Interviewed by Corin Syrianoudis
Weatherday is a Swedish band that exploded in the DIY music world in 2019 with their home-recorded-blasted-screaming-sparkling-computer mic emo opera Come In. They have crafted a beautiful and timid universe that is teeming with incredible imagery and emotion.
1. How did you approach the writing on Come In? Did you start with an overall concept you wanted to write about, or did it materialize as you progressed through the individual songs? I started out with writing lyrics and making the tracklist before writing the actual songs. The song titles were decided as early on as they were written cause they made it easy for me to envision the song’s sound and feel. The lyrics were written to work into a concept I had in mind before anything else from the album took form. Much of the musical part of the album was improvised as I recorded, which worked out largely due to having the song titles and lyrics inspiring their respective instrumentals so much.
2. Did you record the songs in order then or was it more of like a, ‘I’ll write a little of this song today, a little of this song tomorrow…’ kinda deal? I practically worked on one song until it felt finished, sometimes working on it for 15 hours straight without taking breaks. It’s a habit I’m trying to get rid of cause obviously it isn’t healthy. Anyway, after finishing a song I would upload it to SoundCloud privately and listen to it non-stop for a week or so, then I moved on to another song (not in any particular order (though I deliberately put off tackling My Sputnik Sweetheart, knowing it was going to be a pain to do due to the length it would have to be)). After all the songs were “finished” and I had listened to them to the extent I had, I knew what I needed to change, remove, re-record and add. Then I repeated the process of going through each song, dissecting them all, and improving as much as I could. This process would repeat until I couldn’t find anything I was unhappy with.
3. So from the beginning you kinda had My Sputnik Sweetheart set to be the longform genre collage it ended up being? Not really in the sense that it was planned, but more of “oh, this song ended up having kind of many lines of lyrics and they really cover a lot of ground, spanning years of events and experiences - what just happened??”. That realization followed an unexpectedly quick writing session I had in one sitting, which ended up being the song’s full lyrics. It made me fear making the song, thinking it would become 30 minutes long and be all over the place, making it unlistenable. It was the one song I had the biggest doubts about, even after finishing it I was convinced it would be the most disliked song by the few listeners I expected to stumble upon my album. The song was actually longer originally, cause there were more lyrics. I had to cut about 4 minutes that I felt were meandering and ruined the song’s flow and integrity etc.
4. Do you think that the album format has advantages over other creative mediums in exploring personal issues? (For example, do you think your webcomic allowed you to explore the issues you wanted to better or worse than your albums have?) For me personally, I think music is the best way for me to express myself in any way currently. Comparing my music to the webcomic, I think my music paints a better picture than it ever did, despite how much I want that to not be true. Music is the format I’m the most confident in, which is essential for me to be able to focus on what I want to convey. That’s how I relate to it. It is one of the reasons for the removal of the webcomic - I just wasn’t confident in it and couldn’t justify its existence.
I think that, overall, this applies to many people in the sense that the medium you’re drawn to and are the most comfortable in is the one you will utilize the best. There are various advantages to the different mediums that tend to come to mind instantly but I think that those are shallow in comparison to who is behind the wheel and what they do with it. I recognize that you generally need experience to become comfortable in your expression, but when strictly talking about the advantages I think what matters is working in a space that doesn’t hold you back as much, because that’s where you’ll be doing your best at that time.
Currently I think my webcomic would take its optimal form as music. But wanting to improve my visual medium work, I will hold off on releasing it in any form until it’s something I can justify in the shape it originally was intended to be - regardless of that mediums perceived advantages.
5. What's the distinction between your 3(?) projects? (Rana Plastic Bubbles, Weatherday, Lola's Pocket PC) Weatherday was the first project out of those three. It’s basically my main way of making meaningful music, a continuation of the music I made before but with a new name and style. As soon as I scrapped the album I had worked on for a year I started on a new one with the weatherday name. When come in was about to be finished I had listened to the songs so much for so long that I felt like I couldn’t work on them anymore. I couldn’t trust my judgment because I was too close to it at that point.
That’s why I started making a new album as Lola’s Pocket PC, it was meant as a palette cleanser. I am a huge fan of synth music, synth pop and progressive electronics are the types of music I started listening to first as a kid and really liked. So not only was it a palette cleanser, I learned pretty quickly that it was a more serious project than I imagined it would be. That’s why I kept going and released another Lola’s Pocket PC album the same year. It is a full-on side project now that I don’t plan on quitting for the time being.
Rana Plastic Bubbles is a project I started because I was going to make a song for someone as one of my birthday presents. I thought it would be funny to actually post it and make it something you could go and actually listen to like you would with other songs on bandcamp. The next year I did it again, and this year I did it yet again. Though for this year I actually made a whole EP, a bit ambitious. I’m very happy with how the songs have turned out, it’s not a serious project or anything but it’s something that’s very close to my heart.
6. How do you plan on making the transition to live shows? Do you already have a band or are you looking at other options? I want to play live so I’m working on how to do that, when I have the time to. I don’t have a band yet, but I’m putting one together cause I don’t wanna do backing tracks. The more I think about the come in songs the more I realize I have to adapt for a live setting. My hope is that people will listen to the songs live and get more out of it because it’s a bit different from the album versions. I think finding a balance, where the things I change make for a better song live but also keep what people remember from the songs enough to not miss out on a favorite part of their favorite song, is key. After forming a band we’re gonna have to practice and then I’ll play in Sweden. After that I’ll start thinking about playing abroad, that’s my plan.
7. What can we expect from LP2? (Changes in style/instrumentation, etc). LP2 will have more intensity and variation in the guitar playing, with some elements of Come In being further developed and utilized here. I also want the songs for this album to be more conventional in the song structure, which is a fancy way for me to say that I’m going to have choruses on the album (which will be a challenge for me cause I don’t typically write choruses and find them to be extremely difficult to make). Overall it’ll feel familiar if you’ve listened to Come In, but hopefully not feel like I just made Come In again. In the instrumentation I plan to take some of my favorite parts of Come In (the electronics and odd instruments showing up) and explore that further. For instance I will play the cello on LP2 and there will be many electronic elements again, but this time they will be cooler. The album will be a concept album again, I find those fun to make still so that’s what I’m doing.
Yeah, choruses are the worst! Like, it’s HARD to write something catchy and memorable that you don’t mind saying 4 times in the same song. Truly haha. The way I write lyrics typically, makes it difficult too, cause I don’t like to repeat myself and to keep the song static by having the lyrics tying to follow the song structure, that leaves the song in a limbo which is fine and all but for what I want to do I try to avoid that. On Come In I had this progression throughout the song for the most part, but the song went somewhere both lyrically and instrumentally. So I want to keep that feeling of lyrics being meaningful and driving the song further but also having memorable choruses on it. Radar Ballet*, which will be on LP2, is kind of an example of what will happen, that it still has the progressive nature but also has what is called choruses.
8. Does LP2 have a title yet? LP2 does have a title and has had one for very long. I’m still keeping it a secret so I can’t tell you what it is. What I can say is that the title is tied to the concept of the album, like with Come In.
That’s neat. I'm VERY excited for LP2, and doing this interview has only made me more excited. If Radar Ballet is any indicator of the rest of the album it should be a real treat. Thanks again for doing this! It really means a lot that you took the time to answer my questions so thoughtfully. No problem. You had great questions, those are always more fun to answer!
* A song featured on Through the Soil, an awesome cassette compilation released earlier this year with a lot of our friend’s music from around the world and art by Phil Elverum!