Blandbladen interview (March 2004)
Blandbladen is a very interesting new band from Malmö, Sweden playing instrumental
psychedelic and progressive space rock a bit in the Gong/Hillage/Ozric Tentacles
tradition. This great, but so far rather unknown act is coming to play at our club
on the 3th of April, so a short interview was definitely in order. My questions
were answered by the guitarist Sebastian Wellander.
When was Blandbladen formed and where did the name come from?
Sebastian Wellander: We got together in August 2001. At first, we named the group "Ljuvur" in tribute
to an Icelandic friend with the same name. The name Blandbladen came up at a party
were we were just messing about with different combinations of words related to
nothing really. But when Blandbladen came up we all thought it had cool associations.
Forests, nature, leaves...and with ourselves in the middle of it.
Who plays in the band and what? Has the line-up remained the same since the beginning?
SW: Ola: synth & Fender Rhodes, Dave: bass, Sebastian: guitar, and Kaufmann: drums
and percussion. The line-up has had minor modifications since we were properly
formed. In the very beginning there were two guitar players, I, Sebastian and
a friend called Mårten, who retired to go working with reindeers (!) in the north.
Then we also had a different drummer called Eric that left just after a couple of
months. Since December 2001, when Kaufmann joined, the line-up has been the same.
How do you write your music?
SW: Basically, there's a lot of jamming and improvisation in lots of different themes
and modes that eventually turn up as tunes. Sometimes everything falls into place
very quickly, and sometimes we can go on for months just trying to get just one
piece together. I guess you could say that Dave and Kaufmann lay down a lot of
the beat and groove and Ola and I (Sebastian) write a lot of the melodies and atmospheres.
What are your musical backgrounds, previous bands etc.?
SW: We've all been in a long line of bands in before we got together in Malmö.
Briefly: Dave: "The Unkinds", "Sarcasm" and the diesel-drenched "Mother Superior"
from Uppsala. Heavy rocking dudes indeed. Sebastian: I and Ola come from Örebro
south of Stockholm where we played in a progressive blues-psych band called Down
Good Rider. In those days we sortta had a band in every basement. Ola also plays
in a psychedelic trans-duo called Derango who will release a couple of songs on
various compilations soon. Check them out!!! Kaufmann is the only inhabitant
from Malmö in the band and has quite a long history with the local prog heroes
"The Carpet Knights". The group is still going but with a new drummer.
Tell us something about your first release I Grevens Tid. Some of the tracks
are also on this split vinyl, how did that happen?
SW: This recording was sortta groundbreaking for us since we had never recorded
any of our material before. The recording is extremely simple with no overdubs
except for the congas & percussion. We just set up the gear in our rehearsal
place and took off. It all turned out kinda ok, tough it's really about time
that we put new stuff on tape. The songs were all really fresh at the time....
The split vinyl was a one-man project by a guy called Jesus who plays in "Sovjet".
He asked us to release two of the songs from "I Grevens tid" together with his
band and this guy is kind of a record-freak so he wanted each one of the LP's to
have hand painted sleeves all in different appearances. It's a shame that we
didn't have any new material ready for this release, but it turned out pretty cool after all.
What are your greatest influences? Favourite bands?
SW: There's a huge mix of influences from each one of us. We have a lot of
different favourite artists so it's hard to mention specific bands but
we get a lot of our influences from 70's prog, jazz, funk, punk-rock,
trance and chill-out. We also get influenced by the sounds of nature.
How would you describe the music of BB?
SW: We take the audience on a journey into another state of mind. We invite
the listener to join us into a variety of different soundscapes, landscapes
and cosmic energies. Sometimes it's very intense and hard; sometimes it's
calm and atmospheric.
8. Do you play a lot live? Best gig so far? Why?
SW: Quite often nowadays. We had a bunch of gigs last year, one in Copenhagen
and the rest in Sweden. This year has been good so far. We have had 2 gigs
so far and 3 more will be settled before we arrive to the Psychotropic Zone.
We all have our different favourite gigs but to mention two of them...one
was in Brekille, southern Sweden. It was a folk-music gathering with a very
nice atmosphere. We got on stage in the barn around 4am in the morning playing
along with the sunrise with all the people dancing inside and outside the barn
......that was a very nice feeling. The second gig to be mentioned was on our
drummer's birthday party last fall at a place called "Cilla´s kök" here in
Malmö. We were all in a great mood, the sound was great and the crowd were enthusiastic.
What is a Blandbladen gig like? Why should people come to see you live?
SW: A Blandbladen gig is an intensive beautiful and psychedelic experience.
If you want to be carried away into another state of mind we'll take you
on a trip that won't be forgotten. We'll take you back and forth in time
and hopefully we'll land on the same planet afterwards...
What do you want to achieve as a band? Your musical goals?
SW: Our biggest goal is to always get better at what we're doing, to deliver
songs for both the audience's bemusement and for ourselves. To be able to
live on it full time and to share our creativity and our ideas to the rest of the world.
How often do you rehearse as a band?
SW: 3-4 times a week, 3-5 hours each.
Have you had any luck with record companies? Would you like to be on a major label?
SW: Not so far...but perhaps when we have recorded our new songs later this
spring. We wouldn't mind being on a major label as long as we don't get
ran over. We want to have full control.
Have you recorded anything since the first release? Any plans to make another album?
SW: We have only made one recording so far. The next one should be recorded
later this spring/early summer. We heard about a record label here in Malmö
that were interested of releasing a CD of the next recording. We also know
a guy who is willing to release it on vinyl so perhaps we'll get both CD
and vinyl editions of the next release.
Any other future plans?
SW: To play more and more often, write new songs, have fun and give you
listeners a pleasant time.
Space is the place!
Thank you Sebastian for the answers. Everybody should come to Stella
Star Club on 3.4.2004 to see the band live, you won't be disappointed!
Verde and Kliniczny are also playing.
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