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Ida Maria - Interview

  by Sarah Rowland

published: 23 / 11 / 2007

Ida Maria - Interview


Swedish singer-songwriter Ida Maria has attracting rave reviews from the music press. Sarah Johnson speaks to her about her debut single 'Oh My God', growing up in the remote and isolated town of Nesna and her explosive live shows which recently resulted in her breaking a rib on stage

Ida Maria has been creating a storm on the UK live scene for a few months now attracting rave reviews from the music press, including a mention in 'The Guardian'. Based in Stockholm in Sweden, Ida met with band members Johannes Lindberg, who plays bass, Olle Lundin on drums and Stefan Törnby playing lead guitar, after moving there from a small town in the Netherlands. Live they are like a firework display - loud and explosive. Ida's voice is electric and captivates her audience, while her crazy leaping around stage generates enough energy to light a Christmas tree. The band’s single 'Oh My God', released on Ida's own Nesna Records, which she named after her small and isolated home town, is already making an impact. Frantic vocals chant the title backed up by heavy drums and electric guitar. The only way to hear the track however is live and with Ida once breaking a rib on stage you an guarantee the show will be action packed. PB : You've just released your debut single, 'Oh My God'.How does that feel and what kind of response have you had from people that are just hearing your music for the first time ? IM : It's been a crazy year. It was quite strange to hear my music on the radio. People respond in all kinds of ways. I´m getting a bit sick of being compared to Bjork. She hates guitars and I don't do triphop. but I´ve heard good things too, something about a spine crumbling with multiple orgasms or something. That sounds like a good thing. PB : I saw you live a few months ago in Camden in London. Your shows have a very powerful energy and your music is very different live than on record. How do you prepare yourself for shows and where does all that energy come from ? IM : It´s the best thing in the world to be on stage with a crazy brilliant drummer, a swinging brilliant bassist and a blistering mad guitarist. It´s just pure joy and it feels like you're outside yourself. PB : You've injured yourself a few times on stage, and even broken your ribs. Has this forced you to be more controlled on stage or do you not really think about it ? Why do you like performing on stage? IM : It´s electrifying to play live. There´s nothing like it. For ages I thought everyone saw colours when they heard music, but I realised that it wasn´t so. I always see colours and patterns when I hear rhythm and melodies so I follow the patterns in a way. The broken rib, I don´t know, I´m not really fit or anything so I tried to do this backwards jump, which I´ve never tried before, and landed quite strangely. We went on tour after that. It was a ------- painful tour. PB : What was it like growing up in Nesna? It sounds very small. Has it been hard to adjust since moving to Stockholm ? IM : Nesna is tiny and beautiful. It´s like all places. You hate it and you love it. It was like growing up in a bubble with a great view. In the winters we couldn´t drive over the mountain to the nearest city, to go to cinema or shop for clothes, but the isolation makes you go and find other ways of amusing yourself. It´s been quite scary to live in big cities, I´m used to it now, but it is a hell to try and orientate yourself when you don´t have any mountains to go after. PB : I read you met the other members of your band after moving to Stockholm. Is there a story behind how you came to play music with Johannes, Olle and Stefan? IM : Olle, our drummer, used to play with some brilliant acts from Bergen, like Lorraine, Evil Tordivel and Fredrik Saroea from Datarock. He came to my first ever concert in Sweden and knew I was looking for a drummer. The two of us kidnapped Johannes, our bassist. He was playing in another Stockholm band, Insert Coin, and I made him believe we were only doing one concert, but he kind of got stuck, thank God. Stefan was homeless and playing on the streets. We thought this is too bad. That boy´s got some fierce talent, so we picked him up, gave him some clothes and now he´s our posterboy. PB : Your parents are both musical. Do you think that is where you got your passion for music from ? Was there one particular song or band that really made you want to make music? IM : I think I was brainwashed from young age. Dad listens a lot to jazz and soul and mum is heavily into Norwegian psalms and folk music. But I was introduced to rock music by our family doctor. He took me to a Dylan concert and I borrowed from him a lot of classic rock albums. I love Janis Joplin, Håkan Hellström and the Velvet Underground. PB : A lot of your songs seem to come from personal experiences and emotions. Has your inspiration for writing songs changed since moving away from a small town and exploring music with new people? IM : I guess I´ve gained perspective from moving around, I´ve lived in an island with 150 people and that was fantastic and horrible. I now live in a city with 1 million people and that's nice and less nice, more stable in a way. but life doesn´t change. You drag your demons with you. PB : You have said that you wanted to move to South Africa when you were sixteen. Do you think you will ever live there in the future ? Do you think one day you will go back and live in Nesna ? IM : I think I might move back at some point. I want to have a farm, and I´ve promised a friend of mine to help him run a fishing company in about ten years. We´ll see. I´m not so keen on South Africa anymore. I would miss the cold north. PB : You must have got a very strong sense of identity from your hometown because you have called your own record label Nesna Records. Is it hard to run a label as well as touring ? Why did you decide to release your own music ? How do you decide which other bands you would like to release on your label ? IM : I run it with my boyfriend and he does a lot of the promotion. He´s the boss of Nesna. We´re in touch with bands all over the planet but at the time we´re broke so we´ve decided to concentrate on our own releases for now and to see how it goes. PB : When will you be releasing an album and what would you like to achieve with your music in 2008? IM : Sometime this summer. My music is for dancing, laughing, crying and fighting. PB : Thank you.

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Ida Maria - Interview

Ida Maria - Interview

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Fortress Round My Heart (2009)
Overly hasty re-release, which despite extra songs and a different track order, proves largely unnecessary of Swedish songwriter Ida Maria's energetic debut album from last year
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