Interview, Music

Motorpsycho? Yay!

Photo: Terje Visnes/Espen Haslene

Motorpsycho’ new album ‘Yay!’ out now! A perfect album for these days? Without a doubt! Why? Just because. Good taste, intuition, years in music, maybe something else they have, but the band is always at the right moment and one step ahead. And the new album is another confirmation of this. Inspired by late 60s/early 70s, mostly acoustic, with Swedish psych edge brought by the producers Reine Fiske and Lars Fredrik Swahn – exactly the kind of Motorpsycho’ album I want to listen to right now. And I’m pretty sure a lot of people will agree with me.

‘Yay!’ is also the first album released via the band’ own brand new record label Det Nordenfjeldske Grammofonselskab. It’s really looks like Motorpsycho is at the start of a new chapter which I am going to read with great interest, as well as the whole following novel.

Read the interview with Bent Sæther talking about the new album and the band’s future plans. 

You say about ‘Yay!’ “it feels like an important record for us” –  it balances your epic records from the last years and gives us a glimpse of the other side of the band, the side that’s probably been a little forgotten… 
What could you add to this?

Not much, except that this just seems like one of those periodical switcharoos we always did when we started feeling defined and understood. We are extremely lucky and privileged to have this in our DNA and everybody thinking it’s OK. Not many bands have such a rich palette and such freedom to maneuver!

‘Yay!’ was produced by Reine Fiske and Lars Fredrik Swahn (Dungen, Melody’s Echo Chamber, The Amazing). Can we talk a bit more about “the Stockholm sound” and “a sweet Swedish psych edge” that they brought to the album?

What that refers to is the early 2000s and the Swedish neo-psych bands that kinda defined that era in scandinavian music. Primarily Dungen, but also spin-offs from that band, like Life on Mars, the Amazing, Amazon, etc etc. this made a huge impression in Australia, and early Tame Impala is fx a total rip off of that thing. It’s a sensibility and almost a lo-fi fuzz thing. But beautiful!

Cover art: JLS/Johan Harstad

This just seems like one of those periodical switcharoos we always did when we started feeling defined and understood. We are extremely lucky and privileged to have this in our DNA and everybody thinking it’s OK…
Bent Sæther

‘Patterns’ was released on May 5th. Actually, why did you choose this particular song out of ten to become the first single?

We didn’t! We asked our distributors what they thought, and they liked this one. It has proved to be a great success in the streaming world, and we cannot be anything but happy they chose that one! 

Reviews of the single define it as psychedelic folk, dream pop shoegaze and indie rock. Do you agree with this classification? And what place do these genres have in The Motorpsychodelic universe?

Sure, call it anything! and we have probably played music that fits in those categories before too, so… yeah! We are not concerned with musical genres and have always found that the most exciting stuff tends to happen between the definitions. That’s where we want to be, and if all those labels fit, we are succeeding!

‘Yay!’ comes in 6 different editions. It really feels like Christmas came very early this year… Why such a wide choice?

Oh, we just wanted to have some fun with it! The LP comes in 3 variants, there are two differently coloured cassettes, and a CD. The cassettes were an afterthought, but have proved to be a huge seller. For some reason, people like the cassette again! It is our first cassette release since our first demo back in 1990, and it’s really fun to see what a success it has been!

About editions… Who is the person behind the cover design?

The cover is something my son JLS (check his other work on bandcamp!) helped us with. We were inspired by The Fall, Pavement and old Mothers of Invention covers, and had some help putting it together from Johan ‘the author’ Harstad. 

’Yay!’ is the first album released via your own record label Det Nordenfjeldske Grammofonselskab. What is behind this decision?  And what are your plans for the label in the future?

When Rune Grammofon told us they were downscaling their activity last year, we were forced to think about this stuff, and we soon realized that we know enough good people to do it ourselves. Getting hands on and DIY again is a lot of fun for old hippiepunks like us, and we are learning an awful lot every day. So far it seems like it’s going to work, but ask us again next year! Future plans? World Domination of course!

A big tour has already been announced in support of the new album – UK, Norway, Europe… Can we expect more dates and places?

Probably not this year, but maybe a few. Being “between drummers” we have to plan stuff insanely long term, and first we have to focus on the label and the new record and the two tours that are already booked!

All songs written by Bent Sæther
Music arranged by Tomas Järmyr, Hans Magnus Ryan and Bent Sæther
Produced by Reine Fiske and Lars Fredrik Swahn