Mikael Wiehe

-en augustikväll 2011


Mikael Wiehe have always been around in my life and even if I not always have listened to him so have I done now wand then. Nowadays Iīm an owner to the most of this records and itīs some of them left which I will invest in. I saw Hoola Bandoola Band tuesday 9th of august and two days after that he calls me up for an interview.  

I start to thank Mikael for the concert this Tuesday and tells him about my experience and the chaos afterwards where they sold their records because I had my thoughts of buying a box with him but it was too much people there so I didnīt do that and I went home instead. He tells me that they sold 200 records and that is really good if you think about Cd-sellings today. Some of the older ladies was really wild. – But older ladies isnīt always so old as you think says Mikael with a little bit laugh in his voice.

My first question to Mikale is about why he started with music but he says to me to go to the his biography and tha can I understand because he have surely answered questions about that a hundred times but he tells me anyway that he started to play the piano when he was 7, he got his first guitar from his father when he was 10 and started to play altsaxophone when he was 17. And then he played jazzmusic between the years 63-67 and then he was between 17-21 years old. And then he started to play the guitar again and that lead to the band Hoola Bandoola Band and that was 1970 and Mikael have become 24 years old. He had parents which was very into music and he was very interested in music himself. I wonder if he never had have a “real” work and then tells me Mikael ;-First I went to school and then I was into university and then I worked as teacher in swedish for foreign people some years. 1973 when I was 27 years old I become a professional musican and have been that since then. Iīm enjoying it and have had really fun during these years. Iīm satisfied

With Hoola Bandoola Band the politics came into the music in another way that it was when he played jazz. I wonder where his political engagement comes from and he tells me that he was so lucky that he became 22 years old the year of 1968 and that year was a year which really was a big year for him and that was there the engagement in politics came from. That it came from his home as I thought it wasnīt right but Mikaels father was active in the Danish resistantmovement during the second world war but he was a liberal. And on his mother side they were right wing so Mikael became more influenced of what happened in his own time than he became from the family. It wasnīt any revolt and he thinks that he understood the world through the politics so much better than he had done before. I wonder if it was more easy to be angry back in the old days than today…- I think itīs much easier to be angry today. I think the world have become a worser place the latest 30 years. Under the newliberal era have we came to a situation where people are judged after their economic success.  That is the newliberals  and now we can see how it have gone with the communitysolidarity and the nature. I mean that we see a crisis and the newliberal order starts to fall apart and that is shown with the economical crisis. Itīs also shown with the national revolts and that Iīm happy to see. I donīt mean that I wish that people get their houses burn downed but when the politicans donīt canīt govern the land and the politics go out on the streets so will it be uncontrolled. Then thereīs a lot of hooligans which comes and do stupid things and thatīs not good but the reason is that so many people in the world have been marginalised. I think thatīs why the extreme right wing movement have been bigger. Many people are being marginalised and will not feel that they have a home in the community. Then they look after people to do to scapegoats and then it can be gypsies, jews, muslims or black people. It have to do with the economical politics that they have which marginalise big groups.

Mikael thinks that an young person who will be working political first of all shall be engaged to their nearbypeople and start to build up a community. If it will be with help from the socialdemocrats or the right wing because Mikael donīt think that it can be done in a newliberal community and he think that the people who have supported the new liberals is out of date and he thinks also that it have been gone much into the socialdemocrats too. But he thinks that it will be a peoples base to change to something better. It can be blockcommunities or something in the school or to be working for the union and he cannot say what is best to engage themselves in. But to be engaged is a qualification says Mikael. -  Itīs important as a human being to be engaged. Are you a conductor on the tram if there is any of them left so can you be working in the union and at home you can talk with your neighbours and as an artist you can talk from the stage. You maybe get a bigger crowd as an artist, There is different people who thinks different things, some are engaged in the environment , other people are engaged in the starving in Africa. Everything is good outside yourself because we are one humanity together.

Mikael canīt really decide if there is a anger for an artist to ”lock” himself into something political. For him is the politics important and itīs a part of him as a person. And then it becomes a part of  him as an artist. It have been a disadvantage for his career but he havenīt any idea about that fact and isnīt interested of that either. The first reunion of Hoola Bandoola Band was 1996 and then it was 20 years since they had quit playing together and now itīs 15 years more since they quit playing and therefore they did another round with the band. I checked out the movie På Väg from 1996 with the band this Saturday and that was a good movie and there was Björn Afzelius “acting” too. The reason that they did a reunion this time was because itīs fun and hadnīt they did it now it never have became reality again he thinks. He think itīs good to play the songs and itīs fun to play with these musicans too. And thereīs still an audience for HBB asays Mikael. It was lucky for me that I went to Liseberg and saw the group because Mikael doesnīt think it will happen again that they play together. Mikaels own favourite among the HBB records is Vem kan man lita på or maybe the first one says he after some thinking but he think itīs very hard to rank records that way. They did some English songs too and theyīre on the box which they released 1996. – Those songs we can see as some sort of prestudy. You can really much hear both Beatles and The band on those songs. It becomes more own when it is in Swedish.  

