Viva Talks English!

Viva Talks is a new series of talks, in the shape of a normal after-work. For the first session we’re inviting three British people to sit down in the restaurant at Pustervik for a conversation about music. It’s time for Viva Talks English!

Since it’s nice to meet up and talk about our favorite subject, we’re doing these events from now and up until December and our festival Viva Sounds. Viva Talks is free of charge and we hope to see musicians, promoters, companies and just anybody interested in music for these laid-back meetings – this is for all of us who wants to talk music at our own after-work.

Our guests for April are these cool cats, bringing expertise from a range of angles to the table;

Anika Mottershaw is the A&R and Project Manager at Bella Union where she has worked for the past eight years. Anika started at Bella Union after moving to London, dropping out from university and meeting label founder Simon Raymonde at the gigs she was going to. Not long after this, Anika became Label Assistant, signing her first artist in 2012. She now works as A&R and is the project manager for about half of the roster, working closely with the Bella Union artists. Outside of the label Anika is a huge fan of literature and film, and loves to get involved in creative endeavours as often as possible.

Cai Trefor works as editor at Gigwise. With over 80 writers and 20 photographers on call worldwide, Gigwise covers all major and underground music events as they happen. Working closely with artists, record labels, PR and promoters, Gigwise doesn’t just report on the music scene, but plays an active role. Since its launch in June 2002, Gigwise has consistently been at the cutting edge of music, often breaking exclusive stories on music’s biggest acts. The fresh, uncompromising approach and ability to identify breaking acts has won it a loyal and ever expanding core of users. Cai previously worked as deputy editor and as live sessions editor and he’s also contributed to Drowned IN Sound, The Line Of Best Fit and Clash Magazine in the past.

Cristina Greco is the social media marketing manager for Birmingham Promoters, an independent business specialised in music promotion and events organisation, tirelessly operating in the UK and Midlands Indie music scene since 2008 (and now with a predominantly female team, a positive rarity in the industry!). With a background in communication and PR for Italian music festivals and events, and after moving to UK to carry her PhD studies on data analytics, Cristina is now using her digital skills to play an active role in her new city’s music scene, having joined the company as Head of Marketing last year.

Jesper Jansson is a member of the indie rock band The Bongo Club, where he handles guitar and vocals. With one album released The Bongo Club have toured all over Europe and also been to the UK several times. Jesper will add the perspective of the musician who have played both festivals and club nights in the UK, and with the experience of both successful shows and, also, a number of not so successful shows.

Christian Naumanen is a freelance journalist and music writer from Borås. With his roots in the local music scene, he covers everything from emerging acts to big international festivals like SXSW. He is a culture columnist and critic for Borås Tidning and was the editor of Maktens Musik, a status report of pop music in Swedish cultural policies 2017. When not writing, Christian plays the guitar (with The Stomping Academy & Linda of The Valley), manages his tiny label Ringstone Records and dreams about buying a house with a barn, where he can build his own studio.

Scandinavian trio on tour

Three acts with one thing in common – an innovative interpretation of the minimalistic.
From Sweden comes Lisa Wanloo, from Norway Vi go Du and from Denmark Marí. Together, the three artists makes a joint tour through their home countries in early March. We are invited to acoustic music inspired by archipelago life, deep forests and the possibilities that lies within the human voice. Stripped, beautiful and undeniably touching.


Lisa Wanloo appeared on the Swedish music scene early 2017 with a clear and honest expression not many debutants have. She’s born and raised on Hönö, an island in the Gothenburg archipelago, and her music shares a similar raw beauty to the landscape she grew up in. With influences from americana and indie folk, her solo singer-songwriter performance is an intimate music experience with a strong backbone of really well crafted songs.
In October 2018 she released a hauntingly and beautiful EP produced by Per Stålberg and Kalle Lilja in Welfare Sounds in Gothenburg and Lisa Wanloo is since continuing to perform while working on new material. If you want to get lost in a unique, upcoming voice, keep an eye out for Lisa Wanloo.

‘Mari’ is the chosen moniker of the Danish singer/songwriter Linda Josefsen. With her haunting voice and minimalist songs in the vein of folk music, Josefsen’s work is reminiscent of a force of nature wherein the tranquil and the feral are entwined.
She will perform live alongside Andreas Westmark (Get Your Gun, Hjalte Ross), in which they will explore the form and expression of Josefsen’s work, seeking out the core of this emerging artist’s sound.

