Mountain Bird

With their cinematic soundscapes and tantalizing melodies, Swedish dream pop act Mountain Bird has quickly gained support from both Sweden and the UK. We caught up with the band’s lead man Adam Öhman to talk about music as therapy, inspiration, and the future.

Blending cinematic soundscapes and tantalizing melodies with hints of heavy-pop and post-rock, Swedish band Mountain Bird has quickly gained considerable support from both Sweden and the UK. Last August, the band unveiled their much celebrated Don’t Mind debut single, followed this spring by Cosmos I EP. Next week will see the release of four new Don’t Mind remixes, and with one of them premiered here on Radar today, we caught up with Mountain Bird’s lead man Adam Öhman to talk about music as therapy, inspiration, and the future.

When did you become interested in music?
– It’s quite odd but I remember a specific day that made me embrace the whole creative process of music and art. I got a present from my sister when I turned 13; it was an album from the famous post-rock outfit Explosions In The Sky. I isolated myself completely, and got lost in the soundscapes. I remember how beautiful and different I thought it sounded from anything I’d heard on the radio in my parent’s car. I wanted more of that, that feeling I felt when I listened to it. Later on it worked as my therapist, to settle down the panic attacks I’ve had since I was 12.

I tend to write with such
honesty that the music
becomes an imprint of myself

What else did you listen to back then? 
– I didn’t know guitars existed until that moment I spoke of before, but after that it was a lot of post-rock and music from films. I loved listening to piano, and I enjoyed the calmness around it. My mind at that time was not at a great place, so music kind of helped me to separate that, and to make me listen to other things than what was inside of me.

What is it that drives you to make music?
– What drives you to eat? I need to be creative and make things; otherwise my brain will be so full of thoughts. I would go completely mad in one way or another. Everything about me is my music. I tend to write with such honesty that the music becomes an imprint of myself. I mean, it’s honest and real because I write to get all the demons out of my head. The music is my therapist, and why wouldn’t you tell such things to your therapist? It’s there to help you to sort out the puzzle.

How did Mountain Bird come about?
– I worked with this project for two years before the name Mountain Bird came about. I started to get more things out than just tones and noises, and I realised it was more like songs, actual songs. At that time I didn’t really know what to do, the only thing I knew was that it would be a waste not to try and do something with them. ‘If I feel like this, tons of other young people are too. And why can’t we be each other’s therapists?’, I used to say to myself. We know more about ourselves than any shrink would ever do, so I mean why not.


Tell us more about your Cosmos I debut EP.
– They’re all songs that I wrote about my panic attacks, to vent my feelings. There wasn’t any commercial thought behind it, at all. It was just me realising that my music could be more than mere noise. The second EP will be more structured and in order. This first one was great for me, but that’s about it. It’s like memories, a segment of time. It’s there, but it’s now for others to judge.

Do you need to actively seek inspiration? 
– You don’t have to seek inspiration; you have to let it come to you. If you’re trying to fetch up inspiration you’re rushing it, and that’s not the way I create. It’s not wrong to think like that, it’s just not the way I do it. When I’m inspired, I feel great. When I’m not, I feel like rubbish. To me, inspiration is everything; it’s almost like a mood or a state of mind. So of course I attend art shows and watch movies to seek inspiration, but I’m seeking more than inspiration, I’m looking for joy, a life of great relations and ability to create. The urge to make an imprint that will live forever. 

Inspiration is everything;
it’s almost like a mood
or a state of mind

You’ve gained a whole lot of attention since the release of Don’t Mind last August, especially in the UK. What has that meant to you as a musician? 
– I’ll travel with two of my best friends to London this May, to play a bunch of radio shows and to do some promotion work for the second EP. And as it seems, Mountain Bird is really welcomed by the UK audience, and I don’t mind that. I love London; it’s like a cooler bigger Stockholm.

Next week will see the release of a number of remixes of Don’t Mind. How does it feel to have your song interpreted by someone else?
– Yes, I don’t know if I’m allowed to tell you how many there will be, but I’ll do it anyway. There will be four remixes of Don’t Mind. I think it’s really great to have other creative minds presenting their take on your work. Of course every single one of the Don’t Mind remixes are the best one I’ve heard…

So what happens in the nearest future?
– As mentioned, the remixes. Then there will be a single in April before we drop the Cosmos 2 EP this summer. Trips to London and hopefully a bunch of festivals. But today I’m chasing food for less than two pounds; no one ever said musicians were rich…

Listen to Don’t Mind (Summer Heart Remix) here

Photography by Ida Halling.