Starting our journey into Swedish music is an interview with the new band Dyno. I stumbled on their myspace in January and found myself swooning. If you like strong 80's rifts, The Killers and Blondie you just might like Dyno. Perhaps that's not a good description: in fact they themselves provide a better comparison: 'picture Erasure making their own interpretations of Anthony & the Johnsons'. Yes, thats a lot better. They are not your usual band. They soar. They make you want to grab their hands and run with them wherever the wind takes you. They expose themselves lyrically and the listener gains an insight into the artist that you rarely hear these days. They are producing levels of disco-guitar-pop that simply make you warm inside. This is very good music here. Whether it be disco-blue strutting of Deliverance or the anthemic Emotional, Dyno put cutting edge to the test and I love them for it.
A: If you're referring to the "very own unique sound", I guess it's basically the clash of the sort of superficial (artificial) packaging and the sometimes pretty serious tunes as its content. If you have no clue what I’m saying - picture Erasure making their own interpretations of Anthony & the Johnsons. I think some of the originality in the sound derives from the fact that we entered the electro-pop-arena as rock dudes.
K: As a band, we’re a baby. We’re quite young as humans. But very old in music-making.
Talk me, through each song you’ve done so far...
A: Talk you through? Leaving nothing for your own imagination?
Well, in short, 'Heartattack' is about the fear of dying (a call for help used as a call for attention), 'Don't speak love' is about the difficulty to read between the lines and maybe a request to lower the expectations. 'Emotional' is about how things were easier when near-lobotomized, how the ability to feel only brings pain and insecurity. 'My Cocoa' is actually a sad story about ‘disconnecting’ from joys in life on account of being with the one you love; the convenience turns to comfort turns to laziness turns to loneliness, or something like that. We are two, yes, but backs turned to the world. 'Camille Deals Damage' is perhaps a song of praise about the right to choose whether you want to live or die. 'Deliverance' might be about Jesus and his disciples and how to rally the troops. Or, it might be about how we should join forces to fight the mainstream. But mostly, the songs are about what you like – I don’t like lingering in details.
Are you aware each song drips sexuality? I feel as if I have walked into an all man leather bar in some Sweaty Spanish discoteca. It’s a good thing. Are you aware of this power in your music?
A: We didn't plan any of that, so no, we are not aware of that power. But it sure is good to hear.
K: Isn’t that every band’s goal?
Deliverance forces me through these ultra cool 80’s themes. Tell me, how did you enable that Mad Max (there’s that leather narrative returning again) emotion?
A: That would be the choir package, I think? It's kinda nazi.
How did you all meet?
A: That is really of no interest to anyone.
K: Let’s just say that we met through similar interests.
My Cocoa is pure Kylie with a touch of Deborah Harry in the mix. Did you boys use such icons as key references in your present work?
A: Well, we all like Kylie. Debbie is cool but no role model. I'm not sure, but I think for the vocal parts you might hear I'm into female icons such as Tori Amos, Stina Nordenstam and Imogen Heap. And we are all rock gods on the inside, so you may be able to notice that too.
K: I actually think most of our/my inspiration comes from artists and bands not that obvious. But I can’t really name any now since I seem to repress the memories of making the songs as each song is such a difficult and debilitating journey.
Emotional is a beautiful song. Do you think it could be the one to break through for you? I do.
A: I actually thought the breaker would be 'My Cocoa'. No further comments on that issue, but I'm glad you like it.
K: I thought "Don´t speak love" would be the one, but now I think our big smash hit will be the next song we make.
A: That’s how it should be.
Personally I think it could be this years Be Mine (Robyn). Your thoughts?
A: Sorry, no thoughts at all.
K: "Be Mine" is a great song, but I don’t really get the comparison. Hope you’re right though.
Okay what I mean by comparing Be Mine to Emotional...the soaring tenderness, the vulnerability, the anger, the whisper of hope and of course the panic. I sense there are those similarities in both tracks. Of course the pathos is there too. Okay they sound quite differently but i love the narratives of emotional numbness vs feeling alive. In that way, both songs are polemic and rather anthemic. If that explains my comparison in some way, where does the track sit in your general body of works?"
A: I think it actually rather sums up what we do. We deal with these emotions so it's kinda natural.
On this subject of Ms.Robyn, what do you make of her success abroad?
A: I think it’s about her doing her own thing. She runs her own label and stuff, so no one actually tells her what's cool and what's not, it's all up to her. Sorry for the cliché here, but I think that in the long run that is the key to success.
K: She’s unique and seems to be very melodically talented.
In general, Swedish musicians are channeling through the internet and arriving in the commercial charts. Why do you think that is?