Vi og Du writes music based on harmonized vocals in a soundscape that oscillates between beat-based and floating elements. The lyrics are written in Norwegian and the musical distinctiveness places the songs in a genre-crossing tradition. The music can best be described as pop though the duo is also inspired by genres like jazz, soul and the singer-songwriter tradition. The pop-duo consists of Iris Marie Gusfre and Anne Ingrid Tangen Kiær.
The vocalists have different musical backgrounds which are shown in both how the music is written and performed. The interesting encounter between genres is met with openness in the music, where the songs are distinct from each other, but throughout, nevertheless, there is a translucent thread that gives the listener an experience of continuity with crystal clear voices and a strong stage presence.

05 mars @ Det Musiske Hus, Frederikshavn, DK
06 mars @ 1000fryd, Aalborg, DK
07 mars @ Sofar, Göteborg, SE
08 mars @ Pumphuset, Borås, SE
09 mars @ Sabla Bar, Kristinasand, NO

Mexico state of mind!

Third year in a row we’re teaming up with Festival Marvin, CDMX, to make our perspective a little bit wider and a little bit more interesting. This time it’s Bottlecap’s turn to cross the Atlantic to see what’s up.

It’s all going down between May 16 and 18. One of the most important music events in Mexico City, now in their ninth edition: Festival Marvin delivers a large number of activities and more than 60 concerts with both national and international acts. This year, Bottlecap is one of them, and we were able to pass over a few questions to festival booker Uili Damage.

Every year you have a lot of bands to choose from. Why Bottlecap?
− Thanks to the Viva Sounds Festival’s 2nd edition we had the chance to place foot in Gothenburg, where Bottlecap was in the line-up. Festival Marvin has been devoted to rescue certain important rock styles that are blatantly leftover by metal fests and indie soft rock fests. Having a powerful non-metal rock band such as Bottlecap crowns the kind of music stamp the
festival is bringing to the Mexican audience.

“It is a celebration of music discovery.”

This is the ninth edition of Festival Marvin. What’s this year’s main focus?
− We’ve always looked for showcasing important emerging talent, with the quality and chops to headline anything, and then we present them along bigger artists that have missed to play Mexico for any reason. It is a celebration of music discovery.

After the festival Bottlecap are hooking up with Mexican locals Dresden Wolves and 3 Minute Riot for a couple of shows on the road. Seems like the perfect first Mexican visit. We called up Jorge de Los Rios on the  independent booking collective Violencia River, to catch up.

What can we expect from the tour?
− A lot of fun but also the chance to play in front of different crowds, the scene in Queretaro is smaller than Mexico City, but people there support foreign bands, also they get super crazy in the moshpit.

Sounds cool! How’s the punk rock scene in Mexico at the moment?
− The punk rock/indie scene in Mexico is thriving, and since 2014 there’s a lot of DIY-promotors, venues and bands making a change. We are very excited to have the Bottlecap guys here. It’s gonna be wild but also very fun to have three bands from the most different cultural background sharing a van and awesome stories, all in the name of rock n roll.

You’re correct, Jorge. All in the name of rock and roll.

Festival Marvin / Revista MarvinBottlecap /
Dresden Wolves / 3 Minute Riot / Violencia River

Words: Wolfman Jackson
Picture: M.Roth de Fries Lündbergh (open source)

Electric Hydra / SWR, Barroselas, PT.

SWR Barroselas Metalfest has been in our calendar some years, and we can’t find a reason to change this winning team. The festival is on its 22nd year so it’s literally an honor to be part of this event, who puts around 50 bands on stage over three days in the north of Portugal.

Edition 22 is headlined by major acts as Saint Vitus and Godflesh, but they’re also putting Electric Hydra, who formed not even two years ago, on the bill. Electric Hydra has been over-active during its lifeline and constantly seem to be doing things, so we caught up with a few questions on this upcoming trip.

Portugal and SWR in April, have you been outside Sweden with the band yet?
– Yes, no, we’re heading for Denmark and Germany some shows in March and April. But this will be our first time flying. Feels pretty great!

