FRISKA VILJOR / Their Weak Spot / The Heritage Of ABBA / Interview with Joakim and Daniel Part 1

Friska Viljor on

If it’s up to perfect melodies, the Swedish are No. 1. Nearly nobody writes, produces and plays the swedish version of melodic pop folk indie rock like the mighty FRISKA VILJOR. The band makes people smile and jump and wave their hands wherever they play – it’s a never ending joyful feeling of listening to real music from the hearts of some of the nicest guys around the music scene. With every album they get a little bit bigger in Europe – and by now their shows in Germany are sold out. had the chance to talk to Joakim Sveningsson and Daniel Johansson – they both are FRISKA VILJOR – a few hours before their overwhelming gig at the Buergerhaus Stollwerck in Cologne.

This is part I of the interview by Martin Hannig / Photos by Christina Eddiks Joakim and Daniel, my daughter heard „Did You Ever“ this morning, and she was dancing around. Seems to be a good melody for children!

Joakim: Yes! Melodies are our weak spot. We love them. You’re into melodies since your 1st record, right? Do you know Emanuel Lundgren from I’m From Barcelona? 

Joakim: Ja. The guys who open for us tonight are really good friends with him. He started off like you several years ago with his first record, which is one of my favourite records ever. 

Daniel: Oh ja. Great melodies. I always thought of I’m From Barcelona & Friska Viljor  being the same direction of music. He’s also a melody guy… 

Daniel: For sure. He’s couple of years younger than us. But the music we all grew up with it’s mostly melodic based music. Like the 80s pop music with great big melodies. First thing I was wondering back in 2007 was your name. Because it’s very unusual with that kind of local name going abroad. Did you ever thought about having an english name?

Daniel: No. I mean, maybe if we knew that we were going abroad we would have thought about, if we knew we becoming a serious band. When we came up with the name it was more of a gag. We only wanted to make music, not supposed to get out the studio once. We were doing it for ourselves. The name stuck and suddenly….

Joakim: When we started to play in Germany we thought, we have a chance to change it now, and we should do it now. But it was kind of „summer in love with the name“. So you got used to it…

Joakim: Yeah.

Daniel: Changing your name, you don’t just do it. There are a lot of bands with made up names, like Mando Diao for instance. That doesn’t mean shit. Talking about your new album „Remember Our Name“. How long did it take to record it?

Daniel: Maybe 2 months – it was quite fast. We both were working full time. Joakim works 9 to 5. It was a lot of logisitcs in that time. It felt like really quick. If we would be working on the record 24/7, it would have taken 2 weeks maybe.

Joakim: We only work nighttime. Nighttime recording, daytime working, sounds hard…

Joakim: Ja, a lot of work. It’s always very rough months when we trying to complete an album. What’s your way making an album? Do you go: „hey man it’s time for new recordings, sit down and get some songs together“ or is it more like „hey we have a couple of good songs, shouldn’t we try another album“? What is your first intention?

Daniel: Usually we sit down and go through the demos we have. And then it’s time for another record. To be in people’s minds?

Joakim: No. But to get those songs away. When we pile up songs we get frustrated when we don’t know how to start. To bring out an album you must be sure that it’s good. Because you have to promote it, to go on tour with it…

Daniel: That’s always hard. This might be the first record that we actually felt when we completing it that we have something good going on. The other albums was always „oh, this is crap…“ But in fact it wasn’t crap at all, right?

Joakim & Daniel (laughing): No!

Daniel: In retrospective you understand what you actually did two years ago.

Friska Viljor on Your last record you described yourself getting more serious or something like that. Getting into deeper stuff without trying to be too funny…

Daniel: I think that was lyricwise, not musicwise. Well, at one point we thought about that musicwise as well. Will you go down that path? To be more into serious stuff?

Joakim: One getting older you know. You get now serious even if you don’t want to. Even if you try to keep youth in your mind. It’s really hard, bumping into kids, and then you get hurt, and everything gets always closes in. It’s a natural process. We’re all like that.

Daniel: But then also when recording the 2 last records we done it in october/november… It’s cold in Sweden then…

Daniel: And dark! It’s easy to get in that kind of mood.  And all the studios there are quite depressing. I mean it’s not like a huge BBC studio. You often don’t have any windows.

Follow us for part II of the interview!