John as an artist when did you find your voice, that voice you always wanted?
John: That's kinda weird, or maybe not when I get to think about it. I started a band 2010 I think it was, a post-punk band were I started to sing in Swedish for the first time, it took my 22 fucking years to do that finally. But then I even started with another voice. A voice that is mine, the voice I had but didn't know of. Sounds kinda stupid to not use the voice you have been born with but somehow it didn't care to show up before that year, ha ha. But anyway I started write and sing in Swedish and it was a relief and I liked it a lot. Tried lyrics many years prior to this but it always looked corny, but now they made sense. We made a bunch of great songs but the time wasn’t on our side so we had to stop. Or rather it just kind of slipped through our fingers, slowly. But I took the voice with me to Machinista but in English. More satisfied than ever.
To me people are too quick to pigeon hole music, like people label you as synthpop. When I hear Machinista I hear amazing music, music that I like. I enjoy music as a whole, yes I like that alternative edge but I love music. What are your thoughts on the labels people are quickly to use and judge by?
John: People always have to put music in some holes to label it, narrow it down, even I do it all the time. If someone is talking about a band I ask, what genre or what band do they sound like. Like that fucking matter..haha. Well if the say reggae I say, say no more, I'm out, haha. And for Machinista the label synthpop can be downsizing and many people would go, oh no. But it is pop, with dark elements. Try it you might like it.
Richard: I agree with John here, it´s impossible to judge a band with just a style-label.
Especially the word synth-pop! I mean all commercial pop music now a days is pure electronic. I guess a shitty band like One Direction is more "synthpop" than we are? Music is music, a good song is a good song! But of course, for me personally I do listen to a lot of synth-music (and much more) so of course that inspiration runs in my veins and affects the music here and there.
Bands are quickly to say they have their own style, how would you define your style or what is it at the heart of Machinista?
John: Dark melancholic electronic pop with hope in there somewhere.
You say its easier to write darker lyrics, why is this? I find it harder to write about being low than I do describing positive emotion, do you find it easy to express emotions lyrically?
John: Very easy to write about the dark emotions. Even if I write about a positive thing there’s always darkness there, haha. Describing the way out of the dark sort of, the way to redemption. I have a song on the way about my daughter Astrid. It will be dark, haha. But the light is shining through all the way. I always have the element of hope in there. That goes for Richard’s tunes as well. Its so dark but you can feel the light in there. Good combo us two.
Why is Garmonbozia darker than Xenoglosy?
John: I think both R and I have the dark in us so much that a new Xenoglossy wouldn’t be possible, and a tune like Molecules and carbon wont happen. The lyrics are dark but the tunes, haha. The next one will probably be suicidal dark.
Richard: When we decided to start Machinista we had this plan with a new fresh synthpop band so the first songs we recorded was VERY much so. Somewhere along the Xenoglossy recordings we more or less by automatic took this darker approach and for me that was a big relief. I rarely listen to music like "hey ho let´s dance in the sun, hey ho let´s have some fun". It´s boring and it gives me nothing.
The name Garmonbozia has its links to Twin Peaks, what is it about weird words that you like and why do you like to use them as album titles?
Richard: Because we are weird? Haha! One strong, good-looking, tricky word to sum an album and to make the listener wonder/search/reflect. Let´s see what album 3 is having in store!
Why couldn’t you do an English version of Brandbergen, Stockholm Via Kalmar Till Malmo?
John: It was done in Swedish cuz it was and no it wont be recorded in English. But I did a fairly good translation of it, you can find it on our website
John, Dark Heart Of Me is about not having loved in many years. Was this by choice? Did you not want to love? Was that person just not in your life? And have you found love now?
John: Right on spot there. I've been single for 5 years, or little bit longer actually. Since I broke up with my daughters mother. Not bitter or anything but have been busy and not easy meeting people as before. But its not a problem but I think your heart hardens a bit over the years and you kind of realise you don't need it. You cant just start a relation cuz the norm says it. Fuck the norm I say. I’m open for it but it happens when it happens. The most important is my kid anyway.
Richard you weren’t happy with the way The Bomb was originally turning out, how did the earlier version of The Bomb differ from the album version?
Richard: The first demo-recording of that song had a completely different drum-beat. After I had John´s vocals and worked on the final mix I just couldn't get that song to sound good. I can be very picky when it comes to recording music, because when I have the demo and vocals I kinda hear the final version in my head. So when I couldn't get there with "The Bombs" I decided to just try something else. I did change the main drum beat but I did keep some of the old music-beats and it actually worked well to mix those.
What era do you think defined the electronic movement and what band do you feel moved the scene and music in the way that it did?
John: Started in the beginning of the 80ies for me. Discovering bands like Yazoo, OMD, Kraftwerk, Fad gadget and Ultravox for example. Totally stunned I was back then and listened to this tinkering of synths over and over. Of course I eventually discovered Depeche mode and saw them like and it was like ecstasy really. Lovely!
How much would you need to get paid for a gig to break even on your expenses if your travel expenses were already covered?
John: Food, drinks, drugs. Haha, no but that depends from gig to gig. As all bands we like to get good pay but its not easy playing in the smaller league. But we are getting there, slowly but surely.
Could you survive in a world with no technology at all? If so how would you survive?
John: If something made all technology go away and we could live more like the what nature gave us, yes. I would give it all up for that.
Richard: Somewhere along the road something went wrong. I am convinced that there is planets out there with a lot more technology than us but still they are able to combine this with pure nature, peace love and understanding.
Have you ever had a whoops moment? If so what was that moment?
John: Haha well I could have died at least 2 times. First in a nearly car crash. And ones almost flushed out in the sea outside of Tenneriffe. So close.
Richard: It depends on what that "whoops" means? Good/bad/embarrassing? When I played with an old band some years ago in Oslo/Norway I was on my way to get beer for the rest of the band backstage. I do remember opened that door and "whoop!", on the couch sits Alan Wilder (Depeche Mode). Of course the band-mates phoned me after a while wondering what happened to me and those beers haha!
Thank you so much for giving Vampire Freaks this interview, is there anything you would like to add?
Buy our records, love us and make us come to the USA!
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