of Our Lives
An interview with Ebbot Lundberg
by Alexander Laurence
What is Gothenberg like compared to Stockholm?
by Tony Bonyata
Ebbot: Gothenberg is a paradise. I actually live in Stockholm
now which is like living in a poodle city. It has a poodle
mentality. It's very posh and hung up. The whole vibe is
cold and stiff upper lip. It's very boring.
AL: In Sweden you would never talk to someone on the street.
Ebbot: Absolutely. Here in New York City, everyone talks
to you. That's not the case in Stockholm. Not even in Gothenberg.
I guess it has to do with temperature. It's very cynical.
When it's summer, it's a paradise.
AL: How is Soundtrack of Our Lives different from Union
Ebbot: It's just an extension I guess really. It's something
bigger and wider. Soundtrack can be whatever. Union Carbide
was more an underground thing. It was part of the late-1980s
movement in music, which was itself, an echo of the original
hardcore punk explosion. Our band died when Grunge died.
AL: How did you put together that band? Did you choose
who was in the new band in 1996?
Ebbot: Yeah, basically it was me and the guitar players
from Union Carbide. I knew some guys who were in a band
called Different Builders that I had produced. I thought
that we should put a band together. It made sense. We started
actually because we were doing music for ski movies. That
was the case. We didn't initially have plans to form another
group. It turned out to be a good thing, so we gave it a
shot. It worked well.
AL: Have you spent time producing other bands?
Ebbot: Yeah, when I
have time. Now I just end up producing this band. I like
to work with other people.
AL: Most of us in the United States are more familiar with
the "Behind The Music" CD. All three were released
here about the same time. Is "Behind The Music"
representative of the three CDs?
Ebbot: They are all great, I think. I can't really say
which one is the best. The first one came out in 1996. That's
a while ago. It's called "Welcome To The Infant Freebase."
People should get into it. It's a fantastic album. It's
on Parasol and people should be able to find it.
AL: When I got "Behind The Music" I listened
to it, and then I found out that it was one of many albums.
Ebbot: The idea was when we started was to release a box
set. We wanted to start out by releasing four albums. That
is happening now in America almost. It's like digging up
something in the past. "Behind The Music" was
done after the Millennium shift. It came out about a year
AL: Do you have a home studio?
Ebbot: Yeah. Some songs are home demos. We add some things.
We have our own studio and production and we do everything.
AL: Do you all write songs in the band?
Ebbot: Everyone in the band has song ideas. I have to pick
them up and write lyrics and melodies. Everyone in the band
adds something in the songwriting process.
AL: You are known to be a great live band. Are some of
the recordings just live takes?
Ebbot: I guess. Sometimes we just screw up on a song. Okay
come back next week try it again. Let's try something else.
The studio is this small bunker. We can barely fit in there.
We like it like that. We can smell each other. We end up
getting the right feel and the right emotion to it. We feel
like we are in a rehearsal room. We try and make it as easy
AL: You have been touring this record for a while?
Ebbot: We have toured Europe so much. We enjoy being somewhere
else like America. We enjoy just being here. We are going
to China next.
AL: Has there been a larger fanbase in the past year since
there is so much focus on Swedish music?
Ebbot: It is a slow growing process. I think that we want
to maintain a following. We want to keep on doing good albums.
We want to create a good vibe. That is what is missing in
the world today. We don't have much choice.
AL: Do you have a group of new songs? When will you start
Ebbot: Yeah. I think that once we finish this tour in America,
we will start on the next record. We will have time in December
and early 2003.
AL: What will the new record sound like?
Ebbot: I hope to put out some good music before the shit
breaks down. But the world is already breaking down. We
want to create our own little parallel universe.
AL: What music did you grow up listening to?
Ebbot: Everything. I used to listen to stuff like Hoagy
Carmichael and stuff like that. When I started to play in
a band I used to listen to UK Subs, Black Flag, and a lot
of American punk bands. Minor Threat and all that stuff.
At the same time I was into The Beatles.
AL: You got all of
that punk aggression out of your system?
Ebbot: Live, it's still there. When you are on stage, you
are in the audience as well. Somebody is watching you that
is you. So you don't want to disappoint yourself. I get
that feeling. I don't want to be bored. I want to be thrilled.
So we want to thrill the audience as well as ourselves when
we play live, which can be hard. It used to be that you
were in a bubble and here's the band and here are the people.
People say "You suck" from a distance. If you
are in a band you can't go on doing that for a long time.
AL: What excites you about music?
Ebbot: Everything. I hate to wait in the dressing room
before you go on. You have to wait all the time. I am very
excited by music. I wouldn't do it if I wasn't.
AL: Are you playing songs from all three albums on this
Ebbot: Hopefully. Mostly from the latest one. We will come
back for another American tour as soon as we can. We were
going to tour with Oasis but I am not sure if that is going
to happen. They want us to.