úterý 25. října 2011

To develop as a human being

Thank to Isii loves MD for translation of this awesome interview!!! ♥

They come from Sweden, but don't have as many fans as their musical colleagues from Mando Diao.
John Engelbert (28) and Oscar Bonde (31): two guys that already wanted to found a band when they were younger.
They're friends of The Hives, tour around the world and we know them because of hits like “Party with my pain”, “Execution song” or “Man must dance”.
Recently they made up their tour trough Germany, which they had to cancel because of Engelbert's sickness in last years October.
Annie met them backstage at one of their gigs. First we met a tired Ossi (“I’m always tired, so don’t mind me!”), whom follow a minimum as tired John.
In the interview they speak about their recent album, their furture collaborations with the Beatsteaks, independant actions, depressions and future plans.

Annie: Let's start with an easy question: how would you call your music?
John: That's no easy question, it's one of the hardest.
Ossi (thinks): yeah well, melodious...
John: melodious drum'n-bass-focused guitar rock-pop?

Annie: Your last album is called Mavericks. Do you often feel like mavericks? When did you feel like that the last time?
Ossi: Well, I think when we were younger and didn't really know what we had to do, because we decided to do nothing... this was a kind of being maverick. But once in a while everybody should try to be a Maverick, I think it would make the world a better place. But I don't really remember when I felt like a Maverick the last time...

Annie: What about you, John?
John: Well, I feel like that every single time when we do something and everybody is against us. But then we're just saying: We'll do this anyway, and if it works we're proud. That's important... because people are different and if you are a maverick often free mind goes with free will and hand in hand with directness towards the world. It's about trying to be not close-minded and conservative; we're not withdrawn at all, but open for new things. I think it's important to look behind the obvious, to develop as a human being. So many people only live for fame, just because they were educated that way and think everything works that way.
Ossi: We know many people that are that way and act on that maximes. That holds them off from being how they really are and from doing something that would have more substance.

Annie: next question... What do you think is the main difference between you and the more commercial band Mando Diao, that is from Sweden too?
John: I'm not sure... I think Mando Diao believe they're still the same rockband as they were in the beginning and haven't changed because they had one or more hits. But if you have a successful song in a big country like Germany, everything changes. You're automatically seen as a commercial band. They haven't really thought commercial I think. They're good friends of ours and we hang out with them a lot. They're still like they were 10 years ago, and I think we're that way too.
Ossi: We always try to explore new coasts and to do new things and have the same philosophy regarding music. You don't want to repeat yourself all the time.
John: And you think they play sold out shows now and are boring?

Annie: No, I don't, but if you compare their new album to 'Bring Em In'...

John & Ossi: Yeah, of course.

Annie: Sometimes I have the impression they really thought "Okay, let's make a commercial single".
Yeah, I definitely know what you mean. There's a big difference between Dance With Somebody and their first album. But I think they just wanted to try something new. Maybe their next album will be dirty garage rock again, I don't know! (laughs) 

Annie: You've been touring with Razorlight before. Which band would you like to support in the future?
Normally you tour with other bands because you're friends with them. We've once toured with the Hives in Japan, that was real fun. To suport your friends is the best thing you can do,  but still there are these big bands from America, with which you'd love to play just to reach a bigger audience.
John: It doesn't always have to be a bands you like, but of course we'd like to play with the Queens Of Stone Age or the Foo Fighters, even if we don't listen to them that often. But a audience of that size would of course be awesome...
Apart from that I think it's easier to support a band that you're no real fan of. Because then you've got the feeling that you're better than the mainact. But if we'd... (thinks) ...Ossi, name a good band! .... if we'd, let's say tour with the Band Of Horses, we'd, I think, feel like very bad musicians. (laughs) But it would be awesome, Arcade Fire would be great too! Or U2, not because we like them, but more because it would be good for our importance.

Annie: Do you know German bands that you'd like to tour with?
We got an offer to play with the Beatsteaks, but unfortunately we had other plans. The tour would be this april, and everybody we told of that said "You have made the wrong decision!", because apparently this group is very popular in Germany. But it's always flattering to be asked by a band to join them on tour. Hopefully we can do that another time with the Beatsteaks!

Annie: That would be great!   ... well, right now it's in fashion to mix your songs with electronic elements or to do remixes. Would that be a possibility for you too?
Well, in Sweden there are some remixes of our songs. Some are good, and some... bad. (laughs) 
John: Yeah, there are really, really bad ones. But right now there's a cool electro-house-duo, Rebecca & Fiona, and they did a remix for Roscoe.  But we don't spend that much attention to remixes. Our label asked, we said yes, but we're not involved in that, because we don't like music that much that's just done with computers.

Annie: A song of you is called „There’s a lot of things to do…“. Which things would you like to do before you die?
(thinks): Sometimes I want to create someting new, something that brings me to another direction. But actually I just want to travel around the world, have many children, eat good things, drink a lot of wine. I want to protect my family, my friends...
John: yourself...
Ossi: Yeah, right, myself, and I want to meet a lot of new people before I die.
John: I'd like to write many new songs that I haven't written yet. When I'm old I want to have a huge collection of self-written songs. Moreover I want almost the same like Oskar, maybe except the travelling. I don't have itchy feet.

Annie: Another question: Some people say you have had huge mental problems while the production of your last album. In how far has this crises influenced your way of writing and the recording process?
I think very much. It doesn't matter in which mental or emotional state we are, it will always influence us. But  at the same time we don't want to analyse these things. We just want to go with the flow, as long as there is one, even if we feel bad. Thank God we've always been playing music. We just want to be open towards our creativity and to record as many good songs as possible. It's always good if you can transfor something bad into something good, for example if you go trough a hard time and can make something positive out of it. That's how it was with this album. We have transformed something really bad into a fantastic album.
Ossi: That's the good thing about being and artist, writer or musician. You can just transform bad experiences into something good by being creative. That's also the reason why I can't imagine sitting in an office, fill in forms and stuff like that; stuff where you're working on things that already exist.

Annie: Last question... who is Roscoe and what is that song about?
It's a friend that's called Roscoe and is always scared to do something. Instead of trying things he isn't starting them, because he is scared of failing; he rather locks in his house. It is an imaginary person, we don't have a friend called like that. I just started singing "Roscoe, Roscoe..." when I wrote the melody, I don't even know why. But it sounded good, that's why we just kept that name for the person...

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