"One secret for you: We are more nerds than you think" - Mando Diao im Interview - britishrock.cc
 
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"One secret for you: We are more nerds than you think" - Mando Diao im Interview
05.11.2007
„You are in safe hands, ‘cause you are with Mando Diao“ – dies war Gustaf Norens Botschaft an alle Hörer, die bei der Radio Session im Radiokulturhaus nicht dabei sein konnten. Da war man gerade mittendrin im Schwedenrock, der Schweiß tropfte bereits ganz ordentlich. Am Ende kam es sogar soweit, dass zwei Fünftel der Band zur Zugabe mit nacktem Oberkörper erschienen (netter Beatles-Gitarrengurt, Herr Dixgard!).

Was trotz all der Attitüde hinsichtlich des besonderen Events etwas unpassend erschien, gefiel den Fans. So sehr, dass zum kurzen Zugabenblock die vorderen Reihen wirklich ganz nach vorne stürmten – immerhin ergab sich so die Chance, dem dynamischen Duo Noren/Dixgard in etwa bis auf einen Meter zu nähern.

Mando Diao sehen sich – nicht völlig zu Unrecht – als Rock’n’roll-Band durch und durch. Dies bewiesen sie bei der FM4 Radio Session eindrücklich. Dies hatte jedoch wiederum zur Folge, dass die Angelegenheit fast ein wenig enttäuschend war. Gerade zu diesem Anlass hätte man sich ein paar sicherlich interessante Neuinterpretationen bekannter Songs gewünscht.

Und was gab es? Auf ein viel versprechendes Intro (besser kam das Streicherquartett nicht mehr zur Geltung), welches die Spannung merklich schürte, folgte halt die gewohnte Ladung Live-Power: „God knows“, „Down in the past“ und wie sie nicht alle heißen, die Evergreens. Selbst „Ochrasy“ sicherlich einer der Höhepunkte des Abends, war durch und durch elektrisch und wurde geradezu pompös aufgeblasen.

Eine wahrlich anmutige Atmosphäre vermochte man jedoch nur mit „Never seen the light of day“ zu erzeugen, dem Titeltrack des aktuellen Albums. Hier wurde endlich die Akustikklampfe ausgepackt, um so richtig bearbeitet zu werden. Abgesehen davon bestimmten aber eher die eigenen Gewohnheiten die Szenerie als kreative Einfälle und speziell für diesen Abend einstudierte Variationen.

Gerade ein Song vom teils sehr akustisch, phasenweise ungewohnt orchestral dominierten neuen Werk hätte die Kraft gehabt, für wirklich unvergessliche Momente zu sorgen. „One blood“ ist auf eine gewisse Art und Weise das Beste, was jemals von Mando Diao kam. Ein epochaler, keineswegs jedoch schmalziger Song, der einen mit wohligem Unbehagen erfüllt. Eingeleitet wie die Hintergrundmusik zum Duell im Italowestern, bahnt sich das fast sieben Minuten lange Stück unaufhaltsam seinen Weg – voll von eindringlichen Schreien, Rhythmusspielereien und einem Refrain, der keinen kalt lässt.

So bleibt nur zu hoffen, dass „One blood“ irgendwann einen würdigen Platz erhält – sei es als traditioneller Abschluss von Mando Diao-Konzerten oder als Titelsong eines blutigen B-Movies (basierend auf den von FM4-Hörern entworfenen Filmplakaten, welche wiederum durch Mando Diao-Songtitel inspiriert wurden).

Die Tage werden kürzer und die Nächte länger. Kälte zieht in unser Land, der Sommer ist definitiv vorbei. Mit dem Zunehmen der Kälte hier zu Lande, scheinen unsere „Lieblingsarroganzler“ von Mando Diao aufzutauen. Mit ihrem kürzlich erschienen vierten Album „Never seen the light of day“ verstauen die fünf Musiker aus Borlänge ihren Lederjackensound im Schrank und greifen auf ein traditionelles Klangbild zurück. Schwedischer Folkrock mit Jazz und HipHop- Einflüssen stehen nun auf der musikalischen Speisekarte von Mando Diao. Als verlockendes Tagesangebot gibt es Geigensound in Hülle und Fülle, gänzlich ungewöhnlich und doch sehr stimmig.

Der Soundwechsel und das Ablegen ihrer Aggressivität tun den Musikern allerdings sehr gut und so ist das neue Album nicht weniger aufregend als die letzten drei.

Mit dem frisch gepressten Album im Gepäck gastierten Mando Diao am 30. Oktober im Wiener Radiokulturhaus, um für die FM4- Radiosession bei wunderbar- heimeliger Stimmung ein Set mit vielen verschiedenen Facetten zum Besten zugeben. Mit einigen Streichern und Blasinstrumenten verfeinert, wurden neue Songs sowie Klassiker alá „Down in the Past“ oder „Long before Rock and Roll“, ganz zur Begeisterung der Fans dargebracht.

