I have been speaking with the Swedish band Speqtrvm…
about that unique name and what they can reveal about the new song, Too Much. I wanted to know what the music scene is like in Sweden right now; how they got together and what they have coming along in terms of more material and gigs – they recommend some rising names to watch.
The gang pick some albums that mean a lot to them and tell me how they relax away from music; whether they have shared tastes in music and whether they each have a treasured memory from their careers so far.
Hi, guys. How are you? How has your week been?
Hello! It has been a tough week: lots of things happening to each one of us and even Sweden (who is currently without a government). Other than that, it’s pretty good; same ol’. How are you?
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourselves, please?
We’re a Swedish band consisting of four diverse individuals who are really into the major seventh chord and artists who are using it. Big love for modern music influenced by retro sounds.
We had our first gig booked and needed an official name A.S.A.P...
After pondering for quite some time, Adam noticed the scattered light from a prism creating a tiny rainbow on the couch right next to me and said “What if we were just called spectrum?!”. And the more we thought about it, the more sense it made since we’re all like on different spectrums, like musically. We seek influence from each of these spectrums and try to add them together.
The name also matches our vision as a band which is to compose colorful music that sort of creates vivid images in your head (the origin of the word spectrum meaning image or apparition). The spelling with a ‘v’ instead of a ‘u’ was inspired by CHVRCHES - and the ‘q’ is mainly there to mirror the ‘p’ and to keep the spelling as unique as possible. That’s why we spell it ‘Speqtrvm’…
S P E Q T R V M.
Your new single, Too Much, is out. Can you explain the background and what inspired the track?
Mikael: I wrote this song after a deep introspection that changed the way I perceived things, forever. Together, we wanted to recreate the feelings of a retro-futuristic tune.
Is there going to be more material coming down the lines?
Yes! The next songs are in the recording and mixing phases. We have a handful of projects in the bank and about as many in the writing stages. One single left to be released this year!
You are a band based out of Sweden. Is there a good scene there right now?
When hasn’t there been? (Winks).
Sweden has produced several groups who often seem to get a greater appreciation abroad. Especially with bands like Dungen and Goat who dare to experiment outside standard music formats. Not that other countries have more listeners, but it may be less obvious within the Swedish culture because we usually show love to something in a modest and humble way.
Can you remember when you got together and started making music?
We all go back since at least high-school and we all went to high school for music. But, we didn’t become a band until a couple of years ago.
Do you have shared music tastes? What was the sort of music you were raised on?
Adam: Well we all had our phases with heavier music. Lots of Classic-Rock, Indie and Prog music. And, in recent years, more synth-based and Electronic music accompanied by popular music.
Mikael: Personally, most of the music I've heard from my childhood was Latin American music. My dad used to play Bolivian Folk music from groups associated with the traditional Andean dance Caporales. My mother showed me Chilean Neo-Folkloric poets and singer-songwriters Victor Jara and Violetta Parra, who later inspired me by their strong lyrical themes. Nowadays, it can be music from Gypsy-Jazz to Black-Metal and everything in-between.
Josef: I grew up listening to '70s and '80s rock music but nowadays I’ll listen to anything as long as it resonates with me in some way. I think we’re all open-minded but share the love for Electronic music more than anything!
Ande: I grew up with a lot of Hip-Hop and Reggaeton because of my siblings. Then, I started to like Grunge bands like Nirvana and successively started to discover new genres of music.
What do you hope to achieve by the end of 2018?
We will continue finishing more songs; release the last single from our upcoming E.P. and create a better foundation for our sound and musical identity.
Have you each got a favourite memory from your time in music so far – the one that sticks in the mind?
Adam: In high-school; playing the last gig with my Rage Against the Machine cover band, which both Mikael and Ande were a part of at times. We were just playing like a well-oiled machine and it’s probably the most fun I’ve had on stage so far. One of my favourite memories overall actually.
