Feature: Bedroom Eyes

Bedroom Eyes im Interview über sein neues Album

Bedroom Eyes feiert Release des neuen Albums „Sisyphus Rock“; Fotocredit: Jonas Jonsson

Bedroom Eyes ist das Power-Pop-Projekt des schwedischen Singer-Songwriters Jonas Jonsson. Das renommierte Label Startracks (Kristofer Åström, Tiger Lou, Refused, u.a.) veröffentlichte am 25. Februar ihr neues Album „Sisyphus Rock“. Und darüber möchten wir ganz dringend mit Jonas sprechen. Jonas stammt aus der in Nordschweden gelegenen Kleinstadt Föllinge und hat dort teils in völliger Abgeschiedenheit seine neuen Songs produziert. „Sisyphus Rock“ ist das dritte Album des Songschreibers. Gut gelaunt zieht er auf der Platte acht neue Tracks auf. Die Komik, der Humor für die Situationen, zieht sich dabei stringent durch das gesamte Album. Das mag auch daran liegen, dass er eine besondere freundschaftliche Beziehung zum Komiker Fred Armisen pflegt, der mitunter zu den größten Kritikern seiner Musik gehört. Er ist dann aber auch derjenige, der die rohen Songs als erstes zu Hören bekommt. Auch darüber sprechen wir hier auf dem Blog.

I like to think that life is both a tragedy and a comedy. I’ve never tried to write funny songs but I like it when stuff like a play on words or an amusing imagery pops out from what might otherwise be a dark or serious song.

Die Platte überzeugt durch die positive Energie, die in den Indie-Rock Riffs und der gesamten Rhythmik liegt. Seine Single „Paul Westerberg“ erinnert so stark an die guten alten Zeiten der Gitarrenmusik und irgendwie behält er sich einen recht starken amerikanischen Touch.

For the new studio album „Sisyphus Rock“ you withdrew to the forests of Rissna. To what extent is this rough and perhaps rather cooler atmosphere of the environment refected in the sound of the new tracks?

Bedroom Eyes: We all grew up not far from Rissna so I don’t think it pushed us in a direction that we we’re unfamiliar with, but I do think that it helped us to lower our guards and just be true to what we sound like and who we are. The album is recorded live in studio and sounds just like it did in that room when we banged out the tunes standing in a big circle on the foor. There’s no polishing or altering of the tracks after we recorded them on those cold and dark November evenings, everything is kept as it was, and that was a big point in going to Rissna. A sort of homecoming both musically and geographically.

Actually, it’s absurd that one fnds so much inspiration in solitude or seclusion. Why doesn’t „more external infuences = more inspiration and creative drive“ always work?

Bedroom Eyes: I don’t think the human brain is wired like that. I know mine isn’t. The amount of inspiration needed to get going is often really small – one idea or a feeling is often enough – and any infuence beyond that is just cluttering. To me, the time to refect on matters has always been more important than the time to take in infuences.

When you see your two previous albums lined up along with the new work. Which three steps have really brought you further as a musician from your debut, through the second and now third album?

Bedroom Eyes: The frst album had a lot of chamber pop moments – most of it, I guess. Lots of strings, horns, organs and female guest vocals. From there to the second album we cut back on that on maybe half of the album, the rest was lighter in instrumentation but rawer, simpler and more like what we did live. And this time it’s just loud guitars, bass and drums. Nothing more. Basically we’ve cut to the core in every aspect and only kept what it sounds like
when the fve of us play together. I think we sound better than we’ve ever done and I feel really at home in the simplicity of it.

Your new songs are much louder. Was that a conscious decision to make the songs on it more visible?

Bedroom Eyes: We’ve always been a loud and intense live band and this time we wanted to keep it that way on the album, hence why we recorded it live. Stripping away things – strings, orchestral stuff – made room for cranking up the guitars instead.

The comedian Fred Armisen was one of the frst to listen to the new record. What was his frst feedback and to what extent do you take direct criticism particularly seriously? Do you then rebuild at certain points?

Bedroom Eyes: Fred sent me a message that absolutely blew my mind. ”Great energy, great sound and wonderful songs!” I’ve loved everything he’s done so that meant a lot to hear. When you release music you sign up to get critized and we’ve had our share of every shade of it – and I’m fne with everything except the stuff that just feels lazy. And a bit too often I think it lands in subjectivity and what really is a matter of taste. ”I don’t like stuff this way.” Ok, but we do! It gets more interesting when the criticism is more substantiated than that. Nothing on our third album is a result from any criticism we’ve recieved in the past. I don’t know if that’s integrity or just a pride too hard to swallow. Both, I guess.

What role does humor play in your songwriting and the expressiveness of your new songs?

Bedroom Eyes: I like to think that life is both a tragedy and a comedy. I’ve never tried to write funny songs but I like it when stuff like a play on words or an amusing imagery pops out from what might otherwise be a dark or serious song. The fun doesn’t have to undermine the gravitas but can make it feel more human and easier to connect with. We’re all both losers and winners.


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