Die Energie floss von der Band zum Publikum und wieder zurück. So wie die fünf Schweden es in ihrem neuen Song „One Blood“ besingen, werden Band und Zuschauer zu einem grandiosen Ganzen.

Mando Diao können, egal was sie auch machen, wirklich nicht enttäuschen- wer auf sie setzt hat auf jeden Fall schon gewonnen.

Ich traf Björn Dixgard und Carl- Johan Fogelklou alias CJ vor ihrem Auftritt in ihrer Suite zu einem Interview und durfte mich über das neue Album, ihren Plattenlabelwechsel und die anstehende Solotour von Björn Dixgard aus erster Hand informieren.

britishrock.cc: Your 4th album, “Never seen the light of day” is very different compared to all the other albums. It is less aggressive and there are no dirty Rock ´n´ Roll tunes on it anymore. Is this record a “Farewell- Record” of the old Mando Diao and at the same time a starting short for a whole new image?

CJ: This album is a very good example of our development of this young aggressive band becoming a little bit more grown- up. It is a necessary change for us, because without this change we would have stopped being Mando Diao. We needed something else to keep going. If you do the same thing over and over again you get tired of it.

Björn: Yeah, you get tired of it. We always had this music in us and it was time for it to bring it out. I don´t know what will happen in the future. I think we could as well go back to play more aggressive music- we don´t plan things like that. The next record could be our hardest record but I don´t really know yet. We see our music as documents and this is how we are right now. Tomorrow we could be something different.

britishrock.cc: While the last song on your last album is “Ochrasy”(note: a word they created to explain their life while touring), this last song on your new album is called “Dalarna” (note: the territory in Sweden where Mando Diao grew up, the home of the Mando Diao sound). Did Mando Diao leave the world of Ochrasy and finally arrive at the serious world- did you grow up?

Björn: No, I think Ochrasy is still there. We are still energetic and aggressive in many ways, that hasn´t changed. It is just for one record- we haven´t changed our whole lifestyle. Ochrasy is there forever.

CJ: The Ochrasy life is something you can not escape from. Ochrasy is how this life works for us and you can not change that.

Björn: It is just good to have a word for our way of living, Ochrasy sounds that up.

CJ: We would not go on stage at 10 am and have lunch afterwards. We will always have these late shows and then go and have a beer after the gig. We still undergo a lot of strange situations.

britishrock.cc: While touring, have you tried to play some of your new songs live to prepare your audience for the new sound?

CJ: We have played “Never seen the light of day” and “If I don´t live today, then I might be here tomorrow”. Quite recently we did the song “Gold”.

Björn: Today we will play more songs, like “Train of Fire” and “Dalarna”.

britishrock.cc: I can imagine that it is pretty hard to perform the new Mando Diao songs without an orchestra.

Björn: Yeah, that is why we will do a small tour probably next year. Then it will be with all these 18 musicians who played on the record. It is really an album you don´t want to make in a different way.

britishrock.cc: With you growing up also your audience will change. Are you prepared for this?

Björn: I think the concerts will still be the same. It is still about songs that come from our hearts, they are just presented in another costume. I think we play music in the same way we always did, we just recorded it in a different way this time.

britishrock.cc: You are going to change your record-label. Did your disfavour for EMI- Records also influence the fast release of the new album?

Björn: No, not really if you think about it. Maybe somewhere back in our mind there is a slight thing of that; but we are no businessmen, so!

CJ: Songs just appear and if you feel like recording an album you just do it.


"Ochrasy is there forever"

britishrock.cc: But Björn, I read that you said it was better to end the relation with EMI sooner than later.

Björn: Yeah of course! It doesn´t matter if they are good or bad. We just want to move forward. Maybe we go back to the same label or maybe we start somewhere else-but it is always good to be free.

britishrock.cc: Do you know where you will switch to?

Björn: No, we have not started thinking about these things yet. I guess we will find something soon. This is all about EMI- Sweden and not about anybody else.

CJ: EMI- Austria has nothing to do with this for instance; they are doing their job very well. It has been kind of rough in Sweden, they have mistreated us. But we are still a good band, so we get over it.

Björn: We are not bitter, we just make music. That has always been the way to solve our problems- with music instead of going to court.

britishrock.cc: “One Blood” is such an amazing song. Who wrote it?

Björn: Gustaf mostly. We write all the songs together, but that one is mostly written by Gustaf.

britishrock.cc: What is this song about?

Björn: It is about us and our audience. We become one blood when we play live, it is a whole thing. But there are a lot more deep thoughts in it than just this.

CJ: That song has probably the most modern sound in our music right now. I think “One Blood” is something no one else has done before.

