Sweden’s finest export knows how to write big bucks tunes with plenty of raw appeal – join his newest project "This Is Where Life Is" – and check out his contribution to our newly expanded "The sound of mb!" Spotify playlist!
“Follow the money” might be a clever tip for budding investigators, but we’d rather follow this smart and driven Moneybrother on his trip around the globe – in full sound and vision thanks to an ambitious seven-stop recording project and dedicated documentary by cinematographer Jim Dziura who captured the entire experience on video.
A quiet sensation with a big voice, Swedish popster Anders Wendin went from ska-punk Monster to soulful Moneybrother a good decade ago. An undisputed star in his Scandinavian homeland, he now captures audiences from Russia to Chile with his unfiltered passion, disco-infused international indie pop, smart ska/punk references to the streets of Brixton or Kingston ca. 1979 and, occasionally, a hint of his hero’s rolling Elvis inflections.
And while Anders’ fourth album, Mount Pleasure, climbed to the top of the Swedish album charts, his latest, This Is Where Life Is, aims to take on the entire world – literally, with a global medium and message stitched together over a string of recording sessions between LA, Rio, Auckland, Cape Town, Kingston, London, Chicago and Stockholm. Covering both hemispheres, most continents and stops on the busy Swede’s tour – going straight to the source of his favourite sounds to soak up the atmosphere – the fun, fast and furious project involved plenty of different studio set-ups, engineers and local collaborators to tease out some rousing feelgood vibes and a pop appeal that is truly global.
Completing the multimedia adventure, he was accompanied by stealthy and seasoned documentary veteran (and founding member of iconic grunge rockers Nirvana) Jim Dziura who offers a raw, honest and sympathetic glimpse into the soul of this Moneybrother with a decidedly altruistic bend. And while Jim’s feature-length documentary is a real trip, so are the album’s ten rough gems pouring with passion.
In-between songs, sounds, sights and stops of his next tour, we caught up with Anders for a quick phone interview.
Your moniker is quite distinctive – what is Moneybrother all about? Is there a particular story behind it?
Well, I’ve been living with this name for ten years now – and a decade ago I never really expected anyone to care! Back then, I played with a band called Monster and simply thought that if I called myself Moneybrother, my records would sit side by side on the shelf if I stored them in alphabetical order. If I had known that I would spend the next ten years calling myself Moneybrother, I probably would have given it a little more thought.
Well, it’s been a decade – and one filled with some stunning, and stunningly varied records. How does your new album (This Is Where Life Is) compare to, or differ from, its precursor, Real Control?
This Is Where Life Is is definitely more coherent and glued together: In a way, it’s more simple and direct, but then again it is also a little bit more spontaneous!
I guess it would also be worth mentioning that it was recorded in a total of seven countries …?
You’re right – that’s not exactly standard procedure. This time around, I wanted to explore what would happen if I recorded an album on tour. When you listen to the album, it sounds like a rush, like everything comes together while travelling, kinda taking you along for the ride while you’re listening to it. It was, of course, a fantastic trip, but also a lot of hard work. I am really happy to get an album and movie out of it because sometimes my memory is not fantastic and listening to the album conjures up a lot of images from this singular journey.
Which of the countries or places you visited left the biggest impression – and why?
Obviously, somewhere like London is going to seem a little bland after spending time in places like Kingston or Cape Town. And while I loved my first ever visit to New Zealand, Cape Town and Jamaica stood out the most because of their amazing vibe and the successful musical collaborations that made it onto the album. Kingston might not be as pretty as Cape Town, but the people there are so damn cool!
So, what was the most striking experience on this epic journey? Anything that sticks in mind and maybe influences you to this day?
You know – when you travel, weird stuff invariably happens. For example, I took a trip into Jamaica‘s Blue Mountains where they produce the world’s best coffee, to work on some lyrics. So there I was, standing outside of a small village church as it had a great view and you could see all of Kingston from there, and then I started to play my guitar … And you know that when you think you’re all by yourself you sometimes make a fool of yourself? Like when you’re singing in the shower? So, obviously, I made a lot of funny noises and stuff. After two hours, I heard this rustling sound from above – and there was this 60-year-old Rastafarian sitting in a mango tree … he had been there the entire time! I didn’t really feel embarrassed because he seemed to think it was all quite normal. As if it was an everyday thing that a white guy was singing underneath his tree house.
We hope you captured that on camera! Did the filmic document of your tour turn into a bit of a diary?
I wasn’t really involved in making the movie. Ground rules were that I had to focus 100% on the album, so if the film makers wanted to come along, they were welcome to come and shoot, but “don’t interrupt me, don’t ask me questions while I’m working and don’t get in my way“. So, I did not influence where it was going, but Jim did a great job – and simply filmed me, whether I was getting angry in the studio or having a fantastic time jamming.
Could you describe your sound in three words?
Bloody fucking awesome.
Well – that would make a great tombstone inscription, but what about some famous last words from someone you admire? Maybe a favourite quote by a fellow artist or musician?
Mike Scott, the singer of Irish band The Waterboys, once said – “I am an artist. I don’t make career moves.“ I like that because it’s very easy for me to think about what the audience wants, but it’s harder to figure out – what do I want to give? So, in the spirit of Mike Scott – as long as I stay true to myself and keep listening to my heart, I can’t really fail!
Thanks, Anders! Hope the upcoming tour goes well!
From Sweden with love, heart and plenty of passion – just like our favourite music streaming service, Spotify. Combining the best of both worlds, we give you a newly expanded The sound of mb! Spotify playlist, featuring one of Moneybrother’s brand new songs!
Straight to the playlist.
More information on Moneybrother: www.moneybrothermusic.com