kent interview P3 Populär September 17 2007

The following is a translation of the radio interview with Joakim Berg and Sami Sirviö broadcasted on September 17 2007 in the Swedish radio channel P3's show P3 Populär the interview was made by Hanna Fahl.

Now I'm in kents, what do you say, your lounge where you play video-games?

Jocke: Yes.. something like that....
Sami: Our boys room.
Jocke: The boy room.
Sami: The boy room.

And this is your studio and rehearsal quarters a bit outside Stockholm in Älvsjö. And you have just rehearsed?

Jocke: Today it was a pretty good rehearsal, which is not always the case. We are rehearsing for the upcoming tour. We are starting to get the set list together which is always traumatic. Now we are there and then the big job is done, then we just have to rehears the songs and play them good.

Do you make a lot of compromises for the fans when choosing songs? You must know what songs the fans are screaming for at the concerts?

Jocke: With us its like... its pretty hard... cause we.. there are extreme hardcore fans that has everything we ever released and knows all the songs and lyrics better then me.. especially better than me.. who only wants to hear the most obscure, they want to hear...
Sami: "Kallt kaffe"
Jocke: ...they want to hear old, old b-sides that they find much better than the album tracks and you can play ONE of those songs but not only songs like that cause they are just a small part of our fans, the remaining 80% of our fans wants to hear the catchy songs, the hits. Its really like that... and nowadays you get pretty direct feedback on a gig on the net and its easy to see that there's very different opinions on what songs they want us to play.

Do you read on the fan forum on your webpage?

Sami: Yes, actually we do, it helps us when we choose songs. Its easy to listen to people who writes their lists there.

Your fans.. me as a bystander think they are fanatics or almost crazy sometimes... do you ever feel like that?

Jocke: No I don't know..
Sami: They are very devoted I must say...
Jocke: ...yes but they are very grumpy against us too..
Sami: ...but that is a good thing, we need a kick in the ass sometimes to get ourselves down on the ground. But then we have met some... some of them have been standing outside your apartment waiting to get an autograph but they seem normal. Of course we don't know them personally so we don't really know how crazy they are. They stand there and cry.. and you write the autograph... and its a bit cool.

What usually makes them yell at you then?

Jocke: There's much... when we release new songs... its like... sometimes it feels like they have built up a small kent-world and everything new that is gonna come in to that world has to be reviewed and criticised very hard even if it comes directly from us... so its a lot.. now they are debating the album cover and the mobile-phone thing.... of course we knew that... yes... and single cover versus album cover... and yes.. there's a lot and... I don't know...

In a way you have created "kent" and now its almost like its not even you anymore but something you have to live up to?

Sami: Yes we are slaves...
Jocke: Slaves under the myth.
Sami: ...slaves under the myth... slaves under the kent myth

Does it ever feel hard with this kent myth or the kent machinery?

Jocke: We don't really have that much to do with it... sure we once put up the rules... or the tent if you like.... but its not we who live there. Its beyond our control now. If we go in and move things around we get spanked by these people.
Sami: If we try to change the rules right?
Jocke: Sometimes I comment things written on the forum. I did it more before but I have given it up right now... maybe i will pick it up again... but then there is quite a rabid atmosphere when you try to explain you're opinion.. why we don't do things and why we do other things.. they seem to think that we have some book of laws.. the kent law that we follow... Its weird. Very weird.

The single is called Ingenting (Nothing). Why did you choose this song to be the first song we get to hear from the album?

Jocke: Good question... Its a thing we always dwell on and debate a lot.. we have had some candidates, but we thought we'd release a real smash hit as first single and we don't care about credibility. It's just a really good song and a great production.
Sami: Many people that have heard the album right away chose this particular song as a clear first single.

The sound is pretty much dance or club almost, where did you get that inspiration?

Jocke: But that.. I mean... we did the disco thing already on Hagnesta Hill with a lot of drum machines and synthesizers..
Sami: ...and 4/4..
Jocke: ..and there was that first French house wave we all liked a lot.. and in particularly Martin and Marcus who almost only listens to dance music... for us when we work... its always melodies and lyrics so when you had a long day in the studio and want to relax and listen to something else you don't want to listen to any damn lyrics or melodies, you just want something hard and monotonous... caveman like.. railway. But I don't know.. Its not a... Its a 4/4.... its not a...

What's a 4/4?

Jocke: A straight disco beat.
Sami: 4 on the floor.
Jocke: 4 on the floor... its like; thomp thomp thomp thomp... Billy Jean.
Sami: Like what you hear from your obnoxious neighbour that plays techno all day long.

Why do you want to do a obnoxious neighbour song?

Sami: Because its really nice...
Jocke: Yes..
Sami: It would be nice if the neighbour changed record and listened to our record some time.
Jocke: Yes

The new album that comes out in a month is called Tillbaka till samtiden (translates to Back to our time or Back to contemporary). Do you try to make contemporary music?

Jocke: No, we are too old for that. We only do music we think is fun. It's not possible to try to make music that is...
Sami: ..future music..
Jocke: ..yes or contemporary music, you can only do music you like. The title reflects on the fact that everything has been so retro the last couple of years in music.
Sami: Everything has to be so damn 80s... and all these bands that has discovered all these old 80s synth songs and buys synthesizers and try to make 80s rip offs that sounds like 80s b-sides anyway.. you get fed up with that...
Jocke: Just because of this people will probably think our new albums sounds like 80s...But we were actually there back then..
Sami: Yes it's our right! No... we want to put our mark in time right now so that people who listens to our album in 20 years they are going to think about 2007 and not think; hmm wait.. is this from 1987or 2007?

I have to admit I actually thought about Depeche Mode when I heard the single.

Jocke: The single?! It sounds so non Depeche Mode, It's the most non Depeche Mode I ever did. But... yes...
Sami: Thats up to you... that's you're opinion.
Jocke: ..there's one small chord there..
Sami: ..or some bridge...
Jocke: ..yes... that is very Martin Gore.
back to top