June 06, 2017 by Daniel John Johnsson

Mother Gaia

QANDA met up with Swedish rock band Mother Gaia for a talk about having spontaneous jams, being completely independent and Friday's EP release of "We Are Animals".

How are you preparing for the album release now on the 9th of June?
- Such a boring answer, but we're just trying to relax. It has been a rather stressful year for all of us, even on an individual level, so now we just try to breathe and save our energy for the release party .. which by the way will be the party of the year!

How long have you been working on the album?
- For far too long! (laughs). No, but it's not just glitter and glamour to do it all yourself. If we don’t consider the time it has taken to write the songs, the recording and everything has taken a little longer than a year.

Since we have worked with a very limited budget, we have encountered some, especially technical, problems over time. I think that we are all pretty glad that it actually became a finished product of it all, finally.

But now everything is done?
- It is all done and the album is being printed at this very moment!

Was it celebrated afterwards when everything was said and done?
- It was celebrated with light beer, cake and the band Huset’s release party at Pustervik.

How will the album be released?
- The album is released digitally on lots of different streaming services and online stores, such as Spotify, Tidal, iTunes, and Amazon. Besides that, there will also be an actual CD, staying true to the 90's! If one would like it in physical format, it can be purchased via our website or directly from us, perhaps at our release party on June, 9.

There are unusually many songs on it for an EP release .. how would you describe the whole of it?
- As an anxious chaos thrown in the face of all the crap that is going on in the world. But in a good way. In a beautful and exciting way. Kinda like that

My personal favorite among the tracks may be "Tarantula" ..
- How fun! At the moment it’s probably our favorite too, as it is quite new. But isn’t that how it always is, the latest song always feels like the best song.

Among the songs, "Give It Up" distinguishes itself the most, with its calmer pace and country influences?
- "Give it up" is a good ol' song that's been with us for over five years now, originally from one of Oskar and Linnéa’s previous projects. It's one of those songs that just came to be, now afterwards it feels like it was written in just about 15 minutes.

Of course, it has continued to develop with us over the years. It is fun that it's gotten a new life now through Mother Gaia!

What does the songwriting process look like for you?
- It almost always begins with someone having an idea that we then take on together. We tend to keep it quite open so everyone gets the chance to put their mark on the song. It's fun, since it never sounds like how the original idea was intended. A lot also come from spontaneous jam sessions, when we really just intended to let go off some steam.

What do you convey in your lyrics?
- Hmm, well... If you boil it down there is a lot of sighs at humanity, how we treat each other... Anxiety and broken hearts are quite common themes too. Don't really know why that is. We're really actually quite happy and think that life is fun! It's strange how much easier it is to write about depressing stuff than happy things.

It's quite easy to say that you have some 80's influences, or do you?
- (Laughs) You think so? Maybe we do... Everybody in the band probably draws inspiration from different directions, like rock, pop, funk, country, classical rock and everything in between. Then we have many artists and bands in common, of course, but I believe that a big part of our sound comes from everyone having their own influences.

This is probably the most obvious with Andreas and Oskars guitars, which on their own sound like they were born in different decades, but sound great together. Kinda like "sprit och batterier" .. booze and batteries .. two completely different things that together form a great name for a punk band!

How did the band come about?
- Linnéa and Oskar had played together in various projects before, since they met in high school. At the beginning of 2015, Linnéa got Andreas in as they met at a university, and Oskar just randomly managed to run into Kristian, who he had played with in the past but hadn't met for a few years. Then members have come and gone, but that's how it all started.

Just before this album release, we've also gotten an additional member on organ. Marcus, that is, what a legend!

Many artists are taking some great freedom in calling themselves indie these days, but you're actually behind everything you do?
- Yes! It's nice that we have full control over everything we do, but it also means that we have to do everything ourselves... (laughs). It's fun and we love what we do, but it can be quite tedious and time consuming, which resulted in that the production of the record itself has taken longer than planned.

But it feels incredible that we've managed to create this completely from scratch, and all this work has made us more proud of what we have managed to accomplish in some way.

Is there something you particularly miss?
- As said, it would be nice to have a record company behind us that could help out with some of the practical and administrative stuff, so we could focus more on the creative part. But now we know how everything works, so next time it'll work like a charm!

The album's title track "We are animals" also got a music video?
- Yes, the video was directed by our eminent Kristian, who has also directed documentaries and short films before, so even this we have produced and released on our own. The idea of the video, to some degree, is to give you a certain disgust. After it was released, Linnéa's mom called up saying that it was great, but that she never wanted to see it again.

So it seems to have worked, at least to some extent (laughs)

It was also lots of fun to shoot the video. We got to smear ourselves in colours that didn't go away for a week. Also worth mentioning is that Tuva Jagell, who is in the video, got Guldbagge-nominated for her role in "Pojkarna". Congratulations to her!

Have you started to book some gigs for the summer?
- Yes, we have some gigs booked for the summer. For example, we'll head into the woods and play at Dungenyran in late July, which will be great! Otherwise, we're keen on getting out on the road to share the EP with the world now that it's being released.

Which is the favorite song to play live?
- Right now it's "Tarantula". We haven't had a chance to play it more than once since it's so new. Another favorite is an unnamed song that goes under the preliminary name "Lycklig". Come see us play this summer and you will understand why (laughs)

What do you want to give on stage?
- We always have fun when we’re on stage and we want that to show. It gives such a nice feeling to the room that we think is infectious to the audience, which in turn brings energy back to us. That exchange feels really important!

As you have performed in both smaller and larger venues. Do you prefer nightclub gigs or bigger festival scenes?
- Tough decision! Playing in the dark at a smaller club gives a great feeling as you get closer to the audience in a different way. But then it's also great to have a big stage to run around on!

What has been the most memorable gig to date?
- When we were in London the last time and played at Redrock Festival and the entire audience sat down on the floor with us when we played "Give it up". It felt very intimate to meet the audience in such away, as if we all experienced that moment together, as a whole.

Have there been any more gig abroad?
- Since Linnéa lived in London for a couple of years to study music, it almost feels like a second home for us, so we've been there a couple of times. But we haven't been out in the rest of Europe yet, but look forward to that now that the EP is released.

What do you think about the music scene at home in Gothenburg?
- We believe Gothenburg has a strong live scene. Although, it often seems like there is a rather big gap between being a relatively new band that has to limit itself to playing at youth centers, to more established bands that get to play at the larger venues in town.

It would be fun to see more medium-sized scenes for bands that are up and coming, since it's hard for bands to grow and build their reputation if they aren’t seen. At the same time, we feel that a lot of good music is being created in the city at this moment, so the competition that exists is nonetheless justified.

Any last words?
- Listen to “We are animals” with a candle burning and you will see your entire future.

WHO IS MOTHER GAIA

Mother Gaia is an Swedish rockband from Gothenburg. The band consistsof Linnéa Eriksson, Karin Andersson, Oskar Hedenskog, Andy Karnung and Kristian Erskog. New EP We Are Animals is out June, 9 at Spotify and iTunes.

SOCIAL

You can follow Mother Gaia at Facebook, Instagram and Soundcloud.

They also has an official website.

Press photo taken by Elin Carlsson.

"WE ARE ANIMALS'"