Scandinavian Indie - Mufflon 5 Interview
Scandinavian Indie Presents: A short interview with
by Erik Söderström (firstname.lastname@example.org)
after a gig at Herrgår'n, Linköping, Sweden, 08-Apr-95.
Mufflon 5 are:
Karl Mogren (vocals, guitars)
Daniel Mannheimer (drums)
Fabian Edmar (guitar, backing vocals)
Lars Johansson (bass, backing vocals)
(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?
A. Small Place. Warm, but it was a good crowd down there. It was packed. The stage here swayed a bit, but it wasn't too troublesome really. We heard ourselves a bit too much though. The bass and the guitars were the worst. We played 11 songs, of which four are new ones. Stars, Closer To The Door, Cpop, Freewheeling, Come Again, The Wheel, NY Pop, Come Show Me, Don't Let Them Know, The Size Of Buddha and Almagest. The Size Of Buddha, which is a slow-ish song, about 8 minutes long, is on a new collection from A West Side which is due any day now by the way with 20 other bands. [The collection 'We're All Part Of A Family' was released two weeks later.] The four new songs were Stars, Cpop, NY Pop and Almagest which we "try out" right now. They will probably be included on the forthcoming album. We got 3.000 SEK for this gig, so now we own our tour-bus (haha).
Q. DO YOU OFTEN HAVE OPENING BANDS [they had one this night] ?
KM. No, almost never. We're looking for a group with sort of a similar sound that we could tour with, but we haven't found one yet.
Q. YOU'RE SHAKING YOUR HANDS, DM. WHAT HAPPENED?
DM. I got blisters from the drum stick a while ago, and had to have some sort of bandage to protect it, but the bandage fell off real early tonight, and I had to concentrate on holding the stick right, pushing it back all the time to be able to play with it. It hurts. Did you notice?
Q. ARE YOU TOURING RIGHT NOW?
KM. We played in Lund yesterday, Linköping today and Uppsala tomorrow, and all gigs are arranged by Smålands Nation [It's like a club for people from the same part of Sweden (in this case, Småland) at the universities]. Tonight was better than yesterday in Lund though.
Q. WHEN DID MUFFLON 5 START AND WHERE ARE YOU FROM?
FE. About two years ago. Lars, Kalle and Daniel played in other groups before that. We're from Gothenburg. Earlier we were called Happy Everly After (they played us on the radio show 'Bommen') and then we changed it to Pipelines. Pet Sounds handled the distribution back then, but well, you know, they went down the drain and now we're called Mufflon 5. We're the same now as we were when we were signed to A West Side.
Q. HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH YOUR NAME, AND WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
KM. Well, in an old sketch with Tage Danielsson [famous, now dead, swedish comedian], he said something about Mufflon sheep, which are some sort of sheep from Australia they have in Halland [a part of Sweden] and we grabbed that. We were in a hurry, and had to decide. We couldn't use just 'Mufflon' because it didn't sound right and we couldn't use 'Mufflon 4' which we wanted (with four members), because it would have been too much (haha). [4 is pronounced 'four' in swedish as well, but is also pronounced like 'får' which means 'sheep' in swedish.] so we just added 1. You know, there are a lot of groups with '5' in their names. Like The Jackson 5 and so on.
DM. It's till a bit embarrasing when someone asks what group I'm a member of. I say 'Mufflon 5' and they just say 'uh..', or they ask what the hell it means. But my dad thinks it's a great name (haha).
Q. HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT BEING ON THE A WEST SIDE FABRICATION LABEL?
KM. It's really good. We like it. SNAP takes care of the distribution outside Sweden, and A West Side handles the domestic. We were up there [in Skellefteå, where the label headquarters are located] two months ago and met Bear Quartet, A Shrine, Blithe and Jocke. It was really great.
Q. HOW DID YOU GET SIGNED TO THE A WEST SIDE FABRICATION LABEL?
A. First, we sent a porta-studio demo to Jocke [the owner of A WS] but he lost the cover, so he didn't know who we were, but he liked it. Thought it was Bear Quartet and called them and asked even! Well, we didn't know anything about this then, but we sent another demo later on, around spring 1993, and he recognized the sound, and signed us on the spot. Then in october, 'Boca Juniors' was released.
Q. HOW ABOUT RELEASES? DOMESTIC AND OUTSIDE SWEDEN?
KM. This week actually, SNAP is releasing a single we made for foreign distribution, called 'Freewheeling', througout Europe. It has 'The Size Of Buddha' on the back side. SNAP is changing name by the way to SOUP pretty soon now, because, you know, the group, Snap, wanting to take the case to court and all.. Oh well, we've been talking through our fax with a label in Canada/USA as well. They contacted us, after going through the complete A West Side stable and said they liked our sound. Pretty amazing isn't it? Well, it's the same label as Skinny Puppy is on [Northwood?] We're also looking at Japan through SNAP [or SOUP] as well. We've released a full-length CD, 'Boca Juniors' and a new full-length CD is to be released this autumn where the soft songs will be softer and the hard ones will be harder.
