a while they got more relaxed about it. Vitte's [Lars Wirten] cord broke after the third song, so we had to play half a song ['Schlager'] which we never really play.
Q. WHAT SONGS DID YOU PLAY?
FP. 'Swanson vs. Spencer', 'Taxinight In New Dehli', 'I Like Mondays', then half of 'Schlager', after that 'Plasticlife', 'I Don't Mind', 'My Special Applepie', 'Sunday Sway', 'Weekend Trip' and 'Comaneci'. The extra number was 'Smudge' and 'Lucky Star'. Last time we were here we played all the songs from the EP (plus a few extra).
Q. WHEN DID YOU START AND WHERE ARE YOU FROM?
FP. The band actually started in january 1992 in Lund. We're all from Lund, and all of us were members from the start except for Helen, who joined about half a year later. She only played violin then. It was when we worked on our latest album, the full-length [Schlager] she started with keyboards as well.
Q. WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU'RE NOT PLAYING IN A BAND?
FP. Magnus studies the Tibetan language in Stockholm (really!). I study economics, Björn studies history, Lars runs his own company and is a freelance journalist, Helen studies music and film science in Stockholm and Henrik also studies economics.
Q. ARE YOU TOURING RIGHT NOW?
A. Well we're playing in Västervik on the 5th [May], at a support gala for Bosnia, then we're not sure if we're going to play in Sundsvall on the 12th, but we hope so. After that we're hopefully in Katrineholm on the 13th. Norrköping is booked on the 19th, Malmö on the 20th, Gothenburg on the 22nd, Kristianstad on the 24th and Karlskrona on the 26th. In June, we're only sure of a gig in Lund on the 16th right now.
Q. HOW ABOUT RELEASES?
FP. In december 1993, we released "My Special Applepie", the single and the 7-track EP "Couldn't Bear To Be Special". And now recently, on the 9th of march this year we released the full-length "Schlager". [See below for details on review scores].
Q. ANY DEMOS OUT THERE?
FP. "Wunderbaum" came first, then "April 1993" and the last one was "May 1993". [See below for details on review scores].
Q. HOW ABOUT INFLUENCES?
FP. James Taylor Quartet. And that goes for Henrik, Helen and Lars as well. Eggstone, Smiths and early REM. Other than that, all of us have different taste in music.
Q. ANY SWEDISH BANDS YOU LIKE?
FP. If I have to mention a couple, On A West Side Fabrication, Puffin and The Bear Quartet. And yes, we like Brainpool as well.
Q. HOW DO YOU WRITE YOUR MUSIC?
FP. Magnus writes the lyrics and the melodies, then all of us arrange it together, so most of the time, something comes out of what we do. We're very self-critical, so it usually comes out okay. We work on a song until we're all satisfied with it. Like 'Taxinight In New Dehli' which some of us didn't like first. We only had to work on it a little, and then it was okay.
[Later during the interview]
FP. Actually, three of us write songs. Which I think is great. It gives us so much to work on at once. For "Schlager", we had 22 songs in four weeks. But it wasn't easy to sort out 12 of them to put on the album. Like I said, all of us have different taste in music, so it wasn't a painless process. And sometimes such problems can create funny effects. Like the last one we decided on for "Schlager" was 'Taxinight In New Dehli', and the last song we decide on is sort of the song we all can say "okay, let's take that one then" about. It got on the "Best Right Now" list in Nöjesguiden. [laughter].
Q. WHAT KEYBOARD DO YOU USE AND WHAT SOUNDS?
HW. I use a Korg M1 and I have Korg's own sound cards for it, though most sounds I use, I have edited and changed from those.
Q. HAVE YOU BEEN FEATURED IN THE PRESS/TV/MEDIA?
FP. When we released 'My Special Applepie', we got a lot of attention in the press. Especially Expressen. Actually, we got reactions from every music magazine and paper. "Schlager" got reviews in every music magazine and paper except for Aftonbladet. We've made a video that has been shown on Z-TV and we've been featured in Musikjournalen on the national radio (P3 channel). TV4 were in Lund last tuesday, to cover the Lund music life. It was supposed to be recorded in march, but the person who did the interviews was sick. They said they would show what came out of it sometime during may, so keep your eyes open! We're featured [on the cover + article/interview inside] in Svenska Dagbladet's City magazine tomorrow. Be sure to check that out as well!
