Pär, how are you doing these days? These are really exciting times with your first album
finally coming out soon…
How’s Berlin treating you?
Pär Grindvik: I’m great thank you! Berlin is treating me with charm, I get
reminded every day why I love this place. The album finally coming is exciting
I’ve been doing this for so many years now and thought that I was used to the
process; in the end it’s quite a different thing and the feedback and reactions
have been overwhelming.
We like to focus on the present and the future, but it’s always so interesting to go down
memory lane a bit and see where and how everything started. Do you remember what was
the first record back in the days that made the biggest impression on you? That sort of
made you feel like you wanted to be part of the music world?
PG: It’s a bit odd to mention this as I was just a child, it wasn’t my first record
or favourite record, but in 1984 Howard Jones released an album called
‘The 12″ Album‘. I was just 5 years old and totally obsessed with his whole
artistic persona, everything from his clothes to how he acted on stage and
with all of the machines around him. I guess that was it.
How was the Swedish/Stockholm electronic music scene back then? You had and still
have an enormous part of shaping it to its current state of being. How would you
summarize these years in-between and where do you see it heading?
PG: For me Stockholm in the nineties was both an exciting and inspiring place
to discover music, even though we were pretty young we didn’t have any
problems finding places to hear new music. For me it had its peak around
96-97. There were some really exciting events around that time and we could
even seeinternational artists playing great venues on weekly basis.
Then things changed quite drastically. Suddenly it was taboo and you
couldn’t even mention the word techno without being eyeballed.
On the other hand we had way more time for making music when there
weren’t any proper parties going on.
I’m not sure if I’m the right person to comment on the current state of the
scene as I left before it took off again, but I want to believe that it’s healthier
than ever. For me as a Swede I’m super proud of all the great music coming
from the country and I’m happy that the younger generations are into
electronic music as much as they are.
Even though it’s a small scene, when we talk about Swedish electronic music, I guess
we can say that it’s always been extremely fruitful and successful, there are so many
iconic acts who left a recognisable mark in the music industry, be it mainstream or
underground. What do you think that the Swedes are doing differently, what is that
makes this small scene so special?
PG: I think Swedish people in general are looking for new things and the
next thing. In my opinion, what counts in Sweden, is to be kind of first in
first out, while other countries are a bit more patriotic about their music
scenes. So I think that we are pretty good at picking up things to make
our own, but still be open to changes. So to answer the previous question,
I think that the Swedish scene is more trend sensitive than countries
which might have a bit more tradition connected to each genre.
You’ve been in the music scene for over 20 years yet this is the first time you’re
releasing a full-length album. How come you’ve waited so long?
PG: I think that the time was right. Nowadays I know what parts of me
are good for my creativity and I really don’t have to be destructive towards
myself and my surrounding to be able to write interesting music.
For ‘Isle of Real’ I used every minute that I had over to write and sketch.
The goal was to have a demo ready for a scheduled recording session in
Stockholm at the beginning of 2015. I wanted to record this album in a
traditional way. Write a “demo”, record it, mix it, master it all in
separate sessions. And I learned so much during the process.
‘Isle of Real’ revolves around the idea of spaces once inhabited but long,
since abandoned and reclaimed by nature.