What other plans do you have for the coming times?
– Oh, quite a lot actually! New tunes are in the making and we will do pre-production and then recording them in Welfare Studios, Gothenburg, late August. Then there’s some planning for one or two shorter tours this fall in Europe.

Seems you have done quite a lot being a band only a short period of time, what’s about Electric Hydra getting results like that that others don’t?
– There’s so much else you have to do besides writing music and rehearse, you have to be your own manager, you have to do your own PR, your social media and you need to have a plan and stick to it. You have to be round and about, meeting and talking to people IRL and as always, you have to be at the right place at the right time. And last, don’t give up!

More stuff:

Words: M. Roth de Fries Lündbergh

How about Ukraine?

It’s winter and it’s cold, but we won’t let the raw Gothenburg chill stop us. It’s time for Make It Loud Festival in Kyiv, Ukraine!

Ukraine and Kyiv during winter. What can we expect? Quite a lot actually! And talking about music – even more. Make It Loud Festival goes off between February 23 and 24, and this year the focus is set on the live industry. There will be plenty of panels and seminars on how to draw attention to your gig, organize a tour and to find a professional booker, to enjoy. It all suits us like a glove, and we’re happy to bring Lisa Wanloo along, and had to ask her some questions about the trip.

You’ll be going to Ukraine and Make It Loud Festival in a couple of weeks. How does it feel?
– It feels great, and very exciting! I’ve never been to Ukraine before, and to get the opportunity to play a festival feels a bit surrealistic. I’ve only done shows in Sweden so far, so it’ll be fun to see how the local crowd receives my music.

What do you look forward to the most?
– To see Kyiv and the festival, the show of course, but also the feeling of being in the city after show!

From Westside Music Sweden, Mr. Robin Havbring will partake in the conference program, together with Thomas Heher (Waves Vienna, AT), Liliya Lazareva (CTS Records, UA), Oskar Strajn (Eurosonic Noorderslag, NL) and many more. Seems this year is off to a good start.

Words: Wolfman Jackson
Photo: Nikos Plegas

No culture without sub-culture

Loud, exciting and crowded to the limit. Once again Eurosonic in Groningen creates an atmosphere of party and complete madness. We checked out the Swedish acts during the festival.

From the outside, Groningen with its 200 000 inhabitants, is like every other city in the Netherlands. You get neat architecture and nice people, it’s like a smaller Amsterdam with canals, houseboats and ”classic” coffee shops. You will find everything you need in a small, flat and walk friendly environment. Eurosonic Noorderslag has been around since 1986 and have ever since made the city an annual destination for thousands of professional music delegates and hundreds of artists. During four days in January the festival occupies the cities clubs, build stages on every open square and creates an atmosphere unlike no other. It’s a shame it doesn’t last longer, but that might be for the best. Groningen takes its toll.

Although Eurosonic is on everyone’s lips, the festival is far from everything happening in Groningen this week. Over the years, the festival has inspired everyone and it seems that every bar and café that earlier would have been on the outside, now also wants a piece of the sweet, sweet cake that is Eurosonic. During later years countless of smaller festivals have been popping up, creating a unique subgenre to the massive main festival. Here you will find the Pleuropsonic Festival, which during Wednesday and Thursday houses in Café de Zolder, a lovely and sweaty bar where the smoking room make up for 90 percent of the area. However, you light a cigarette in the small bar at the entrance and they throw you out head first. Hard and fair. A logic to love.

First night of the festival, Wednesday, The Barn is one of the most visited places. And yes, it’s a venue. In a barn. In the city centre. Groningen is full of surprises and the concept works great. At 8 pm it’s time for the first marked act in the massive Eurosonic schedule. Linn Koch-Emmery takes the stage and does what she does best. The audience is caught from the first time she hits the guitar strings and are kept within her musical atmosphere until the show is over. The raw, melodic indie rock is hard to resist, and her melancholic voice stays with you. If 2019 really is Linn’s year, as many seem to believe, us included, it has started in the best possible way. It’ll be exciting to follow her development.

