ENTREVUE / INTERVIEW
With: Stefan Fredin
ALBUM REVIEW HERE
Richard Hawey - Avril 2016
PROFIL - Before starting I want to thank you for your time to answer these questions.
PR - The band released its first album in 1974, the line-up has not changed much since that first album, how do you explain this stability?
STEFAN FREDIN - Probably because we most of us are friends since childhood/early teens and grew up in the same small seaside resort of Saltsjöbaden 15km southeast of Stockholm.
PR - Your music style has changed, especially with the release of the trilogy, these three albums are more melodic and accessible than were the first. What made you change your style?
SF - It was not a concious move or anything. We were just not the same persons as we were when we recorded these first two albums in our early twenties. For me being the main songwriter I feel it is also important to change. To make every album unique and not sounding like the album before.
PR - After the album "Kriget" published in 1981, there was a long break to Trettioariga Kriget, this pause was filled by live albums, several compilations and a few singles and that until 2004 with the release of " Elden Av År ". During this time you thought about ending the group's activities?
SF - Oh yeah…In fact we broke up the band in 1981. We had no thoughts or plans about recording or performing until Stefan Dimle of Mellotronen contacted us and wanted to re-release ”Krigssang” on CD. To celebrate that I, Robert and Dag did an acoustic concert together with Reine Fiske (Landberk, Dungen) on guitar. Cause Chris had even stopped playing guitar during the break. A few years later Olle, our lyricist , convinced us that it was time to reform the band.. We rehearsed for a few years and then went into the studio to record ”Elden av ar” (2004). On that album we used a few leftover songs from the 70s. Even though all but one were re-recorded for the album.
PR - This year we're offering a new album which is titled "Seaside Air," you want to tell us about?
SF - Well…Maybe most importantly it is our first album with English lyrics not counting the pre-debut album ”Glorious War” (recorded in 1970-71 but not released until 2004).It has also more emphasis on vocals.
We are three singers in the band (myself, Robert and Dag) and thought we had not explored that side of the band so much before. That doesn´t mean that our trademark instrumental passages are not present too of course.
The first four tracks forms a min suite with autobiographical roots. ”Seaside Air” is a phrase that could refer to the famously invigorating atmosphere of the bands native Saltsjöbaden, but it could also mean ”a melody by the sea”, full of light and colour.
PR - For the first time the lyrics are in English, why did you decide to sing in English?
SF - Most important reason was that we wanted to try something new. I also think that this change created a positive new energy. Secondly , since we have many fans around the world who don´t speak Swedish, Olle (lyricist) thought it could be nice if they also could have a chance of understanding his words…to be able to enter his world of lyrics.
PR - Are there any plans to promote "Seaside Air" show, promotional tour?
SF - You know….we toured so much during the 70s and beginning of 80s. So we really don’t do long tours anymore. But we will for sure do selected concerts to promote the album.
PR - Are there any bands or artists that influenced you in your music?
SF - Oh..a lot of bands and artists influenced us of course…Firstly The Beatles, but which band are not influenced by them? Without them there would probably not be any rock music. But also King Crimson, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Deep Purple, Yes, Genesis etc. Not forgetting the West Coast psychedelic bands in the late sixties like Grateful Dead, Love, Jefferson Airplane, Doors…..and Cream and Jimi Hendrix of course. I also have to mention an obscure American band called ”Touch”. They only made one album in the end of the sixties, but they influenced us a lot when we started the band.
PR - Is there criticism bother you?
SF - Any artist who says that criticism doesn´t bother him is not honest. Of course all artists and bands are affected by criticism. Everyone want to be loved:):)
No question about that. We too. Then the question is how you handle the criticism….I think it is important that you don’t listen too much to the criticism and keep following your heart. Cause music without heart and honesty can never be touching and moving.
PR - May 22, 2011 you were at the Festival Terra Incognita in Quebec was, I think the first time you came here, how was your stay?
SF - We had a great stay there. We also managed to so some sightseeing. I think Quebec is a really really beautiful city. In some way reminding me of some Swedish cities…Maybe it is because of the similar kind of nature..I also have very fond memories of our concert there!!
PR - In your opinion, what is the album Trettioariga Kriget that any good fan should own?
SF - For sure that is ”Krigssang” (1976) widely regarded as our classic album…But also our come back album ”Elden av ar” (2004). Then i have to say of course our new album ”Seaside air” (2016):)
PR - Compared to the 70s in Sweden, is it easier to make music today?
SF - In some ways …yes.. We got a record deal with CBS (now Sony music) recording our first and second albums without any interference from the label….They heard the albums only when they were done…That could never happen today…..when young artits and bands have to try with singles and guidance from their labels…..we had total artistic freedom right from the very start. That would be impossible today. There were also a loalso could try out new material in live settings….Which today is impossible having the songs on Internet the day after..:)
PR - Is the Internet is a good tool for musicians?
SF - For us Internet has meant everything…It has allowed to be in touch with fans all over the world….having a direct communication. Getting rid of the middle hands…Using it in the right way Internet is a really really good thing for bands.
PR - You have the last word ...
SF - Well…Follow your heart and be true to yourself is a good ending of this interview i think. And of course… peace ,love and understanding... It may sound like a cliche nowadays… But it is more important than ever in this world today!!!!
PR - Thank you Stefan.