Eric, Christian, Johan and Robert had during the milleniums first year decided to put the world above their feets with their music. When the first demo have been recorded it was Popcityyear in Gothenburg. It was really good because we got really much attention for a while. Clubgigs, some space in radio followed and a concert on the Emmabodafestival. And then it stopped for a while. But musically things came together when Mads came into the band in the autumn 2002. With a lot of experience from norwegian bands like Basement Brats and The Nuggets he kicked some life in the band again.
Johan is awaken early one morning, the telephone is ringing. He´s not really awake when he talks to a man from the german record Sounds Of Subterrania who have in some way got his hands on their first demo and liked it. Some months later they have released the first demo as classic vinyl-EP. And then it was time to plan to record our fullengthdebut. We contacted Björn Olsson , and also he liked what he heard and a cooperation began. The firt single was“New Sensation” which was released 2003/2004 and the album “Gothenburg Rifle Association” was released in Sweden 17th march. A month later in Europe and USA and in the beginning of june in Japan.
After this little story we want to know more abot the gothenburgband The carnation. Johan plays drums and he was kind enough to answer my questions after a Greecetrip in the end of july 2004.
Please tell me a little about every member, age, family, work, interests and something bad about every one?
-Christian Bergman, 30 years, guitar and vocals. Partner. Very soon finished his study to europeknower, is soonj our man in Brussels. He refers frightening often to Oasis. Robert Caesar, 30 years, bass. Newly married. He´s a doctoral student on Medicinarberget where he spends his days with studying proteins. I think. Is more than acceptable interested in hair on the body. Johan Conse, 31 years, drums. Married. Work as a welfare officer on a psychiatric clinic. Comsume his surroundings with his controlneed and his big collection of 80´s metal. Mads Husvik, 28 år, Organ and vocals. Single and blond. And Norwegian. Have studied grafic design until now and he works as a bartender til something else coems up. His countryinfluences have shaken the band in their foundation.,– ”A cowboy in Sweden” you could say. Eric Öbo, 23 years, sings and guitar. Really don’t know his family. He studies history and he sells welfareproducts on Expert. He´s controlled by his impulses and he´s right now a Onsalabrat(upper-class) who wants to be a hisingsboy(working class)-.
To be five members, isn´t it hard? Is it one of you who´s being left outside the others? Is it always the same which been left outside?
- Actually it went the other way when Mads came into the group. He became a catalyst both musically and social. Before that dominated the feeling that we were split into two camps and that it wasn´t so much done. We´re a really well-living democracy today, no one could be a dictator in this band.
Please tell me a little about the cover on Gothenburg Rifle Association, where did the picture was shoot? And what does the lawyer bureau says?
-The title(which Robban came with of course) forced foreward a cover which shows the fictive lokalorganisation in GRA. S a concept it´s really good- it´s really nice and it looks very real but it´s not maybe a cover which sticks out too much. The cover makes a sort of entrance to the costumepictures in the booklet. We changed a little in the lawyers names , it didn´t felt that that workcategory is the best to hang out on a cover. That doorway is on Engelbrektsgatan.
And backsidepicture, where is it from?
-I don´t really know, somewhere in Gothenburgs harbour.
I compare you to both Smiths and Jam, what about that?
-Thanks. Not so that we´re trying to sound like anyone else but these references comes often up and that´s nothing to be ashamed for. Jam and Smiths have done big music. And of course it´s hard to try to sound own in a style as guitarbased pop but with the record we think we´re having found our home musically.
Which other bands are you being compared to?
-Buzzcocks and new wave related music and TSOOL have been mentioned in some reviews. And precisly those groups that you have refered to so it´s sure so that it´s nearly the truth.
Which other bands are you want to be compared with(if you must be that)?
-We are as you understand really satsified with the groups we´re being compared with, but in the same way we develop all the time as a band and that melting pot we get of the music which is personally inspire us is still trying to find it´s form. That is the most exciting with doing music..
How would you describe your music in three words?
- Guitarbased energyrich huliganpop.
What drives you to play music?
-See the question which bands you want to be compared with. And then it´s fucking fun to play. Do new songs, touring and record in a studio. Some concerts and recordings feels sometimes as a work – as we say sometimes, now we´re going in and “paint the fence” But it´s a fun fence to paint…
Have you done any more records(How can I get it if you have)?
-This is our first fullength and with New Sensation as a singlerelease. Sounds of Subterrenia have released a vinyl-EP in the beginning of last year. The Ep was actually our demo recorded 2000.
