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February 11, 2011

Acid House Kings talk to Dagger magazine

You wouldn’t know it but one of Sweden’s best pop bands has been around for nearly two decades and still going strong (new record real soon). Hear how the magic of the Acid House King happens….

Tell me about the beginnings of the band, I know you have been around since 1990 or so.
We were very young, we listened to a lot of good music, we thought could make equally good music ourselves. We couldn’t.

Other than Felt, who were some early influences?
We have grown up on 100% Elvis Presley, I suppose that influence you one way or another. Otherwise, we listened to the usual indie pop suspects, The Smiths, The Go-Betweens, The Bats, Lloyd Cole, The Housemartins, Pet Shop Boys, The Field Mice, The Orchids, Saint Etienne and so on.

When did Julia come into the picture?
When we recorded Advantage Acid House Kings, there were two or three songs I couldn’t sing well enough. So, instead of scrapping the songs, we decided to look for someone else to sing them. Admittedly, we didn’t look very long or far. Julia, who is my sister-in-law, happily accepted our “offer”. She has the sweetest voice, so it wasn’t just laziness.

What is your favorite out of the early records?
Define “early”! We have a very simple objective with each new album: it should be better than the one before. This has proven a more and more difficult thing to accomplish, but I think we’ve always succeeded, also now with the new album “Music Sounds Better with You”. Hence, my favourites are the later ones. The first album and the first EP are fairly bad and hard to listen to. “Advantage Acid House Kings” is the album I would have wished to be our debut.

Are any of you accomplished tennis players (judging by the cover of ADVANTAGE)?
Nah, not really. Joakim is the strongest tennis player, with an OK tennis career in his early teens. But as Swedes, we’re fond of the sport ever since Björn Borg.

Why is Joakim no longer in the band?
Joakim lives in the south of Sweden, whereas the rest of us live in Stockholm, so when he’s got the time, he joins us in the recordings. On “Mondays are like Tuesdays and Tuesdays are like Wednesdays” (2002) we were three and on “Sing Along with Acid House Kings” (2005) we were four and now on the new album we’re down to three again. An on and off relationship? Judging from history, he will join us for the next album.

Does the band ever play live? Will you/have you ever made it to the states?
We consider ourselves a studio product, like boy bands... But yes, we do play live, but farily rarely. In 2005-2006, we played maybe 15 concerts, among them the two largest festivals in Sweden and a short US tour in the North East.

Tell me about the new record? Who produced it? Why so long in between records?
First of all, we think it’s our finest record to date. We are very proud of it. It’s ten songs, each one with melody lines that will haunt you forever. As always, we have written, recorded and produced it ourselves at the famous Summersound Studios.

It’s not objective for us to release records seldom, but it takes us time to record and it always has. Our record is “only” three years between albums and this time around it took us six years. Also, we scrapped almost a full album in 2008 and decided to start over with new inspiration.

Johan has released many records since 2005 with his other projects Club 8, The Legends and Pallers, so I guess I am to blame.

What has been the biggest change in the band from the early days until now?
We’ve gone from bad to good or even great. Apart from that, we still try to make the perfect pop record, simple as that.

What would be your 5-band dream bill?
The Supremes
Elvis Presley
My Bloody Valentine
The Smiths

Name for us 5 current Swedish bands that we might not know about but need to know about?
ABBA? During 2010, Robyn and The Tallest Man on Earth were the two Swedish artists on my playlist besides the bands on the label I am involved in, Labrador Records. The Radio Dept. Sambassadeur and Club 8 all released great records.

Actually I don’t listen to a lot of new Swedish music at present. I source a lot of my my new music from the US, the Captured Tracks bands (Wild Nothing, Minks, Beach Fossils, Aias, etc) was one of the bigger discoveries for 2010.

If the band would be a sitcom on tv, which one would it be?
The Office (the US version). No resemblance really, but I like the first five seasons a lot.

Top 10 desert island discs?
The Smiths “The Queen is Dead”
Acid House Kings “Music Sounds Better with You”
The Orchids “Lyceum”
Felt “Poem of the River”
Television Personalities “And Don’t the Kids Just Love It”
Morrissey “Viva Hate”
Dusty Springfield “Dusty in Memphis”
Galaxie 500 “On Fire”
Pet Shop Boys “Please”
My Bloody Valentine “Isn’t Anything”

Words of wisdom, final thoughts? anything else you want to add?
Wisdom: Music sounds better with you

Source: Dagger Magazine

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