When you politically active on the left side so is it maybe a little bit naughty to sell records and be too commercial. But Mikaels doesnīt see any divergency to sell records and do music as you like. But if you do music which you not like just to sell canīt be so fun as he says . But that have never Mikael done and he have been having fun all the time.  Me myself I come from the punkmovement and in the beginning of that so was it so that you could not earn any money on punk and the progressive movement doesnīt it so far away from that, Mikael doesnīt see is at any compromise and he doesnīt see any problems with selling records. – But of course if youīre twenty you donīt have any you must provide.

 Mikaels relation to punk is that he knows Joakim Thåström and more punk you will not be. Heīs the generation before punk as he says and he gives me a little historylecture about generations and you use to say that it comes a new generation every seventh year. You could see on Liseberg that it is very mixed in the audience which comes to Hoola Bandoolas concerts nowadays and it is Mikaels own generation and itīs my generation and it is the younger generation. Björn Afzelius used to say that he played in front of three generations but Mikael says that he plays in front of four generations. Itīs a little bit scaring that the lyrics is still actual but Mikael doesnīt agree with me about that fact because you can think another way. – Iīm happy that I have written songs which have so long lasting. But it would have been good in another way if the lyrics hadnīt be so actual.  

A new song with  Hoola Bandoola Band came on the new compilation with the band but now it doensīt become any more new songs with Hoola Bandoola Band. His own solocareer started 1978 and it was with the record Sjömansvisor where the most wellknown song is Titanic. All his records is released on CD and he have all his record with him when he is out and play. He have released a box with 16 records and some unreleased material and an heavy book but itīs absolutely not everything he hadnīt released which is on the box but there is the thingīs that he think had the highest quality which is on the box and there is a lot of songs and unreleased material which he didnīt let come on the box. It depends how much down in the tray you should dig. The record is expensive to send but you can get it on ETC website for 999 and Mikael himself sells it on his website for 1100. 7000 copies is done and 2000 is still left. To write lyrics now and back in time is a little bit different. –I think that in the beginning it was more spontaneus and they come foreward without so much effort, says Mikael and continues, now itīs more deliberately work. But it doesnīt prevent that I can get an idea to a song, I can still be inspired. I know how to get it ready more which is both good and bad. The energy and the spontaneity which you had when you was 25 had a power and a vitality which isnīt so obvious in the songs I write today.   

He hadnīt have any period where he could imagine that it was hard to write songs but when het hinks about it he maybe had two years where it was a little bit more difficult to write songs than usual. Bu the think itīs floating on good now and that it always had. Mikael have a lot of things going on and he would be in the new TV-serie Så Mycket Bättre and there they release a CD from that show. He will be releasing an own best-of double CD and a new record and then it becomes a long tour next spring. He havenīt any thought of being a senior citizen yet and that hadnīt Anders F Rönblom either. Many artists which we didnīt thought will be in the Eurovision Song Contest have been there and it was actually an young girl which phoned him up and ask him to sing a duet with him but Mikael said no. I am anyway really thankful that heīs not will be taking part in The Eurovision Contest. He have sold a whole lot of record through all times and the one which have sold the most is the record together with Björn Afzelius which came out 1986 and it have sold in so much as 400000 – And then I sold 100.000 many years and after that it became 50000 in many yeas but nowadays you donīt sell so much but the latest have sold 20000 and itīs really good.  

Downloading is something which makes Mikael a little bit dark in his sense and het hink it is stealth of his work and he never think itīs positive. He think it is good that the music is available but to not pay for someone elses work he doesnīt like. He think his music is available on Spotify but there you donīt earn so much. 200 swedish krona for 1 million downloads jokes Mikael. He donīt know the exact numbers what you earn there but extremely little is it anyway. – I earned some of my money on selling records but I donīt really do that anymore. I donīt really know what to do and itīs no help of grumbling and itīs hard to put moralic aspects on it because can you do it you do it. Everyone but me. I wait and see what will happens. I think it is this way because the musicbusiness isnīt the one which is most affected because it is the moviebusiness. Just because of the fact that american moviecompanys lose so much money on free downloading so do I think it is going to happen something soon.  So I sit down and relax.  

Mikael think itīs fun to meet the audience after concerts and sell records och it feels like Mikael is a person which is really down to earth. He have always been doing things he wanted to do and very little things that he have been ”forced” to do. He have got the chance to choose both musically and politically. And private heīs very satsified with his choices. A very nice little talk goes to itīs end and Mikael Wiehe have become an even bigger artist in my eyes after this interview.