Entombed

Interview - Peter Stjärnvind and Nico Elgstrand

2/10/05
The story behind Unreal Estate

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Sam: How was it playing an opera and having a ballet goin'?
Peter: "It was a challege that we took for a laugh at first, we didn't really believe it at first. When Jörgen, (the former bass player) he got e-mails from them, the 2 people who got it all together, he just deleted it everytime because he thought it was a joke, you know a really bad joke. It was totally different from anything else we've ever done, even though we just played our own songs more or less, just changed and brought together more like one big peice to build dynamic and all. But you have to be really serious when you have 30 dancers following your every move. You have to think about keeping your pace and not playing too fast and everything. So it was a challege, but I think we did it quite well. It was a good experience. I think we became a better live band after that actually, because we really had to play...not in the same kind of rock 'n roll-ish way. We had to be really focused on what we were doing, and really listening to each other. Thing is with the dancers though, they don't listen to the music, they just count, they always do, even in a play with the orchestra they just go 1, 2, 3, 4, 1. They just follow the rhythm, so you have to keep the pace... which is bollocks. But, I think it was great actually, I really liked it. We did 12 shows altogether just in Stockholm, it was a really good experience, and well paid."
Sam: What was the reaction like on the faces of the crowd in the audience?
Peter: "It was really mixed, because alot of people who usually don't go to an opera house came, like hard rockers who want to see something different. I mean the acoustics in there are amazing, I mean the drums weren't even miked at all and it sounds excellent. It's about 25 meters high, I don't know how much that is in feet, but it's really...it's alot. So, some of the people were like sitting there with big headphones on, you know, like 'ugh, what is this?' because it was kinda loud compared with what it usually is, but alot of people really, saw the artistic in it that even we couldn't see, like 'oh it's something new' you know?"
Nico: "It's the first time ever that the opera gave out earplugs to everyone for a concert."
Peter: "And it said on the tickets and the flyers, like 'warning: this could be loud'. But it was a success, I mean, it was a success both commercially and people really liked it, so it was good for everyone. It was sad though, the guy who was... it was 2 gay persons who took it all together, and had the idea, took it with the opera boss, the ballet boss, and he got really fired up and wanted to do it, but the other guys really higher up, they didn't really believe in it, the idea. But he had to finish the idea, and after that he got sacked. Even though it was a success, they didn't take him back. It's a shame. So, we did 8 shows in the spring, and then in the... we did 4 new, with the single, and there was a new ballet boss because he got sacked. They didn't like too much, you know, the new ideas, because the Royal house has...how old is that building? It's been there for..."
Nico: "Oh, old...probably ancient..."
Peter: "5,6, 800 years maybe?"
Sam: 17? 1500's maybe?
Peter: "1500's maybe"
Nico: "Yeah, probably"
Peter: "It's just by the castle in Stockholm, so it..they're just not used to that kind of music, but it was great. It's coming out on DVD, it's on the clipboard now. Because you don't really get...have you seen the cd with the cover? Because if you see the booklet and all, you get more of an understanding of how it looked, and how it went. But I think the audience deserves to see it on DVD to to understand it a bit more, because of the light and everything. I mean, Nico was there seeing it."
Nico: "I saw it 4 times, it was before my time in the band."
Peter: "It's excellent, one of the most funniest music moments ever, because, some people might think, before they actually know what we did, like oh, 'sell out, do a ballet thing'. But the thing was we did exactly...at first we tried to write songs, you know, we thought, oh there might be some piano, more like, softer things going, and we tried to write songs. And they were like, no, no we don't want that at all, we want your music, just, cut together. So they wanted the songs that we already had, but just differently played. So, Jörgen the bass player, (at the time) cut it together in a computer, just made demos, and they listened to it, and dance to it, 'oh could you add another chorus here', or 'cut away your verse there'. So, it was still just our music, so it's nothing different really. It was good. It was nervous the first rehersal with like 30 dancers behind your back, it's like really...we're standing in the orchestra ditch...and there was alot of media attention, you know, tv was there, like national news tv that usually doesn't bother at all, standing with a camera up your face while you're like trying to get the drums together for the grand rehersal, you're like 'I don't have time for this' and they go 'oh, camera in your face'. But you should see the DVD to get the idea of both."
Sam: Where are you guys touring after here?
Peter: "We're going home and we just have some shows here and there, but like, festivals and all that."

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