Carl Gustav Jung wrote that “the individuation is the raison d’être of the self” and divided psyche to Ego, Persona, Shadow, the Self and the Animus. Peter Andersson borrowed the Jungian phrase “Raison d’etre” and started his own journey to discover the mysteries of the human soul. All the titles of his albums and tracks reveal an expedition to something deeper, secret and unknown; something that the eye can’t catch, something for the chosen few. Music seems to travel through inner depths of sadness trying to find the mysteries of the human being. But what is the real raison d ‘ etre of Peter Andersson?
It seems that nowadays with music being widespread through internet it is easier than it has been in the past to reach wider audiences, but on the other hand fewer people are buying the actual work of the artist, what’s your point of view on this?
The golden age of sales was in the 90’s, before it was possible to download and stream the music. CD sales could reach really high levels, and the audience had to put some effort in getting the music (buying the CD, waiting for it to arrive). It was an exciting wait for the audience and a magic moment to put the CD in the player and press play, and just enjoy (hopefully) the music. Now it is a bit too easy I guess, and a bit less magic. Some time after the millennium until 2010 CD sales went quite slow, slower each day, and there were no good tools to defeat the illegal ways of getting music (MP3-CD’s and downloads), a whole generation got used to download illegally instead of buying the music. Since music became less physical (CD, LP) and gone to something intangible (digital) fewer people were willing to spend money on something that almost did not exist more than in our ears. I think it has changed now, or started to change. Today there are some very good tools and channels, and the audience has another view of the value of creations in the digital domain. With the new tools and channels the artists and labels can sell both physical and digital albums of their own releases, and from what I can see at least a good portion of the audience seems interested to use these new channels to support the artist or label directly, both old and new generations. I have pretty good sales on my channels, and all the money gets directly into my pocket, not as it was earlier through distributor or a label first, which in the end resulted in a small royalty share to the artist. I can imagine it would be difficult for new bands to get attention in the vastness of Internet. The generation of bands I belong to was at least a little bit known in the world before all this happened, and it has probably helped us a bit out on the vast space of Internet as well.
Any artists or kinds of music that you like to listen that would surprise your audience?
Well, I guess it would differ a lot whether it is surprising or not. The audience, they are more individuals than a single object. They all have their own views or expectations of me, so I cannot really tell what would be surprising for them. I enjoy Boney M, or some tracks at least, maybe that is surprising for some.
Are there any other forms of arts besides music that you are attracted to or are fond of?
I am fond of art in general, but the art of film making in particular (I mean the final product, the movie). Not all movies can be considered to be a piece of art, but most of the movies I have in my collection I would consider pieces of art. The great with art is that it has the ability to surprise mostly in a positive way, so I would never say that I don’t like this or that kind of art before I have experienced the actual piece of art to judge. Sometimes, I like what I see and sometimes I do not. Most of the times art just feels pointless, I guess because I don’t understand the art or I am totally uninterested in the subject. Sometimes it has to do with contexts. When art is getting too political I often get bored. Movies are easy to consume so that’s one of the reasons it is a favorite art besides music. The major thing about movies is that they are/or can be an encapsulated and different world, almost like dreams. It’s all about escapism from my side. I am also very attracted to some dance and theater when it goes more experimental and physical, but it’s much more difficult to consume than watching a movie: it should be experienced live. Actually, when I think of it, I must say dreams are the art form I am most attracted too. I now see dreams as art. Never thought of my dreams as art, but it is. Dreams are a bit like Buddhist Mandala sand paintings; fragile, present existing and full of symbols.
Which was the first album you have purchased before writing music yourself?
I think the first album I bought was the first album of Kim Wilde, or else it was Adam and the Ants ‘Kings of the Wild Frontier’.
So what is the “Dreams Essence”?
That’s the beauty of the mystery, no one will ever know.
It is remarkable that so many important bands of the genre come from Sweden, why do you think this happened?
People in Sweden seems to have a certain skill for making music, the genre doesn’t matter, and Swedish music has been very successful the latest 30-40 years. We live in a cold and dark place and we seem to have lot of time to do music. No siesta for us. But why so many important bands in this genre? The right place, the right time, the right (pre)conditions, the right attitude, the right coincidences.
How did the collaboration with Troum, regarding the ‘De Aeris In Sublunaria Influxu‘ album on Essence label occur?
The collaboration idea was initiated by the Brazilian label Essence Music in 2005. Both Troum and I liked the idea to in some way combine our sounds and we had some discussion back then but nothing really happened, because we were very busy with our own projects. The collaboration started more seriously in 2011 when we performed at the same festival in Italy. I even started recording some initial sounds on the way back home from that festival, at the airport toilet I remember. It took some years to complete the album because we just worked in small portions, we were still very busy (as always) with our own projects. The music is done during two major “sessions”, the first in 2012 with more light sound and shorter tracks and the second in 2014 with darker and longer tracks. It’s been a mail kind of collaboration, we have not physically met to make music together, just mailed each other sounds and tunes, a process which has both pros and cons. A possible dynamic glow between us is not really possible to create at distance collaboration. On the other hand, it is much more efficient to work at a distance, not that much compromises to be done in the start or in the middle of a process since one is able to present more complete ideas and content before they are rejected or accepted. Some reviewers noted that it took 3-4 years to complete the album, and they seem to expect more and better result, but the fact is that the total working days for the music on this album is probably not more than 15 days. On the other hand, it took 10 years from idea to the release of the album.
What are your future plans? What else should we expect from Peter?
I think I have too little free time for making music, and it’s really not much to do about it, sadly. The music gives me far from much in income, so the full time job I have, makes most of the income and consuming most of the time. So, things are a bit slow when it comes to making new music. At least I have plans for the nearest future. First, I am working right now on a new Atomine Elektrine album, titled ‘The Second Moon‘, hopefully completed after this summer. Last album ‘Laniakea‘ was released just 7 months ago but I got very inspired of working with Atomine Elektrine, so I started directly to work on material for another album, and I haven’t been working on this project for many, many years. Right after ‘The Second Moon’ album I will work on a new Raison d’être album. I have been shaping the concept for a while now and I hope to start with creating sounds this autumn. After that I don’t know yet. Maybe another Raison d’être album, or maybe a new Bocksholm album will be in-between. There are also slow plans to resurrect the Stratvm Terror project.
You are going to appear in the ETOR Dark Ambient Fest at Death Disco, taking place between 6-8 May. What should the audience expect?
Yes, I am really excited to attend to this festival, especially with all the invited artists. Last and first time I performed in Athens was in 1999, and it was one of the craziest weekends in my life. I plan this performance to be the last Raison d’être gig for a long time, at least 15 months. I need all the time to do new music. I hope the audience will feel I give the most on this last gig! Maybe there will be a special surprise.
Photo Credits: Fredrik Rydberg, Lucas Geeniar (2nd & 3rd one)