Wasted on the Youth Guest Blog: Club 8’s Johan Angergård on The Jesus and Mary Chain

Aug 30, 2010
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(Under the Radar's Summer 2010 Issue is a special issue named the Wasted on the Youth Issue that features musicians and actors talking about their childhood memories and things they loved when they were kids. We're also posting web-exclusive essays that were not printed in the issue, including this one by Club 8's Johan Angergård, who's also a member of The Legends and Acid House Kings.)

The Jesus and Mary Chain's Psychocandy was the very first indie-pop album I bought. This was probably in 1987. We had a music room at school where you could bring your favorite cassettes and play them for everyone to hear. I loved bringing in Psychocandy, turning the volume up, and seeing people's surprised faces. The guitars cut like razorblades through the ears of my schoolmates and it seemed to bring just as much agony to most people as it brought pleasure to me. Somehow their reactions just enhanced my listening experience.

The album had this amazing air of coolness to iteverything from the black and white pictures on the artwork, to the TV shots on the cover, to the handwriting on the inner-sleeve with short phrases like "Be in Black," the clothes of the members, the fringe of Bobby Gillespie, the sunglasses of the Reid brothers, the dead cool videos, stand-up drummer, and the haircuts of the Reids. It was all of course something that could easily influence a boy at 13. I was listening to EBM as well at the same time and bands like DAF, Nitzer Ebb, and Front 242 were no strangers to wearing black. And so neither was I. But The Jesus and Mary Chain brought me a more torn look.

Later I bought a Semi Acoustic Guitar because they used that. I tried writing noisy pop songs (I had no guitar pedals, but my amplifier had distortion so I had to settle with that), and Joakim Ödlund from Acid House Kings and I engaged an acquaintance to do stand-up drumming for us and we performed at some kind of Christmas show at school. I tried the Reid haircut for a day without much success. People just asked stupid things like, "Have you lost you comb?" and I didn't feel like the cool person I set out to be and changed to a Tim Vass or Gregory Webster of Razorcuts '60s haircut.

I don't aim at the Jim and William Reid style anymore, but I still love Psychocandy. And I guess The Legends' Over and Over might not have sounded like it did unless I had bought Psychocandy 20 years earlier.

(Johan Angergård wears many hats and plays in several bands, including Club 8, The Legends, Pallers, and Acid House Kings. He also runs the Swedish indie record label Labrador, home to all his bands, as well as The Mary Onettes, The Radio Dept., and Sambassadeur. Club 8's latest album, The People's Record, was released this past May.) (www.club-8.org, www.labrador.se)



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