MP3: Detektivbyrån - Neonland

This week's guests in our ongoing Göteborg Spotlight Series: Detektivbyrån.

First, the standard question: how long have you lived in Göteborg, what brought you there and what keeps you hanging around?

Different for all of us but between 3-5 years.

Martin was brought here first, he had a love story in Göteborg and when we wanted to start this band I (Anders) moved here and soon Jon too. After my four years here, the windy weather keeps me a little confused, it's never still, as in Wermland where we come from, there it's quiet and never cold winds like this. I like both. Right now a lot of things are happening with this band and it suits us to be in a city with much going on, musically, also we have both our booking agency and our distribution company right around the corner here in Göteborg; that's nice since we want to have a straight and good contact with everyone we work with.

How do you guys fit into the city's musical landscape? Are you more at home in the folk or indie scene? Or is there another niche that fits you better? Or does that kind of segmentation even affect you at all?

Since we play instrumental music that happens to reach so many different kinds of people from many different places in the world, I would say we don't have much in common with any kind of scene in Göteborg or anywhere else. I think we contribute with something beautiful to the musical landscape of Göteborg. We don't call us indie but other people do, sometimes we call ourselves folk but there's so much we do which is not "folk", I don't know, we never think about this really.

This summer we have played both at Urkult which is very, very folky out in the deep woods of north Sweden, and at Emmaboda which is called Indieboda and that tells about their profile.

To me, we are something new. Someone called us Folktronica. Maybe that's it. But that's just words, in fact we have people listening to us who have never heard about "indie" or "folk" and they don't care, they are not a part of a scene and we don't have a need to be either.

What inspired your interest in traditional Swedish folk music? Was it hard to find eachother/other people who shared similar interests?

We are from Wermland, in those cabins out in the woods of Wermland everyone has an accordion. It's like people in cities have an e-mail. Both my grandmother and grandfather has always played the accordion for me. (My love for accordion though actually started in 1989 with the extremely beautiful song "Lambada" by the group Kaoma, I got a mix tape from my parents which they bought at a gas station when we drove from Karlstad to Stockholm at the higway of E18, I listened to that song every night, rewind, listen, rewind, listen...).

One day in 2004 me and Martin borrowed an accordion from our grandmother and just did a song. Martin pulled the accordion bass side forth and back and I played the buttons, it was too hard to do it by myself at that time. =)

The three of us knew eachtother before the first time we played together in this band. We had a very clear idea of what to do together and it was magical how easy it was do work together from day one.

Would you say that Detektivbyrån inspires listeners to become more interested in Swedish folk tradition or do you find that it works the other way around, inspiring people who are typically only interested in folk to branch out into other modern indie/experimental music?

Sure, both of them, and that's fun!

"Indie kids" come up to me after shows and tell me their parents gave them an accordion as a birthday present, they started to play it since they listened to us, and that's one of the most beautiful things I can hear after a show. Then there's an local radio station which has this accordion special every Thursday and usually there's just old traditional stuff, but they really dig us and play for the old people out there, and these people send cute e-mail to us, they are glad we are taking care of their accordion tradition.

How excited are you to play this year's Nordic Roots fest? Got any other plans for when you're over here?

Hey, none of us has even been to the US so it's pretty huge for us, both as a band and personally. We met a band that had played at that festival and they told us it's one of the most amazing audience you can get, I asked them if there's something special to think about when we are going and they just answered "Have FUN, have so much fun." And we will. We will enjoy every second of it.

I'm scared of the long flight. It is NOT natural to pretend you are a giant bird together with a huge group of people. People get caught and locked in for stuff like that, but in this case it's legal, we even pay money for it...

We are gonna play at Lotus festival in Bloomington, Indiana the week after the Nordic Roots fest. We have people in both LA, NYC and other cities, wanting us to play at their clubs and we really want it to happen but I'm afraid we won't make it out there since the big distances you got. We'll see what happens. It's the first time we come over but hopefully not the last.

Lastly, how about sharing a song from the new album? Tell us about it.

You can download two songs from the new album at, please choose one of them whichever you prefer, or use both! "Om du möter varg" was written on Martin's and my grandmother's electric organ, out in her cabin. "Neonland" was written as a lullaby for my little kid.

For all readers, we'll release our new album "Wermland" on our own label Danarkia, 3rd of September. It's financed, composed, played, produced, recorded, mixed and mastered by ourselves and if you want to you can Pre-order it at our website
If you do you'll get a signed copy up on the release date.

I flipped a coin and it came up "Neonland", but you really can't go wrong with these guys no matter what you do. If you like what you hear, head to their site for more.

Detektivbyrån - Neonland