interview-The Livelong June
We have the privilege to introduce one totally fresh group from Sweden that just released their first single and video clip. Their sound varies from electro to indie to synth pop, although they really don't want to categorize their music. Watch out for their new releases, in what we suspect could be one of the next big things.
- Hi. Thank you very much for this interview. Would you like to tell us who are the members of The Livelong June
Benny : I’m Benny Gustavsson. I'm the vocalist and guitar player of The Livelong June.
Marcus : And I’m Marcus Rejnevik. It’s me who’s in charge of the synthesizers. Primarily analogue ones.
- What's up with your name? Should I assume that your are not very fond of the weather in Sweden or is it something else?
Benny : Yeah, you could assume that! Right now it’s minus ten degrees over here. At least it feels like it. No seriously, the name comes from a poem by Emily Dickinson. It deals with the subject of man’s desire to be a Somebody, the pursuit of attention from others.
Marcus : Absolutely, and even more important, this poem implies that to be a Nobody is a luxury that can not be comprehended by the Somebodies, since they are too busy keeping their names and deeds in circulation. The Livelong June is totally about that struggle between humbleness and the will to be listened to. But we prefer to be Nobodies. We don’t aspire to get in the way of our music. It’s the music and message we deliver that should be that Somebody.
- How would you characterize your music? Your earlier songs I think have a little more synth pop, electroclash sound, while your last ones goes more pop.
Benny : We do not characterize it at all. We are constantly searching for the right emotional context, music wise. What emotions we want to explore for a particular song. We put much effort in creating music and lyrics that enhance one another. When the two parts match we end up in the The Livelong June soundscape.
Marcus : Originally, though, we founded The Livelong June around the idea of combining a human and intelligent feel to an electronic pop format. Then adding a grittiness on top. That grittiness comes from analogue synthesizers to a large extent, but sometimes, like on the debut single, the grittiness had to stand back in favour of the emotions of the song.
- Your first single "That's why I love weekends" has just been released. I am wondering how come you choose this one for your first single among all your songs.
Benny : The first single tells the story of where we were when we started. It felt natural to release it as our first single. It is also catchy as hell and has a great synth riff which will haunt you!
- I have to admit also I was very fond of your videoclip. I liked both the concept and the way it was visualized. Would you like to tell us a few things about it?
Marcus : I think the story speaks for itself. I produced, or rather built, it during a couple of months last spring using Stop Motion technique. The song tells a story and I found that the retro Lego format suited perfect to illustrate it. Also it allowed us to once again create that coherence between music, message and this time also graphics. Personally, I especially like that it’s made with a sense of humour. We think it turned out great!
- So is your life similar to the videoclip? Work all week waiting for the weekend to party?
Benny : Well, for sure our lives once looked exactly like that.I still can recall the feeling. Just living for the weekends. For a few day all your worries would disappear, just to hit you even harder Monday morning.
- I have seen in your you tube channel that you have 8-9 more songs that you play at your lives. Which is the next step for The Livelong June? Another single release or full album?
Marcus : Our next single, called 'Race against time’, will be released around new year and we are currently working on our debut album, which is due release in 2016. Most likely these songs will appear there. Albeit, reworked and fine tuned.
- How are the people in Sweden responding to your live shows? Are you planning a european tour to promote your songs?
Benny : The response has been great and we are definitely planning to head out on the road when the album is done. However, since we are perfectionists for instance background projections and films will undergo some changes and be even more aligned with the songs and the live mood.
- I think I am getting a Brian Molko from Placebo vibe, especially in your earlier songs vocal-wise. Would you agree to that? I mean I believe Placebo would have made a huge success with a song like "Friends" that you have.
Benny : I would be lying if a said Placebo’s not a big influence.It’s all inspiration and then we take it to our own level. Now, when you mention it ‘Friends' would really be a great Placebo song. Maybe we can do a collaboration someday.
- Sweden has been always feeding music with all kind of groups from different genres from metal to post punk to pop. I mean one of the groups I following the last couple of years are the post punk Makthaverskan. How is the music scene there? Are the people interested, are there many venues for someone to play?
Benny : The music scene in our home town Jonkoping is getting better and better. We got great response on our last festival gig there. Sweden, really has a lot of venues to play. The venue KGB in Stockholm is a fantastic venue for synth and alternative music. Last time we visited Stockholm we performed a show there, it was great.
- Also would you like to tell us about the 2 groups that remixed your single "That's why I love weekends"
Marcus : Both Sadman and Monostrip originates from our hometown Jonkoping. Both bands have released a couple of albums and are quite well established on the synth scene. We contacted them to have someone else to have a go on ‘That’s why I love weekends’. We’ve been on and about with that song for 4 years, and felt that it had ended up where we wanted it to be. Therefore we wanted to hear totally different takes on it. Sadman is an act from the darker side of the scene, more ‘slow’ and depressing if you like. Still wonderful music and not the least brilliant vocals. Monostrip, is something quite different with their American west coast flirt. An intriguing combination of electronics, vocoders and 80s TV series.
Benny - And we totally like both versions. So different, yet equally awesome!
- One of the ways for new bands to get known these days are the various indie radio stations, that stream via Internet. Has this helped you someway?
Marcus : Nowadays there’s a really interesting indie radio station thing going on. Hundreds of dedicated and actually very talented radio hosts dare play new and alternative music on even if the audience is just a few thousand people. We are very grateful for the support we’ve been given over the years throughout Europe, but also in the US, Russia and in Australia. And we’re especially proud of being voted ‘band-of-the-month’ on Berlin based Liquid.Radio where the listeners decide which music should be aired.
- Thank you very much for this chance to talk to you. I wish you best of luck and hope to catch one of your lives soon.
Find them on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thelivelongjune/