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Our exclusive interview with LOWE (February 2007)

Last updated 20.02.07

LOWE

SOME INTRO QUESTIONS

Alex: As I know, you played few shows in Russia last year. Tell me some of your impressions from performing here, being here?

Rickard: It was mad, just mad! At the first gig we wrote autographs after the first show for 45 minutes and we had to fight of all the girls. Luckily we had guards with us! [laugh] I studied Russian in school and I've read a lot about the history of Russia, so I have a bit of background with your country.

Leo: For me it was very special. In school we read about Russia quite a lot and the impressions you get from TV arenít always correct. In a way Russia has been kind of hyped in my mind, but it was even cooler than I expected. Very exotic for us I think.

Mehdi: When I did my military service in Sweden I was told that you Russians were «the bad guys». I'm glad that I had the opportunity to see with my own eyes that this isnít true at all, and you have the most beautiful girls Iíve seen! But I think you should share your beauties a lot more to your Swedish neighbours though! [laugh]

BAND / MUSIC

Alex: Guys, before LOWE, two of you already were in other band Statemachine... How did you realize an idea to establish new band - LOWE?

Leo: Rickard and me played together in Statemachine, and when we were wrapping up the latest Statemachine album «Short & Explosive» a few song ideas came up that didnít quite fit in the Statemachine concept.

Rickard: They were simply too good to be thrown away, so we started making some music «on the side». Two of those songs are on the «Tenant» album, «Gravitation» and «Never Felt So Low»!

Alex: Your band title (LOWE) is a kind of mixture between the words «love» and «low». I can understand why «love», but still canít why «low» [smile] How you can describe it by yourself?

Leo: For me our music is mainly described by our band name which is quite unique I think. Love, as in the gratitude for life and the love you can feel for different things, or the lack of love one sometimes can feel. Low, as in dynamics. Without low there wouldnít be such a thing as highs, and vice versa. The feeling «low» for me is a kind of freedom to go to sacred places inside yourself to sort out all kinds of things. Like your own housekeeper of the soul.

Mehdi: I agree. There is a saying: «after rain there is sunshine». That one describes everything for me. You canít feel true happiness without experiencing the hard paths of life once in a while.

Rickard: The music of LOWE is for me about wanting, but maybe not always getting what you want. A kind of longing you could say.

Alex: Where do you find an inspiration to write your songs? What comes first Ė music or lyrics?

Leo: For me, my music creates itself. I almost never think for myself «hey, letís write a song, yeah!». [smile] Itís more of a process thatís building up wherever I am, or whatever I do. And then when I least expect it, Iím giving labour to a new child. My biggest inspirations are people, the world around me and movies.

Rickard: Yeah, you never think about what you're gonna write, it just happens! Like falling in love... or getting dumped [laugh].

Mehdi: Iím gonna give you guys a BIIIIIG secret now. I get really inspired of a fantastic TV-show called «CSI: Las Vegas». The next time you watch the show, try to listen to the background music. Wonderfully produced electronic-pop music. Just like LOWE [smile]

Alex: You released 5 singles from your debut album «Tenant». It looks so amazing Ďcos at the moment many bands donít release any singles at all, due growing problems with their sales etc. Your comments? [smile]

Rickard: Music is the main thing for us, if it's a good song that needs it own space then why not make a single out of it.

Leo: For us singles are simply a «wall of grafitti» saying «Hey, check out our album, hope you will like it!». And a chance to present our songs remixed, both by ourselves and by other talented people.

Mehdi: People are not so easily fooled anymore that they go buying an album with an artist for just one good song. All of the songs have to be masterpieces nowadays. That's why we still do singles! [smile]

Alex: Your band won the «Newcomer Of The Year» award at SAMA 2005, and you earned the reputation as «the new hope for Swedish pop». So how about second album?

Leo: It all happened so fast, so we were a little surprised by the prize and all the hype about LOWE. As soon as we released our first single «The Vanishing», people started speculating about our future. We were very honoured by this and it helped a lot in making us work even harder.

Rickard: We have a lot of songs to choose from for the next album, but we don't know when it'll come.

Mehdi: The problem is that we canít stop writing songs so the list keeps growing all the time. Itís hard to choose 10-12 tracks to represent our next album when all of the new songs could potentially be LOWE-singles. Maybe we should release two albums at the same time? Never thought of that [smile]

Alex: I heard about your collaboration with other nice Swedish electro pop band Ė female duo West End Girls. Could you say some details about it?

Mehdi: It was not an collaboration actually. It was more like a fun thing to do. The girls wanted us to play with them live on Swedish television because of both of the bands connection to Pet Shop Boys. It was fun. Weíll see, maybe weíll do it again some day.