Q. YOU'RE SIGNED TO THE "RAINBOW MUSIC" LABEL. HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?
FP. When we released our last demo, "Maj 1993", the Ceilidh label showed interest in us, but they had so much to do with Sonic Surf City and Suredo and all that, so we were signed to Delicious Goldfish instead. We released the single and the EP, and then when it was time for the full-length, which really became pretty expensive, Rainbow Music in Solna came in more and more. Payed for this and that and... So it was only natural that they took over. Those who are left on Delicious Goldfish are Sunshine and Crescent Venus (who now changed drummer for the 4th time). We were also the only three bands who got to release singles on that label.
Q. I'VE HEARD RUMORS ABOUT RELEASES IN JAPAN?
FP. Actually there are two companies there who are interested. We're hoping for the best, and that we will be able to release something. Can't say anything more at the moment though.
Q. WHAT FESTIVALS WILL YOU BE PLAYING THIS YEAR?
FP. Nothing is ready yet. We're first on the "reserve list" for Emmaboda though [Absurt Trevlig, Emmaboda, Sweden, 16-17 June, 1995]. We hope we get to play at the Hultsfred Festival this year. Last year we almost got to play, but nothing happened. So we think it's our turn this year.
Q. WHAT FESTIVALS DID YOU PLAY LAST YEAR?
FP. Emmaboda and Karlshamn (Sommarfestivalen). In Karlshamn, we were the only pop band except for Brainpool.
Q. YOU'RE SOMETIMES COMPARED TO THIS PERFECT DAY AND WANNADIES?
FP. Okay, during our "demo time", I'll admit we did sound somewhat like them, but not nowadays!
Q. HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE WAY YOU ARE COMPARED TO BRAINPOOL ALL THE TIME?
FP. We started at the same time. We're all from Lund and we didn't know about them until "At School" [single with 'At School' and 'Popstar'. Released on the Ceilidh label in 1993] came out. When that happened we thought "Wow! Buzzcocks again!" Other than that, there's nothing similar. We're _not_ influenced by them, though we have listened to the same things before, like Jam, Clash and Sex Pistols. That may have had something to do with why both bands sound the way we do.
Q. JENNIE MEDIN [from Cloudberry Jam] WAS FEATURED ON "SCHLAGER"...
FP. Well, we both have the same guy getting our gigs, we play a lot together, and one day we came up with the idea to include her on our album, called her up, she said okay, came down here and we recorded two songs, 'Schlager' and 'Plasticlife'. She's really a fantastic singer.
Q. I KNOW YOU HAVE PLAYED IN FINLAND. WHERE AND WHEN DID YOU PLAY?
FP. It was at the end of May last year when we played in Finland at Tavastia Huset in Helsinki and a student place in Tammerfors.
Q. ANYTHING YOU'D LIKE TO FINISH THIS INTERVIEW WITH?
FP. One interesting thing; A Hip-Hop band from Stockholm sampled the chorus from 'My Special Applepie', though I don't remember their name. It was fun to hear though.
[Known Review Scores]
Demo/Single/EP/Album Magazine/Paper Scored/Out of
------------------------------ ------------------------ -------------
Wunderbaum Demo Sound Affects #19 (1993) 3/5
April 1993 Demo Sound Affects #20 (1993) 3/5
? Demo Pop #4 (1993) 6/10
Couldn't Bear To Be Special EP Pop #8 (1994) 7/10
Schlager Album Pop #12 (1995) 7/10
Schlager Album Svenska Dagbladet (1995) 4/6
Schlager Album Corren (10 march 1995) 4/5
Schlager was reviewed in Dagens Nyheter (22-Mar-95), but they don't have a scoring system. It got a "so-so" review though. Compared to Brainpool again.
Scandinavian Indie Green interview 04-May-95
Scandinavian Indie - your Internet guide to scandinavian independent music
E-mail: email@example.com Phone: +46-(0)13-175042
Snail-mail: Erik Söderström, Björnkärrsg. 13 B:34, 582 51 Linköping, Sweden
This page was last updated Dec 26, 1995 by Erik Söderström