Ani Wikked/Anni Hyvärinen
Close Quarters (SWE), Email Interview - 18. May 2009
for © Northern Rockmusic
This is, most likely, the first interview for those four Swedish guys, hailing down from Vadstena in Sweden, for a German webzine. We didn't manage to get together for a personal interview -at least not this time! So we, KK and me, discussed an email interview and himself, Viktor, Raz and Davy got together to patiently answer all my curious questions. Thanks already guys
NR: All right! This is the first time NR and Close Quarters get together... I'm gonna give you an easy start -would you please introduce yourself and the band a little?
Martin: Hi, I'm Martin KK Karlsson, lead guitarist for Close Quarters, a four piece rock 'n roll band from Sweden. The rest of the band are Viktor - lead vocals and guitar, Raz - bass, and Davy - drums.
NR: How did it all start with the band?
Viktor: I guess all of us has always been really into music, ever since we were kids. We've all played together, in different constellations though, since age 10 or something like that. But it never became serious until a couple of years ago, when Close Quarters was born.
NR: You're from Sweden, your music is..? How would you describe your style?
Raz: I'd say it's old school rock with somewhat of a contemporary feel to it. We try to keep it simple, three or four chords usually do the trick.
Viktor: We've heard that people think we've got more of an American style to our music, rather than Swedish, or Scandinavian. But you know, I don't really like to try to categorize, just for the sake of it. It is what it is.
NR: Who is responsible for your band name? Is there any story behind?
Davy: Me, KK and Viktor came up with it when we were sitting at my place. We talked about putting together a new, more serious band. So we called Raz and asked him if he was interested in playing the bass, and he was.
KK: He had never played the bass before, but after only an hour or so of rehearsing he knew all the basics. He picked it up amazingly fast.
Davy: Anyway, since we all basically grew up on the same street we wanted to incorporate that into the band name. And that's how we came up with "Close Quarters"
NR: Are you all together responsible for the song writing or just one of you?
Viktor: It's all of us. Most songs are created when we're rehearsing. One of us starts playing something, and the others tag along. Sometimes it doesn't turn into anything, and sometimes we make a song out of it.
NR: Where do you get your inspiration from?
Raz: From pretty much everything, I'd say. Good and bad things that happen in our lifes. When you write a song it really reflects what mood you're in. And I guess we get a lot of inspiration from the music we listen to, even though all four of us listen to different things.
NR: What about your songwriting? Do you have any plans for a full length album?
KK: Yeah, absolutely. We've got a lot of good material right now, so we're just waiting for this damn recession to stop, haha. We're kinda broke at the moment.
Davy: We recorded sort of a full lenght demo about two years ago, with Thomas Skogsberg. But that wasn't anything we really wanted to release. Still waiting for the right label to cross paths with us, too. But as soon as that happens, we're gonna make a killer for you.
NR: As for new media and stuff. You've got a myspace site, parts of you are on facebook as well. What do you think about those new media "helpers"? Do you think they are important for young, uprising bands?
Raz: Yeah, they're great. Things like myspace makes it so much easier to spread your music. I mean, we've spoken to people on the other side of the world who really likes our music. They probably never would've heard of us unless we had a myspace. It also makes it easier to get gigs and stuff like that.
NR: Is myspace nowadays more important than a normal webspace?
Raz: Yeah, I think so. But still, a normal webspace has it's purpose as well.
NR: Do you have any upcoming tour plans? Anything bringing you also outside Sweden?
KK: No, not any real tour plans at the moment, but that doesn't mean we don't want to. We spent some time in London and we'd love to go abroad again. But it would be great to have a label back you up financially, while you're out there. We tend to spend all our money on alcohol, haha.
Viktor: We've been talking to this guy we know in Helsinki about some gigs in Finland, so maybe that's were we'll head next.
NR: What can people expect from a Close Quarters live show?
Viktor: Since we started out we've had more than a hundred gigs, so we're really tight on stage. We could play together sleeping, basically. We really give everything we've got during a show, we wanna give our audience an experience they won't forget. I think I speak for all of us when I say there's no greater feeling than being on stage, and that really shows in our performance.
NR: Do you have any special rememberance of a past gig? Anything really, good or bad memories!
Viktor: I'd say the worst was when we played at this really small venue in a suburb of Linköping. There were like three people watching, two of them were working there. What the fuck was that about?
Davy: But we've also had a lot of great gigs. I think the best one was when we opened for Backyard Babies in Motala last August. There were thousands of people in the crowd, and we did one of our best gigs ever. It's one of those nights you'll never forget.
NR: Do you have any country you'd one absolutely love to tour the most? USA, Japan..?
Raz: Spot on. The US and Japan would be great. Enough said.
NR: Okay, let's go a few steps back in time... Try to remember your childhood! What's your first musical memory?
Davy: I remember my dad showing me a Slade album, and I was stuck. One of my favourite bands ever since.
KK: Mine was probably when me and my brother listened to Sex Pistols for the first time.
Viktor: I'd say my mom's Springsteen vinyls. Good times.
Raz: I don't remember this though, but my brother told me that when I was just a baby and wouldn't go to sleep, he'd put on a Mötley Crue CD and I would pass out in an instant. That's pretty cool.
NR: What made you actually start making music? Is there any specific musical experience that made you dream of becoming a rock star?
KK: You know, when you were a kid the bands you listened to seemed more like gods than real people. They'd get all the women, tons of cash, all sorts of stuff. And when you're ten years old you want nothing less than the world, so I guess that's why we started playing. To be as cool and respected as our idols.
NR: Alright... more or less enough of the "business talks". Let's dig some deeper... midsummer's coming up! Any plans?
Davy: Yeah, we've got a couple of new songs that needs a final touch, so we'll probably spend some time rehearsing. And midsummer equals beer, so there'll probably be a lot of that.
NR: Don't be afraid of personal questions... you gotta get through this! ;) How old are you guys and what are you doing next to Close Quarters? Any occasional job, studies?
Viktor: All of us were born in '87, so we're all the same age. I'm working as a waiter, and teaching music to kids. KK is sort of a gardener, and Davy is working with disabled people. Real rock star jobs, I know, haha.
Raz: I'm unemployed at the moment, so you could say I'm the only one truly committed to the band, haha.
NR: Alright then... last one! Don't fret -it's an easy one: What are your future plans for Close Quarters?
KK: Short term plan - to record an album and go touring with it.
Long term - to be on top of the world.
THANKS A LOT to the guys for taking their time to answer these questions and for your help! Hope to see you soon.