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anebrdestofem.jpgFriends don’t let friends tour without each other. After exchanging demos back in the day, these musical buddies from Europe pride themselves in making good music and performing in front of live audience on their own terms.

Racket Gail: I saw you guys’ show last night, it was really good.
Ane: Oh, thank you.

RG: So how you think it went last night?
Tobias: Bad.
Ane: [Laughs] it went really well.

RG: What was your favorite part of night? I mean, when people were part of the show? What do you remember most from last night?
Ane: It was a nice atmosphere. Audience was good. It was really quiet. Tobias’ jokes.
Tobias: [Laughs] it was real good. It’s a nice venue and I think we did the best we could. I think we did pretty well. I think we are both pretty happy with the night as it turned out.

RG: How would you describe the American audience, versus playing for a European audience?
Ane: It’s more different from town to town then from country. For me, it’s singing English here and people…it’s the mother tongue here, so it’s different in that way.
Tobias: I always get that question and I always answer the same. I don’t think there is a difference between America, or England, or France or whatever. Basically, when you have a venue and you play, you play. If the audience likes it then it’s good. I mean, it’s not a big difference to me, I gotta say.

RG: So do either one of you guys like playing acoustic sets better than a full band? How would you describe the experience of playing just with you on a guitar versus having people back you up?
Ane: I like both. I like to do both and have the variation of that and playing solo is very much like a focus thing that is very interesting for me as well. You have to be present 100% of the time.
Tobias: I think my music definitely benefits from having a band, especially the new album is more pop/rock album and if I had a band that would do more justice to the songs, I think. But I like playing solo. I like the simplicity and I like the fact that I can watch Ane every night play.
Ane: [Laughs]
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Tobias: I never get tired of the shows, it’s cool.

RG: As you guys know today is Halloween. Are you guys celebrating in any way?
Ane: We’re actually flying today, so we’re going to be in Chicago very late tonight.
RG: Aw, okay.
Ane: Dress up for the flight.
RG: [Laughs].
Tobias: We’re going to dress up like Scandinavians.
Ane: That would be fun, Tobias [laughs].
Tobias: Dress up like Scandinavians with… I don’t know, with blood.
Ane: They won’t let us through security.
RG: Aww…did you guys do anything last year for Halloween or you guys were both touring? Do you remember?
Ane: For me, it’s never been a really big thing with Halloween. In Sweden, it’s becoming bigger and bigger but it’s not the same as here. But if someone invites you to a Halloween party, you probably go, if you have time because it’s fun. It’s not as big as here.
Tobias: I celebrated one Halloween in New York and what struck me was that every girl was dressed up as a nurse with blood on her hands [laughs].

RG: [Laughs] that’s funny. How would you describe celebrating in Europe versus here? You said that it really wasn’t a big thing.
Ane: There are certain parties but you don’t see it everywhere and it’s more like a grown-up thing, more than children, actually. It’s more like grown-up parities, but nobody goes trick-or-treating or something like that.
Tobias: We party and get drunk.
Ane: Yeah [Laughs].
Tobias: the Scandinavian way.

RG: [Laughs] Cool, okay. Tobias, I know that you were a journalist for some time. How does it feel being the person interviewed instead of interviewing somebody else?
Tobias: You know I used to be a soccer player and I was interviewed a lot back then as well and I’m quite used to that but the only thing that I can say about that is that I think I know what writers what they want you know, because I’ve been self-sufficient myself. I’m getting more and more used to that; it’s a short answer.

RG: [Laughs] No, that’s fine. Do you miss it at all? Do you miss actually interviewing people and writing?
Tobias: I miss writing sometimes, I do. I mean, I like writing and I feel it, when I have the time, I write but the last years have been in so much music, so I haven’t really had the time.

RG: How would both of you describe your sound to each other if you’ve never heard each other’s music? I mean, Ane explain to Tobias what your sound sounds like and the other way around too.
Ane: I explain to Tobias?

RG: Actually, how would you describe your music to him, if he’s never heard it yet.
Ane: Let’s see… music-based on guitar with a melancholic feel to it- more personal lyrics maybe than pop music. My arrangements are quite a touch of classical music in it. I usually say if people don’t know what people have a reference, like I usually say Joni Mitchell 2008- kind of music; what she used to do in the beginning.

