Thank you!

Viva Sounds 2018 was just the perfect thing. The weekend came and the weekend went – and we had so much fun living it up! 

Thank you so much, everyone, who made Viva Sounds 2018 such a magical gathering! Big ups to all the bands, artists, our fantastic speakers and guests, people helping us out, the venues and of course our beautiful audience who came out!

When we get time we’ll upload more pics (by Nikos Plegas btw) but for now we need the rest. Let’s get in xmas mode, get some time off and we’ll see you next year!

Revista Marvin in tha house!

We’ve been blessed with the opportunity to have artists to Festival Marvin in Mexico City for the last two years – The Bongo Club in 2017 and Linn Koch-Emmery plus Annelie this year. And since Marvin seems to be such a stellar set-up within both music media and live, we dared to invite them to Viva Sounds. Happily they accepted our invitation, so of course we had to do an interview.

This Saturday you’ll have the chance to meet Ceci Velasco and Uili Damage at our conference at Pustervik, and also around town checking our program out. Given their work they do give the most humble impression. Love people like that. Here’s what we talked about.

You’re running quite an impressive platform, all based on music. How did that all come together and what has been your strong points in making it happen?
– It all starts from our magazine Revista Marvin, devoted to music, arts, movies, literature, and now even stand up comedy. Having already taken over www (with the website and social media) it needed a final experience to live music culture in every way possible. The natural step was taken 8 years ago with Festival Marvin, which presents all this approaches to both burgeoning and consolidated music culture.

I know you travel as well, what is the most significant differences you see with music and the life around it looking at Mexico (plus the areas around it) and compared to Europe?
– Mexican modern music and its industry is still younger than its peers and we’ve having a hard time catching up due to economic differences mainly. Nevertheless, Mexico has gained favorite status along common tour destinations because of the ardent audience welcoming not just hip music but also a wide range of acts.

What is similar and what’s the bigger diffrences?
– From several years now, we’ve reached competitive standards for production to make an appealing healthy scene useful to many outputs in the industry.

What is still far apart?
– Economics are still a hassle, not taking in count the transportation fees. You can get to see top notch acts for really affordable prices week-round in many major cities worldwide, but the promoters still insist in elevating their fee rates excessively, just on the idea that the Mexican audience will pay anyway. With the rising number of show opportunities year-round we truly hope to even this scenario in order to have a more healthy circuit.

“Mexico has gained favorite status along common tour destinations”

Since you also run a festival, what makes your festival special – what is so Marvin about it?
– It’s a community gathering. It’s made possible with the participation of the people that lives and works in the Roma and Condesa neighborhoods. It has the high production standards of the main festivals and also works in an intimate, laid-back logistics and spaces where you’re not bounded by the site’s specified grounds. It happens in the heart of the city with the participation of the city.

What do you know about Swedish music?
– For years now we’ve received amazingly high level of several pop music creators (yes, ABBA, but also within this lines of The Knife and Refused) and then enjoyed the most audacious music experimentators. We perceive that the years have brought the most interesting blends along those lines and though today Berlin is an important creators magnet-location for art from all aver Europe, Sweden still have interest in projecting talent from the homeland rather than moving carrying the flag.

Or any other things you’re interested in checking out when over where?
– Of course there is the Marvin axis of interest but also the places and conditions that provoke this to happen as it’s happening today. How you approach it, how it affects you and then how it reflects on anywhere outside Gothenburg, Sweden and abroad. There’s The Swedish Theory of Love movie approach, the Millenium saga approach, some more pop culture to name here and there, but there’s also a number of faces of the Swedish culture to be showed and discussed to create both better understandings and collaborations between our societies.

Awesome, thanks – and welcome to Gothenburg. It will be quite dark, might get cold, please bring some warmth with you.
– Thanks, I’m sure we’ll love it!

Photo credit: Carlos Maycotte
(Linn Koch-Emmery at Festival Marvin 2018).

Pop culture at its best is about change and going forward!

John Robb formed The Membranes 1976 in Blackpool as punk rock saved his life, and he has ever since been part of music – as a musician, as a journalist and as an author. Given his broad experience we could not be more happy to have him part of Viva Sounds and had to get in touch to ask him a few questions.

