punky's dilemma

punky's dilemma interview

you must have a band or two that seem to make music that could be the soundtrack of some foggy winterish dream. that's the case of punky's dilemma for me. and the fact that they come from sweden, only makes you wonder about swedish open spaces covered with snow and a dimly visible sunlight laying its light over trees and foxes and squirls almost like an aura.
but isn't only that: sometimes you can feel like you've been transported to a city center where you stand with headphones in a corner to watch life happening.
apart of being dreamy, their sound is also soothing and comforting (despite the melancholy it carries in the surface). it's the amazing melody crafting, punctuated with orchestrations, that dialogues with these vast and contradictory (at first sight) feelings. because with their music you get this comforting but also melancholic feeling that sometimes seems to be all you need.

that's what i feel about the band. let's hear what mikael has to say...

01. when punky's dilemma became a band?
myself and hanna have been singing together for many years and our many unreleased songs, stored on old casettes, can all be regarded as punky's dilemma songs. but punky's dilemma formally was formed in 2001. the band name came to our mind in the car one day as we drove from gothenburg to malmö. a bit later we included our friend camilla in the band.

02. if i could describe your sound i would say it's delicate, melancholic, contemplative and made in a place where time seems to pass slower than the usual. could you tell us a bit about what habitates your world? references and things like that?
i (mikael) write the basics of all songs and i think the melody is hugely important. i am influenced by things with a melancholic beautiful touch, could be a movie, art, a song, a poem, or just a situation. i am also much influenced by life in the city and lifes of young people.

03. you have two beautiful ep's released so far. from your debut 'neath the staring skies' to 'echelon' we see a sort of polishment and more complicated arrangements (orchestrations, for example). since i'm interested in creative processes, i'd like to know how the ep's were made.
'neath the staring skies was recorded on a small portable studio, mostly in one of our best friends apartment in malmö. he is a much talented producer (singer in the exceptionally good band thirdimension). we invited friends to do the choirs. The echelon ep was recorded in a large professional studio and we used musicians from malmö symphonic orchestra for the violin, viola and cello, so this was done more carefully, but rather quickly (we rarely use more than one day for the recording of a song, a long day although). in the massive outro choir on 'airliner'
(the version at our homepage punky's dilemma) we simply hung a microphone from the roof and assembled a large number of people below to do the long aaaahhhh's. i have the basic structure of the song and many ideas ready when we arrive at the studio. but as we start, we try different instrumentation and the song is therefore much shaped by the first moments of inspiration when we start the recording session. usually we asseble on chairs spread out in a ring and record most of the things live in a first session (keyboard, bass, drums, guitars, song). then we add a few things.

04. what's your point of view about music distribution nowadays? and more specifically, what's the importance (or not) of blogs in terms of 'spreading the word' around?
can only talk for myself: i think the monumental change that has ocurred in music distribution over the last decade is very interesting and positive. many more people can reach out and there seems to be no end of all talent. blogs are hugely important, no doubt. punky's dilemma is just one of all these small bands and we are just thrilled if our songs are spread. we get mails from across the world and this would not be possible without the various rooms on the web. times are constantly changing and new pathways for music distribution will appear. it's like with all evolution, adjust or die.

05. it's been quite some time since your latest release (four years, if i'm not mistaken). what are you guys up to? can we wait for new songs or ep's or even a lp coming out soon?
we will continue to record when we have time and the songs that will appear will have the same sound. we are working slowly but our intention is to release a really long record with all our old material. and then we probably stop there.

06. do you get to live of music or have another job?
we all have other jobs. i will let you know more in another interview :)

07. any song you'd like to cover?
we plan to include one cover on our long album. can't tell you what song (it's a secret) but it will be something from lou reed.

08. name the perfect place and time to hear your music.
in the car at the freeway around midnight ('airliner' or 'scandinavia') or in a sleepy club at 4 am ('dream mtv' or 'echelon').

09. recommend something you've been listening lately.
two wonderful songs: 'fake plastic trees' (radiohead), 'somebody' (depeche mode).

10. anything else you feel like saying?
thanks for this interview!


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