Q. OTHER THINGS YOU HAVE RECORDED?
A. We did a Peel Session which is to be broadcasted really soon. Three new songs and one old one. It sounded awful though (haha). I wish we could have worked with them some more before we went into the studio.
Q. DID YOU LISTEN TO PEEL SESSIONS BY OTHER SWEDISH GROUPS BEFORE?
A. Yeah. The Bear Quartet Peel Session. It didn't sound like a live session, but it was great anyway.
Q. HOW BIG ARE YOU TODAY?
A. We're still handling pretty much everything ourselves, for example, no-one moves our stuff for us. We have to do that, but everything has moved really fast. They play our songs on the radio even! We find that amazing, really.
Q. HOW ABOUT INFLUENCES?
KM. Well, Neil Young, Frank Zappa, Rolling Stones, Television, Cumberland, 22 Pistepirkko, Sebadoh. 70's stuff, funk, jazz, whatever comes to mind. Did you hear any jazz influences tonight? In the slow songs? But yeah, we do have a lot of guitar-walls, and it's really extreme when we play live (haha).
Q. HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE BRITISH/AMERICAN INDIE SCENE?
KM. Both are really lousy these days. I mean, Suede. Even the latest stuff from Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr are low-marks.
Q. ANY PROMOTIONAL STUFF?
A. Yeah, we made a video. We sent it to Intensiven [Indie show on the swedish television] but they thought it was too lousy to show. MTV did show it once though. On 120 Minutes. Paul King talked about us for a long while before he showed the video too! It was sometime in February 1994. Later, people told us they thought it was so 'B' it was cool. (Haha).
Q. HOW ABOUT OTHER SWEDISH INDIE GROUPS?
KM. Whipped Cream... they're boring. Easy is okay. I saw Fleshquartet last weekend - they're really good live. Really good. It's a pity Union Carbide doesn't exist anymore. They were great. Popsicle? Ahem.. naah. I really like one song by A Shrine by the way. On their first, or second EP. A slow one.
Q. HOW ABOUT TALES FROM EARLIER GIGS?
A. (Hahaha). We played in Karlstad once, and they had a disco (played dance music) before we were to play. There were about 800 people dancing in front of the stage. When we started to play, everyone left the floor. Everyone but eight people of which five were dressed in suits, loaded to the limit. They stage-dived..
Q. HOW ABOUT COVERS? HAVE YOU MADE ANY?
A. No. No covers. Except once, a couple of years ago, when we played at a birthday party (one of ours) we played Neil Young, Beatles, Iggy Pop etc.
Q. ARE YOU USED TO PLAYING LIVE?
KM. Ahem. Well I was pretty nervous tonight.
FE. Me too.
DM. I thought it was great tonight. I wasn't nervous at all.
KM. We were all nervous yesterday though. It was our first gig since the 13th of december last year.
Q. WHO WRITES THE LYRICS AND ARE THEY PERSONAL? WRITTEN FOR SOMEONE?
KM. I write the lyrics. Some of them are personal, but they get less and less personal these days. I work really hard with them. Sitting on my bed, thinking: 'Ok, I have to write lyrics to this music I'm listening to' and I get frustrated, which more than often, you can hear if you listen to them. I only write in english, because if I were to write in swedish, people listen a lot more to them, they seem to mean a lot more when they are in swedish, and I don't want that. It's the music that's important. The new ones, on the new CD is a lot more.. "out there" you know? Misty. Umm. I like swedish lyrics though, but there are so few who can write good swedish lyrics.
Q. ANYTHING ELSE YOU'D LIKE TO TELL ME?
KM. (Haha) Yeah.. we were interviewed by a guy from MM [Media för Musiker, a serious magazine for people in the music business.] and the headline in the magazine was "It ain't Easy". The story behind this: we have our studio below Easy's studio (in the same building), and we mentioned that they stole a riff they heard through the floor once, but we told him not to print that, because we like the guys, and we didn't mind them using that piece of music in one of their songs, but he used it as the headline. Embarrasing. When we asked him why the hell he wrote what we told him not to write, he just said "it was too hot to leave out". And we meet the guys in Easy every day in the stairs. Embarrasing.
Scandinavian Indie Mufflon 5 interview 08-Apr-95
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Snail-mail: Erik Söderström, Björnkärrsg. 13 B:34, 582 51 Linköping, Sweden
This page was last updated Dec 26, 1995 by Erik Söderström