Rickard: Hans Erkendahl, Isabelle's father and also the manager of WEG, is a friend of mine. He phoned me up one day and asked if we were interested in joining them live on Swedish TV. We had to get up shit-early... not my thing really. I thought of going directly to the show from a club [smile]

Alex: By the way, what are your most favorite LOWE tracks?

Rickard: I usually like the latest one most, cause it's the freshest one. But if I have to choose one I guess it would be «Hear Me Out», «The Vanishing» and «Ahead of Our Time»... they are all dark tracks, but catchy at the same time.

Leo: For me itís quite simple. Itís a song I will write in 2028 and itís about our 25 years as a band and an ode to all our fans and my bandmates. While Iím thinking about it should be called «Still in Lowe With You All»[smile]

Mehdi: I hate that question. How can you choose a favourite between all of your children? But if I have to I will pick «Ahead of Our Time» or «Hear me Out» as my favourites.

LOWE

LIVE

Alex: What do you prefer - perform live, or work in studio?

Leo: Tricky question. There is nothing like the moment youíre in the studio and youíre writing this totally new song that nobody ever heard before, not even yourself! And you get chills from it that never can be described. At the same time, performing that song live to an audience that loves what you do can in a way be even stronger, because you share that feeling with other people. So, my answer has to be yes! [laugh]

Rickard: It's nice taking it easy in the studio, but as I like to travel being on tour is great!

Mehdi: I hate that question. How can you choose a favourite between all of your children? But if I have to I will pick «Ahead of Our Time» or «Hear me Out» as my favourites. Iím sorry, my short term memory is not what it used to be. What was the question again? [laugh] I make a joke [laugh]

Alex: Is it difficult to you as electronic band - to play live?

Leo: Yes, having all that high voltage in your body is very painful [smile]

Mehdi: No, having all that high voltage in your body is very relaxing [smile]

Rickard: I play the bass guitar, and that's not very electronic, so I don't care [laugh]

Alex: Any plans to release any LOWE live audio/video records?

Leo: Not really plans, but maybe after our next tour I think we will have enough good material to do it.

Rickard: We've talked about as an embryo, but we have no real plans. We've done a small documentary shortfilm from our trip to Russia, called «From Russia With Lowe». But it's not really a live thing, as we just dubbed it with an instrumental version of «Gravitation».

Mehdi: For us itís impossible. There are not enough microphones to simultaneously record all of our instruments on stage during a LOWE show. Iím sorry [laugh]

Alex: Which artist you would like to perform together onstage?

Rickard: David Bowie from his Ziggy Stardust-period would have been nice. Otherwise there are no others that I find really interesting at the moment.

Leo: Iíve always thought that Aqua Lene is very cute so why not her [smile]

Mehdi: Carmen Electra, Jenna Jameson and Heidi Klum [smile]

COMPUTERS & INTERNET

Alex: How much time do you spend with computers? Are they Macs or PCs?

Leo: Actually we donít use computers. We record everything on cassettes. I have an assistant that converts everything I write on my typewriter into electronic mails. I go to the bank and pay my debts personally. For the rest Iím spending around 18 hours a day with my beloved Mac [smile]

Mehdi: I love computers. I love my Mac soooo much. I could start to cry now [smile]

Rickard: Don't mind Leo, of course we work with computers. And we use Mac, that's the only way to go! PC's are sooo ugly [laugh]

Alex: Do you like PC or video games? If yes - what are your favourites?

Leo: My favourite games of all time are «Myst» and «Zelda».

Mehdi: You know, Iím a real nerd. Itís true. I played computer games until I was 26. Then my mum told me to go outside and meet girls. I did that for a couple of days and now I have both my computers and a girl. Life is amazing. Sorry, what was the question again? Oh, I see.. I like «Warcraft 3» a lot. And I play online poker a lot aswell. If you see a guy called «Lowe» or «Megahype» itís most likely me loosing money.

Rickard: I used to play a lot of computer games, but not anymore. Now I only play Sudoku... with a piece of paper and a pen [smile]

Alex: Do you like to surf Internet? What are your favorite sites?

Leo: I never tried this, but Iíd like to go to Australia, getting one of those cool colourful pants and try it out! [smile]

Mehdi: I donít like www.inter.net Iím more a Juventus fan [smile]

Rickard: I hate surfing the Net... it's such a timekiller, but it's hard to avoid it sometimes. My fav sites are www.sl.se (to check out the public transport of Stockholm) and www.lowe.st (to read the guestbook).

Alex: How do you think, how much Internet is important for your band?

