interview by Mofoman
Let clichés ruin us all! Sweden is a nation that spawns talented bands! (tick, true.) Synthpop bands are extremely emotional and have a special kind of motivation no other genres could brag with! (tick, true.) Right. We've got this two-piece from Sweden named Colony 5 who forge instant club hits and their star is up, up!
THE DOSE: Colony 5 was formed in the face of the millennium and its party-oriented synthpop music became hard to bypass for everybody related to the genre. On the occasion of a tour, the band visited Hungary in September 2005. Long after the event I'd like to ask how it felt, bathing in the sweaty love of the Hungarian industrial hardcore?
MAGNUS: It was totally surprising to climb the stage in front of those lovely Hungarians with their energy and enthusiasm!
THE DOSE: To those who may not know your music yet, please describe the band in a few sentences!
MAGNUS: We aspire to create a dancefloor-friendly electronically-based pop, with smart lyrics and an attractive production.
THE DOSE: The band must have had difficult times when one of the founders, Johan left. You managed to survive, but a year after the break only a best-of was released. Was it hard to continue, to re-arrange the band?
MAGNUS: Well, Johan was more a friend than an engine in the band, so he's overdue leaving was not hampering the production, it was more a question of working the Structures album live for a while, and then also really analysing the good and bad points of the two previous releases. At that time the record company told us they had run out of singles (all of them) and didn't want to press a new batch of each and every single, and after some discussions we decided to collect all the singles on a full length CD instead, and also to put the new (so far unreleased) single "Fate" on it also.
So it was never intended as a "Best Of" (which would just be plain ridiculous after just two albums). To continue as Colony 5 was not at all a difficult decision, as I remember it was not even a question of stopping.
THE DOSE: Colony 5 currently has three full albums. The last one, Fixed was so big success that it was decided to be re-issued with totally new versions of the original tracks – the title was the talkative Re-Fixed. To be honest, some guys can say it's just another skinning from the same material – how the crowd reacted?
MAGNUS: We were never really involved in that release, so I can't really say anything worthwhile about it, beside that the version of "Fusion" became really fantastic!
THE DOSE: Your website has a great number of non-theme related polls. That's a nice effort, moving closer to your audience genially.. What was your most memorable fan-experience?
MAGNUS: Most memorable probably won't mean most pleasurable. But my personal favourite has ties to the polls you're touching on in your question, and that was concerning the poll we had before the American election for a president where we asked who should win, and I wasn't nominated as a candidate while P-O was (for a simple reason, I usually conjure the polls so I wouldn't want to talk about myself all the time) and we got a mail from a fan asking why I wasn't nominated, and on a gig later she turned up in a T-shirt with "Kalnins for President" printed on the chest. It was really surprising and funny, we remain friends still.
THE DOSE: The biggest hit on 'Fixed' is obviously the song 'Plastic World'. The term is quite pejorative, what behaviour leads to it and how can we avoid?
MAGNUS: We use the luxury of pointing out the faults of the world, without presenting solutions to them. But perhaps the solutions is just to make people think of the problems themselves, and not to present easy-digested answers wrapped in waxed paper and served with fries.
THE DOSE: Filesharing is in the cross-fire of labels and p2p users and often the artist's opinion is discarded – even though it's about and for him. What are your views about this?
MAGNUS: There are good and bad sides to it, as to any big problem. I love the possibilities of this technology, but as usual the thick retarded politicians and Executives miss the point and fucks it up completely. The record companies could have been so much bigger if they for once got their head out of their arses and listened to the artists and their audience for once.
THE DOSE: The synthpop/futurepop scene became dynamic and also thick nowadays: more and more newcomers, the growing number of bands and the appearance of quite commercial trends that seem to gain ground. Some say it even may lead to complete uniformity. What do you think? Wow can Colony 5 contribute to the real development of the scene?
MAGNUS: There will always be original artists following their own plan, and there will always be polished copies borrowing a little part of a genre but being 90% mainstream and uninteresting. At the same time there will always be people wanting the light-version so why not? As a capitalistic liberal I think the market will control itself. The big issue though is that 10 years ago there was a place on the telly and radio for slightly less commercial music, MTV had an hour special about Einsturzende Neubauten and Front 242 had a lot of videos rotating.
Nowadays the rotation schedule has changed so much people are getting sick of the songs, which is destructive in more ways than one. They will sell less records because when the radio has over-exposed the song and when MTV has rotated the video to boredom the single is released and everybody is sick of the tune (as it designed to be likeable the first time, and not the 100th time) so they don't buy the single. Suddenly the music industry is in crises and it's all down to file sharing.
The second disaster of this is that so much less music gets the chance to be played anywhere so people try to find it from downloading it from others; buzz ad is the only kind of ad you'll get! And you don't sell any albums and the record industry is in crises, because of file sharing! There has to be an enormous over representation of idiots in the management of record companies.
THE DOSE: Many great names did recent comebacks, especially Depeche Mode, generating a worldwide hysteria. The concert tickects were sold-out long before the events. Have you seen any?
MAGNUS: I was at my computer clicking away for four hours trying to get a ticket to DM, but to no avail sadly. So the only big live-act I've watched this year is Morrissey who was awesome!
THE DOSE: What do you do in your civil life? What do you listen to in your free time, what fills you with energy?
MAGNUS: I work in sales at a computer company, but right now I'm on garden leave so at any given day I'll be out there killing or nurturing. There has been some really historic albums released this last year which gives me inspiration and hope for the future actually. Editors released an epic debut, and The Killers are awesome. The Knife's new album I also enjoyed, and TATU's new album was surprisingly good! There have also been a lot of new movies that where brilliant, continuing on the Russian theme I'd like to say that Night Watch was one of those. P-O works at a shipyard doing secret stuff on military ships, when he's not watching films at his 100inch screen.
THE DOSE: How do you approach the biggest questions mankind has? What are the things that people should and should not be concerned with?
MAGNUS: It is easy to be upset and angry about things going on in the world. But I think it's vital to ask yourself if what you do really makes you happy. It sounds simple and stupid but what I mean is ask yourself if what you do, what gang you're in, what work you have and what life you have really makes you happy. If you're angry about rich people getting bonuses and evading taxes, do you get happier by smashing windows on McDonalds and sitting in jail overnight? I think not...
Or if you're frustrated about MTV playing yet another Hip-Hop video with a stolen song and someone wrapped in gold and platinum standing in front of a Lamborghini, do you really get happier shooting your telly to pieces with a shotgun? Well, there I'd probably be happier for a little while but it's such a terrible mess to clean up afterwards so it's not worth it.
THE DOSE: If you could wish three things, what would they be?
MAGNUS: Happiness, a wine cellar and Kirsten Dunst's phone number.
THE DOSE: Thank you for giving us this interview! Finally is there someting more you'd like to say to our readers?
MAGNUS: When you're creating something; it is life, everything else is just waiting.