RG: Tobias, how would you describe your sound?
Tobias: I would describe it as a mixture of Beach Boys and Paul Simon and if you listen to the albums it’s a lot of choir, you know; almost a Phil Spector way of thinking when it comes to some of the productions.

RG: How long have you guys both known each other, besides actually working together?
Ane: Five to six years.
Tobias: We actually knew each other before we started to make albums, so we exchanged demos and from that day we’re friends.

RG: So does it make it easy to co-exist on tour if you guys are friends? Do you guys have any annoyances, any pet peeves with each other?
Ane: No.
Tobias: I get to see Ane every night perform and that’s fantastic.

RG: So nothing? No little pet peeves, anything you guys do that annoy each other or you’re kind of used to each other’s company?
Tobias: She thinks I’m an old fart sometimes.
Ane: [Laughs] that’s not true, that’s what you think.
Tobias: That annoys me. No, just kidding. I don’t know. No, we have the luxury of being good friends and being on a tour that’s good to us and a lot of people. There’s nothing really to complain about, I think.

RG: Being on the road, do you guys ever miss home?
Ane: Yeah.
RG: Yeah…
Tobias: I miss my wife. I don’t really, I mean, right now we’re in Venice Beach and the weather’s nice. People are taking care of us. So we have a good time with that. Once again, we can’t really complain.

RG: So, do you guys bring anything on the road to remind you of home, like any mementos?
Tobias: I bring my computer so I can Skype with my wife, you know but that’s about it I think.

RG: Ane, anything with you? Do you bring anything on the road with you?
Ane: I’m just the same- my computer and my laptop music.

RG: I wanted to talk about the cover of “True Colors.” It was really great last night; I think it really commanded everybody in the audience.
Ane: Thank you.
RG: How do you approach songs that have been done already? How do you make it so unique, like it’s never been heard before, like it’s your own music?
Ane: I try to throw myself into it without listening to the original too much. I try to play it as I hear it in my head and then work from there kind of thing, try to make it different.

RG: With all the accolades that you guys got from the press and award shows and stuff like that, how do both of you guys stay grounded?
Tobias: It’s really hard to stay grounded.
Ane: [Laughs] I don’t know. I don’t think it’s a problem.
Tobias: No, that’s not really a problem.
Ane: We’re quite grown-up people [laughs].
Tobias: Yeah, you know, we love playing music and that’s what we do and that’s what we try to be good at. So it’s not like we are something else, we’re just musicians doing the best we can.
RG: Okay.
Tobias: It maybe a dull answer, but you know, I think we’re getting better and better and we’re quite good now.

RG: When you’re touring with each other and when you’ve toured with other people in the past, how do you guys separate yourselves from other acts when you’re on-stage or do you guys stay relatively neutral, supporting each other? How do you command the audience with so many people on one bill?
Ane: Oh, we try to make a whole night of it, I think. We’re trying to make a whole show, like we play with each other and it don’t make a difference. We try to make it a full night of good music.
Tobias: We still are ourselves and when I am on-stage, I play my songs, you know. When Ane’s on-stage she does her thing, so I think it’s a good thing for the audience to listen to different kinds of acts but we try to do some songs together every night so it almost goes into each other’s things, but you know. Could you understand that? [Laughs]

RG: Yeah, yeah, no. Yeah I understand it completely. A part from music was there any other creative venture you wanted to get into like movies, television, anything like that?
Ane: I would like to be a radio DJ, if I wasn’t doing anything I learned right now, I would like to do that at the moment.

RG: But no acting gigs for you guys? No crossovers?
Ane: [Laughs] I don’t like that word too much.

RG: [Laughs].
Tobias: We’re trying to act like ourselves. It’s a full-time job.

RG: Okay, cool. I really didn’t have anymore questions but thank you guys for taking the time to speak with me and yeah, have a safe flight.
Tobias: It was really nice. I hope you understood what we were trying to say.
RG: Oh yeah…no, definitely. [Laughs] there was no confusion. I’m really glad that I got to talk with both you guys. You guys did a really great show last night.
Ane: Thank you.
Tobias: Thank you so much for calling.
RG: Oh no problem, thank you guys.

–Gail Navarro