Hello Johan and Karoline. Would you please introduce yourself to our readers? Where are you from and how did your group form?
We’re from the south of Sweden, Ã.hus to be exact, but we’re both living around Stockholm nowadays. I’ve been writing songs for a long time and when I met Karolina we felt we wanted to try doing something together. On the first songs I just did the music and Karolina did the melodies and lyrics. We tried making three songs which turned out well (at least we thought so at that time) and so we sent them to some labels. Most of them really liked the songs, and that was the start of Club 8.
When did both of you start playing music? Are you still working with your brother (speaking to Johan) and what other bands have both of you been in?
I started playing guitar when I was 14. About that time I was just playing with Joakim (from Acid House Kings). We did songs in Swedish mostly. Then my brother joined in and we called ourselves “En regnig dag” (a rainy day), still with Joakim on vocals and still singing in Swedish. We sent some demos to the music magazine Sound Affects in Sweden and got 1 1/2 out of 5 in the review of the 2nd demo. The first one got a slightly better, but that was just because they didn’t take us seriously, they thought we were kidding. Then we changed names to Poppyfields and started singing in English. Sound Affects didn’t like that demo either. In 1990 or 1991 we did our first session in a real studio. And we were absolutely amazed what difference it made. We changed name to Acid House Kings and sent away two demos. One two Marsh-marigold and one to Sound Affects again. Now they liked us. We felt we had fooled them by changing name and claiming we were a band from Stockholm (Niklas had moved to Stockholm, so it was not all a lie). Marsh-marigold wanted to release a single. About the same time me and Joakim had started another band as well, called Poprace. We were more Shoegaze/rock in our style. In 1992 when I had met Karolina, she joined the band too. Poprace released two singles and disappeared.
Besides that I’ve not been in any other bands. But I’ve just started a new punk-C-86-soul-pop band called The Legends. We’ll release our debut single in May. And we play live!
Can you describe your music? Which artists have most influenced you?
Not really. But I’ve listened to The Knife, Bright Eyes, The Radio Dept., Sigur Ros and Vitesse the last months. When I first got a good taste in music I listened a lot to Go-Betweens, The Smiths, Razorcuts, McCarthy and most of the bands on Subway and Sarah records.
Would you please describe your song writing process to us?
Sometimes I do it the singer/songwriter way. I sit down with an acoustic guitar and start humming and strumming. Hopefully it ends with something that is a song. If I have piano nearby I’ll rather use that and do the same thing. But most of the times I start with an idea of a sound and start programming drums and make a bass line and then add some keyboard and guitars and make a very simple production of it which I can make my humming to and let the song develop little by little.
Can you tell us a little about the Swedish music scene?
It’s a very good one these days! And almost all the good bands are on my label, Labrador Records, so that’s great indeed. We have The Radio Dept., Tribeca, Douglas Heart (they’ll release a WONDERFUL album in May), Lasse Lindh, Acid House Kings, Chasing Dorotea, Wan Light, Edson, Ronderlin and Club 8. And some other bands as well. There is a few other good bands as well. Florence Valentin has a couple of good songs. Granada is a good band and Cardigans is pretty good too.
Strangely Beautiful is slated to come out this April. Can you describe how it will differ from the Saturday Night Engine EP? What sort of direction do you see Club 8’s sound going?
Saturday Night Engine is very diverse. We thought we’d make a pretty focused album. The songs are all (except the song “saturday night engine”) very sophisticated, warm and melancholic. It has somewhat of an acoustic feeling, even though it’s far from an acoustic feeling. Or maybe it’s a singer/songwriter feeling. The EP has a very joyful feeling I think. There’s shoegaze and 80’s discopop and lots of different things.
Do you play live much, and, if you do, are there any plans to come to the states?
We never play live anymore, so there’s not a big chance we’re coming to the states. Maybe we’ll start playing late this year or early the next year, but I don’t know.
What drives you to make music?
Sometimes it’s the urge to express myself, other times I just feel very creative and inspired by music in general and want to make some sounds and all of the time I feel I must write songs and release records. Otherwise I wouldn’t do any good in life.
What bands are you currently listening to? Do you have any favorite authors?
See above! No fave authors. I do too little reading nowadays. I read a lot if I’m on holiday, but when I’m at home I can’t find peace enough to do so.
What are some struggles that you face as independent musicians?
Not much. It’s a very easy and nice life. I think it’s the artists on major labels who have to struggle. They probably have responsibilities to live up to, they have to tour and do lots of boring stuff. + many of them seem to be forced to make very lousy records.
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