Eric Berglund has once again delivered to us an engrossing, magical world in the form of new album, WONDERLAND, due for release in February 2014 (scoop the first single WHOREHOUSE via iTunes). No longer based in Gothenburg, instead setting up base somewhere out in the woods in Sweden's south, WONDERLAND is a typically joyous exclamation, heavy and dense with the kind of feeling you might come to expect from the Sincerely Yours boss and The Tough Alliance homie, but more refined, more powerful, more razor sharp than ever.
Is there an overall, unifying idea behind the new record? If so, what is it? If not, why not?
As always the unifying idea is that it's all from my heart. I don't know if that counts as an idea? I've never understood the thing with having a concept or theme or such. Why would you want to paint yourself into a corner like that and let thoughts rule your art? It should become what it becomes, how else can it be a free, pure expression? How else can you keep it from the schemes of the mind?
I know that I've done the only thing that I've could have done. I really couldn't have done other songs. That is unifying for wonderland I guess.
What does WONDERLAND represent to you? Is it a place, or something else?
Ask the wind, the wolves, the heart of Nick Diaz or the waves. They know what I'm talking about. It is real life where everything flows. Where individuals are nothing but illusions. Where troubles are cute and joy has no opposite.
It is no fantasy, still fantastical images is my only way to describe the feeling of experiencing it. Words sure can't.
Was there a particular feeling you wanted to capture with this album? Is there a particular moment in the record where you feel you best achieved that?
I wanted to capture every feeling I'm feeling. I don't want to focus on anything special, I want it to be a complete picture. Of course I have failed in that sense, as in many others. But whatever you know?
You worked with Dan Lissvik for the first time on this record, but I know you've been friends with him for a while. Can you give me a brief rundown of your history with Dan?
Yeah, Dan is an old friend and helped me out with a lot of technical things. Kendal Johansson that I produced white magic with has been involved as well.
I met Dan like 10 years ago in a magical era in Gothenburg. He was some kind of lone wolf back then - distant, moody and a bit intimidating. All the girls were in love with him and all the boys afraid. But I liked him and after a while we were very close, people even teased us calling us a couple and things like that. It was very intense and very special for me, something I had never felt before. Like having a big and little brother at the same time. Now it's less intense but I still feel very close to him which is why I finally dared sharing my work with him.
Your records are usually somewhat short, with less songs than we might come to expect on traditional albums, but they often pack significantly more emotional punch. What's with that?
That's just what comes natural for me, there is no thought behind it. Guess I'm just a punchy kinda guy you know.
Outside of music what had the greatest effect on the evolution of ceo since white magic?
Whoa. So many things. Spending a lot of time alone, far away from friends. Zen. Fighting. Wilderness. Facing people. Making love. Mushishi. Letting myself down. Letting others down. Being a pimp. Being a whore. Being a john. Accepting it. Proust. Running. Chief Keef (yes, outside of music).
You moved to the countryside between the first record and this one, do you find it more or less motivating than life in the city?
I don't know about motivating, it depends on what kind of motivation we're talking about. I know it's very developing on a deeper level but the kind of motivation that takes one directly to "success" I feel less. Which can be very scary. Sometimes I feel like I'm walking into a void. But my heart keeps telling me I'm on the right way so I keep walking. It's not easy but I feel like I have no choice.
It's a very interesting thing and something I could talk about for days.
What is CEO hoping to offer the world that other artists might not?
Me. My world. It might sound stupid but what else? All I can offer is an artistic expression of what I feel. The question is - can you feel it? If so - wow. If not - die trying.
If you had to choose between a dinner date with Zlatan Ibramhimovic and Maria Sharapova, who wins?
Zlatan. I don't know why but he's just clearer to me nowadays. Plus I'm still annoyed with Maria not answering my letter.
This interview was torn from the sheets of our Modulations newspaper, a free press now available at all good UK indie record stores for a limited time.
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