We are absolutely in love with “The Smile”, the dreamy, ethereal new single by Benz, the solo project of Ebba Salomonsson. When we found out that Video directed by Ebba Gustafsson Ågren, from those other SWIT favourites Wy, well that just put the tin hat on it, we had to find out more!”The Smile” is the first single off of Benz’s forthcoming debut EP “Erazor” on Better Call Rob – read all about it here –
Hi Ebba, thanks so much for doing the interview!
We love “The Smile” and are really looking forward to hearing the EP, how long did it take to get it in the can?
Ah, thanks. It was more a question of having the time and money. Once I had all the pieces together it didn’t take long. But I was working really hard to afford it all.
Where did your musical journey begin?
I can’t remember, just that started writing instead of doing my guitar homework.
What was the first piece of music you loved, and why?
I think it was The Clash actually, I loved their voices and lyrics. After that, I discovered David Bowie, and I was hooked.
The video for The Smile really chimes with the song, how did you get to work with (the other) Ebba and how was the experience?
Working with Ebba was so much fun! Love her work and music. For me it was really interesting to watch someone evolve the story of the song and make something new of it.
What is your favourite song that you’ve written and why?
I don’t know. Once they’re finished, I leave them behind even if I have to play them, and invent them again.
What artist(s) has been your biggest influence and in what way?
I think it’s too many actually to keep track. But even though I listen to very different types of music I don’t intend to make the same music. I get very inspired by sounds and great live bands, but the biggest influence would be David Bowie and PJ Harvey even if it doesn’t show. Right now I’m listening to Television, Alvvays and The War on Drugs.
What song by another artist do you wish you had written and why?
Can’t pick just one, there are too many great songs written.
This must be the place by Talking Heads and Moonage Daydream by David Bowie, also This Is Love by PJ Harvey.
What is the best (other) new band/artist you’ve heard recently?
Here in Malmö I would say Kluster, such a phenomenal band from Malmö.
This weekend I went over to Copenhagen and saw a memorial concert of the late Jason Molina with his band Magnolia Electric Co. It was such a great concert and the pedal steel was amazing. It’s not a new band, but they’re great.
What’s the weirdest thing that’s happened to you recently?
I was out on a field trip with my school and there was a storm as well so it was complete mayhem.
What sound is October? What colour is December?
October would be purple and December would be velvet.
How long does it take you to write a song?
It’s so different, sometimes It takes forever writing a song, and during that time I write two other songs, hopefully, I can use some of them.
What is your favourite thing about Sweden?
The possibility to free education and CSN
What’s the best phrase you’ve picked up in another language?
Je voudrais un café noir, s’il vous plait.
What’s your idea of success?
Time, time to write and time to go to great concerts, and to read! In other words, time to take time off.
Benz with some charming men
Have your parents ever played golf?
haha, no I don’t think they have.
Which of these activities are you most likely to be found doing: (a) making a soufflé, (b) tinkering with a motorbike, (c) doing the ironing, (d) putting up shelves?
A and B, definitely. But I recently put together a shelf from Ikea. It was hard.
What question would you like to be asked that you never are and what would your answer be?
I guess it would be to be asked to join a vacation, I would definitely say yes.
If you could make one person on Earth disappear completely who would you pick?
Right now, it would be Donald Trump or Putin.
Finally, what kind of vegetable are you?
Apparently a Radish.
Ebba also provided this mysterious piece for our beloved gallery!