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Interview with A Swarm Of The Sun | «We like music that pushes the boundaries and doesn't settle for the common ground»



Several years ago, you created a duo that would change many people's lives. Which were your inspirations in order to follow the path of "post rock" genre?

Jakob: There's obviously a lot of post-rock in our music, though I wouldn't say that it's an especially deliberate choice. It's not like we ever set out to pursue any specific genre. I personally like music that pushes the boundaries and doesn't settle for the common ground, which at least initially seemed like the whole purpose of what is generally called post-rock. Look at bands like Mogwai or Godspeed You! Black Emperor. They are both legends in the genre, but they sound nothing alike and have been experimenting like hell. They have both been building their own unique spaces without much care for expectations. I'm inspired by that. That consistent confidence in your own music. In the end we just try to write music that rings true and honest to ourselves.


Since you created this band, did you have any insight that your music would speak to the heart of "post rock genre" fans? What were your thoughts?

Jakob: It's amazing when people connect to what we do. We don't really think about reception or an audience when we write. For years, we put ourselves in this focused and creative space where there's just us two and the people we collaborate with. So when we finally release something it's easy to get somewhat overwhelmed by the response. So many people get in touch, shares our music, show their appreciation and supports us in countless ways. We are so thankful and love you all. It makes it so much easier to keep going

I observed that your band family grew by 4 more musicians. Were you in need for more inspiration or creativity?

Erik: We've always had other musicians contributing on our albums. Anders (Bass) and Karl Daniel (Drums) have both been playing with us pretty much since the start and have had a huge influence on our sound, but we've also had a range of other contributors on our albums playing instruments such as the cello, viola, didgeridoo, vibraphone and pipe organ. Being only two of us in the band we need to go into every single detail with most instruments by ourselves. This, of course, gives you control to shape the songs exactly as you want in every detail, but there's also a limitation with writing something for an instrument you don't really master. Once you have someone else performing this instrument based on the early sketches we've composed, it pretty much always ends up being far better that we'd ever imagined. It does without doubt inspire our songwriting, and most of all makes the writing process less predictable.


Your music sends chills to my spine and I must admit that your very last album is my everyday pill of happiness. What was your inspiration for that masterpiece?

Erik: Thank you! With our previous album "The Rifts" we found a mood that we feel very comfortable with. So, when we started writing "The Woods" that's right where we started off. The difference with this album was that we wanted it to take it's time and fully demand the listener's attention. But we've of course had plenty of inspirations over the years reaching up to this album. We often discuss in terms of references when we write our music, and names that often come up and that with no doubt have had an influence on this album are bands such as: Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Swans, Wolves In The Throne Room, Mono, Year of No Light, Nick Cave & Warren Ellis and Sweden's very own and brilliant Anna Von Hausswolff.

Since your first EP "The King of Everything" in 2007, there has been a three – year gap until 2010. What happened then? Were you creating the next album "Zenith"?

Erik: At that time, I spent a lot of time rehearsing and playing live with my other band Aoria, which meant that A Swarm of the Sun came second. I think it was around 2008 when Aoria disbanded that we started working on "Zenith".


I suppose that your lyrics in every single part of your music are more than real, they are actually chilling. Are they inspired by the fragments of life?

Jakob: Thank you! I try to be as honest as I possibly can, without being too specific. There has to be a certain level of abstraction. Something that allows for interpretation and lets the listener fill in the gaps with their own experiences. True connection is made in the emotional subtext rather than specific subject matters. Because that stuff exists in everybody, so everyone can relate in their own way.

Will you stay faithful to your current genre of music or do you consider adding parts from other genres?

Erik: I'm quite certain that people who enjoy what we've done so far will feel familiar with what we do in the future. With that said, we always strive to do something new for each album. Whether it's the way we record the music or how we limit the choice of instruments or the structure of the album. We always set out a theme and a vision as for each album before we start composing. This stays true throughout the process, but each time there's something new that to us defines that album. For "The Rifts" it was the use of the piano for each song we wrote, and for "The Woods" it's been the use of ambience, and allowing the silent parts to be as important as the heavier parts. We're already playing around with ideas for what will define our next album..


Last but not least, do you consider an upcoming show anytime soon in Athens, Greece? Your fans will be more than pleased to read your answer.

Erik: We'd love to play Athens! We have a new live setup for the band, and we're playing shows in Sweden as well as Dunk Festival in Belgium this year, and we're discussing a few other shows outside of Sweden. If the opportunity would arise for a show in Athens we'll do our best to make it.

Would you like to send a message to your Greek fans? What would you say to them?

Jakob: Thank you so much for all your support. You are beautiful and we love you more than you will ever know.



Chris Mouskos, Milena Vlassopoulou


Black Velvet Radio

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