RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW SWEDISH BAND AGGRESSIVE SOCCER MOMS
Hiya folks thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.
What made you decide that music is a thing for you?
In 77 when punk rock came on like a second big bang we got knocked over by the power and the beauty of it. It was the first time we heard something that was for us, that was real… Punk is still our greatest love.
Introduce us to all to the members and your musical history?
Aggressive Soccer Moms was formed in 2018 by Anders Bergström and Thomas Wahlström.
Thomas is the Singer in the band. Also a lyricist, songwriter, and cover artist and plays the melodica. He started out in the Old School Punk band Bleak Outlook.
Anders was the singer and guitarist in one of Sweden’s earliest punk bands, Allan Ladds. They started out in 1977. He has since played in different bands. In ASM Anders composes most of the music and plays guitar, bass, and keyboard.
The music industry is the hardest industry in the world to progress in, How do you feel you are doing?
We are doing great. We don´t earn any money and we´re totally ignored in our native Sweden but in the Uk and in the US we are getting some recognition. Also in Europe, South Africa, and South America. We are making the music that we like and that we otherwise wouldn´t hear. We are enjoying ourselves and will probably keep going forever.
How have your songwriting skills developed over time?
By listening to our six previous albums in chronological order one would think we progressed a great deal. But the truth is that we in the early days were really trying to be Lo-Fi, keeping it as simple and generic as possible. We didn´t even allow ourselves to right the wrongs if you get what I mean. Now we are a bit more conscious and want to get into other fields of this genre (Post Punk), but we will probably turn back to that lo-fi philosophy again soon.
I’m seeing a lot of debate about females not feeling safe at music gigs, any thoughts on what we need to do to help?
It´s really insane that women (or anyone) should feel unsafe or threatened to go to gigs. Everyone, including arrangers, security as well as artists must be more aware and observant. We need to address the problem, and talk about it. In the punk days of the 70´s and 80´s bands often stopped playing when they witnessed violence or abuse in the crowd. Sometimes they would interfere. We need to do that today.
As you develop as an artist and develop using socials what ways do you get new ears on your music? Any tips?
We are trying to figure out how to master social media. We are slowly gaining listeners but we are just winging it. No real clue. We send our music to pods, blogs and radio stations. And we are on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and most important Bandcamp.
Tell us Two truths and a lie about you.
We don´t like to rehearse.
We are too lazy to go on extensive tours.
We know what we are doing!
What’s your thought on Spotify’s monopoly on the music industry?
Monopoly is never a good thing. In this matter, we have different opinions. Thomas thinks Spotify and other platforms are bad for music. The album concept is getting obsolete whereas a single song every second month gives you more listeners and a bigger following. That is killing art and dampens creativity. Anders thinks that streaming is one of the best things that has happened to music.
Do you sign up for any conspiracy theories?
No conspiracy theories. We live in the real world. Grey and dull.
Did you buy anything you don’t need during the pandemic?
During the pandemic, we bought guitars, synthezisers, and vinyl records. That can never be unnecessary, can it? (We made three albums during that time).
What was the worst experience on stage?
No major disasters on stage, just the ordinary bad playing and forgetting the lyrics due to stage fright.
Tell us something about each member that you think people would be surprised about.
Thomas used to be a first-division Rugby player in Sweden. He also sang for the very first time in his life only eight years ago.
Anders is a football (Soccer) manager and a huge Beatles fan.
I hear you have new music, what can you tell us about it.
I think what makes us stand out if anything is that we are ruthless toward ourselves and the audience. Really lo-fi. We work hard and follow up on every idea. Every album is therefore different albeit there is an ASM sound. After our sixth album, “All you need” which was our most successful and polished album including the hit single “It´s not love” we wanted to do something almost unlistenable. So we brought in our friend Stefan Wistrand who is a brilliant saxophone player to play lead on every song on the upcoming album. We composed, rehearsed, arranged and recorded the whole album in four long days.
Talk me through the thought process of the new tune/s.
We wanted to do as Lou Reed did, where every second album is a brilliant hit album and the other is more challenging and not crowd-pleasing at all. Our new tunes, a full album was supposed to be strange even by our standards but ended up a catchy pop record (Well). It sounds like it always sounds with saxophone instead of guitars, but it´s still the ASM sound. If you don´t like saxophones it might be a strange album after all.
What was the recording process like?
The Recording of our new songs was fairly easy. We talked the record through while composing it. We had a clear idea of what we wanted. The studio work was like a jigsaw puzzle where someone recorded their part and then the others added their parts. We were pretty much on the same wave length this time.
What was the biggest learning curve in writing the new tunes?
After the last album, we wanted to go back to where we came from. Maybe we thought we´d gotten too “professional” and clean on that one. Even if we really enjoyed the relative amount of succes we achieved, we tripled our following with the “It´s not love” single. We wanted to restrain ourselves a bit not to sound too polished this time.
Would you change anything now it’s finished?
No. It´s great! I think we´ve got a higher low now. We are happy with that of course.
Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?
Be kind to each other! When the world is getting colder, darker, and more polarised we need to stick together. Love is all you need!