november 2005
email interview by Barbara H

Barbara H: Hi! could you introduce yourselves ? what's the story behind the band, how did you guys get together ?

Amandine: Band was formed in 2001 by main songwriter Olof Gidlöf and former bassplayer Andreas Wengelin in the small industrial town of Sandviken, in the north of Sweden. After relocation and some member changes the current lineup was completed. The band rehearsed more and played more shows, and sent out demos in 2004, thus getting in touch with FatCat records, of whom we knew very little at the time. We changed the band name to "Amandine” and recorded the debut album in april 2005, that was released in November 2005.

BH: how do you compose songs ? is it Olof bringing songs to the band, or is it a more collective work ?

A: Olof is the songwriter of the band, he takes an idea and presents it to the rest and then we twist it and try to give the skeleton some flesh, so to speak. John has also written material, more so before but “Halo” (the single) for example is his work.

BH: how did the recording of "This Is Where Our Hearts Collide" go ?

A: The recording of our debut album was tough but exciting, because we´ve only logged shorter studio sessions before, say 3-4 days at a time, but this time it was weeks and weeks straight... some of us could rest inbetween parts but we were all kind of drained afterwards, you spend 10 hours a day inside a small room without windows, you tend to get a little nervous about what youre doing. The big plus we had was our producer, a patient and calm man who helped steer us through the rougher parts. In the end, we were all satisfied.

BH: is there a scene for country/folk/americana music in Sweden ?

A: Not really... well there are a few bands who play somewhat similar music and there is definitly an audience, but its not based around any city or any particular group of people. Some bands and artists are doing quite well, such as Christian Kjellvander or Kristofer Astrom, but we dont feel closer to them than other bands.

BH: strangely enough, i think your music suits the country quite well (after all canada is on the same longitude), there's an icy feeling through the record, warm hearts under heavy coats. do you think sweden (or the swedish countryside) has influenced you ?

A: It does affect the music, smaller towns and the countryside perhaps better gives time to reflect inwards than the big city with its more hectic life.

BH: some of the songs remind me a lot of Songs:Ohia, like "Stitches", is Jason Molina an influence to you, or do you only share the same common love of Neil Young ?

A:  They are both influences, yes. As are alot of other band/musicians.

BH: do you manage to reproduce the arrangements of the songs live ? how does it translate to the stage ?

A: We try as much as possible, it depends on who are onstage, and that has varied between just us four and nine alltogether. If we could play all at the same time, that would be practical  ;)

BH: how did you end up on fat cat ?

A: We sent in a demo, which isnt really how its done these days but we got some nice replies before so we just sent it out. Fatcat receives so many demos per week, they almost never do anything about them. We learned later they didnt put us in the “interesting” box, but the “maybe” box... luckily someone at the office put us in the right box later  ;)  Then they got in touch with us, and we met them in Umeå and made plans. Its a good label to be on, they are very open-minded and genuinly interested about music.

BH: what are the next plans for the band ? Will we see you play in France or in Canada ?

A: The plan is to tour through winter, spring and summer behind our record, right now were just home from the first parts of touring, in Europe and America, and it looks like well be going out in Europe again in January. France is very possible. Might be going back to the US later this spring, and who knows,  we may even play in Sweden, although that seems to be the hardest place to play, haha

BH: do you plan on writing/recording new songs anytime soon ?

A: we have some new songs that we are going to record in a couple of weeks, its not going to be a big studio recording, more like just to get a feel of the songs and see what can be done with them.

Silly questions!

what becomes of the broken hearted ?

They start bands, or get cynical. (or both)

what have you been dreaming about lately ?

beards and mustaches, different haircuts, digital bassamps & some missed school tests

what is the last thing that made you smile ?

Singing along to power ballads in the tourbus.

what is your favourite pick-up line ?

“We were Vikings once, you know...”

what freaks the hell out of you ?

Getting Visas for touring the United States.

where's the party ?

in our pants... no scratch that.

if you could travel in time, when and where would you go ?

Viking times, no doubt.

if you were an animal, which one would you be ?


If you could date any movie star (dead or alive) who would it be?

Audrey Tautou... or her sister, if she has one.

who is Amandine?

She is a potato plant.

/december 2005/