When we first published our review of Dead Man's latest offering, Euphoria, I don't think either the Pope or I were halfway prepared for the furor that caused. The Ripple switchboard lit up like a christmas tree in Central Park. Immediately, Dead Man shot to the top of our most requested review chart and have pretty much taken permanent residence there ever since.
With that history, how could we not invite the Dead Man crew for an interview. So joining us today on the Ripple couch are Krille and Jocke, kicking back to share their thoughts on music and the amazing psychedelic world of Euphoira.
When I was a kid, growing up in a house with Cat Stevens, Neil Diamond, and Simon and Garfunkle, the first time I ever heard Kiss's "Detroit Rock City," it was a moment of musical epiphany. It was just so vicious, aggressive and mean. It changed the way I looked at music, what it could sound like, how it could make me feel? What have been your musical epiphany moments?
Jocke: I was also a big Kiss fan when I was a kid and I still like them a lot. I started to listen to Beatles and Stones when I was around 12-13 years old. I listened to them because I wanted to listen to the same music as Kiss did. Later I began to listen to garage music like the “back from the grave” stuff and also a lot to obscure Swedish pop and R&B. In those days I played in several garage bands like The Roadrunners, The Strollers and Springtones. We had a lot of fun. In those days I was getting in to psychedelic bands like The Seeds and 13th floor. Seems like always been listening to old music. In the beginning I always liked the three first records with Kiss.
Talk to us about the song-writing process for you. What comes first, the idea? A riff? The lyrics? How does it all fall into place?
Jocke: I guess it’s different every time, but I mostly come up with a melody on the guitar and then I put the lyrics and later the bridge comes and so on. I usually start writing the first verse. I often don’t know beforehand what the song will express and I often get exited to see that the lyrics mean.
Jocke: Some times we change a lot and other times we leave it as the writer wanted it. We are always trying to get the song interesting and fun to play. I would say that we’re looking for the right sound.
Krille: I mostly write songs on my own, both music and lyrics, and then I present it to the rest of the group. I often have a clear view in my head of how I want a particular song to sound. On other occasions someone might have a riff or a melody, and someone else may have a different riff that go well together, and before you know it, you have the blueprints for a song. The song “The Wheel” is such an example. Marcus wrote the intro-riff and I wrote the rest of the song based on the feel of that riff.
Where do you look for continuing inspiration? New ideas, new motivation?
Jocke: I look at my life, I get inspired by music, art and nature. I also get a lot of inspiration from traveling. But usually the songs tend come when you least expect them to come. I like to ride my mountainbike & I also like to cruise around in my Plymouth Valiant 64. Sometimes we write songs together when we drink beer or just hang out in the nature.
Genre's are so misleading and such a way to pigeonhole bands. Without resorting to labels, how would you describe your music?
Jocke: I describe it as R.O.C.K. Rebels Offending Cocky Kids
What is you musical intention? What are you trying to express or get your audience to feel?
Jocke: I don’t know. We just want the audience to have a good time. And hopefully they like what they see. I usually don’t care that much about what other people think. I guess we’re just trying to play good and have fun on stage. But the music always comes first. We want to play as well as possible.
Krille: I think it depends on the song
The business of music is a brutal place. Changes in technology have made it easier than ever for bands to get their music out, but harder than ever to make a living? What are your plans to move the band forward? How do you stay motivated in this brutal business?
Jocke: I guess we don’t really care about it. We’re releasing our records on Crusher Records and they help us a lot with the business side of it. We have no intentions of earning a lot of money on doing this. We just want to play good music that we like. I get motivated by making music and releasing albums. And it’s always nice to see that people all over the world buys our records.
Describe to us the ideal (realistic) record label and how you'd work with them, and they with you.
Jocke: I would say that Crusher are the best. I wish that they/we had a bit more money to do different things like videos and experimenting more music wise in the studio. And I would also like to do a Tour in Africa.
Krille: I’d like to see us signed to a record label with a huge budget that allows us full artistic freedom and that promotes us as if we were The Beatles.
Do you have a particular sound in your head that you try to bring out? Or is the creation process random and spontaneous? Or both, or neither?
Jocke: Yes we have, but often the sound changes in the studio and the song becomes something else. I always walk around thinking this song should sound like this but in the end it never turns out the way I planned it to be. Sometimes I get what I want, but not always.
Krille: Both and neither.
Jocke: I cant tell, if I could predict the future I think I would predict something else than how Dead Man would sound he he he. No but seriously, its to hard to tell. Maybe we will get more acoustic???
Krille: Straight into the hearts of millions, hopefully!
What makes a great song? Who living right now writes great songs?
Jocke: The sound and feeling and also the lyrics means a lot to me. I listen to a lot of different genres and styles of music and I like different things in different kinds of music. I think Witchcrafts songs are good, I also like Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, The Accidents etc. There are a lot of good songwriters out there!
Krille: It’s kinda hard to pinpoint exactly makes a good song, but I guess there are a lot of things that are important. In the end I look for the groove or vibe of a song, the amount of heart and soul that the people playing put in it, rather then their musical skill or the production of the song. I like the song writing of Gary Louris of the Jayhawks, Dan Auberach of the Black Keys, The absolutely gorgeous works of Mariee Sioux and Sweden’s own folk wizards Jose Gonzales is another example of a songwriter I like. We also have close fiends that writes great songs; Magnus Pelander of Witchcraft fame, Rikard Edlund and Joakim Nilsson in the band Graveyard to name a few.
Tell us about the first song you ever wrote?
Jocke: The first band I had included me and Anders, an old friend from The Roadrunners. He and I use to write crazy songs together. We didn’t have a clue how to do it but we did it anyway. I don’t remember which song was the first but an early song that we wrote was called "Fågelar." It was about this guy walking in the street seeing a bird in a store and he gets stuck there and tries to run away. Another song was about this guy sitting on his balcony reading a paper and dreaming about a girl driving a Mercedes Benz. Then he takes on his glasses and she’s there?!? We just wrote funny stories and Anders had an electric guitar so that’s more or less why we did it. My first song that I played live was with The Strollers, We had a horror theme on the concerts were we use to dress out as monsters and spit blood and so on. And I wrote a song for it called "Werewolf." I don’t remember much of it but it was a funny song.
Vinyl, CD, or digital? What's your format of choice?
Jocke: I don’t care which. I use all formats for different things, when I drive my car I usually listen to cd, when I ride my bike I listen to my iphone and when I'm at home In my basement I listen to LP´s. I guess the last one sounds best but I really don’t care that much about it.
Krille: Vinyl!!!! Miles from MP3 when it comes to good organic sound and dynamics. LP RULES!
What's the best record store in your town?
Jocke: BANANA MOON Records!!!!!
Krille: I couldn’t agree more with Joakim
Awesome guys. Thanks for everything and best of luck with your plans to take over the world!
For this interview
Krille= Kristoffer Sjödahl
Jocke= Joakim Dimberg