Interview with Pershagen

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Interview with Andreas Sahlin (Bass), Johan Kalla (Drums) and  Jimme Nilsson (Guitar) 

Interview by Elesha Jepson


Pershagen shares the third and final single from their upcoming album. ”Långt borta nära” is an atmospheric instrumental track with gentle, nordic folk- inspired melodies. The colourful sound of pedal steel adds to a sweeping soundscape, where dynamic psychedelic rock meets traditional musical styles.

The band comments on the single:
“‘Långt borta nära’ has been part of Pershagen’s live set since 2018. The song was written by the groups‘ guitarist Jimmie during a period when he studied the musical language in Swedish folk music, especially polskor (a type of style in Swedish folk music).

That fact that folk music has been a source of inspiration to ‘Långt borta nära‘ may seem foreign to some ears, but it is clearly there. But since the first version of the song it has changed shape and been filtered through more sources of inspiration. The result is a melodic piece that is more straightforward than originally expected.”

‘Långt borta nära’ is released on all streaming platforms on April 1. The track is premiered by The Obelisk. Pershagen‘s third studio album ”Hilma” will be released on Lövely Records on the 29th of April on vinyl and digital formats.

Sweden’s Pershagen have created their very own niche of dreamy and cinematic instrumental music, where psychedelic rock meets post rock, and Scandinavian gloominess meets colourful moments of bliss. The band was formed in 2014 and has since built up an impressive resume, including tours in Russia, China, Scandinavia and mainland Europe, and collaborations with musicians such as Dungen‘s Gustav Ejstes. Pershagen’s music has been acknowledged by nationwide Swedish media, and members of the band have played with artists such as Sarah Klang, Henning, Staffan Sundström, and The Riven.

Jimmie Nilsson – Guitar
Theo Stocks – Pedal Steel, Guitar
Andreas Sahlin – Bass
Johan Kalla – Drums

MR: Hi Pershagen, thank you for your time Please could you introduce yourselves (your name and role in the band)

Pershagen: Hey! We are Jimmie – Guitar, Andreas – Bass and Johan – Drums


MR: You’re a well-established band forming in 2014, what drives you to keep going for so long in the music industry?

Pershagen: We started out being friends before we started this band, we enjoy spending time together outside of playing music. For   us that’s been one of the factors for us wanting to keep working on the music as well. We all are musicians that play with many other groups, so this band is a forum for us to create whatever music we want to create. The best part about this band is that we allow each other creating freedom to express whatever we want to.


MR: How would you describe your music to an someone who has never heard it before?

Pershagen: It’s always hard to compare our band to a bunch of other artist and sub-genres. But it’s dynamic instrumental music with influences from psychedelic rock, post-rock etc. Sometimes it’s atmospheric and very soft, and other times it’s more electric and louder.


MR: You’re soon to release your 3rd LP, ‘Hilma’ on the 29th April 2022, what sets this album apart from your previous releases??

Pershagen: This is our third LP. Hilma, to us, is a little bit more of everything. We’ve worked on the album for quite some time, and it feels like there are more nuances in the music. Songs like Klangskog, Hilma, Alla minns den sista gången and Långt borta nära are more “composed” so to speak. Whereas Solen är en trumma and Ofog i djävulens sällskap are totally improvised songs. And then we have songs like Karelia and Archangelsk that are composed but also contain a lot of improvisation. We think we managed to capture a wider span of us as a band on the new album.


MR: You have recently released 2 singles, Långt borta nära and Solen är en trumma, and one last year, ‘Hilma’ from your upcoming album. Could you tell us a little about the inspiration behind them?

Pershagen: Långt borta nära is written by Jimmie when he was studying a type of Swedish folk music called Polska. Hilma has more inspiration from grunge and indie-rock from the 90’s. Solen är en trumma was an improvisation in the studio that luckily got caught on tape. We had nothing composed when we recorded that song.


MR: How are you all feeling with the release date being so soon?

Pershagen:  We are very excited! We’ve been booking a tour in Scandinavia for the spring, summer, and fall. We’re also looking at going to central Europe and the Iberian Peninsula for the end of this year and next. We have been working on this album so long so it’s exciting to us that other will finally be able to hear it.


MR: Do you have any plans for the release day?

Pershagen: Jussi is on tour with Witchcraft playing Desertfest London, Jimmie is cleaning out his apartment, Theo is on tour with Sarah Klang and Andreas is at home listening to music. The celebrations will be on tours and a future Stockholm show.


MR: When did you first start getting into music and know you wanted to join a band? Is it what you expected it to be like?

Pershagen: We have all been playing in bands since our teenage years and that has always been the goal and the driving force for us wanting to play, getting better together, and writing songs with your friends.


MR: The artwork on your album, singles and ep covers are very detailed and reflects the feel of the songs well. How have the ideas come around for them? And is there any artist you would like to collaborate with in the future?

Pershagen: On the album covers for ’Hilma’ and the singles we worked together with an artist called Sofia Hjortberg that did an amazing job finding the right vibe for the cover art. It would be cool to start working with some film makers that can make moving pictures to our music. It’s a dream of ours to incorporate some visuals that we can use for our live shows.


MR: A few months ago you signed to Lövely Records, Congratulations. Do you think it’s important for a band to be signed to a label to be recognised in today’s society?

Pershagen: Thank you. Of course, being signed to a label makes a bunch of stuff much easier, when you get help doing all kinds of stuff. But there are artists that gets enough of a following on TikTok to make a living, so we don’t think it’s necessary for recognition.


MR: You have toured in places like Russia, China, Mainland Europe and Scandinavia and you have to show dates coming up soon in Uppsala, Gavle and Gottenburg. Is there anywhere you would like to play and haven’t yet or a place you would like to go back to?

Pershagen: We would like to play more all over Europe and play more in places where people want to hear us. And of course, it has always been a dream touring all over the American continents


MR: What has been the best part about writing this new album and have there been any funny moments you could share?

Pershagen: We all really enjoy the recording process. It’s fun hanging out in the studio trying songs and playing with each other, exploring the music together.


MR: What made you decide that you wanted to make lyric less music?

Pershagen: We started out playing Neil Young songs but when we started writing we somehow were more drawn to playing instrumental music because of the freedom that it provides. To us also instrumental music leaves more room for the listeners imagination.


MR: The music industry is ever changing and now even more with Covid- 19. How has everything changed for yourselves and the music scene around you?

Pershagen: Unfortunately, there’s been a lot of cancelled tours and the worst part (for the music scene) is venues shutting down and people losing their income. But since the restrictions been lifted, we all have gained new opportunities to play. Even though there’s been lockdowns and not so many shows it seems like the creativity is still there since there is so much good music coming out.


MR: Are there any artists/band or albums you have heard recently that have caught your ear?

Pershagen: It feels like there’s great music coming out every week that is very inspiring. Torbjörn Ömalm, Mi von Ahn, Big Thief are a few artists that’s been releasing good music but there is so much that it’s hard to just name a few.


MR: Do you have any hobbies outside of music that most people don’t know about?

Pershagen: We all really enjoy drinking beer. Johan and Jimmie also watch a lot of Hockey.


MR: What would be your dream line up at a gig? (Either to play at or be in the crowd for)

Pershagen: To open for Neil Young would be the ultimate Pershagen gig since he is one of the reasons of us playing music.


MR: Thank you for your time and do you have anything you would like to say to our readers?

Pershagen: Thank you! We would really appreciate you to listen to your new album ´Hilma´ and if we ever come to your town to play, don’t hesitate to contact us!

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Pershagen Latest live performance video for Ekoparken: