A few weeks ago I wrote about Dorena - a Swedish band, that won my devotion and respect for a number of reasons, which will be way off-topic to share now. Anyhow, the post received very positive attention from the readers which made me extremely happy. Encouraged by that I decided to approach the guys for an interview in order to find out more information about their outstanding new album Nuet (released today!) and peak into their world. Dorena are Simon (bass), Andreas (guitar), Robin (guitar), Jonathan (drums) and Kim (guitar,vocals) who I had the chance to talk to.
Ivo: Your third album “Nuet” will be released in just a few days. Based on the two pre-released tracks, I feel that the general feeling of the album will be significantly more positive, especially compared to your first album “Holofon”. Am I correct?
Kim: You are absolutely right! Our first album was sort of a launching pad for us. We had just started listening to post-rock, and our only goal at the time was simply to write music that we enjoyed listening to. As we released the album and started to see good reviews, we realized that more people other than us liked what we were doing. At this point we had to stop for a second, and think about what our identity was as a band. Our new songs were moving towards a more poppy, electronic sound, which we liked.
A lot of post-rock is really dark and melancholic, and I guess we wanted to take a bit of pretentiousness away from it all. We strived for it to be beautiful and nostalgic, but with a sense of fun. Our second album, “About Everything and More”, had all of that. It was a sort of a statement that post-rock doesn't have to be generic or formulaic. Nuet follows that same aesthetic; only this time we were more confident than ever before. As we didn’t feel the need to prove ourselves in the same extent as we did in recording our previous album, the result is perhaps not as bubbly and playful, but stronger and more cohesive. The songs are definitely our best to date.
I: Could you share more information about the recording process of “Nuet”. Was it different compared to your previous releases?
K: It sure was. For the first time we were able to record parts of the album ourselves, which led to a lot more freedom in the arrangements of the songs and the recording process. Our previous albums were both recorded at one studio, during short periods of time, whereas Nuet was recorded at three different locations. We tracked drums, bass, guitar, and vocals during five days at Nacksving Studios, which is a professional studio here in Gothenburg. We then brought the material with us to our own studio, where we recorded more guitars, more vocals, percussion, and a string trio. We also borrowed portable recording equipment from a friend, and recorded a few parts at the Gothenburg Academy of Music and Drama, where our drummer Jonatan studies. There we had the opportunity to use instruments we don't own ourselves, such as vibraphone, glockenspiel, and grand piano. This process of recording ourselves went on for three weeks, with long nights in the studio on the side of work and studies. After the recording was done we went back to Nacksving Studios for another week, where Anders Lagerfors mixed and mastered the whole thing. This was a great way of working for us, and the record sure wouldn't turn out as great as it did, hadn't it been for those three weeks of recording ourselves.
Apart from the recording process itself, the mindset was also different when recording Nuet. This was the first time that we allowed ourselves to experiment with instrumentation and arrangements. Holofon and AEAM were recorded almost exactly as we perform the songs live, with the exception of a few vocal dubs and additional acoustic guitars. This album was different, in that we could allow the songs to grow to their full potential. The goal was simply to make the songs sound as good as possible, even if that meant straying away from the live versions a bit.
I: You are about to embark on a European Tour, including a lot of countries in Eastern Europe. Which is the country you are most excited to play in?
K: Tough question! We love visiting new countries, and there are a few of those on this tour. Croatia, Bosnia, and Greece are all new territory to us, and we are really eager to go there! At the same time we love coming back to towns we've been before. Seeing familiar faces in the crowd is always a great feeling.
I: Many post-rock bands use heavily narrated speech in their music. Why is that and do you consider is as a substitute for a singer or just…another instrument?
K: Even though words aren't necessary to evoke emotions or thought, words help the artists get their message across to the listener. In a genre where vocals are secondary, narrated speech can convey meaning in the same way as lyrics can. In those cases narration works as a sort of a substitute for sung vocals, but I don’t think most post-rock bands use it like that. In most cases it feels like a stylistic thing, to go with the cinematic feel of the music. In those cases I believe it is better looked upon as another instrument.
I: If you have to choose one non-post-rock artist to tour with which one would be? Why?
K: I can't really answer for the whole band on this question, but at least on Jonatan, Andreas, and my own part; I'd have to say Blink 182. Simply because we grew up listening to them, watching videos of them, and wanting to be like them. We bought all of their CDs, DVDs, and started playing music because of them. On top of that, they all seem really humble and down to earth.
I: There’s a lot of buzz lately about another Swedish post-rock artist – Lights & Motion (interview). Since you guys all come from the same city, do you already know each other and what’s your opinion on his debut album?
K: Actually we share our studio with a handful of bands, with Chris of Lights & Motion being one of them! He is a friend of ours, and the buzz surrounding him is totally deserved. He works hard and it is nice to see that his efforts are finally starting to pay off. Reanimation is a fantastic album!
I: What's your opinion on distribution of music nowadays. Many artists lately support free downloads and let their fans pay as much as they decide for their music. Do you think this is the future of music industry?
K: Spotify is pretty much the future of the music industry to me. Unlimited streaming for a monthly pay is pretty much what companies in other branches of entertainment are focusing on. Netflix is a good example of that, which is like Spotify, but for movies and television series.
My only complaint is that the royalties paid to the artists aren't reasonable. For this model to work, the percentage that goes to the rights holders need to be significantly higher. But if we see big improvement there, Spotify could very well be the music industry standard! It’s what all my friends use to listen to music, anyway.
I: What do you guys do in your free time. I mean when not playing music?
K: When we are not studying, working, or playing music, we like to hang out with our friends, girlfriends, and each other. Pretty much what most people do on their free time! Besides that, we have a few different hobbies and interests other than the band. Simon brews his own beer, Jonatan skateboards, and I produce my own music, for example.
I: If your music has to be described as an animal, which one would be and why?
K: I actually would like to answer this question with a GIF. If Dorena were an animal, we would be a splendid desert beast. No explanation needed.
I: Thank you for the interview and the opportunity! Good luck on the tour! Any last words to our readers?
K: Thank you so much! And thanks to all who are reading this! Please, check out our new album. It is out now, and can be streamed in its entity on Deepelm!