Media Roundup No. 1

The media spotlight has been shining a lot on The Cardigans lately, especially in Sweden. As a service to the fans we bring you a series of articles rounding up the best quotes from written press as well as from television and radio. On this, the first installment, we focus on the new album and the recording process. Enjoy! And check this page for No. 2 in the near future.
Here follow the quotes:

Nina: First we spent ten years becoming a good band and learning to play well. So now we've dedicated the past year to breaking that down... demolishing it. [Musikjournalen, SR P3, 13 October]

Nina: We came straight from a tour and were pretty close to a record we still liked a lot. So we probably thought that we were going to make a continuation of that record. But after only a few days in the studio we noticed that it started going in another direction. [Smålandsposten, 18 October]

Peter: I think we had the feeling of... we did well with the last record and everyone was happy about it and we got a lot of nice reviews and we felt that we got a lot back from the fans. It was a record they really embraced and liked. So I guess we had the feeling that we were going to make the same record again. And then we met in Malmö and rehearsed for a day and then we just went: "But Bengt you can't play those drums like that again. I understand why you're playing it like that... but what if...?" So then we got the idea that we had to find another way. If there was a song that sounded like a typical Neil Young kind of song then Bengt can't play those Neil Young kind of drums but rather something that makes us... we can't be like a herd of sheep all running in the same direction. [laughter] We had to break it up a little. Then came the idea of getting back with Tore [Johansson] because, if anyone, he's the one to come in and turn things over and say things like "take you pants off and play with this hat on instead". That's him. [Musikjournalen, SR P3, 13 October]

In a recent interview [Sonic Magazine] Nina Persson said that the band listened more to what the fans wanted in preparation for the new album and that more bands should recognize to themselves that they think in commercial terms. Nina still stands by her words, but wants to tone it down.
Nina: That was blown out of proportion. But we did review ourselves: When did we have the most fun and what has been the most original music we've made? [Smålandsposten, 18 October]

Nina: The first time we rehearsed the [new] songs we directly felt: "Well, it sounds like The Cardigans again." and that's nice and all but the inspiration comes first when we revolt against ourselves. We have such a distinct sound language that we have to break everything apart for something new to happen. [Dagens Nyheter, 8 October]

This time it was partly a coincidence that the sound changed that drastically. Per Sunding, who produced the laidback Long Gone Before Daylight was going on paternity leave. The Cardigans crawled back to their old in-house producer Tore Johansson in Malmö. He instantly laid down the fact that the last album was "goddammned boring."
Magnus: Tore is a damn Malmö-type, but we wanted his cynical, hard side. We realized ourselves that it was time to ruffle the well-ironed shirts. The first step was to put Bengt in a vice behind the drums where he had to imitate Lars Ulrich of Metallica. Then the rest of us caught on. [Dagens Nyheter, 8 October]

Nina: When we rehearsed the songs we timed them with a mobile phone and we were really surprised to find almost all of them to be 3:30 minutes long.
Peter: That’s because of Tore, he has this efficiency.
Nina: Yes, he reduced the songs until they were just right
Magnus: It’s because he's getting old. He hasn’t got much time. [SPEX, October issue]

Peter: At first we thought Super Extra Gravity was going to sound pretty similar [to LGBD], but that all changed when we brought Tore Johannson back in. His idea was to take us out of our comfort zone. We wanted to make a riskier record where every song had something a bit twisted or spectacular. [The Independent 21 October]

The new attitude is apparent already after 20 seconds into the opening track Losing a Friend. It starts like yet another alt-country ballad, but all of a sudden comes a monotonous snare-drum into the soundscape and punctures the cuteness. It sounds like a thumping headache, only that it's keeping time.
Magnus: When my father heard that song he said: "I understand what you're going for, but it's unlistenable!" [Dagens Nyheter, 8 October]

Nina: We gave in to all our weird whims. Nothing was sacred. If we would put a music-student to analyse this album who knows what conclusions we would get. [Dagens Nyheter, 8 October]

Have you always had this relaxed attitude towards your records?
Nina: Absolutely not! The last record was damned hard work. We had to put our band back together and start again from square one. Back then everything was sacred. [Dagens Nyheter, 8 October]

Nina: The last time we recorded an album everything was so sensitive. It had been infected for a while and was healing so we had to tread carefully. Everything was so very, very, very important. This time there was this different kind of lightness.
Magnus: We toured a lot last year so we play a lot better now, so in that sense it wasn't that much of an uphill struggle. [Svenska Dagbladet, 14 October]

Magnus: I used to feel that if I had an idea and was going to be voted down anyway, then I could just as well don't give a shit because I didn't want to be the guy to be chosen last for the team like in gym-class at school. We've taken that away now. Now everyone claims their place. That doesn't mean you get all your ideas through, but at least you don't crawl into your shell like a scared little turtle anymore. [Smålandsposten, 18 October]

How do you mantain what you've achieved to avoid having the same problems you had before?
Nina: I think that we tread a new path that time, so we don't have to think about it that much now. It happens automatically. Nobody is hurt from getting a no today. There are no skeletons in the closet for people to insinuate things about. It's not a vulnerable situation anymore.
Lasse: And at the same time as it has become easier to work together, it has become less dramatic. We don't get into any sensitive situations.
Magnus: There have been days when I've left the studio angry sometimes, but I just need some time to myself and to sleep on it. And then it's cool again the next day. It's just about accepting that some days are like that. [Smålandsposten, 18 October]

Nina: On the new album we haven't re-done anything at all, it's just straight up as it is. Besides, we had a strict working schedule with twelve days in the studio followed by eight days off and the album was done after six months. We let go of our heads making this album and just went for it, kamikaze-recording. [Svenska Dagbladet, 14 October]

About the structurized recording schedule.
Nina: It was really great! Nothing we do can really be subjected to a routine so it was nice to have a period when it was. All of a sudden you could decide things, you could plan things with friends, book laundry times. You knew what you had ahead of you. You could come home and meet your family on the evenings like most people do. [Smålandsposten, 18 October]

Where is the revolution against the old record in this record?
Nina: I think that... for me it's a lot. I love calling this record a teenager. We turn 13 this year and this one [points to LGBD] feels very mature... in a good way! We're very mature as well but it feels like the old record got such an overdose of it in way and that's not the entire truth.
Peter: [picks up LGBD] Tranquil and homogenous and kind of compliant so then the new one becomes ... well rubbing the wrong way simply put. Shaggy and like a hedgehog. [laughter] [Musikbyrån, 14 October]

Nina: We are not the tightest band in the world, far from it. But we have never been better than we are today. And now we try to get back a bit of naïveté. [Intro, October issue]

Where are you going to end up on your next record?
Peter: You never know that at this stage. The thing that is wonderful about this band is that you make a record and then there's this kind of almost fanatic religious feeling that now... "this, this is the shit!" It's like that right now. But then a year can pass and you end up saying [whispers] "No, that wasn't me! Did I really say that!?" It's so incredibly great to have that situation. [TT Spektra]


Thank-you to our very own forum member -berlin- for the press clips from Germany.

No. 2 will be all about the band's history and their views on success. Something to look forward to.
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