Why a german label, don´t it feels wrong to be on a label which isn´t swedish?
-It feels really good to be on SoS. They like us much and we have free hands to do whatever we want. And then they have good dsitro around the world. We haven´t tried with any swedish labels yet, and the swedish indiescene is incredibly small when we talk about resources and maybe it´s better the interest comes from there instead from us.
How does it work? How much does a group like Carnation sell?
-Not so fantastic much, but it have gone better than we thought but not in Sweden even if we have got fantastic reviews here. In Sweden it is a disadvantage to be on a german indielabel instead of a hyped swedish label. The first pressings(1500) is out of order and a second pressing goes on well. The record have precisly been released in Japan and the interest have been big from Japan.
Carnation , it sounds like a metalband, do you have got many comments on that
-No, not actually because fans of For Carnation or Green Carnation haven´t croseed our road. Yet. Or we them.
Gothenburg as a rockcity, what do you think, any good bands, any good places to play and so on?
- Gothenburg have exploded the last years., Stickys Top Floor, Storan and Trädgårn have been scenes for the middlebig bands, which doss that it´s finally comes interesting bands to Gothenburg. That inspires the local band. Hopefully this gives a big breakthrough with time. I don´t want to say that Gothenburg have not got foreward some good bands but I hope the Gothenburgscene grows and get less trendsensitive I don´t have no favoruitescene in Gothenburg, I go where the good bands play – but Sticky have some more visits from me than other places. Good bands from the Gothenburgarea – it´s hard to namedrop but Division Of Laura Lee have done a fantastic record this year De Stijl is former tourfriends and I think that their new record can give them the raise they earn.,
If you could choose fuve bands to do a big conecrt together with Carnation, which five bands would you choose, both alive and dead bands?
-Depeche Mode, Bob Hund, Lee Hazelwood, Jam and Ben Folds Five.
Please rank your five favoruiterecords, five favoruiteconcerts and five most important things in life?
· The Alarm: Declaration
· Posies: Amazing Disgrace
· Hot Hot Heat: Make up the breakdown
· It Bites: Eat me in St. Louis
· Gun: Swagger
· Vodoo Glow Skulls, Hultsfred - 97
· Posies, Pustervik - 00
· Realistics, Mono, Oslo 03
· Living Colour, Cirkus – 93
· The Alarm, Konserthuset Sthlm – 87
It´s difficult to rank important things in life but are you happy so then you have a lot of love, openness and honesty together with family and friends.
First, latest and most expensive record ever bought?
-First– Beatles ”Rock ’n’ roll music Vol 1” (and the other record was surprisingly vol2 some months later). Bought on Domus in Oskarshamn for 39.95:-, The latest was Psychedelic Furs: ”Should God forget”.
The most expensive is a japanrelease of ”New mistake” with Jellyfish. I´m not going to tell you the price.
Most embarrassing record in your collection?
-Elisabeth Andreasson I will have a record with somewhere…..
Is there any record you have bought only for the cover and really believed in and get really disappointed on?
-Supertramps ”Crisis, What Crisis”. Really fantastic cover and the songs will be really objective some of their best songs but I got really disappointed. But I will never sell the record of the same reason why I bought it.
How is a good concert with you?
-A lot of energy, short and intensive gigs. We´re really good at stage , I had really liked us …
How does your audience look like, which style of people comes to your concerts?
-I think the audience is really mixed, both kids and those who have their roots and references in new wave music.
If I say the following Blåvitt is disco , GAIS is rock n roll, what do you say then?
-Christian is bluewhite to his soul, Eric says that he supports GAIS but we wonder in the truth in that. Mads have designed this years ÖIS-stuff…I don´t know,we really divided in that question and the discussions don´t lead to something.I´m supporting Stoke…
Can you imagine to be on a tributerecord or a record for something good that you believe in?
-No serious proposal haven´t coming yet, but if it is the right thing so..
Futureplans for the band?
-Right now we have a little vacation and we do some gigs. And then a germantour in september/october and then after that some gig in England. And then we write new material that we hope we can put on an Ep this autumn. And that wants SoS us to do so we can do a new tour in Europe after that. We have got some proposals from a Japanese company to release an album only for in Japan. We will see what happens, but now it very inspiring.
-No, I will continue to do my employer happy for some more time and show myself there sometime. The rest of the time I´m putting on the band.
- Let’s go do what happens
Something to add?
-Good questions! A little bit more than the usual style. I´m really naïve and love listing things …