Ronny Eriksson, My (third) Brother The Wind

Photo: Lina Henriksson

Nick: Hey, Ronny! How are you doing?

Ronny: Hello Nikola. First of all, thanks for your interest in Magnolia´s and My Brother The Wind´s music. :)

Nick: Since you’re the third member of My Brother the Wind that I’ve interviewed so far, I’m not going to ask you how it all began. However, when I interviewed Nicklas and Matias the album hadn’t been released yet, so I would love to hear from you about how it’s been for you guys. Are you satisfied with the album’s reception so far?

Ronny: We are very satisfied with both the result and the reception of the album.

Nick: As far as I know, you’ve had a few gigs in Sweden promoting “Twilight in the Crystal Cabinet”. What is the reaction of the audience like?

Ronny: The audience really seams to like our music. They do have the patience for our long songs, ha ha.

Nick: Twilight in the Crystal Cabinet was recently released in Japan with two bonus tracks. Almost makes me wish I were from Japan. What can you tell us about those two tracks?

Ronny: The two bonus tracks are recorded at our first rehearsal together as a band. We fell in love musically with each other right from the start and the inspiration just flowed that magic day! It was amazing!

Nick: What is playing live like for you guys? I mean, is there left any space for improvisation in the concerts, considering the album was born out of jamming in the first place? Do you have a clear vision of what My Brother the Wind will do in the future, or do you guys leave that up to sort of “idealistic jamming” as well?

Ronny: All our music is improvised both live and on record and will always be I hope. That´s the main thing with My Brother The Wind.

Nick: Now let’s focus on your other band, Magnolia. Would you mind telling us something about how that began?

Ronny: Magnolia was born when I started to write my own music in 1994. At this time I recorded my songs at home and made a demo cassette and nothing more happened with Magnolia until I recorded a new demo CD in 2003 and sent it to Transubstans Records and got a record deal in 2005.

Nick: With Magnolia, you have recorded 3 albums so far. Would you mind giving us a brief overview of these three albums? Tell us what you think is important about each.

Ronny: First album is of course very important to me because it´s the first real album I ever played on. I´m pleased with the result and it did bring some attention to Magnolia. Second album “Falska vägar” (False ways) is a little more progressive and showed that Magnolia is not a “one record” band and I think the cover art is very beautiful. Third album “Steg för steg” (Step by step) I’m most satisfied with. The sound and songs are better I think. I´ve got the pleasure to work with Love Tholin as recording engineer and his work is fantastic.

Nick: Although the music of Magnolia is rooted in late 60′s / early 70′s progressive rock, it’s evident that you’re more based around blues or classic/hard rock with the raw energy that’s characteristic of punk bands. What influenced you to start playing that way?

Ronny: You´re right. Main influences are Cream, Jack Bruce, Mountain, West,Bruce and Laing, November, Black Sabbath, Mecki Mark Men, Patto and so on.

Nick: You sing in Swedish, so would you mind telling us non-Swedish speakers what some of your lyrics are about? Could you give us a few particular song titles with their English translations?

Ronny: I choose to sing in Swedish cause I think it gives the music a certain feel. Swedish band November inspired me to sing in Swedish. The lyrics are about everyday life and feelings. Uncomplicated and direct lyrics just like the music. Translation examples:

Resa utan slut – Endless Journey

Trollbunden – Spellbound

Dröm dig iväg – Dream away

Säg mig hur – Tell me how

Alla undrar – Everybody wonders

Tid att fara – Time to ride

Nick: Steg för steg is the album which has progressed productionwise in comparison with the previous two albums, but I am sure that your idea was/is to

Steg för steg

express all the rawness of the music you play and honestly I really don’t see this (with this album). What do you think, am I wrong?

Ronny: All three albums were recorded mostly “live” in the studio with very few overdubs. Solos, vocals and keyboards were recorded afterwards, and most of the songs are first or second takes just to keep the right groove and feel.

Nick: One thing about the new album that simply keeps me stunned is the fact that you guys present excellent riff work and everything is hard and heavy. On the other hand, riffs are something like expendable material is in the industry, if you have too many of them, the treat will become boring. You guys manage to keep the riffs exciting while filling it with them. What’s your secret?

Ronny: Magnolia´s music is very much “riff based” and how we manage to make it not boring I don´t know. Maybe we got the right inspiration. I hope not next album will be boring, ha ha ha.

Nick: One thing that just popped out on my mind is that I had today another interview with Belgian psychedelic rock band Hypnos 69, and I noticed something. Both of you formed your bands around the same time (1994) and both bands started releasing albums in the post-2000 era. I’ve asked them, so I must ask you, why did it take that long to start making your own music?

Ronny: As I said earlier from the beginning Magnolia was just my home studio project and I didn’t give it so much attention after my first demo. I have played in many different bands and settings since then. But in 2005 I got the record deal and then Magnolia started to play live as a band.

Nick: What’s Magnolia like when it comes to playing live? What are the reactions of the crowds like?

Ronny: I think Magnolia is a good liveband. People seems to like our grooves and we try to do our thing as good as we can. In our music there´s also spaces for improvisation which gives the music some freshness and makes it interesting from time to time I think.

Nick: Have you played outside of Sweden / Scandinavia? What’s your favorite place to play at?

Ronny: We have never played outside of Sweden. Sweden is Magnolia´s main aim cause of the lyrics.

Nick: In a recent interview with Mathias Danielsson, I’ve asked him to drop few recommendations from your label Transubstans Records, and I’ve introduced myself and hopefully our readership, with the great Oresund Space Collective. Would you have any interesting recommendation for me and our visitors, preferably from Sweden, as Sweden is like the motherland of prog nowadays?

Ronny: Yeah of course I can. Look out for bands such as Graveyard, Witchcraft, Anekdoten, Makajodama, Abramis Brama, Gudars Skymning and Lugnoro for example. Very good Swedish proggrockers which I highly recommend.

Nick: So, to summarize, what happens next with Magnolia and My Brother The Wind?

Ronny: I wish that both bands will carry on making good music and make people feel good listening to us. ;)

Nikola Savić is a prog enthusiast, blogger and author, in addition to being the founder of Prog Sphere, Progify, ProgLyrics and the ongoing Progstravaganza compilation series.
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