Nina Persson breathes new life into A Camp

In an interview published in Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter today, Nina Persson confirms what many fans have been waiting for - work has begun on the next A Camp record.

A translation of the interview follows:

While The Cardigans celebrate 15 years with a breather, Nina Persson tinkers on with her solo project A Camp in New York and sits in the jury of DN's culture award in Stockholm.

- Right now I'm super-inspired by Adam & the Ants trying to recreate their wet drum-sound on my coming solo record. I'm even thinking about making a cover of "Prince Charming", I love it. From childhood all I remember is a poster with "Adam Ant" and thinking he was cool, says Nina Persson, visiting Sweden to hand out DN's culture award.

Six years after the solo debut with A Camp, Nina Persson has started working on a new album with Niklas Frisk and her husband Nathan Larson. She has started with a bang with half a dozen songs that are going to get lyrics about everything from Chinatown in New York to "animals in Africa".

- When we rehearsed with A Camp we felt immediately that the music is taking a new direction. There will always be a little "folksiness" in me, but I don't dig in my country-drawer anymore. Right now what amuses me most is girl-pop from the 60s, 80's punk and David Bowie, she says.

Even if things have been a bit silent around The Cardigans lately, the pop-princess from Jönköping is still the most recognized Swedish female singer since the duo from ABBA. When the group swept over the planet with "Lovefool" in the end of the 90s Nina was hailed as "the new Agnetha but with pop cred". Others chose to call her "a pinup for the depressed loons of the world".

- Yes, it still sounds great. I wasn't at all as comfortable with my Doris Day period, but that was my own fault completely, she smiles making her gold tooth glimmer.

As an artist she has gotten used to playing with different identities - both in music videos and as a lyricist.

- Oftentimes I write the lyrics as if I were different characters, which also has been played out in our videos. At the same time it's entirely possible to be a "regular girl" from Jönköping and still have all these characters inside, she says.

Last year she made her film-debut as a Finnish tango-blond in Amir Chamdin's "Om Gud Vill" - a little magical love encounter during a record-breaking hot summer night in Stockholm in 1975. Nina Persson remembers the guerrilla-style movie shots during the hot nights of the summer of 2005.

- I had never worked that hard and it was great fun to shoot a film. But since I stumbled into it, it became obvious that I didn't have the schooling. You can play with it and get pretty far, but I felt that I didn't have all the tools that were needed, says Nina Persson.

And we won't be seeing her in many more movie roles. Last year she made a spontaneous audition call for the action thriller "The Tourist" with Hugh Jackman and Michelle Williams, where McGregor is drawn into intrigues to commit murder in a private sex-club ā la "Eyes Wide Shut". The character thought for her was supposed to have nude scenes and kiss Ewan McGregor passionately.

- It was a nightmare since I wasn't convinced I wanted to be an actress or even wanted to bleach my hair. It's difficult to go from a little black and white movie to making out in Hollywwod. I called and cancelled it, she laughs.

Nina Persson wants to continue using music to explore her core subjects - love, alienation and Swedish melancholy.

- Of course you can write songs about God, death and religion. But love is still the most inspiring and mystical subject there is - both when it comes to the sexual aspects and the mental aspects. It's an enormous driving force in the arts and in the life choices you make. You probably won't experience that real proper togetherness very much but a lot of times goes to finding it, getting back to it or trying to recreate it, says Nina Persson with snus under her lip.

She was sure she would never find somebody until she stood there by the altar with Nathan Larson.

Can you write about unrequited love when you're happily married?
- Yes, I think so. Even when you've settled down you have strong relationships to other people, even though it's on a different level. That will never die. And if it would I would be pretty bitter and unhappy really.

Who is the best lyricist in the pop world?
- I still love Morrissey! Because of his sexual vagueness and ambivalence you get so incredibly attracted to him, she says.

Other old idols are Neil Young and Dolly Parton - "they've passed Emmylou Harris". Although right now she's more into books than music - so now she's plowing through everything by Joyce Carol Oates, Chuck Palahniuk and Oscar Wilde.

This moment she's mostly busy with finding a house in Harlem on Manhattan with her husband and her in-laws.

- I have gone through half of Manhattan together with my real estate agent. Bob - an old Broadway star with a bow-tie that's trying to convert me to Buddhism. He's got the same philosophy as me in a way - that you have to wallow in pain in order for it not to be so terrible. Things are usually better afterwards, she says when Nathan Larson calls her on the cellphone:

- Hello? I know it's a sad day, talk to you later, she says and tells me that they just missed a deal on a house.

- Now we have to start over again. Real estate-Bob is going to make a Buddhist out of me before this is over.

Read the original article (in Swedish) here:
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