At Maifeld Derby Festival, we met the two guys of FRISKA VILJOR. What we got was Swedish cheerfulness and sincerity in a bottle, served chilled and mixed with some pop rock music in the best of taste. Get your own impression and enjoy the full interview!

Who are you?
Joakim– I’m Joakim and this is Daniel and we are FRISKA VILJOR. It’s just the two of us, but we’re more than just a duo, and we’re also more than just a band, because everything recorded is done so with a full set.
Daniel– The band consists of two people but we bring good friends with us on stage.

Actually, you were supposed to work on your new album and therefore wanted to take a break. Why are you here nevertheless?
Joakim– Actually we’re in that break right now and we’ve been in that break since last November.
Daniel– We’re here because of our empty wallets.
Joakim– We’re 24-hour musicians and it’s a lot of fun. We play a couple of shows during the summertime. We don’t want to get damaged by sitting at home doing nothing. This is addictive!
Daniel– Even though that it’s pretty nice in Sweden at the moment (talking about the weather).

How would you describe your music and what do people get when they listen to your music?
Daniel– We play pop music.
Joakim– And people get happy when they hear our music – most of the time at least. There are some differences between our live shows and the music on the record, but there are lots of similarities, too. When you play a live show, you basically only get that one feeling of happiness. You know, on stage, we rarely look like we are having a dull time, so the audience adopts our mood. However, when people buy our records – as far as I came to know – they can relate to the lyrics and can feel the state of mind of the song, which isn’t always just happy.
Daniel– It also depends on which songs we’ve chosen to play. In our live sets, we usually play a lot of energetic music.
Joakim– In club shows there’re also some softer tunes and people sometimes even cry out. So we pick the songs according to where we play.

What does “FRISKA VILJOR” stand for?
Daniel– You saying our name sounds like a deaf Swedish person saying it, but in a really nice way.
Joakim– I think it means “gesunder Willen”, but I’m not sure.
Daniel– Yeah, it stands for “healthy mind”.

Do you have healthy minds?
Joakim– Well, it’s rather an ironic statement.
Daniel– Sometimes. But I think everyone has days crazy days as well.
Joakim– That night, when we named our band, it was pure irony, and nothing else.

You came to start this band after your relationships had gone down the drain. So you started writing songs about women, alcohol and rock ‘n’ roll. Has it been some sort of cure for you? (for all those broken hearts out there)
Joakim– No, for me it’s not a cure, it’s rather a diary. I mean, it’s a cure in that moment you’re actually making music but that is only such a small portion of the whole time being.
Daniel– When you’re very sad and you’re playing music, then it is just a shifting of focus, but the problem is still there. It’s not a healing.
Joakim– It helps to process thoughts and so it is some sort of a therapy. But I think the best thing during that time was having each other and being able to talk about our problems and sorrows.
Daniel– If we had left the music out and only partied, I think we would have actually, at least for the time being, felt better. I mean therapy means to scratch on the surface of the problem and then to look what’s underneath.

However, you new album is titled “The Beginning Of The Beginning Of The End”, is it still sorrows and heartache that inspires you to write most?
Joakim– It is simply easier to write about your problems than to articulate your feelings when you’re happy. When life is good, there is nothing more to say about it. It is what it is then. But back then, we knew exactly how we felt and we were able to express our emotions. So the writing was a lot more focused. Today, it can be a strange feeling to write something without really thinking about it and to look at it afterwards and not to understand exactly what the song is actually about. So it’s some sort of unconscious writing in a way.

Would you say you’re two happy grown-up people? What has happened since your hearts got broken?
Daniel– We’re two grown-up people. I mean, I am married and I have two kids and I’m super happy, but at the same time, getting married and having kids doesn’t solve all your problems. It’s not nirvana.
Joakim– We’re grown men in physiques, but inside we’re still connected to our teenage minds.

So is it this feeling that you make music which sounds like “music for children”, even though the lyrics are more serious?
Daniel– That is basically true for our first album, which is the most childish one. It was recorded under the influence of beer and such things, and this makes it sound like as if kids were playing music, but it’s nice. We like it a lot.

What is your inspiration to create this kind of music?
Daniel– Nowadays we write music in other ways. It’s nice to explore different approaches.
Joakim– But the writing itself has become rare. It happens maybe once a month or maybe twice and the rest of the time there’s nothing. But when it happens, we come up with two or three ideas, which sum up to twenty songs a year. At the moment, we have like 35 ideas on hold, waiting to get finished.
Daniel– This part is the most boring, waiting for an embryo to become a finished song.

What does music mean to you? Is it most important?
Joakim– When we finished our last album, we decided that we’re not going to rush for anything new. If the next record is going to happen within the next six months or maybe even never, it doesn’t really matter to us. If it’s going to happen, then it’ll be great.
Daniel– It is still supposed to be fun. Right now, summertime is coming and there are so many more fun things to do instead of sitting in the studio.

Do you consider yourself rock stars that have to fulfill certain expectations?
Joakim– We’ve never tried to be rock stars in any kind of way and we’ll never try to be either. We come from a part of the country where the main motto is “Don’t believe that you’re anything at all!” So I don’t believe that we’ll ever get these kinds of character traits. (The’re from Småland, which you might know due to Astrid Lindgren’s stories about Michel from Lönneberga)

Since our e-zine deals a lot with “hope” and “passion” – what do these two things mean to you? What do you hope for and what are you passionate about?
Daniel– Passion is something in the past for me. I feel asexual and kind of dead sometimes (He’s joking! – I guess). But I hope to live forever, that would be really nice.
Joakim– I’ve always feared dying but I don’t think I want to live forever. My hope has always been to live until the next summer, but it’s going to work itself out anyway. Passion is something that used to be dead for the last fifteen years for me, but now I’ve just found it in my life.
Daniel– He took mine, because I’m so much in love with my wife. Even though it’s already been twelve years, it feels like an old red wine, very nice.
Joakim– Yeah, I took his passion, though it’s still kind of hard to be passionate. Life’s not just about music or whatever; it is a lot bigger than that.

The last words belong to you.
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Daniel– For us the second half of life has just begun. I turned 35 last week and Joakim’s birthday is next Sunday. All I’m hoping for is to have a nice ride down the hill. I want to enjoy my life as much as possible before my body finally degenerates.
Joakim– That sounds so depressing. Actually, life is pretty brilliant at the moment and it has never been like that ever before. I feel very contempt with my life right now.

Well, let’s hope it lasts forever – skål!

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FRISKA VILJOR
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indie / pop
from Stockholm, Sweden

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