Björn: One friend of mine said that hearing “One Blood” is like hearing “Wild Thing” or “Purple Haze”(note: Songs by Jimi Hendrix) for the first time. It is something that feels really new.

britishrock.cc: Björn, during our interview in June at the Novarock- Festival you told me already about your upcoming Solotour. While your bandmates stay at home with their friends and families, you are going on tour alone. Are you kind of restless?

Björn: Well I am a restless person but I am doing it for Mando Diao in many ways. I also wanted to do something different and it is only 2 ½ weeks of being alone. We do not want to end this group or anything like that.

britishrock.cc: Due to your blog on MySpace and the letter from Samuel (note: drummer) on your homepage, it is very clear that you are not going to end Mando Diao.

Björn: Some people do think we are going to split, but it is not true at all.

britishrock.cc: I read in an interview that you don´t want to show only a new side of Mando Diao, but also another side of yourself. Do you want to lay down a bit of your aloofness?

Björn: Well, I feel very close to my audience all the time. I feel completely into the gigs.

CJ: If you are standing in front of a huge audience, it is kind of hard to let people see that you are in the same mood as the audience.

Björn: But I always enjoy playing in smaller clubs.

britishrock.cc: Are you a bit nervous going on tour alone now, being the only frontman with no Gustaf next to you?

Björn: Dead nervous! But it is good as well because that will bring new energy for Mando Diao.

Mando Diao admire a Fan's handiwork

britishrock.cc: CJ, are you going to see a show?

CJ: I hope so!

britishrock.cc: Are you coming to Vienna?

CJ: Maybe, I haven´t thought about it yet.

Björn: They don´t want to tell me when they are going to come.

britishrock.cc: So it is a surprise. But you are inviting guests on stage. Whom do you bring to Vienna?

Björn: My sister! She plays in a duo called “Twinflower Band” and CJ and I are working on that project at the moment. We help recording their first record. She is older than me- she is 32 and has been writing songs longer than I am.

britishrock.cc: Sounds exciting. Are you also going to perform Gustaf´s songs as well?

Björn: Yeah, I perform Mando Diao songs and I perform the songs he is singing as well.

britishrock.cc: The Song “Dalarna” conveys a very special feeling when I am listening to it. Is it a sort of “love declaration” to your home?

Björn: In a way it is. We became more nature-romantic people. When we are on tour we only see dirty clubs, dirty halls, dirty bars, dirty tour busses and dirty people. You really appreciate trees and good nature. Around Borlänge is a lot of good nature.

What fans do to get to a mando diao show

britishrock.cc: Did you rehearsal a lot for tonight’s show?

CJ: Two days!

Björn: Yeah, that is quite a lot. Normally we don´t have time for rehearsal and that is also a reason why we want to have some time off; to be able to make the shows for this record perfect.

britishrock.cc: I did a lot of research about Mando Diao. There is so much written about you in interviews, reviews, your songs etc.

Can you tell us and our readers some secrets about Mando Diao and the people in Mando Diao?

Björn: When it comes to our private life there are a lot of secrets.

CJ: Björn likes to fish.

Björn: Yeah and CJ likes to fly. So that is a secret for you: We are more nerds than you think. Fishing and Flying is pretty nerdy stuff. I also like toy trains (ironical smile)

(To CJ) What can we say about Gustaf?

CJ: He likes juices.

Björn: Oh yeah, he is a juice fetishist. His refrigerator looks like juices store. If you are visiting him he is always offering juice.

CJ: Mats is a sleepwalker.

Björn: He screams in the night and that is sometimes very scary. (imitates) “NO! There is a snake in the bed”, things like that.

CJ: And Samuel is a pretty good hockey player. He is about to start in a 4th division team in Sweden.

Björn: That is actually a really good thing. (ironical smile on the guys faces)

britishrock.cc: I saw a video on your homepage, where you all seem to play hockey very well.

Björn: Yeah, but Samuel is the only one who can really do it.

CJ: I haven´t done it in 15 years and that was the first time I did it after 15 years.

Britishrock.cc: But you looked good on ice.

CJ: Yeah, if you are a Swede you know how to skate.

Björn: And if you do it for a film clip, you can fix things up afterwards; speed it up and things like that. (general laughter)

britishrock.cc: Last question: Any good dream lately?

Björn: No, it has been a long time ago that I had a good dream.

britishrock.cc: I was just asking because of your visions you have while dreaming.

Björn: In the past I had a lot of visions in my dreams, but they are all more real now. I miss these dreams though.

CJ: I became a father last night; I had a little daughter.

Björn: That is sweet, that is a good dream.

CJ: Yeah, it was a good dream.

britishrock.cc: So you are looking for such a future?

CJ: I hope so!

Björn: Everybody does I guess!

britishrock.cc: Thank you for the interview!  

MANDO DIAO, 30. Oktober 2007 (Wien, Radiokulturhaus)  

05.11.2007, 23:41 von M. Punz


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