On Thursday night, when the legal fog lies dense in Café de Zolder, Browsing Collection takes the stage. The band from Skövde (western Sweden) has toured intensively for many years but Groningen is their first stop in the Netherlands. The stage at de Zolder is small, pushed deep in the corner and enlightened enough to allow you to distinguish the band through a smoky atmosphere. The debut is done and dusted without problems and Browsing Collection tear off several classic rock riffs, all to the audience approval. The band is raw and rides on a rock and roll-attitude that characterizes both the songs and the live performance. It’s hard, playful and consists of just the right dose of crowd-pleasing. It’s always a pure pleasure to listen to a distorted guitar in a small venue, and de Zolder and Browsing Collection is perfect match.

During Eurosonic it’s not only clubs that fills up, and even thou it’s minus five degrees outside big amounts of people gather in the streets of Groningen. Eurosonic (and the sub-festivals) create their own world within the city’s canals. This is where it happens and nothing else matters. At the same time the atmosphere is relaxed and undemanding, which must be called a classic Dutch attitude.

On Friday night at 9 pm Sarah Klang takes the stage at Stadsschouwburg, Groningen’s grand theatre and a Dutch national monument dating from the 19th century. The setting is perfect, and a cool, relaxed but also focused Sarah Klang enchants a close to full venue with her big, glittering and as always, sorrowful, country-pop. The applause just keeps on rolling, and you can feel the enthusiasm rise more by each song. The road forward lies straight.

Back to Pleuropsonic and their closing party at ORKZ Bar, Saturday. Located in an old Roman Catholic hospital a few kilometres outside of the city centre the audience is offered intriguing live shows and one of Groningen’s (maybe the country’s?) best venues. Left from the old days is an old autopsy table i steel which works as a merchandise table for evening. The stage is apparently located in the hospital’s old kitchen, however, tonight it’s a steampunk influenced, dark and totally awesome concert hall that shrieks of anarchy. This can’t go wrong. And it won’t.   

Sweden is represented by Browsing Collection and Bottlecap, and the former opens the night in the best possible way. ORKZ Bar is packed from 9.30 pm and the crowd are pleased from the first second, that is – when the lead singer Mimi Brander starts shouting in harmony with Moa Lenngren’s sharp guitar sound. It’s great to finally see the band on a real stage with well mixed sound (by all means – de Zolder is a good venue but shit just got real). Browsing Collection knows how to build a concert from A to B and how to write songs with simple yet catchy melodies and hooks.

Gothenburg based Bottlecap puts in gear five and succeeds in starting the first mosh pit of the evening. Drummer Pontus Robertson hits harder than most and actually looks half dead after just five songs. But his looks and the venue’s lights are deceiving, and he keeps delivering a stable and intense drumming throughout the concert. Bottlecap are filled to the rim with energy and the bass player Johan Reiman takes every opportunity he gets to leave the stage for crowd-pleasing dance together with the audience. The show is intense, loaded with a punk attitude, but at the same time stable and controlled. It’s obvious that the band has gathered a lot of experience from ten years of playing. A new record is on its way and high expectations are well founded.   

Four days in Groningen leaves you with plenty of impressions, a sore body and a slightly light mind. Swedish bands have once again made an impact in the northern Netherlands, performing on both the main Eurosonic and its sub festivals. Groningen comes with laughter, excitement and great live music. See you next year.

Words: Wolfman Jackson
Photos: M. Roth de Fries Lündbergh

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

Closing party with Pale Honey!

We are so getting there, and we are turning it loose. Cos it’s a mother.

Since adding up things vs Viva Sounds by the day we now got all things in place. Conference is complete and same thing on the live program. Good news is that most of the festival will be free of charge – we are only accepting your hard earned dollars for the conference and for the closing party. The rest – come get yours.

The closing party will be at Pustervik and we got our headline Pale Honey giving their last set of the year. The duo has been moving on up over the last years and if you miss them at Viva Sounds, you won’t get a second chance in months to come. We also got the death-funk by The Exorcist GBG to get the dance floor on fire afterwards and into the future.

Our full program, both live and conference, will be revealed soon as well.

Viva Sounds is a club festival and music conference in Gothenburg, happening for the second time  7th-8th of December 2018. The conference will be inspiring and educational with amazing networking opportunities and the live program will blow your mind at multiple venues around town.

Tickets – 150 SEK – conference:
Tickets – 150 SEK – closing party: