Thursday, November 13, 2008

Interview With Love Is All

I just recently had the pleasure of interviewing Nicholaus Sparding of Love Is All. For those of you not familiar, Love Is All is a fantastic indie/punk rock group made up of singer/keyboardist Josephine Olausson, singer/guitarist Nicholaus Sparding, saxophonist James Ausfahrt, drummer Markus Görsch, and bassist Johan Lindwall. They originally rose from the ashes of Swedish rock band Girlfrendo, and are famous for their both sloppy yet catchy, gorgeous punk pop. This is it. 

You were originally in the band Girlfrendo, before becoming Love Is All. What first inspired you to even be in a band?

Nicholaus: I've been in different bands since I was 13 and I guess the easiest answer/reason for starting bands is listening to music and wanting to do the same thing. The possibilities of creating something for someone else to dig and hopefully loving what you do. But at the same time I think it is inevitable for some people to make music - any kind of music really - in a therapeutic kind of sense. So when you get a nice bunch of people together and all of a sudden discover that you love what's happening with the mixture of everyone's radically different ideas and musical preferences - what can you say? You just smile and continue. What a silly answer, but it's from the bottom of my heart, hahaha...

What is the difference between Girlfrendo and Love Is All, in your musical style?

Nicholaus: I would say the biggest difference is the songwriting process. Even though there's almost always a primal songwriter for each song we keep arranging and rearranging til our ears bleed with love is all. And there's also a crazy creativity going on (not always for the better) which we lacked in Girlfrendo.

Then there's also a huge difference between how the bands sound, right?

Your debut album, Nine Times That Same Song, was received very well by critics. What was noticeable about the album however, was your choice to use the saxaphone, which strikes many as an odd instrument for an indie rock band. What were your influences, not only in choosing the saxophone as a major instrument, but in your musical style all together?

Nicholaus: The saxophone was a piece that we wanted to try for a couple of songs just to get away from the obvious indie rock/punk sound. We've always been really careful in that sense. Turned out it made all the difference we could dream of so here we are, stuck with Åke, who's by the way the most fun and exciting sax player on earth. He knows how to swing it.

You just came out with your second album, A Hundred Things Keep Me Up At Night. What was it like recording it? Was it harder then recording your first, or easier because you'd already been through everything?

Nicholaus: It was tons harder. first of all we didn't really record an album the first time (9 times..). We just put together a couple of allready released 7"s and added some songs. Then all of this weird shit started to happen. "A hundred things..." was more of a struggle in many ways. There were interference from labels, we didn't really know in what direction we wanted to go, our sax player (Fredrik) quit the band and everything was kind of left hanging on the loose. Luckily it turned out to please everyone in the band but there was a lot of struggle involved. We didn't like the first mix of the album so we decided to do it ourselves together with Wyatt Cusick and in the beginning it worked out well but after a whila it turned out to be to much of a mess to be all of us in the studio, mixing since we had so many different takes on how we wanted it to sound. At least we didn't share the same interpretations of words to describe music. So it ended up being Wyatt and the others (mainly Markus and Johan) that finalized the mixes. I wasn't very involved. But I guess that was a good call.

On your blog, you wrote a post about waking up like a child on the morning of his/her birthday being that you had just released A Hundred Things Keep Me Up At Night, and listed both good and bad reviews of your latest album. How do you react to critical feedback? Do you feel that critical feedback helps you improve?

Nicholaus: I love reading bad reviews cause they reveal how different we all react to music. People who want it to be perfect will never like us cause we're working in a field where the spontaneous meets the ever so hard work making arrangements. And if you want to make that kind of music you just have to let go of any perfectionist ambitions cause it just won't mend together. And all of the bad reviews I've read have been focusing on that and vocals that are out of tune etc. Totally uninteresting cause the reviewers wouldn't have like it better even if everything was perfect, I'm pretty sure. I love perfection too here and there, but has to corallate with the soul of the band. Silly again...

Do you have any plans for another album?

Nicholaus: Yes, we're planning on writing/recording early next year. Thre's also a brand new ep coming out in february (maybe later) that we're all stoked on.

What music are you currently listening to?

Right now I'm listening to old favourites like Spiritualized, the Cure, Fleetwood Mac, Comet Gain. It's the rain period in Sweden so I need to feel safe somehow...

Love Is All just released their latest album, A Hundred Things Keep Me Up At Night, yesterday. Download it on iTunes here


Lily Hydrangea said...

Congratulations on your first {very insightful} interview! I really enjoyed reading this. very cool!

lisak said...

Speechless - you rock the interview.

Double Hawk said...

I'm no good at interviewing, but you've got that down! I'll stick to my reviews.

Anonymous said...

great interview! you're a natural asking just the right questions. i dig the bands music too.