Jeniferever: it's the constellation of persons making the music that's important, not the place it's made

Interview with Swedish band Jeniferever (


Kristofer Jönson – Lead Vocals, Guitar, Piano, Organ
Fredrik Aspelin - Drums, Backing Vocals
Olle Bilius – Bass Guitar, Baritone Guitar, Synths, Backing Vocals
Martin Sandström - Guitar, Backing Vocals

AZH: First of all, tell us about your roles in the band and how did you guys have met all together and decided to make music.

Kristofer: Me, Fredrik and Olle met in the mid 90's as we went to the same school. We formed our first ever band together with some other friends in '95. In 2000 we formed the band Jeniferever together with guitarist Johan Zeitler. We released our first ep in 2002 and Johan soon left after the release. In 2003 Martin Sandström joined the band and since then we've had the same line up. Everyone contributes equally much to the songwriting and we all take all musical and business related decissions together.

Describe us your background a little. I know you come from Uppsala, Sweden, how do you like the place you live in? Does your surrounding influence the music you write?

I wouldn't say the surrounding it self influence the music we make but all our personal lives of course affect what comes out when writing music. And since living in Uppsala the city is of course a part of that as well but I think we'd all be happy to move from Uppsala if the circumstances would be right and I'm pretty sure that will happen in not a too distant future. But the surrounding as in the scenery is not a major influence to us, we're more influenced by other music of which most of it come long way from where we live.

What are the bands you are usually compared to? And which do you assume as real music relations or influences of other musicians made to your creative activity?

We often get comparred to Sigúr Ros, Mogwai, Explosions in the Sky and such bands but none of those bands are bands we listen to really apart from maybe Mogwai that we've all listened to a lot in the past. What's spinning a lot in the tour van at the moment is Bat for Lashes, The National, Frightened Rabbit, Wilco, Bon Iver, Fuck Buttons, Silversun Pickups, Iron And Wine, Killing Joke, Jay Z, Lil' Wayne, Neurosis...

As to me, Swedish scene seems to be very interesting and sounds beautiful, e.g. Immanu El, ef, Logh. Do you keep in touch with them? Could you tell us more about other presentatives you consider as worth to listen to?

We've met and played with all those bands but they're not people we know or hang out with much. I think Logh as you mentioned is one of the better bands that has come out of Sweden. There are many great bands you should check out that come from Sweden, here are some of them: Audrey, Cult of Luna, The Bear Quartet, Scraps of Tape, The Rafts, El Pero Del Mar, Fireside, Refused...

Your artwork of the album Spring Tides is somehow mysterious and it is very like your myspace background picture. Is there any idea relating to constellations behind all of this?

Yes it is. The part of the sky that's in the Spring Tides artwork is the sky you see from our part of the globe during the months around the date when the record was released. So if you watch the night sky from Ukraine during march/april next year you should be able to see the whole artwork there. All the constellations are the real constellations apart from the hourglass in the middle that we've made up and that relates both to the song The Hourglass on the album but also to a lot of the other lyrics on the album.

Which are your favorite places to stay in Sweden? Where it is better to think and write music, near the seaside, at home or with friends?

I think there is no better or worse place to write really. I get ideas for songs all the time no matter where in the world I am, they just pop up whenever they feel like. But we always put together the songs in our studio when we can play together. But I guess all you need is a room where you feel comfortable, it could be in Sweden, Ukraine or on the other side of the globe. It's the constellation of persons making the music that's important, not the place it's made.

What do you do except music, which things make you busy in your ordinary life?

I work as a music producer and engineer. So I record other bands/artists. Sometimes I work as a live sound engineer as well. Martin works as a guitar teacher and also works with mentally dissabled kids at a youth centre. Fredrik and Olle work for the Swedish postal service sorting mail. Other than working we are all involved with other musical projects outside of Jeniferever. We also have other hobbies of course, one of my favourite interests is 50's design and furniture.

As it is known, not only your songs are very emotional but the live shows as well. What have influenced (and still influence) your music and the way you play it?

When it comes to live shows nothing influences us more than the people we play to. We get a lot of energy and emotions from the people that listen to our music so we wan't to give back as much as we possible can. So I'd say that's the main influence for the live shows and I know how much it sucks to watch a bad live band so I try to give people what I'd want from a band myself if I went to a show.

You are going to have a long tour over Europe, how do you like touring in general? Can you remember anything really funny when playing in various places? And are there any countries you?d like to visit the most?

When touring is good I love it, when it's bad I just want to go home. In general it's pretty good tho and it's always fun to meet the people that listen to our music. And it's always nice to go to places you've never been but a lot of the time we don't get to see much of the places we go to since we always have to head off for another place the next day. Many of the western European countries we've been to so many times now so the visit it self isn't that great, then it's mostly about the show and the people. so right now we more than anything want to go to countries we haven't been so far such as Ukraine. So really looking forward to come over to you. Hopefully within not a too distant future we'll go to America and Asia so really looking forward to that as well.

In April this year you had concert in Poznan, Poland, do you remember how you met Yura from Ukrainian band Embilight? Did you listen to their music? If yes, how did you like it?

We meet a lot of people on tour so it's hard to remember them all and I don't think I met Yura myself and haven't heard their music I'm affraid.
But I will check it up!

And what do you think about that concert organization; you’re somehow different from Mono so why did you play together?

We got offered to play a couple of shows with them so we thought it was a good opportunity to reach out to some new listeners since they have a pretty steady fan base over here. I agree that the music is very different tho and I'm not a fan of what they do really but I think that there's a pretty good chance that the people who enjoy Mono's music could like our's

After checking the list of your upcoming shows, I haven't noticed the one in Kyiv, Ukraine? Why is it so?

We still haven't recieved all the informatiod about the eastern European dates so we don't want to post any dates before we get them 100% confirmed. But as soon as we get all the information we will post the date. So hopefully soon!

Not sure if you know, but ef also were going to play in Ukraine in October but due to financial issues they don’t. When we asked them about Ukraine, they have said: “Though we are a bit scared since we never been touring so far east before... Bad roads, long drives, loads of vodka” ;) Which associations and expectations about Ukraine do you have?

Well we're definitely not scared to come to Ukraine and play! We're all very excited to go there no matter the roads, drives etc. From what I've heard you have a rich musical life and desire over there and that's all we need to come over. We want to go anywhere where people like what we do. But of course the financial part of touring can be hard sometimes so i understand why bands from around here might not go there since it's far away so it costs a lot of money and takes a lot of time. But I'm sure that Ef will come over eventually too.

by Ivanna Cherukha

photos: Rikkard Häggbom, Rikkard Häggbom, Johan Alp, Olof Rönnblom


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