Love Is All: In the Studio

Josephine Olausson discusses the band's forthcoming album

Jan 03, 2010 Web Exclusive
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When Under the Radar was doing research for the retrospective on Swedish music of the 2000s that is featured in our Year-End issue, we stumbled upon the juicy tidbit of information that Gothenburg's Love Is All was back in the studio recording. And when we spoke to singer/songwriter Josephine Olausson for said retrospective, we found out that the album was already finished. Graciously, and without being given prior warning, Olausson agreed to give Under the Radar the scoop on the band's forthcoming, as-yet-untitled album. The band has been through a bit of a rough patch since its debut, Nine Times That Same Song, made such a media splash with its raucous sax-filled, punk-spirited rock and roll in 2006. Love Is All signed to Parlophone in the U.K. for its debut's release but was dropped after the label didn't like the songs the band submitted for its follow up (the band's only other album release with the label was a remix LP entitled Mixed Up). The band soldiered on, putting out the excellent A Hundred Things Keep Me Up at Night in 2008. And now, despite having returned to more of a normal life with day jobs and less media scrutiny, the band has settled into simply writing and recording killer material. Album number three is scheduled for Spring 2010. Olausson dishes below.

I wondered whether we could talk a little bit about the new album. I don't know if you're at the point where you want to.

Josephine Olausson: We can try. [Laughs]

I was going to ask where you are in the process. So you're done? Has it been mixed?

It's been mixed and mastered.

Wonderful.

Yeah I know. It's so exciting.

Do you have a title?

Nope. We're writing so many emails back and forth coming up with ideas. And nothing's been decided yet. It's really hard. We're so much of a democracy that everyone has to prove [themselves]. I think if you pick a sentence, there will be 10 emails about in which order the words should be in that sentence.

How long did you spend writing and recording?

We started at end of May and did couple weeks, and then we took summer off and the started again in August or September and did maybe three more weeks, and then we mixed it for a few weeks. It's really strange, but it's never been so easy to record. It really feels like it's so strange now that it's done, and you're like 'What's happened?'

A Hundred Things Keep Me Up at Night was certainly different from Nine Times That Same Song. I wonder how you might see this one as being different from the previous two.

That's a good one. It is very different, and I think when we were just done recording, it was like what did we do. It's such a soft record, but then it isn't. I feel like we all felt that the second album was maybe a bit too fast, because we record everything in our practice space and a lot of it is done live, so there was no one there to hold us back. [This time] we tried to think about not doing it crazy fast, so maybe the tempo is slightly slower. I think there is more air in the songs. Maybe more melodies. Most of the songs are short.

Is the lineup still the same and the instrumentation still the same?

Yes.

Have you been listening to anything different that has influenced the songs you ended up writing?

The only thing I can think of would be maybe The Zombies. There is a lot of backing choirs that are sung and, maybe not a lot, but there are some harmonies going on.

Are there any specific lyrical themes that you're exploring this time?

I can't say that now. I don't know yet. It feels like there's always other people telling you what your lyrics are about, if you know what I mean. So I don't' really know what they're about yet.

It sounds, from what you were saying before [Olausson previously had talked about band members returning to more of the lives they were leading before the media frenzy of Nine Times That Same Song], that you don't feel that there's the same media excitement around the stuff you're doing. Is that true?

Yeah. I don't think we're a hyped band any more. I think we're just a band, which in some ways is more fun because then you know that whoever pays attention to you does it intentionally.

Did the whole deal with Parlophone not working out bring with it a sense of freedom? Did you feel more relaxed or comfortable now? Did you feel less pressure doing this album than you had in the past?

Yeah. When we did the last album, we were all really stressed. You were in the studio and you were excited and happy about what you'd done and then you'd send rough mixes of the songs and they're like, 'Oh cool, so when are you going into the studio.' And we were like 'We're in the studio.' It was really frustrating. I think if you want to work with Love Is All, you'll have to realize that that's the way we're doing things. When we realized that Parlophone wouldn't be in the picture anymore, we just sort of sat down and decided to just be us and not worry so much. It sounds really religious, but you know what I mean. What matters is that we get to do what we want to do. There are so many bands who are broken down and have really high expectations for their careers, and I don't think we've ever been that way. I think, if anything, we're too relaxed. I don't think anyone in this band things they are going to be the next big thing."

You're producing it yourself, right? You guys get in the studio and just do everything yourself, don't you?

We work with Wyatt Cusick, who records everything, and he comes with his opinions, but he's also my husband. So it's all keeping it in the family. We're all just friends. I think that's the thing. If we were to bring in a producer, it would be the weirdest thing ever. I would be insulted by any ideas. I'm already fighting all the other members. [Laughs]

So what's next for you? Do you guys just camp out and ride out the winter now?

Yeah. Well, Markus [Görsch], our drummer is moving to New York for the winter, and I'm going to Vietnam and Thailand. We're just taking the rest of autumn off at least and then we really need to start planning for the spring, and then hopefully tour in March. 

http://loveisallright.blogspot.com



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