What prompted the decision to release a solo record?
The reason I wanted to do a solo record was that I felt the need of developing myself as a songwriter and a musician.I wanted to try to write songs in a way I hadn't done before and to do this I had to do it on my own, in my own pace and without having to consider anyone elses opinions or limitations. I felt like I was lost with David & the Citizens, like we were doing the same thing over and over and I didn't want to make another album that ran the risk of being a copy of our previous releases.
Describe the recording process for the album. Other than not having a band behind you, how different of an experience was it?
I (assisted by my brother Joel) recorded all the piano and some of the vocals in my apartment, and the rest was recorded at the rehearsal place (except the strings on "Then I Will Miss You" and some other small things). It was no big difference really from how I usually work, since I've always recorded all the demos for David & The Citizens (all instruments included). However, I tried to think differently from how I usually do when arranging the songs and I put a lot more effort in making every instrument play a bigger part. Instead of having lots of instruments doing a lot of things, I tried to narrow it down and peel off a few layers instead of building a wall of sound... For example, I tried to be more thorough when playing the bass and let it work together with the piano or the guitar, which has not always been the case in my earlier recordings. The fact that we recorded the whole record on an 8-track also forced me into thinking differently. Together with my partner Sara Culler, I also worked more with the harmonies and backup vocals than we've done on Citizens recordings. Over all, the recording process was a lot more laid back and easy going than any recording I've taken part in before; time and money was never an issue which is always the case when recording in a studio with a "real" producer.
What song on your album do you feel you put the most work into, and why?
I don't think I put more work into a specific song, the recording process went very smoothly and we never really had any major problems with any of the songs, exept for those that didn't make it to the album for different reasons...well, maybe we worked a bit more on "White Van" than the other songs, since we had to do some ping-ponging to fit everything in. We also recorded some additional harmony vocals on that track in the studio where we mixed the album (Studio Senorita).
If someone were to ask you what song on Amaterasu best represented your overall work, which song would it be, and why?
I think it would have to be "3 Pictures (of you & you & you)," which is the one song that might as well have ended up on a Citizens album. I thought about saving it for the next album when I had written it, but I felt like it would fit in really well on Amaterasu so I kept it for this album. I think it's a link between my older songs and the more recent ones I've written and there's a feel to it that one will find in a lot of my work - from the first EP, up to date.
To you, what song on Amaterasu is the most meaningful?
All songs are very precious to me, of course, but if I have to choose, I'd say "Circles," "April & May." "Then I Will Miss You" and "The Past Floats Like Stones." All these songs are very personal and emotional to me for different reasons.
What's next? More solo work? A return to David & The Citizens? Something entirely different?
Since finishing working on Amaterasu, I've written new songs for David & The Citizens and we're actually about to go into a studio in the countryside outside of our hometown Malmö for ten days to start working on what eventually will be the third Citizens album. Hopefully... I've also been playing live with my solo band and I'm currently working on a bunch of new solo-songs. Hopefully there will be a second solo album out some time in the future, but I'm not in a hurry. I'm off to do a tour with my solo band in Norway the last week in May and hopefully I'll do one in Europe this fall. So - there's lots of things happening!