Jessica, PopWreckoning: From the very beginning, you’ve been quite successful with your musical career. Winning a Swedish indie Grammy for your debut album to releasing your sophomore album in 25 countries and receiving amazing press. Now, with your third album Turn Heads, you’ve produced it yourself and have slew of great musical guests from your own father to Peter Morén, Teitur and Theresa Andersson. How do you do it?
Tobias Fröberg: Well, if you mean how I get these musicians to be a part of my record, the only thing I can say is that they are my friends. We have a small community, almost. We help each other, we’re always some kind of part in the other ones project. After all, it’s music and we all work with music because we love it. That’s it, I guess.
PW: You’ve produced records for a lot of great artists, too, including yourself, just about everyone making a cameo on your own record and more. What’s the difference between producing your own record and the record of another musician?
TF: When you´’re producing someone else, you don’t tend to freak out that much. As a producer, you have your eyes on the big picture, not so much if the bass is too loud, or the vocal reverb is too deep.
As an artist, on the other hand, it’s easy to lose yourself in small things like that. It’s sometimes easier to have a vision, when you’re not the artist yourself. I find that, anyway.
PW: So it’s much more intense of a process creating a record when you’re also producing it yourself, as you did with Turn Heads.
TF: It’s sometimes very hard to produce your own stuff because you tend to focus on the wrong things.
PW: The back story of how you ended up pursuing music is great (wanting to meet/interview Ingmar Bergman and Neil Young before making the switch), but where are your musical roots — when did you first become involved with it and later realize you wanted to pursue it professionally?
TF: I grew up with a father who’s a musician. Music has always been around me, it’s a natural thing. I’ve had it as a profession for five years.
PW: As a former writer, if you read reviews about your musical endeavors, do you want to critique the reviewer back on his/her writing?
TF: No, I cant be bothered. I don’t care.
PW: You are looking quite pugnacious in the latest promo photos for the new album — where did the concept for the black eye and mussed suit come form?
TF: The black eye is a proper black eye, not make up or an Photo Shop-thing. I got it during a foggy night in Stockholm, after a wet party. Rock n roll.
PW: Back in April you toured with Peter Morén, who undoubtedly brought along a lot of the Peter Bjorn and John fan base. Your fall tour with Ane Brun and Theresa Andersson starts later this month. What are you expecting from this tour?
TF: To have a good time. Theresa and Ane are both close friends, I really look forward to work with these talents.
PW: The video for “Just Behind A Brickwall” features yourself and Peter playing chess in black and white in a dark room lit by a bare bulb. The musical interlude sees a change to Technicolor then back to black and white when the camera focuses on your face. Who came up with the concept of the video? Would you please explain the signifigance of the chess game and series of events in the video relating to the song?
TF: My wife Sandra is a video director and she helped me making this. We had two hours to do it… it is supposed to look like a swedish, heavy tv play from the seventies about family matters.
PW: So I’ll be at the October 23rd show you’re playing in Philadelphia. I’m really excited about it and while I love the line-up, if you could put together a dream tour where you could be on the same bill as any artist/band ever (living, not living, etc), who would you want to share a stage with?
TF: Why not have a all star band with Dennis Wilson on drums and vocal, John Lennon and Lou Reed on electric guitars, Paul McCartney on bass and Alan Wilder on keyboards?
PW: Last but not least, what are you currently listening to? Or reading? Or both.
TF: Listening to Beach Boys, reading Alice in Wonderland. Classic quality.
**Philadelphia, enter to win tickets to see Tobias perform alongside Ane Brun and Theresa Andersson at Tin Angel on Thursday, October 23rd!**