Nearly two years after their latest release, Swedish trio World Tour are back from the shadows with their brilliant new single Surreal. We caught up with the three band members to find out what they’ve been up to since last time.
Hailing from Funäsdalen and Svenstavik in the north of Sweden, Tobias Gerhardsson, Felix Hedberg and Merike Kjaergaard decided to form a trio in a state of post-secondary-school-vacuum. In 2011, they made their debut as World Tour with dream pop single Sparks, followed by 2012’s widely acclaimed Believe EP, both via New York label Cascine. Nearly two years after the release of their latest single, Forever Tonight, they are back from the shadows with a brand new track, the brilliantly hypnotic Surreal, this time via Stockholm label Emotion. We caught up with the three band members to learn more.
How did World Tour come about?
Tobias: World Tour started with three friends who wanted to make music together. It was around 2010, and we were all in a kind of post-secondary-school-vacuum.
Merike: It all started in Felix’s basement in Funäsdalen. Tobias and Felix were working on a new project and wanted to add something more to the music, so they contacted me. The rest is history.
Do you feel that your Norrland heritage has influenced your sound?
T: I don’t think so. However, I would like to add more of the northern soul into our music. There is something ancient about Norrland that I appreciate, and I would like to have more of that ethno spirit in our music.
Felix: I’m sure it has influenced our sound in some way or another, but I think that it has affected our approach to music and the conditions under which we are working even more. To us, there have never been any limits to what we can do, which has given us a freedom that is both boundless and inspiring. I think that the isolation that comes with growing up in a small village made us want to expand our perspectives on music.
We wanted to come back
with something unexpected,
and that demands patience
Where do you find inspiration and influences?
M: We take inspiration and influences from a whole lot of things. To me, the basis is the present and the environment.
T: I don’t believe in looking for inspiration or influences. It can easily become too thought-through, which sort of takes the sting out of it. We just let things happen.
F: We had this rather naive idea about isolating ourselves in a secluded house somewhere in Denmark a while back, to find peace and creativity. Then we realised that we made the same music in a flat at Telefonplan as we did in a house with sea view in Lönstrup. So it’s hard to say what inspires us. Music and state of minds are usually the simple elements that we use.
What does your creative process look like?
T: Record, reject, record, reject, record, reject, record, retain, record, reject. Something like that.
F: At first we used to sketch out ideas separately before piecing them together, but now we’re mostly working together, from beginning to end. Most things come out of pure impulses or improvisations. The production part has always been important to us; it was what got us into this in the first place. So that takes up most of our time. We’ve never had any routines or work patterns, which can make the process rather messy, but that’s how we like it.
M: My creative process is rather private, to start with. I like to begin by listening to the raw material by myself, trying out various contributions. Then we sit down together and work it through, often for a really long time.
It’s been nearly two years since your last release. What have you been up to?
T: We’ve all moved, to get a change of surroundings. Between Forever Tonight and Surreal, we’ve been working on a whole lot of things that we’ve discarded. We felt that we wanted to come back with something unexpected, and that demands patience. The whole process of making songs is still valuable, though, even if they end up unused.
F: We’ve been working, studying, and producing as much as we could. We entered some kind of hibernation after our last release, and creativity failed us for a while. We got a bit lost and didn’t really know how to find our way out. We relapsed into old patterns, which wasn’t at all what we wanted. That we lived in different places didn’t make things easier. Now that we’ve gone through all that, we have a much clearer idea about who we are and what we want to do.
How have you changed since you first started playing together, sound-wise and as a band?
T: Sound-wise, we have more bass, more drums, and a more straightforward sound. As a band, we have less doubt and more ’fuck it’.
M: In general, I think that we have broadened our sound. It’s constantly developing, which feels natural and exciting. We’re also more comfortable with each other.
F: We’re constantly developing as a band as well. It’s hard to say what it is that has changed, though, more than that we have become better at creating the kind of music we want to make.
Record, reject, record, reject, record, reject, record, retain,
You’ve said in earlier interviews that you don’t feel like a part of any music scene. Is that still the case?
T: Mmm. Scenes are rather boring. Belonging to a scene means that you sound like the rest of that scene, and I don’t think that similarity is something to strive for. I’m not saying that the music we make is free from influences or that it doesn’t sound like anything else on this earth, but we aim to make something new and unique, something that we at least will find surprising.
F: I agree. We’ve always been egoistic and private when it comes to our music. Mostly because we only do this for ourselves. There were no visions or plans to start with. Naturally we’ve been moving in certain circles, but there is something anxious about being a part of a scene. We have our buddies in Emotion, but we see them more as friends than ”record label representatives”.
What does the future look like? What are your hopes and dreams?
T: Hmm. I will try to take care of myself and keep playing. It feels like the ultimate combo to make grand achievements. I don’t really dare to speak about hopes and dreams, though, since I will just jinx myself.
M: Create and have fun.
Listen to Surreal below and follow World Tour here.