Mikael: Many memories, but the first thing I can think about is the day I traded my guitar with Axel from Ruby Empress. I've always wanted a great ‘Jazzmaster’ and it felt unreal to make a perfect trade with someone from a band you followed and digged a lot from the start of their carrier.
Josef: Lots of different memories but the most amusing one has to be when I played with a Death-Metal band I was part of at the time at a kindergarten Christmas party. There were kids head-banging like crazy right in front of the stage and their parents were just staring while we just went about with the bizarre situation! We were in our lat-teens and didn’t bother to ask about any details about the live show so it was totally unexpected when we arrived at the venue and saw five-year-old kids in the audience.
Ande: We had a gig at a festival in our hometown Norrköping called Black Christmas Festival which was a great experience. It was me, Mikael and some old acquaintances who played in a Black-Metal band called Eingana. That’s something I will always remember.
If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?
Every musician need all the support they can get in their musical circuits since they all deliver art to the world in their own creative way, almost for free.
Talking about riders; we would want to include mind-bending images, dreamy lights and things that enhances the visual and auditory atmosphere at our shows.
Might we see some tour dates coming up? Where might we be able to catch you play?
We’re focusing on being in the studio for now but, hopefully, in the next year. You can follow us on our social medias for more updates. Looking forward to play more live gigs.
What advice would you give to new artist coming through?
Patience, dedication and having fun - obvious things with a small balance. There are artist who seeks for confirmation in unnatural ways without putting a value on themselves which results in stress instead of joy.
Which one album means the most to each of you would you say (and why)?
Adam: Probably Pure Heroine by Lorde
I must’ve listened to it just under a thousand times. I’ve always found her voice to be soothing and delectable…and her lyrics simple, but intriguing. It’s probably the album that first got me into Electronic music. I remember when it came out and how I perceived life at that age. Listening to it now makes me very nostalgic and it has gotten me through a lot of low points.
Mikael: Devotion by Beach House
There is no album that can affect and touch my feelings as much as this one. It reminds me of both the toughest and greatest times in my life.
Josef: I don’t really listen to whole albums anymore but Masters of Reality by Black Sabbath is probably the album I’ve listened to the most during my teenage years. I was completely taken away by the album is simple but powerful riffs and malevolent atmosphere.
Ande: That’s a tough question since there is a large variety of albums. But, if I have to choose one, I’d choose If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late by Drake. It gets me every time and I always get chills from the beats.
Are there any new artists you recommend we check out?
Adam: Girl in red. I’ve been listening to her a lot lately. She only has five songs so far, yet she’s successfully shifted my friend’s sexuality within an hour of recommending her music. She (my friend) identifies as bi but likes girls even more now. I view that as an accomplishment. Perhaps not my accomplishment, but an accomplishment nonetheless.
Mikael: I would recommend Danish producer and artist Molina. She has the vibes of a modern-day Kate Bush Electronica but with her own touch of innovation. Her latest track, Hey Kids (with Late Verlane), really made me open my eyes for the interesting and fresh direction she's heading for! Curiously; we share the same last name but are not related in a way. At least from what I know...
IN THIS PHOTO: Molina/PHOTO CREDIT: Sarah Liisborg
Do you all get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
Adam: I quite enjoy cooking and playing with my two kittens. Although, they stress me out more if anything.
Mikael: I have a pretty busy ordinary life. So when I get time chill away, I'll play music.
Josef: Besides Speqtrvm, I’m also employed full-time helping local bands and arranging music events and stuff so I’m always busy with music in one form or another! Unwinding for me is mostly being around my family and our dog but I also try to meditate.
Ande: When I don’t play music, I work both as a barista and with personal assistance. Besides music, I love to work out!
Finally, and for being good sports; you can each choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
Mikael: Simoon by YELLOW MAGIC ORCHESTRA
Adam: 4am by girl in red
Josef: Acid Rain by Lorn
Ande: Anymore by Surf Rock Is Dead