Regnsky møder… Mando Diao!

Interviewet er lavet af vores gæsteskribent Marie Louise Takibo Kaspersen

Efter deres koncert søndag på Northside Festival lykkedes det os at fange Björn Dixgård, Jens Siverstedt, Daniel Haglund og Patrik Heinkipieti fra det svenske rockband Mando Diao til en lille snak om deres optræden på festivalen og deres helt nye album Good Times, der eftersigende skulle være deres bedste album nogensinde.

First of all, how did the concert go? 

Very, very well. We haven’t played here for like eight years or something so we didn’t know what to expect. But it was better than we expected actually. We knew that we had like the first slot on the Sunday so we thought: “Oh, we’re gonna be the underdogs”. You know, it’s like the Swedish football team. Suddenly we can win over France. Or the Danish football team, same shit – two terrible teams that sometimes win over the mighty dinosaurs. So it’s challenging and fun to be out here. And the crowd and audience, come on, it was great! Kept us going. We sort of have this newborn love in the group right now after everything that happened to us doing last year, so we really go to places where we haven’t been in decades, so it’s nice.

Is it just Århus or is it entire Denmark you haven’t been in, in a decade? 

In Denmark in general. Oh no!

But you live so close! You’re like our neighbours, come on. 

We’re gonna start now!

Björn: We’ll come back for Vega in October.

Resten af bandet: DECEMBER! The 2nd of December!

So was it ok playing so early? You had to play around 1 o’clock. 

Yeah. You just have to simulate that it’s evening. Like Danish people do. No problem.

What do you think of getting the 1 o’clock slot on the Sunday? 

We didn’t expect anything bigger. We’re just happy to play here. We haven’t been here for a while, so that the festival wants to have us is like ruiihh (so great!). When we think back on the show we didn’t have any expectations, as we said, but we started playing and people were coming to the show and there came more people and they were singing along and we really felt it. The audience was really ‘vibing’ to the music, so it was wonderful. But we didn’t expect that. That’s why we are so happy right now.

Why didn’t you expect that? 

Because of the slot! Haha! Sunday 1 o’clock come on!

Jens: I’m not sure that we would go to a show that early. I’m just thinking about myself, and my own awful behaviour. I’m more like a night person you know.

What do you think about the festival in general – about Northside? 

Patrik: We actually went out to see Prodigy yesterday me and Jens. It was very muddy. We didn’t bring any shoes and stuff, so we got stocked there, and when we came back to the hotel it was like… (ryster på hovedet). But whatever we saw from there was nice. I mean lots of people and a good vibe.

Jens: I fucked up my sneakers.

It’s a very good line-up here. We’re sorry that we have to miss Radiohead tonight. That sucks. And Franck Ocean, that would’ve been amazing.

You’ve just released your new album? How would you describe that? 

Oi, how do you describe your child? It’s perfect! It’s really versatile. We got this from out of journalism and fans and people. It’s kinda like back to the roots of being a band. During the weeks of promotion that we did this spring, we reflected on the album, and we understand that this is straightforward, you can hear the drums and you can hear the guitars. It’s not that polished, it’s raw, something like that. Focus on the vibe.

Jens: I see our album Good Times more like a movie you know. You have all the different vibes, the ballads, the up-tempo songs, and the soulful songs. So it’s diverse and versatile I guess.

If you do a playlist on Spotify or whatever you don’t want to have the same kind of songs over and over again, you want to make it a road trip you know. That was a bigger thing we thought about. On this album we didn’t use that many musical references, we used mainly mood-based stuff – talking about different moods. And we didn’t let anybody else into the process, we did it all in the band, so that’s what defines the record. Us as a group doing it ourselves like a team – team effort. We didn’t have a producer, we produced it ourselves, and so it’s a lot of ‘us’, a lot of emotions from this group of people.

What is the message of the album? 

The title comes from the song obviously; it’s called Good Times. We took the title and made something different about it, because when you listen to the lyrics of the song Good Times it’s about the devil on your shoulder, your darkest feelings and emotions, but then we took the title and made a really weird epic fucked up cover coming to like Eden, Paradise and it has nothing to do with the song, but we used the title and it became something different. It grew in another direction. And we had such a good time recording the album. If you take like every lyric on the album it’s kind of depressing, hahah! It’s the Nordic melancholy and you can feel the darkness. But at the same time the title… Because we had such a good time recording it, we want to come with the good times and the good vibes, because now we are in such a good place and we are so happy with our music so it became something different.

Good Times has been called your best album, why do you think that is? 

Patrik: I didn’t know that.

It said so in the press release we got. 

HAHAHA! Somebody wrote it! Caught us – Caaaught us!

Well okay it’s called ‘perhaps’ your best album. 

Ahh perhaps, perhaps! No but the last baby you give birth to is the best. It’s the best for now anyways. Ask us again in two years and maybe it’s not, but right now everybody says that.

Jens: This is our best album, come on. Don’t be shy.

Björn: In the end it’s really up to us and we are really proud of it.

Jens: It’s the best album man, come on. Just listen to it.

Björn: I don’t listen to it man.

Resten bandet: You should, haha!

Your former guitarist Gustaf left the band. Do you miss him? 

NO. Haha! Simple as that. Next question.

Why did he leave? 

We don’t know actually, but he didn’t wanted to do this kind of stuff: the tour life, the music life. Being in a band is a problem for him, we think, but you’ll have to ask him. The political stuff with releasing music was a problem for him. We wanted to release only free music. He wants to become a music teacher and he is doing different stuff. Hope he is happy, absolutely.

What will the future look like? 

Bright! Good times! We are doing this over and over again we just love this.

Patrik: I think we grew together now the last two years as well; we’ve never had such a good mood in the band as we have right now and hopefully we can do it another 20 years, 30 years. 40 maybe? 50?

Jens: Arh, don’t push it.

We will keep making and writing music, recording, playing live. We are really living in the moment. That’s the best thing of being in this band; you just look to the next day and schedule. You don’t need to think about the future, because you are like: “Okay, we are going to Denmark tomorrow, that’s gonna be fucking fun, let’s do it! Berlin Tuesday!” That’s the beauty of this and we are really privileged to have this kind of life and we cherish it and we are making the best out of it. We are not fucking around. We really tried to make a really good album and it was blood, sweat and tears, and it turned out to be the best album. Here we are in Denmark.

Do you have anything that you want to tell us now that you have us here? 

Jens: My name is Jens, it’s a Danish name. I’m the new guy in the band. I really feel connected to Denmark and I feel really glad to be here.

We ranked the Nordic countries earlier today; we’ve been in Finland, Norway and Denmark and Denmark came in first place even though we had to play at an early slot on Sunday. So we love Denmark. We looove Denmark. The end. Really, you have the ‘Gammel Dansk’ you have the ‘Smørrebrød’ and everything and you’re smoking a lot of cigarettes. Funny cigarettes! Haha!

Thank you for the interview!

Thank you!

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