Interview with Kiethevez
we are pleased to have in our interviews section BR Jörgen from the Swedish band KietheVezes: welcome to you! What relationship do you have with Italy? First question: professionally, what impression have you about Italy? which feedback have you received from our country in relation of your music?
> Thank you, nice to do this interview with an italian magazine! As a kid I spent the summers in Italy since my parents had friends there. One good memory I have from Italy is that we some time in the early ninetees received some sort of toplist from some (small I think) italian radio station where I think our song was number two and number one was Madonna and number three was Michael Jackson I think... Impressive competition in that days...
But really, I don't think we get that much feedback from Italy in general.
you were officially formed in 1991 but your first artistic steps started in the distant 1986, influenced by the first "electro-wave." which aspect are professionally grown during all these years in the KtV? Which other stylistic elements instead you changed?
> Well I think I have the same ideas about song writing as I had in 1986, a seeking for melancholic melodies that can reflect our states of mind. But, when it comes to arrangements and production I think that we have somewhat grown more in phase with the music society in all. The arrangements is where we have grown as a band I think.
What stylistically unites the debut album "Three empty Words" of 1994 to the most recent "Non-binary of 2008?" In this latest release, in my opinion, your sound had become more melancholic and deeper than once...
> Yes I agree, "Non-binary" is more melancholic. However I think there are many similarities. I remember the way I wrote songs for "Three Empty Words" and I don't think I write that differently now. A bit better, I hope.
I am literally in love with a specific song included in "Non-binary, I mean "Non Compos Mentis". I find this song very melodic, captivating, full of meaning and incredibly well-constructed by arrangements that capture at the first listen. Tell us how you did this song and how you developed it until its total completion.
> Interesting that you mention that song. I loved that song in the demo version, I thought that it really had the right feeling and I had very high hopes for the final version. However I was somewhat disapointed with the final version, I thought it lost much of the exciting elements it had on the demo. When I listen to it today I can more see beyond this and I also think it is a great song.
It started as a usual collaboration between me and Per-Henrik, I wrote it in a first demo version and then it had some guitars on it as well. I think it was Per-Henrik that when he first heard it said "this should be a synthetic song". So, Per-Henrik rearranged the bass and drums and then we arranged the rest together. On "Non-binary" we had a thought that Jesper should write all the lyrics in order for him to feel more for the words since they would be his own, so Jesper then wrote the lyrics. On the other albums I have written the lyrics for my songs myself.
"Opium" of 1998 has been named at the epoch as the third good album to the SAMA (Swedish Alternatives Music Awards). In which measure this important recognition has contributed to increase the prestige of the KtV inside the European electro music circuit?
> I don't really know. Ofcourse its very flattering for us to get awards, but I don't know if people around Europe really cared about that. If someone discovered us by that, then it is great, of course.
Artistically, how did you spend the time that separates "Non-binary from these recent months of 2011?
> We started the work of the fortcoming album directly after the release of Non-binary. That album was such a long process for us so we really felt that we needed to get another one out much faster. The song writing for Non-binary started in 1999, so we really feel we need to be faster this time.
We have not done any live shows with Non-binary, sadly we have not prioritized that, it is always a lot of work to put a live concept together.
In your opinion, how do you rate the current situation of the alternative music, and more specifically, that one around the European electro scene?
> I have to admit I'm not totally in sync with the european electro scene. I write more music than I listen to others. Its a pity though, I probably miss a lot of inspiring music.
Talking about your immediate future: I know you're now in the studio for the creation of a new album, right? At what point is now your next full-length? How long must we wait before its official release?
> I guess we have written half of the songs. But the release will be at least a year away. We try to be much faster this time, but some things take time.
Have you thought about its title and its supporting label?
> No title suggestions yet. About label, that is something we have to deal with later. The music industry is changing so fast these days so it has been totally different situations at the time for every album release.
There will be substantial differences between the excellent "Non-binary" and the newcoming relase?
> It seems right now at least as the newcoming release will be more electronic than "Non-binary", a bit back to the roots.
Time or money? For a band, which of these two elements hinders more today the realization of a stdio-album?
> I have to say that these days it is time. I don't think anyone can blame their performances on lack of expensive equiment, perhaps 20 years ago you could. We all do other things on the side and we don't even live in the same parts of the world anymore, we live in Sweden, London and Singapore. For us the natural place to meet up has been in London. But, we don't really know yet where we will do the finalization of the album.
What special ingredients needs an album to be interesting and enjoyable?
> Oh, I wish I knew, then I would do it every time! I guess you could either do something very good or something very innovative and best of all, the two all together. Something we often talk about as a band is "friction", a song must not sound to "good", there must be some parts that in a way work against the harmonies, otherwise it will not be interesting.
During all these years, my work as observer of the electro scene allowed me to see the born of a lot of artists, many of them really good and many others considerably less. Yet, among the valid ones, several of them became extinct after one or two albums at the most. Which are the main causes of the end of a band? Where Kiethevez draw the energies and the strategies to remain always in the scene?
> I think we all have different strengths that make a good combination. And we also have had long breaks in order to not get to tired of eachother. I think we never have felt that we have reached our full potential, there is always that perfect album around the corner.
Is the ultimate goal of Kiethevez to reach one day the fame of "pop stars", or playing music is for you only an expression driven by the passion, without aiming at targets too ambitious?
> We have done this for 25 years now, Kiethevez has been a band for 20 years. I think we realized many years ago we would not get rich or famous doing this. However I think we have very high ambitions regarding the quality of our work, so of course we are driven by our passion to this.
And now, thanking you BR Jörgen for giving us your time, I ask you also to offer us a personal dedication!
> Of course! We think Italy is a wonderful country, if we get to tour with the new album we would very much like to play in Italy, that is something we still have not done.