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Amandine

Interview von: Matthias Rauch mit Andreas Bergqvist, Olof Gidlöf and Andreas He, am: 25.12.2005 ]

Manche Bands machen es einem einfach, sie ins Herz zu schließen, denn sie drängen sich erst gar nicht auf. Die schwedischen Amandine haben mit „This Is Where Our Hearts Collide“ ein herrlich unprätentiöses und schlichtes Album geschaffen, das zwar keine neuen Wege aufzeigt, doch aber an Eindringlichkeit und heimelig warmer Atmosphäre kaum zu überbieten ist. Wir sprachen mit den zurückhaltenden Schweden über die Bedeutung der amerikanischen Musik für die nordschwedische Tundra, dem Unterschied zwischen ländlicher und städtischer Musik und deren mögliche Bedeutung in einer globalisierten Welt.

 

Musicscan: How have you experienced the response to your first album?

Amandine: The response has been varied but generally good. It’s interesting to see how different the response can be between countries. One example sits just across the border - the Danish magazines have taken a liking to the album which is kind of surprising but nice, while the Swedish reviewers have been mostly unimpressed, with a few brilliant exceptions.

Musicscan: What do you look for in a song? What makes a perfect song for you?

Amandine: When the lyrics and music click toghether to form something that you have to give your full attention to, then that is a good sign. Its hard to describe what it is exactly you’re looking for, in some cases you don’t even know what it is you want. You just know it when its there.

Musicscan: Is it simple a cheap cliché that the environment influences the music one makes or do you think that living in Sweden has a definite impact on your music?

Amandine: It may be a cliché, but it’s true. The long and dark winters kind of put you in a special mood which is perfect for writing sad songs. Also, growing up in Sweden, however awkward that may be at times, has made it possible for us to play music. There are rehearsal spaces, music schools etc.

Musicscan: How would you feel if people said that you sounded very American and that you are trying to emulate American sounds and American music?

Amandine: If you hear it enough times... no seriously, none of us are American, obviously we listen to and like American bands, but at the same time there is loads of other music that come into the equation. But like with the responses we get it’s interesting to hear one person say that we sound very American while another mentions that they can hear or possibly feel the Nordic climate affecting our music.

Musicscan: Are you rather melancholic and introspective people or can you dissociate that from your music?

Amandine: We are normally a happy bunch, albeit ones who appreciates sad songs.

Musicscan: In how far do you think pop music is always global these days because of the immense medialization and dissemination on a global scale? Do you think music still retains certain specific regional and local aspects?

Amandine: Sweden, as well as the rest of the world I guess, is so overwhelmed by American culture today that it has almost become the universal culture. Which is really kind of sad, but we try to keep a Nordic angle to our music by letting some of the violin parts be influenced by Swedish folk music, for example. In general, I feel that the regional aspects of pop music today are becoming increasingly vague.

Musicscan: When you started out with Amandine, did you already have a global audience in mind or did you simply write songs for yourself?

Amandine: We probably hoped for an audience, having played one time too many in half-filled places with other bands. But global? Probably not. It’s hard to say. though, as both of us came into the band at a latter point. In the beginning, however, John and Olle mostly made music for themselves and for the joy of making music, but as the band and the music started to evolve, a sense of seriousness - if there is such a word - started creeping in. It was no longer just a little band on the side, but something we had put a lot of effort and feelings into, and we really liked the songs – so why not let people listen?

Musicscan: How did you get in touch with Fat Cat and how would your describe your relationship with them up to this point?

Amandine: We hooked up the old-fashioned way, by sending in a demo. From what we´ve heard later, this isn’t how it happens nowadays, but for us it worked like a charm. Between us sending out the demos and FatCat starting to show an interest, it went pretty fast, we met them and we got along really well, in a sense they’re both friends and bosses at the same time, and their love for music is truly admirable. Their catalogue is also very diverse, which is really cool.

Musicscan: Do you think there is a divide between urban and rural music? Do you think a rural environment encourages a different frame of mind and thus also different musical aesthetics?

Amandine: Good question. I think there is at least a clear difference in mentality between people making urban and rural music. People living in big cities tend to pay more attention to trends and what’s hip at the moment when making music whereas people from a rural background just let’s their hearts speak. Not to say that one way is better than the other, but I think that’s the case at least in Sweden.

Musicscan: How does the songwriting work in your band? Is there one major songwriter or does everyone contribute equally?

Amandine: Olle is the main songwriter, and has always been, but we try to help each other out with ideas. In the end though, its his words that make up the lyrics, so you don’t want to step in too much. John has also written a few songs, “Halo” is an example from the album.

Musicscan: Do you have particular goals with the band that you want to achieve?

Amandine: Just to be able to continue putting out music and playing as much as possible to as many people as possible… Developing musically and writing good songs. Neither one of us have got any rock star dreams to live up to, just to be able to live off the music would be a dream.

Musicscan: What can we expect from Amandine in the near future?

Amandine: Hopefully lots of playing and touring in Europe and the US. There is an EP coming out in the US in March. Writing and recording some new songs as we go along.

 
 Links:
  Amandine
  Fat Cat Records
 
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