By Jon Chattman
Ace of Base were Swedish. The Swedish Chef, albeit a muppet, was Swedish. Lykki Li? Peter Bjorn & John? You guessed it: Swedish. Jamie Lee Curtis on a train in “Trading Places?” OK, you get the point.
The Legends are also from the holy land pigtails and ladies named Inga, but easily break out of the pack with their distinct sound and cool, pop-rock ways. As they release a new album (ch-ch-check it out here), we asked one-man band Johan Angergård some cool, inane stuff.
You mix up your sound from album to album, which is extremely bold. May I ask why? Takes balls, man.
The Legends albums follow my mood and it’s about exploring new sounds. I want each album to feel like a debut album because it’s a lot more interesting to do something for the first time compared to do the same thing over and over again. It keeps the curiosity alive. It even grows with every album. I’m surprised that not more bands and artists do it like that and the fact that so few bands do probably explains why album no. 3 or 4 from a band so rarely is their best.
Good point. You’ve drawn comparisons to Panda Bear and even Peter Bjorn and John, does it bug you that people often try to pigeon hole bands into one specific genre or category?
I understand that journalists have to make comparisons to help the readers understand. That’s OK. But I prefer if they’re fairly accurate. The only thing The Legends have in common with Peter, Bjorn and John is that we’re from Sweden. I like Panda Bear so that particular example I don’t mind too much even though there might not be that many similarities there either.
Who do you draw the most inspiration from?
Myself and the music I listen to.
Did you go into the music business to make money or to make music…both?
Haha… well, if I wanted to make money I certainly wouldn’t have chosen music. There’s so much easier ways of making money! And further more, I would never have chosen to make music the way I do it if I aimed at getting rich. That is not saying I wouldn’t appreciate to swim in money. So, don’t be shy. Everyone who has a bit of extra money can just email me at email@example.com and I’ll send you my bank account number.
If that works, I’m doing that, too. What’s the songwriting process like?
I write everything in the studio. I start with a mood or a general feeling or idea I want to get into a song and for that I need to be able to quite immediately create a sound pointing in the right direction. I usually start with drums/percussion and then adds bass and possibly a guitar before I start on melody lines. If it captures the mood I was looking for, or turns into something else equally interesting, I keep building it by adding piece by piece until it’s done. That usually takes a long time.
Off topic…Do emo hipster kids ruin everything?
I honestly have no idea who the emo hipsters are. Or why.
How’d you come up with your band name?
I was living with Henrik who used to played bass with The Legends live in the year 2003. I had no idea what to call the band so we gathered [in] the living room, smoked some cigarettes (this was before I turned 30 – it doesn’t look good to smoke if you’re over 30…) and wrote down all the names we could come up with. Then we chose “The Legends”. Not sure why though.
Is The Legend of Bagger Vance as terrible a film as everyone says?
My knowledge of The Legend of Bagger Vance is even worse than my knowledge on emo kids. But I have a totally unrelated question for you; why does so-called “quality film” (i.e. films that get good reviews) from the US always feature people standing on mountains, shouting out in the air/down in a deep valley, to prove that they’re really living their life to the max? It looks really pathetic. And then they might add Eddie Vedder or an old Indian singing “aaaaaah.” It doesn’t make sense. it’s stupid. It just doesn’t make sense.
That’s a good point. I think you just described The Bucket List - well without Vedder and an old Indian guy. Anyway, best case scenario, what happens to The Legends?
Today I don’t know. I’m 35. I’ll soon be dead and gone forever soon anyway. And then what difference does it make what happens? But if you’d ask tomorrow I’d hopefully say something more like “that 500,000 people will buy the album and it will change their life. To the better. ”
I like that last one better.