Leo: I donít think any band today would be anything without Internet. Via Internet people can come across our music, get a taste for it and hopefully buy the album or come to a show. As long as people can enjoy and feel our music we have succeeded. But at the same time we need some economic feedback so weíre able to write and produce. We started our own label Megahype partly because we felt that people are more willing to pay a reasonable price for music, if they can feel that most of the money getís to the musicians. And at the same time being able to communicate directly with the artists. Like a big happy family! We have a really good situation finding good labels such as AMG in Russia that we can collaborate with that know that market so much better than we do.

Rickard: A lot of people knew about us when we played in Russia for the first time, and that's thanks to the Internet. Thank you Internet! [laugh]

Alex: MP3 - is it big evil for your band?

Mehdi: If Internet was a person I swear he/she would be single for the rest of his/her life [smile]

Rickard: No, I don't think MP3 is evil. What's evil are people that make money from the music of others!

LOWE

PERSONAL QUESTIONS

Alex: Do you have other jobs besides music?

Rickard: My life has always been filled with music and design... so that's what I like to do! We have our own company called Megahype, and that's where we do most of our stuff.

Leo: I spend a lot of my time working with Megahype, presenting other great alternative music. Weíre very happy to be able to work with for instance Rezonance and Rupesh Cartel right now. For the rest I sometimes produce, remix other artists, but more and more Iím filming and directing videos for other bands.

Mehdi: I do a lot of mastering and producing for all kinds of stuff. Sometimes I remix other bands aswell. When I donít do that I design a radio-show called «P3star» on Swedish national radio.

Alex: Are you interested in politics?

Leo: Not really. I try not to read so much, it only makes you sad.

Mehdi: Itís hard not to wonder what is happening to this beautiful world. The humans do not deserve to live here [laugh]

Rickard: I wish I could take more interest in politics, but nowadays it's mainly about big companies and world economics and less about the individual.

Alex: Did you ever use drugs?

Leo: Apart from alcohol, no.

Mehdi: I've tried some shit when I was young and stupid. But now, no.. just alcohol and tobacco. (Youíve heard of Swedish «snus» or «snuff» that itís called England?)

Rickard: It has happened, but no hard ones... and that's nothing I'm proud of. I think drugs in any kind are evil, but hard to avoid sometimes.

Alex: Your favorite way of relaxing?

Leo: Watching movies or one of my favourite TV series («24», «Lost», «Heroes» or «Prison Break»).

Mehdi: Exactly the same as Leo but in another order. Mine is like this: «24», «Prison Break», «Lost» and «Heroes».

Rickard: I like movies as the others do, and I watch a lot of European movies. I also like to relax in my bath with a lot of candles and a bottle of champagne... ooh, and let's not forget about sex! [laugh]

Alex: Do you like clubbing?

Rickard: Yeah, I like it... but I'm very restless so I usually don't stay in just one club during a night out. I just got back from a bit of clubbing in Berlin actually [laugh]

Leo: Yes, very much, but unfortunately it doesnít happen so much anymore.

Mehdi: No, itís not for me. I like to sit and talk to people on nice and quiet places. Iím boring donít you think? [smile]

Alex: What music is much close to your heart? Your favorite artists/bands?

Leo: Through the years I have to say The Mission, Depeche Mode and New Order. But to be honest, I almost donít listen to music anymore. Of course I listen to what I run into and can appreciate that, but itís not like before when I swept the scene like a vacuumcleaner [smile]

Rickard: I grew up with ABBA, Pet Shop Boys and Bryan Ferry, so those are really close to my heart! At the moment I listen a lot to She Wants Revenge, IAMX and old swing music.

Mehdi: I listen to almost everything that is good. Right now Iím listening to Mika, Bloc Party and Rupesh Cartel. My all times number one good old bands of all times that I like have to be Depeche Mode, Coldplay, Kent, U2, The Cure, NiN and Carmen Electra [smile]

SOME FINAL QUESTIONS

Alex: How about your future plans? What we can expect from LOWE?

Leo: In 2007 you can expect a new album from LOWE that I hope and think will be something that we can be very proud of. And we will probably tour even more. Personally I will continue my work with Megahype and continue filming and directing.

Rickard: I hope we can come back to Russia as soon as possible and do some amazing gigs!

Alex: What do you want to say or wish Russian public?

Leo: Nazdrovie! We Lowe you all!

Mehdi: Get a hold of our music! You will Lowe it!

Rickard: [he quotes few lines from famous Russian poet Vladimir Mayakovsky]

Alex: Thank you very much for your answers, guys! Wish you good luck!!!

LOWE

For further information, please visit official LOWE website.

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