INTERVIEW 56. jonas börjesson (pool sessions)

In the past years, a number of musical projects following the sessions format took over the internet.
But the summer of 2011 gave us the first season of a video project that - we hope - will become a summer tradition for indie lovers throughout the world.
The Pool Sessions, created by Jonas Börjesson from Halmstad (Sweden), features artists playing live music around - and inside - the swimming pool of Jonas' parents house.
Throughout the summer, 18 artists - Marble Hill, De Montevert, Summer Heart, Slutet, among others -  spent some time there giving fun, adorable and amusing performances.

Now, with the summer approaching in the northern hemisphere, the second year of the sessions is coming back with some exciting news: under the name 'Pool Sessions: On Tour", they'll live the pool behind and take a road trip through the Halland region, featuring artists playing nice tunes surrounded by beautiful swedish summery sceneries.

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I talked with Jonas about the origins of the project, the logistics involved and what can we expect for this year's edition. You can read it below.

01. Tell us how the idea of creating the pool sessions came up? 
Well, I was back home in the Swedish coastal town Halmstad after yet another job at a Swedish film. I had said no to another job, and just wanted to stay home and enjoy the Swedish summer. I lived with my parents, in a vacation paradise with a swimming pool in the garden. Suddenly as I lay by the pool, I came up with an idea to invite the artists that I know to record a song live by the pool, and film it. So I contacted my friend and colleague Joakim, and he thought it was a good idea. I knew that there were already other "sessions" in Sweden, but we wanted to make it a little better, in a lovely, relaxed environment, with three cameras and separate sound recording. I love summer, water and swimming pools in general, so it only made the thing even more amazing.

02. What can we expect for this year's sessions? And why did you decided to leave the pool and go into the coast of Sweden?
To be honest, the only reason that we leave the pool is that my parents have moved from the house. But after 18 sessions at the pool, I must say that we longed to get away to all the other magical environments that are around us in our daily lives here in Halland, Sweden. And it will of course be a challenge for us to be in the middle of nowhere and do the recordings. You can expect exactly what you did last summer, minus the pool, but plus 15 completely different, stunning environments. And of course, 15 new, possibly even better bands.

The crew of Pool Sessions with Crying Day Care Choir, first band recorded for the Pool Sessions: On Tour
03. As I said earlier, you'll leave the pool behind and hit the coast of Sweden. How's the logistics of it? When did you started to prepare for this year's sessions? How many people are involved?
After all the kind words we received after last summer, we felt immediately that we would do a sequel, and maybe even take it a step further. That we wanted to make a continuation of the project was an easy decision by all involved, but in November we started doing the real work of developing a new idea. It's been hard work since then to seek funding and support, to develop a new website, to find locations throughout the province of Halland, and emailing artists and convince everyone that this is fun!
We are a total of 6 people. In short, I can say that there are three photographers, two sound engineers and one who keeps an eye on our finances and other paperwork. We simply meet an artist in the middle of nowhere. The artist plays his song live. We film the whole thing. Simple huh?

04. How do you get the artists to be part of the project? I mean, being in Sweden is halfway of the journey since there's tons of amazing artists there… Any artists that you wish to see one day being part of the sessions?
Of course there are incredibly talented artists in Sweden. The problem and challenge for us is that Halland is located quite far from Stockholm, where many artists live. But we've tried e-mailing around to the artists that we like, and we have tried to obtain a wide range of artists as well so that we reach a wider audience. The "session"-concept is actually not as big in Sweden as in some other countries, so it can be quite tricky to persuade an artist to do a thing like this. But many say yes immediately, and are extremely positive about what we do. It's a win-win situation. The artist get a free music video and good marketing, and we get attention by having the artist in the project. 
Our list of artists is very long. But we have e-mailed Death Cab For Cutie, Bon Iver and Oberhofer, who all play near us in Swedish festivals this summer. We have not received a reply, but who knows? It would be a dream come true.

05. This may be a stupid question, but how excited are you? 
Haha. I am extremely excited to release our first session now. We have worked long enough with the paperwork and other less fun things now, so it felt incredibly fun to be out and shoot our first session for this summer last week. It had rained all week, and we had not set a location yet, and I went into negative thoughts. But when the day came, it was brilliant sunshine, we found a magical place and the band did a fantastic session.

06. Anything else you feel like saying?
First of all, thanks for letting us make our first interview outside of Sweden! And a big thanks to all the people who support us all the time, by liking us on Facebook and other nice stuff, it means a lot to us! I would also personally like to say thanks to everyone in my team, without them I would never have been able to do this. Everyone is so incredibly talented in their professional field, and it makes me very grateful. Thanks Joakim Andersson, Andy Kres, Patrik Ljungman, Billy Nilsson and Joel Arwidson. And thanks to those who support us with funding and similar stuff; "Film i Halland", "Region Halland", "Kulturförvaltningen Halmstad" and "Ung i Halland".

And to you who are wondering what this is all about, visit Pool Sessions, or like us on facebook. THANK YOU!

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