A: We are a moody bunch, and these are moody times. And of course, we brought you ABBA, which might have boosted the self-esteem.
K: Swedes have all the best conditions for exploring their musicality with music schools and social welfare. I think very few talented people get wasted in Sweden.
Yes, whether it be September, Agnes Carlsson, Kleerup or Robyn, Swedish music is very strong at the moment. Where do you see Dyno in that thrust?
A: I'm not sure. You tell me! (Or was that a typically Swedish thing to say?)
K: I’d like to be between September and Agnes.
A: I’d like to be between you and Agnes. With September watching.
In Emotional, you say you are “uncomfortable”. There is a general thread throughout the songs that I’ve luckily heard that herald the sensitive and soft emotions that we are often forced to hide. Do you allow your music to expose your rawer feelings?
A: Personally I never was into writing about the joy of love, but more upon how such a phenomenon affects us in negative ways. But I guess 'Emotional' is like the Mona Lisa. You don’t really know if it’s a happy tune. You know, is that what makes us human actually something good? But hell yeah, since I discovered I could put my own thoughts and inner experiences into music, writing has become more natural.
Looking at your brilliant photos, your quite…butch. This is a clear cutting contradiction to your very sensitive, somewhat shy and confessional, music. I like the mixture. Leather boots meets tears on tissues. Is that your intention?
A: We dress until we are happy with the way we look, and that changes over time, so next time we might wear less leather and more silk.
I really like the EP. What is it about? To me, it tells random stories about frustration, love and joy?
A: It does? Great! There is no overall theme that I know of.
Boys, why don’t you speak love? There are many other substitutes to that particular problem?
A: Is that question aimed at boys in general or at the boys of DYNO? What we wanted to say is that if you notice that your subtle moves don't work, just say what's wrong, or what you want, out loud: Don't count on me to catch the drift.
The EP is incredibly strong. Where do you want to take the sound with the album?
A: We're working on that. But right now we want to mix perfectly the cool of 'Heart Attack' with the rock of 'Camille' and the cuddliness of 'My Cocoa' with the dance of 'Deliverance'.
K: Most of the time, time leads the way.
Will you explore more electropop avenues on the album?
A: I'm not entirely sure what you mean. But, yes.
What I mean is..a lot of your music edges towards deconstructing the genres of schlager, disco and pop-this is what i find fascinating...I love it. Will you bring that content and energy through, perhaps a synth pop song on the album?
A: I guess the answer is you never know. we like that stuff, so sure..
In general, your songs include a vast array of hooks, melodies and harmonies. I love it. You have no idea where you guys are gonna take each song. Its highly potent, dangerous and of course great music. How do you go about achieving that rollercoaster of a ride of songwriting?
A: I think that we have to make versions of the songs with just a piano and vocals if we were to find that out. Does that make any sense? Anyway, I guess we are all pretty damn intelligent, so there you go.
K: I think we’re in the perfect stage in our lives. We have all the tools and knowledge and we’re no longer afraid of being exposed or vulnerable.
A: Yeah, and as long as you are confident in yourself and your judgment, you never go wrong.
If you could describe your music as a colour what would it be?
A: Is colourful a colour?
And philosophical or political movement?
A: Political, not so much. Philosophical, very much. We discuss a lot. You should join us over a keg of red wine and share thoughts.
K: I think we have a lot of thoughts about life in general, but I personally do not want to mix politics in our music at this stage, and hopefully I never will.
I would love to join you for that keg. I am currently reading Derrida and Deleuze at the moment. Deleuze is of course the person who formulated the post-structural theory of Bodies without organs (not the band!). What are you attempting therefore to provide with Dyno philosophy or do you think its too early to say?
A: It's too early to say if we have a general thread, we don't know of it yet. but let's just say we like to get people thinking...
How much of ‘you’ do you let yourself be heard on the tracks? Are there moments when you think “oh this is bit too dark” or perhaps…I should rephrase this and say how much of your internal world do you give away to the public realm?
A: As long as people understand there is a general statement in the lyrics, not always how we as individuals feel, I don't consider it a problem. We could give away plenty. But to answer one of the three questions in that question, there are certainly moments when we go 'No, that is not us at all'. But that is not seldom followed by 'Or is it?' and 'What the...' when we moments later realize that we nailed it.
If so, do you think you let your vulnerabilities evolve into great moments in your music. A sort of therapy. The demons…the insecurities are turned on themselves through writing & singing about it. So you empower yourself in a way? Is that the case with Dyno?
A: Yeah, I guess so. We certainly make the best songs when we go emotional, and when we are emotional it’s almost exclusively because of the demons you mention.