A MOMENT WITH – FRIGGEN
Much in the same vein as how we met P.B (fka King Shoji, Death Genesis), Niklas Larsson came to our attention through Instagram as he slid into our DMs.
Questions were asked why he wanted to work with MUZAI, but given our previous dabblings with electronic music (G A M E S H A R K, Moppy, DuhkQunt, and to an extent The All Seeing Hand, Colonel Troutman, and Internet Death) the collective was excited to work with the Swedish musician.
Releasing his debut in early 2021, Friggen’s Naiv. Super. was a perfect record for listeners to thaw out from the winter months. Earnest, hopeful, delicate – given the unpleasantries that occurred in 2020, it was a welcome release for us at MUZAI.
It was optimism, distilled in Sweden’s beautiful landscape and driven by Friggen’s wonderful synth
Where did the name FRIGGEN come from? What made you decide on that name?
It’s a very small house. When I was thirteen I got this small house from my parents for my drums and all of my instruments. These small houses are named after a Swedish politician named Brigitt Friggebod. The Houses was then called Friggebod and short for that is Friggen. It’s the name of that house, it is a little homage to my childhood and the hours I spent in there completely engrossed in music. Like I find myself now, composing with my synthesizers.
How long have you been creating ambient electronic music?
For about one year.
Is this the first time you’ve created music or have you been involved in music prior to FRIGGEN?
I am a college-educated drummer and have played as a freelance drummer in rock, indie, pop, folk, funk, and soul projects. I have written music for two different bands before Friggen. A jazz band named “Forsman Four” and my own band ”Gunnar”. I have also played for many years as a member with the world/kletzmer/Balkan/reggae-band “Apolonia”.
What is the setup that you use to create your music?
I use Logic Pro X and Abelton Live, for Friggens music I have used a large collection of analog synths. Two different modular systems. An Erica system at INKONST in Malmö, two moog synths and my own Eurorack system.
Every Song except the title song “Naiv. Super.” Wich has upright Piano and Trumpet. Is made by me on my analog synthesizers. Every song except “Naiv. Super.” (Which has trumpet and piano) is made by me on my analog synths. Every snare and kick, bass and melodies Every snare and kick, bass and melody.
When you go into creating a song, what is your process? Do you have a plan in mind? Do you allow a certain instrument in the song to take the lead and work around that?
I look at synths as voices in a choir. I create a patch that becomes a voice. I give that voice a melody. and then I try to get that voice to convey the message in the melody in the best way.
What’s the music scene like in Sweden? Is there a lot of electronic artists, or is there a music scene that is more prevalent than others?
I have my background in acoustic music. so honestly I do not know much about the scene here. I live in a fairly large city and Copenhagen is very close. I have not missed exciting clubs or good DJs or artists to dance to or listen to. But honestly, I do not know.
When people think of Sweden and music, they’ll either point to ABBA, Eurovision or euro-pop. Is that an unfair assumption for people to make?
Absolutely. There is much more depth in the Swedish music soul than Europop. There are incredibly good songwriters in Sweden. And because it is such a cold and dark country, there is a lot of melancholy and sadness in pop as well as in electronic music. Not to mention the metal scene…
What do you hope people will take away from your music?
They should be transported and get a meditative feeling of being far away or high in the air. Feelings like hope, comfort, and perfect imperfection. It’s in the cracks that the light comes in, right?
It all seems very serene and optimistic – did the landscape in Sweden influence the music you made/you make?
Yes, a lot. The great plains where I grew up, the forests and mountains of Laponia.
Are there other musicians that influence your music (I sometimes get a Sigur Ros vibe from some songs, Royksopp at other times.)
Sigur Ros is definitely an inspiration, múm too. But also Wintergatan, Mokira, Oskar Schönning, 1900 and Klabbes bank.
How important was it that the song titles remained in your native language, rather than translated to English?
It was not that important. I think people know how to translate if they want to. For me, it is important that those who listen acquire their own perception and meaning in the music.
Tell me more about the video for Naiv. Super – who created it? Do you feel it represents the song, and was it important that the video capture the heartfelt nature of the track?
Isabelle Girardon made it. She is a painter and an artist and a good friend of mine. The video is made from animations. Every picture is hand-drawn. It really represents the song. The hopeful spirit of a young soul and the hunger, the drive, and the inspiration a young soul possesses. The video makes one focus on the music and the listener gets to meet “Hon” (Isabelle’s figure she often paints) when “Hon” gets to listen to the song and dreams.
Naiv. Super. is available now through MUZAI Records.