Interview with Three Seasons – Olle Risberg: I would feel very dishonest trying to "be smart" about the music
Due to several entries published at this site about Three Seasons, and before the releasing of their new album, the chance to interview the band has come up, which obviously we have not missed. It is enough clear that we’re in the face of one of those special bands that rises from time to time on the musical scene, so, not before appreciating the facilities given, here is the whole conversation that we have had with Olle, band’s bass player.
Well, first of all, we would like to thank you for giving us the opportunity to interview you. You know that you are a band that have liked a lot at RockTheBestMusic and is a pleasure to make you some questions.
That’s great to hear! This is Olle, bass player, answering the questions.
1.-Tell me about the origins of “Three Seasons”. How did the band started, where the idea of this project grew up.
If I recall correctly, Sartez had had some ideas and riffs in the works for a good while which him and Christian (they’re old friends) had recorded. I actually met Sartez through school – he worked where I studied at the time – and after a while we met the three of us and jammed and we all felt really good about it, it felt like something to go forward with.
2.-Why did you chose “Three Seasons” as band’s name? Does it have something to do with your country whether?
It doesn’t have anything to do with the weather, no, although I can see where you’re coming from on the guess. Rather, it’s a hint towards how different yet similar the three of us are.
3.-Your rock style is very classic. You really sound like the classic bands from the seventies. Why did you opt to play this kind of rock?
The large love for the 60s/70s musical style is no doubt one of those common grounds between the three of us. It just feels really home and natural – it’s not a forced thing. That said though, I do believe we’ve got this sort of musical development, which is going on all the time. It’s a fairly large difference between the very earliest recordings, the first album Life’s Road, the Escape seven-incher and the new coming album (although all of it is of course 70’s-vibey).
4.-Clearly, there is happening some kind of classic rock revival, specially from sweden, with very good bands like Graveyard, Witchcraft or, of course, Three Seasons. Where do you think this new wave of classic rock comes from? Why now?
I’m not entirely sure but I would guess that, at last, people are getting fed up with that old static radio-friendly music, you know? It’s a more… genuine musical experience, so to speak, when it really sounds like a band that more or less just plugs in and goes. I’m not saying we don’t use phasers or panning or reversing or stuff like that – we do – but the drums sound like drums, the bass sound like a bass, the guitar sound like a guitar and the vocals sound like vocals (and, when applicable, the hammond sounds like a hammond), and just that would be enough. I love the actual instruments as well as their sounds, so when a song has sounds but nothing instrument-wise bar a computer, a lot is lost.
5.-We can think in a lot of classic blues rock or jam bands when we listen to your music, but we would like to know, from your point of view, which bands have influenced you most directly.
This is a question where I often struggle, and I do so now as well. I think Led Zeppelin / Deep Purple / Jimi Hendrix / The Doors is a pretty solid ground, and with perhaps some Black Sabbath, Free and Santana in there too it is getting somewhat close.
6.-I think that probably is very risky to release an album like “Life’s Road” nowadays. We’re living Youtube, mainstream music and internet stars times, and not so many people, except the old nostalgic rockers and some young dudes listen to this kind of music. What do you think as the authors of this piece?
Indeed. Then again, as I said earlier, it wouldn’t work out if we tried to do something entirely against our wishes, something that would feel unnatural. I would feel very dishonest trying to “be smart” about the music, trying to figure out what would be most popular or financially smart, you know? The reasonable thing is to follow your wishes and do what you appreciate, which we do. And luckily, in our case, there seem to be a lot of others who appreciate it as well. That’s a really beautiful thing.
7.-You have told us that you are about to release a second full-length. What can we expect of it, any style evolution, or just more Three Seasons as we know it?
Well, yes and yes. You’ll recognize Sartez’ voice of course, and it’s still got the same general “identity” as earlier. But as I also said previously: to me at least it is a pretty different… dynamic, perhaps, than in our past releases. There’s more of this raw and rough and upfront thing going on, and there are also parts that are really really calm and atmospheric. (And there is also a lot more shuffle than before, which is always good!)
We got some guest musicians on this record too. The organist who’s playing on this record is Malin Ahlberg, a very skilled musician who we’ve recently started to work with. Tomas Lindberg who also performed on Life’s Road is on the Swedish bouzouki on two songs, and we have Sanna Hodell doing some female backing vocals on the track “Understand The World”. All in all it’s a great ensemble.
8.-Someof your longest songs appears to has been improved in some parts. Tell me about your recording process. Do you improvise at the studio? or you leave it for the gigs and practice sessions?
Yes, we do. “Each To Their Own” is perhaps the most clear example of a Three Seasons studio song with improvisations in it. “Since Our First Day” and “Wood To Sand” are also songs with elements of improvisations.
For me, and I’m sure all of us, the improvisation is something really fun. The freedom live that allows one to not play every song note-for-note as it sounds on the record is very important. Many of the new songs have nice jammy things to them too.
9.-The classic rock sound is not only in your style, it is actually in the production as well. Tell me about the equip that you use to get that ancient sound. Do you use some special instrument, amplifiers or recording techniques?
Most of the time, it’s a Strat through a tube head, a Precision Bass, and some big drums. With these, combined with the songs and the way we play, it’s bound to sound pretty old already. That said however, we always put a lot of energy into the production and sound, to make it come out as we want it (we have mixed and mastered Life’s Road and Escape ourselves and are doing so with the new album too). Not to say that anything is overly produced or mixed – it is not – it’s more about making sure the sound is natural and genuine.
10.-Wecould enjoy your live show a few months ago in a lot of Spanish cities, mainly in small places, really close to the people. What Three Seasons rather, those small places, or bigger theaters? Where do you feel more comfortable?
Yeah… we had a super time in Spain this spring! The crowd were really welcoming and on their toes, eager to hear what we had. That’s the most important thing – it doesn’t matter if the venue is really small or really large if the people who come there don’t care what you’re doing up there. If they do, then we’re comfortable everywhere.
11.-The vinyl format is in style again. Every day we are more fans of that format to listening to our music. You released “Life’s Road” as a vinyl too, so, in which format do you think your own music sounds better?
Well, vinyl is vinyl. Not only soundwise but mentally, it’s a whole different thing. The big artwork, the actual physical action of putting the record to the turntable rather than hitting a few buttons or so, the gentle spinning of the disc – I listen in a much more dedicated way when it’s a vinyl.
12.-Even this is a very topical question, the fans are always curious about what are the musicians listening right now in their iPods or other players. What are Three Seasons listening?
Recently, the songs I’ve heard are of course to 99,9% the songs from the new album… In recording times you really don’t have a lot of room for anything else. If I try to disregard that though, I’ve recently been into The Racounteurs (their first album only), Bon Iver (only the first album here too), John Frusciante, and Rival Sons.
13.-And the most important question. Could we expect a new Three Seasons visit to our country soon?
Yes, going back to Spain for another tour is something we have in the plans. We had a great time last time around and really appreciated the whole thing, and we’re planning to go to your country again.
14.-Thank you again for your time and we hope you come again soon. If you want to tell something to your Spanish audience, this is the time.
I hope and think you will all enjoy the new stuff we got. Keep your eyes and ears open. Thanks for reading this, and a big thanks to Rockthebestmusic too for having us. We hope to see you soon!
Photo by Daniel Johansson
Edgar Carrasquilla @Edgar_Corleone para Rockthebestmusic