Just to add to the picture, John was probably the first person in Europe to interview Nirvana, he coined the phrase Britpop, did the first interview with The Stone Roses plus most of the bands from the emerging Manchester scene. He runs the magazine and online music platform Louder Than War and the festival Louder Than Words, he interviews people on stage at various events, he makes Ted-X’s, spoken word performances, and is still active touring with his band, who inspired both Big Black and Sonic Youth.

Hey John, you’ve spent your life in music, has the industry gotten better or worse in general, in your opinion?
– It just fluctuates and changes. Pop culture at its best is about change and going forward. There was no golden era when it was ‘easier’ or music was ‘better’. If you exist outside the whims of fashion and on the edge of culture it’s never easy! Technology means you can get yourself listened to outride the circus but that’s not a given either. When I started it was about records first, you toured to promote the album, now it’s about live music and pushing on through the internet – this means there’s a million gate keepers and that’s reflected by the music which has become more and more diverse and this should be celebrated. There is no-one in control and I celebrate that.

“There is no-one in control and I celebrate that.”

With music being more and more driven digitally, what role do you see the live game playing now?
– The live experience is more important now than ever – in a world where everything is shrunk onto an iPhone screen it’s great to be in a room with the shamanic tribal and powerful force of music in full flow – also enhancements in technology have meant that its possible to create quite ambitious music and live experiences that can be really diverse – I love the way that music can be a myriad of styles from Aphex Twin byte-techno to primitive guitar bass and drums sonic violence to orchestras or choirs hooking into ancient melodic structures – in 2018 you can listen to all of these and they all make sense. Post Spotify all music is on the table and the tribal restrictions of my youth have been shattered.

As we’re running a conference and club festival, and I know you travel a lot, what makes a conference being a good one in your eyes and experience? And what makes a bad one?
– I love the conferences where music and culture are centre stage – there is a polarisation between the business orientated events which I’m sure are really important but mean little to me and the events where a real imagination and care is taken over the music, like Tallinn Music Week in Tallinn or MENT in Ljubljana, where you see bands that blow your mind and spend time with people who are as immersed in art and culture as you are – Tallinn gets extra points for still believing you can change the world with culture – a big plus in the cynical times.

You will be talking on music journalism when at Viva Sounds, and our under-label is “Can we shake it back to life” – where do you think it’s all headed?
– New punk can’t happen. Punk was a moment in time in the UK where a small amount of people tore a hole in the stuffy fabric and let the madness out. That is not to say there can’t be new revolutions – there are always musical revolutions – acid house was a massive musical revolution but very few music writers were involved in it so it is not written about much. Black metal was a music revolution and post black metal is where some of the most fascinating modern music gets made.

“These days you can hear the music yourself and make your own mind up”

Music writing now is vastly different from what it used to be but don’t be fooled by the idea that there was a golden period – the 60 year old writers like to tell you that they were in the golden era of writing but there are great writers now as well – their voices are harder to hear in the avalanche of media but that’s not a bad thing – these days you can hear the music yourself and make your own mind up – the role of thew writer is not dead – just changed – now it’s about saying “listen to this!”. Some writers still believe that slagging off a Mumford and Sons album will end that bands career but Mumford and Sons fans are not reading those reviews – they follow the bands facebook pages instead and listen tot heir streams. Our job now is to say: look there’s loads of other great stuff going on like the current Russian music scene and try and tell people how good it is and why it’s there…

Last, what’s your opinion on Swedish music? Any bands, artists that you like now, or in the past? 
– Sweden is fascinating really – it is a high flyer in music for a relatively small country – I guess the Abba factor helps there. It has always been good at pop music but the darker underground of bands like Opeth is interesting and fascinating to see and how big they have become on their own musical agenda. I also really love The Hives – I saw them play recently and they were as good as ever. I also like choirs and Sweden has some of the best choirs in the world.

John Robb will be talking on MUSIC JOURNALISM
Saturday 12.30


Naam Barroselas
Braga, PT

Ricardo Veiga got into music via fanzines, radio, shows and bands at an early age and went on to form the NAAM Association in 1999 and he flips his title being a booking agent, a manager, a talent buyer, a promoter and a festival director. Today NAAM is the common denominator for several major events in the north of Portugal, including SWR BARROSELAS METALFEST, one of the oldest and most respected metal festivals in Europe, running for 22 consecutive editions since 1998. 50 bands in 3 stages during 4 days, ranging from all over the world and bringing the best in extreme music, from main acts to upcoming bands and also hosting the national final for the Wacken Metal Battle in Portugal.

BRAGA MUSIC WEEK is a 9-day event celebrating the International Music Day and runs and includes shows in the historic city streets with a mobile sound system, a football cup between local musicians and promoters, club shows and showcases in local pubs and cafes, music fairs, cinema and talks. Latest up on the plate of NAAM is Soundville – an eco-friendly-festival around the beautiful Neiva river, connecting the margins of different districts with Music and Nature. It started in 2017 and won various prizes for his sustainability and preservation of the environment.

As a manager Ricardo works with the electronic duo ERMO, who mixes harsh beats and harmonies with slang Portuguese poetry. Considered the best Portuguese act in 2017, they are preparing the recording of the 3rd album and played recently most of the summer festivals in their home country and have also toured Brazil and Scandinavia.


Pace Management / Welfare Sounds & Records
Göteborg, SE

Fredrik Andersson runs the Gothenburg-based artist management Pace Management and is part of the record company Welfare Sounds & Records. After graduating from Music and Event Management at Linne University in 2005, Fredrik began working at the lawyer and management company Flagstone. During his eight years with the company he was involved in projects and campaigns with Mando Diao, Division Of Laura Lee, Christoffer Berg, The Royal Concept and The Hives.

In 2013 Fredrik Flagstone left Flagstone to launch his own company, Pace Management, and in 2015 Fredrik joined Olle Björk and Per Stålberg, producers and studio owners of Welfare Sounds, to launch the Welfare Sounds & Records record company. Welfare has quickly settled in on the map as one of Sweden’s most interesting indie labels and has over three active years released artists like Terra, Linn Koch-Emmery, Missios and Tyred Eyes.


Promoter & manager
Bratislava, SK

Representative of the emerging generation of modern-thinking and innovative artist managers and promoters. Lehocká manages young and promising Slovak musicians that aspire to play abroad and under the umbrella of her brand Real Something she brings over foreign artists to Bratislava. In the last seven years she has worked with various venues and promoted concerts for more than 70
artists from countries from USA and Canada through Iceland and the UK to Scandinavia and mainland Europe.

In 2018 Lehocká got involved in organising SHARPE music festival and conference in Bratislava, where she is one of the bookers and the head of the conference. The festival is focused on emerging artists from Europe and Slovakia, while the conference is reflecting current trends and topics in the music industry.


Moderator, freelance writer, communication specialist
Gothenburg, Sweden

Her never ending curiosity has led Tatiana Madrid to exciting adventures and a work resumé that almost has it all. She has worked at the European snowboard magazine Method Mag in the Austrian Alps, hunted down news as a music journalist at the magazine GAFFA, worked for Roskilde Festival as a project manager, and owned her own bar and music venue Vansinnet in Gothenburg. She has worked for one of Sweden’s broadest and biggest music competition for youth, Musik Direkt/Imagine, worked as communication manager at KulturUngdom – and she has flipped burgers at one of Sweden’s most remote ski resorts, 25 miles north of the Arctic Circle. Why not, right?

Tatiana Madrid has interviewed international music artists such as Interpol, EMA and Wild Beasts, and cultural profiles such as the American author and artist Myriam Gurba, the 2017 International Press Freedom awardee Afrah Nasser, and the Swedish comedian and author Nanna Johansson.

Her passion for culture, literature and arts, paired with her history of working in the music and media production industry, comes well in handy when moderating conferences and events as this year’s Viva Sounds.


Göteborg, SE

Johan Söderman is a researcher in child and youth studies at the University of Gothenburg. He has conducted research concerned with hip-hop culture and has published articles, books and chapters in the field of music education, cultural studies, and education. His research interests are the Scandinavian educational tradition called ‘folkbildning’, academisation processes of youth music and social mobilisation/marginalisation in post-industrial society.