We spoke to Pontus Winnberg of Swedish band, Amason following their extensive string of US tour dates, including a successful SXSW.
Tell us a little bit about you.
We are a 5 piece band formed in 2012. We have all played in different bands before. We all liked each others music from other bands despite some musical differences, and we all liked to hang out together, so it felt like a good idea to start a band.
When you first decided to play together, Pontus & your agent booked a tour for you based on your collective backgrounds as musicians, is that right? What was it like working under pressure/to that deadline?
I think it was necessary and we didn’t have much time to think. I think we work good under pressure. The hardest thing we have to do is to get everyone in the same room, the rest tends to go pretty easy.
Did you guys have an idea in mind, a style or genre or anything you wanted to try when forming this project, or did you just get together and let everyone's different backgrounds and influences just naturally merge together to create the sound that is Amason?
We really started with a blank page, started a jam and recorded everything, so its been 100% organic. Very little brain activity.
I read your mission when forming the band was to create 'music you can drive to'. What are some of your other favourite 'road trip' albums or artists?
We have been listening to Wild Beasts, Present Tense, a lot when we drive between shows. Also Apollo with Brian Eno.
You have a really strong following in Sweden but your music is still breaking through to the US. What is it like touring over here compared to back home?
I really like touring in the states in general. At this stage its much more intimate and really great to play for the people that have already found us.
On the album, you have some songs in English and some in Swedish. Do you find it easier to write songs in either language?
Its an organic process. Usually its Amanda or Gustav who writes most of the lyrics and its pretty open . I wouldn’t be surprised if we will add one more or a few languages for the next album.
Was this your first time playing SXSW?
No, we have all been here a couple of times before with other bands.
Did you enjoy it?
It was a lot of fun. I think we were expecting it to be more exhausting since we had a lot of shows, but we had so much fun playing so I guess we got a lot of energy from that.
Who were some of your favourite acts you managed to see throughout the week?
Kate Tempest was incredible!!
How about your favourite venue to play/visit?
I really like playing shows in the US in general, but If I have to pick one its the United Palace in NYC.
Got any favourite spots or hidden gems in Austin we should know about?
We were playing tennis almost every morning. I don’t know if it’s much of a secret, but Austin has a lot of good tennis courts.
What do you miss most about home when you're on tour?
My family and cooking.
Where to next?
We are going to record some new music and then its festival season!