By Rosine Alleva, Journalist/Photographer–Rock At Night France
A great moment chatting with the Swedish rock band!
Venue: Woodstock Guitares, Ensisheim, France- September 2017
If you ever want to see a charismatic and great frontman, go to a Dust Bowl Jokies concert ! You better brace yourself !!! ALEXX and his musicians will take you to an adventure that goes from naught to sixty before you’ll know it. Welcome to their world! I absolutely loved it !!!
Lineup: Alexx- Vocals, percussions/ Freddan -Bass/ Action-drums, percussions, Nicke & Tell – Guitars
RAN– The band exists since 2011, how did you meet and set-up this lineup?
ALEXX– It’s like in a house, where people have known each other like…forever. We were playing in different bands, I think we were tired of playing with them.
ACTION– It was more stripped down blues, acoustic guitars, stripped down drum kits. Then we played together once. It was more blues, rock’roll, jazzy stuff. We were playing for fun but it was too much fun. So we decided to quit with the other bands and started playing together.
ALEXX– We realized we were better than the bands we were playing with before….
RAN– Are you all from Kristianstad or Solvesbörg in south Sweden? I read about both towns.
ALEXX– We’re all from Solvesbörg, The two towns are very close.
RAN– Tell me about your first Album Cockaigne Vaudeville released in 2013, it sounds like “Cocaine”(?)
ALEXX– It has nothing to do with it all. It’s like an imaginary, a fairy tale world, in the medieval times. It’s about living your dreams and do whatever you want in this world. Water is Wine, you can eat directly from the pigs, everything is fine at all times. It’s also about sex, people can have sex with each other and everything is just nice. It’s like a rock’n’roll garden of Eden! (Laughs).
RAN– How did you react with the big success of the single ‘Boots On Rocks Off` ? It was on radio in US, UK’, France, Italy and everywhere in Scandinavia!
ALEXX– It was a surprise, everything happened very fast. Ever since, we recorded an album, we had a lot of shows, toured a lot in Sweden, some shows in UK…how do you react?…
ACTION– You get awarded somehow. You put a lot of time and effort in making songs you like but you also want other people to like. And it’s a great feeling when you get to know that other people like it.
ALEXX– Award is a pretty nice word. You feel that someone else appreciates what you’re doing.
RAN– What did you want to express with your last album Dust Bowl jokies 2016
ALEXX– I think we were tired of the new bands from the rock scene, we wanted to create something a bit different from what we did before but also from other bands. We wanted to explore other influences, music styles.
ACTION– I think we were pretty happy with the first album but we wanted something better produced, with a bigger sound. Music wise, we tried, as we always do, to find influences from lot of stuff and then bring it together in some of rock n’roll way. Cause we really like and enjoy other cultures, we listen to lots of weird stuff. At the end, we all like rock’roll and that where it comes down to.
RAN– What about the crowdfunding you made for a video from one of the titles from the new album, was it Borderland?
DBJ– No, it wasn’t, it was Lulu. No, it wasn’t Lulu….it was the second single. We did so many videos….(Laughs).
ACTION– We first did a campaign for the new album and that’s when we did the crowdfunding. The video for Lulu was already done, the crowdfunding money went to the Moon hanger groove.
RAN– Yes, you made already other videos, so why a crowdfunding for this one, was it a test or really for money?
ALEXX– Well, you know when you’re a new band, you spend a lot of money touring, we didn’t get many fees, we spent it on gear, promotion…so yeah, it was for the money. We really needed to have 4 videos.
ACTION– It was great, like what happened with ‘Boots On Rocks Off’ on the radio…
All the fans who participated, you don’t realize it until you get it in the face ! And that’s very important cause otherwise we wouldn’t have been able to do all what we’ve done.
RAN– What happened between 2011 and 2013, why did you wait so long to release your first album?
NICKE– We had no bass player ! (laughs). We couldn‘t find a decent bass player (laughs).
ACTION– We spent the first year writing and recording songs. We wanted to be as good as possible. Then we recorded a single without bass player. It was the producer who played bass on it. We then found Freddan, we had the first show and we started recording the first album instantly the same summer.
NICKE– We did a single before the album. The record was already released in Sweden and rest of Scandinavia in 2012.
ALEXX– It was re-issued in France. I never heard or even seen the new version though, and there are two songs more on it. Maybe I can buy one here in France!
RAN– What are your new projects?
ACTION– We’re actually in between recording sessions right now in Sweden. It will be hopefully released next spring.
ALEXX– That’s the plan. The plan is that the record will be even more groovy, more bluesy I guess, back to the roots.
RAN– I was gonna ask you about your influences?
ALEXX– Well, this one will be more bluesy, more old school Rolling Stones, more dusty and no glam at all.
ACTION– Again, we brought many different influences in the songs. We’re tired of people calling us sleaze cause we never wanted to be sleaze. I guess we became it anyway . It’s not that we don’t like sleaze rock but that’s not stuff we aim to do.
FREDDAN– I think it’s a lot of the Swedish music scene as well, in Stockholm.
RAN– Who writes lyrics and how do you choose the subjects?
ALEXX– I do. The subjects are often realistic, about things I’ve done, I’ve lived, I try to mix reality with a twist. Well, that’s what I try to do at least (laughs).
ACTION– The way I see his lyrics, when you first hear it, it’s like fiction but then, when you dig into it, it’s fiction but there is a real story behind it.
RAN– I read your lyrics have intelligent metaphors and a high level of observation!!
ALEXX– Wow cool! When I listen to other bands sometimes, and the lyrics are not interesting,it doesn’t have any reason, it’s like an insult to me. This is something I try to avoid, and keep interesting lyrics.
RAN– TELL is your new guitar player. What happened to the ex guitarist Victor who left after recording the second album?
ALEXX– Actually we recorded the second album and pretty much out of the blue, he felt that this is not what he wanted to do. He wanted to do something else in his life
NICKE– We were at the crossroads, we wanted to put more time in it, do this for real. I think he felt he didn’t want to get on that bus.
ACTION– He spoke about the hard work, it takes a lot of time and in some way, it can take the fun out of it. And I think that’s what happened. But we found TELL who joined us now !
RAN-Thanks for this interesting interview and looking forward to hearing your new album next spring !
From Belgian and Italian parents, I grew up with music, dance and big fun! I love singing since I'm a little girl, I still am, haha. When I was 14, I saw my first concert: T-Rex. Later it was FrankZappa, Miles Davis, Chick Corea, Fela, Canned Heat, Little Feat, Bonnie Raitt, Earth, Wind and Fire ....
I dreamed to have a chat with each of them 😀 Before interviewing bands, I used to sing (and still do) and met lots of great musicians. I had the chance to be the support band to Joe Cocker in 2007. I love to communicate and meet people (Italian blood).
Working for magazine, a few years ago, l met José Oliveira! We were working at the same festival in Colmar. 2 people from the South with the same passion just recognized each other...and we stayed in contact since then. Here I am! Enjoying concerts, covering interviews and articles with José for Rock at Night!!