by / April 29th, 2009 /

A Camp interview

Nina Persson has made two A Camp records in her life. Two records under the same banner but both quite different in their own way. The first, self-titled, was very much a country affair – both in terms of music and the remote locations where it was recorded. For the second outing, however, she has been joined by fellow Swede Niclas Frisk and American Nathan Larson, who also just happens to be her husband. Recorded in her adopted home of New York, Colonia is a much more upbeat and shiny affair.

Speaking to State ahead of their Irish dates this week, Persson explains that the two records definitely have their own personalities…

That’s how we like to look at it. Whatever we do is always going to sound like A Camp but the first one was recorded in a very rural setting, while this one was done in New York. We wanted to add that restlessness to it.

What does she see as the main differences?

The first one is more relaxed maybe, more introverted and melancholic. It was more folksy for sure. That was a very loose project and emotionally driven. In New York studio time is a lot more expensive so we had to limit our time and be really efficient once we were working. That also added to the emotion of the record, although we never felt stressed despite the natural deadlines. You just know that you have to get things done. This was more spontaneous, we didn’t contemplate each overdub like we sometimes are inclined to do, it was more a question of slap it on there and if it’s good we’ll keep it.

There’s been a gap of eight years between the two albums. Why chose now to resurrect the project?

There was a opening when all of us had time to commit to it. I did two Cardigans records inbewteen and that was good, we’d really got a move on as a band so it was fine to put that on hold for a while. Once we’d regrouped after the long hiatus following -Gran Torismo’ we really just put things on a whole different level and everything was so much better and organic. We all had a good quality of life and time to do different things. That’s how we want to keep it and if that means we can’t go on world tours for six months at a time that’s fine. We’re in different time of life now.

Does that attitude transfer to A Camp?

If you feel like you have a life everything else that you go through is easier because there’s less at stake. Before if something went wrong with the music, everything would just break. Now it could fall flat and life goes on, this isn’t the sole guarantee of happiness. That’s the way it should be. None of us are aching to become pop stars or cover girls anymore, we just want to get to tour and make more records.

Is it more of a band this time?

Yeah, we thought it’d be fun. The three of us all have a history in bands and we love the format. The first A Camp record was sort of my solo project. I had a great time but it does make a difference when you make a record and all of you have to live with it for a long time. Everybody puts more into it. Now we can all talk about it and are personally attached to it.

Does that appeal more than going out as Nina Persson, solo artist?

It does. I love the company and to be really crass I like having people to share the workload with. I’m good at some things and I know that I’ll have to do most of the interviews but the other two are great at planning tours, getting the gear together, stuff like that. We fill our different departments really well. You share the honour and the guilt, the income and the debt. I like that.

Is there a New York influence on the record, even one through European eyes?

Maybe but hopefully not obviously. To make a -New York’ sounding record would be like the white man playing the blues, really lame. On the first A Camp record I wanted to emphasise that I wasn’t trying to make country music, that I had respect for it. I’m sure that wherever you are puts its mark on you. I feel like I’ve become more temperamental living here and I wanted that to come out on this record. I think it did.

A Camp play the Academy, Dublin tonight and the Spring & Airbrake, Belfast tomorrow.