Gothenburg, Sweden has a some good things going, and Fantastic continue the tradition of mixing electro dance impulses and mystic rock styles. On the debut of their Mattias Norström video for "Limbs", we are taken through the countryside to explore the crooked creeks of the forest. Jogging down paths and roads to crawling through the reeds, Fantastic begin the adventure and ask the vagabond question of, "have you seen my swollen eyes? I have no where to live, I have no where to go, so cold…"
Norström utilizes every filter at his disposal to create a surreal, disorienting, technicolor rendition of nature. Presenting floating surfboard poses and the like, cold fingers and limbs get a workout through ghost tracing calisthenics while skating the water's surface. Through the thick brush of pastoral settings, Mattias gives the surrounding foliage and backwoods a haunted and happening haze that turns derelict detours into a new Gothenburg type of water dance.
We had a chance to exchange cables across the water with the Fantastic duo for behind-the-video anecdotes, talk of upcoming releases, and forthcoming videos.
Like on the song "Limbs", you all take the colder elements and loops and give them a more electric and living core. Describe for us a bit about this process.
‘Limbs’ marks the starting point for Fantastic as a duo. The song originally had a completely different bass section but as Markus left the studio for a smoke, Daniel fiddled around and this Knight Rider-type riff came about.
With a short attention span we always work in a blistering tempo. At times you can tell how things are slightly out of tune and/or not perfectly in pocket. This is however the space in where we find our thing and creatively its inspiring not to dwell on the song for more than 15 minutes, as some things tend to get lost if you do.
Swedish musicians seem to have an almost equal grasp and understanding of both dance and rock aspects of music. Why is that about the sound of Fantastic and true for some of your surrounding European neighbors?
For us it's key to try and break new ground for ourselves and never to stagnate within the common and conventional. Most good bands have this urge, or at least they should.
What does Fantastic find fantastic about Gothenburg, Sweden?
It's our home and it's where we have our families and friends, which is pretty fantastic. Gothenburg also has this cultural underdog mentality, which has spawned a lot of great music as bands and artists have been left to their own devices and able to work under the radar. Releases from here are more often than not of pretty high quality, e.g. Silverbullit, Jose Gonzalez, Soundtrack of Our Lives, The Knife, El Perro del Mar to name a few.
What are the scenes like around there lately?
As we've been shacked up recording and getting ready to unleash the live version of the band, we're pretty much in the dark when it comes to what new music is coming out of Gothenburg these days. Like the rest of the world it’s very much a DIY approach but it also seems like it’s combined with pro studio sessions here, so the scene is very much alive and vibrant.
Was the Mattias Norström video a way to create images of tree branches and bodies in constant kinesthesis?
Mattias, who's a close friend of the band, is an amazing video artist whom we were lucky enough to work with for this video. The basic premiss for the video was nothing more than a surfboard and a swamp, which was all Mattias idea. Needless to say, a brilliant one. Add some colorful darkness, spray a dead tree with gold and you have the video. So to answer your question, the video offers no deeper connection between the woods and your body, unless that's what you the viewer see, feel or hear. Oh, and did we mention it was shot with a cell phone?
If interested, here's Mattias work [via Missionen.se, and YouTube].
Where did the surfboard dance come from? Whose idea was that?
The dance just happened right there and then, a nice contrast to the otherwise hard-set death-surfing. If you look closely you can tell the surfboard is still in the water so balancing gracefully proved rather difficult, although nothing the psychedelic drug induced video effect couldn't clean up. Ha ha. We won't disclose how many times Daniel fell in the water.
What previews and future insights can you give us about your upcoming 2014 EP?
We always keep ourselves busy but the primary goal is to find a suitable outlet for it. It contains five songs and we're also hoping to make interesting visuals for each one of them.