MOOF Magazine chat to Swedish jazz/prog/psych five-piece Kvasar, ahead of their London gig at Helgi’s bar (Hackney) this Thursday.
MOOF: Are you excited to play London?
Kvasar: Yes! Many of our biggest inspirations are from England, and started their career in London. So in a sense it’s like coming home, walking our own path but in the direction that so many of our musical heroes did.
MOOF: Where’s the strangest place you’ve played a gig?
Kvasar: We haven’t played too strange places, yet, but we had a rather strange experience playing this metal/hard rock pub in Gothenburg, our hometown. The audience liked our music and the response was mostly positive, but it was just strange to play after this absurd metal band with most of them being there for them. And the electricity died on us just before we were meant to play, and 15 minutes later we found out it was rather easy to fix but our host didn’t seem to know too much about their job. Things were running late but in the end we had a pleasant evening!
MOOF: Can you describe your sound to our readers?
Kvasar: We’ve always found it complicated to really put a word on what our sound is. We have influences from lots of different genres and bands. If you listen to our EP or see us live you’ll notice that our sound reaches from jazz rock to even pop in a sense. Our songs sound quite different from each other but we feel that there is certainly “a red thread” that defines us. What we can say is that most of our inspiration comes from bands of the 1960’s and 1970’s, with some exceptions like jazz from the early 20th century and also classical music. We have a lot of inspirations!
MOOF: What are your main influences?
Kvasar: Some specific bands that we listen to and that have inspired and shaped us would include King Crimson, Pink Floyd, the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Gentle Giant, the Beach Boys, Emerson Lake & Palmer, Genesis, Frank Zappa and Jimi Hendrix. Those are some influences we all probably share, but individually we listen to a lot more of course.
MOOF: What is the music scene like in Sweden?
Kvasar: The music scene is pretty good here. There’s a lot of great bands here and in Gothenburg we have a good portion of them! Gothenburg is kind of like the capital of music in Sweden, though it is worth mentioning that there aren’t that many good places to play live right now. Unfortunately this is a problem of national proportion. On the upside, there is a kind of new wave that’s been going on for a few years now, at least in Gothenburg. People who like to dress in 60/70’s clothes and appreciate the quality of the music from that era are growing, at least it feels like it. And there’s definitely an audience out there for those like us who wants to challenge ourselves and experiment with music that isn’t necessarily part of the modern, popular scene.
MOOF: If you could play a gig with any band (past or present) who would it be and why?
Kvasar: In present time we would love to share stage with bands like Dungen, Lemon Twigs or King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard because they are, according to us, some of the great bands of our time! We would also love to play with Flare Voyant (which we hope will happen in the future.) As for bands from the past there are many to choose from, but let’s just say Gentle Giant for now!
MOOF: What have you all been listening to recently?
Kvasar: Aside from the bands we’ve already mentioned, we all have our individual preferences. The music we generally listen to tends to not be the latest stuff released on the market, with some exceptions. John Coltrane, the swedish jazz singer Monica Zetterlund, and Captain Beefheart are some of the artists we’ve paid attention to recently.
MOOF: What does the future hold for Kvasar?
Kvasar: We’re constantly writing new material which we play live, but in terms of more studio-based projects, in the not so distant future we will record and release a full-length album that will blow people’s minds! Before that we hope to release a single, and of course tour a lot. Because along with writing music, playing live is what we all love the most.
Kvasar play Helgi’s, Hackney E8 this Thursday with support from Karma Sheen. More event details here
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