Interview for Pete’s Rock News and Views with Andi Kravljaca and Andreas Nergård of Nergard
PD: How would you describe yourself or your band as an artist?
AK: Nergard is the best band in the world, surely!
PD: Can you tell us briefly about your background – i.e. where you’re from, how you came to make music, etc.
AK: I live in Stockholm, Sweden. I’ve been in the music business one way or another since I was a kid – but I think the big shift happened after the first time I heard Helloween. That’s when I knew you could make THAT kind of music.
PD: Who and what inspires you to make music, both in terms of musical and other influences? What do you like to write about in your songs?
AK: The best part of inspiration is that it can come from literally anywhere – books, films, sights and sounds or everyday things. And the more you become aware of it, the more you walk around in life always open to inspiration. So I try to keep an open mind and soul and if I see something that moves me, I try to write about how that felt.
PD: What are your aspirations as an artist?
AK: I’ve never desired to be rich or famous, all I ever wanted was to be recognized as a good musician by other musicians. I want a guy to play my guitar solo for his friend and go ‘man, listen to that’. That’s all I ever wanted.
PD: What is the proudest moment in your music career so far?
AK: Holding out the microphone to four thousand people and hearing back lyrics you wrote There’s nothing, nothing like it.
PD: Promoting one’s music is such a challenge these days, especially with so many new artists emerging from bedrooms in the day of the home studio. How is that going?
AK: The problem with the modern music landscape is this. In the old days, you had one guy with a megaphone and 200 people in the audience. Then digital technology came along and gave everyone a megaphone. But we’re all still imagining that this megaphone comes with 200 people in the audience. In reality, there are 201 megaphones in the same room. You have to adapt to that, embrace the chaos and earn every listen. It’s hard!
PD: And how do you book and promote your live shows and tours? Any performances coming up?
AN: Nergard was never meant to be a touring band but as years went by we’ve become more open to it. We filmed our show in Kalvåa last summer for the only purpose to use in promoting the band as a live act. Hopefully we’ll be able to do 5-10 shows a year in the future. We don’t aim for hard touring as this is extremely difficult to do for someone in our position. Most of the members have jobs and commitments in their lives that makes it impossible to go touring. As for now we do not have any performances coming up but hopefully next year, with a new album in the bag, we might be able to pull of a few shows.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online? What about streaming sites like Spotify?
AK: Man, I’d rather be heard than paid. I’m not in the music business to earn money, I’m in it because I love the thing I do and I want to do the thing as much as possible. I think our ambition has always been to just make sure we have the means to make more music, reinvest what we earn into making more. But before anyone can buy your music they have to know you exist, so share it, play it, listen to it. And if you like it – let’s help each other do it again soon.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
AK: The first song that someone plays on a guitar. Something simple, that opens the door for someone and maybe helps them take their first step into a larger world.
PD: Is there anything you don’t like about the music industry, which you would change if you could?
AK: I mean, it’s not ‘show friends’, it’s ‘show business’, and a lot of the time the people who run it neither play, nor listen to or even like music. Music businesses are run by people who are good at business, not by people who enjoy music. And I can’t talk to people like that. I can’t do a cost/benefit analysis on Stairway to Heaven.
PD: So, what are you working on at the moment?
AK: More stuff, new stuff, better stuff – all the time. Keep your eyes peeled!
PD: Where can we learn more about you and buy your music/merch online?
AK: Listen to Nergard wherever you get your music – and go to nergardmusic.com to check out our merch, digital downloads, or just hit us up on social media if you want to ask a question or talk about music