Thanks to VNV Nation's manager during this festival, Alexander Hoffman, we got the opportunity to talk to Ronan for about 30 minutes. Ronan met us up and offer us a place under a raised tent with opened sides. Inside tent there were stashed, cosy pillows and we sat down to talk about VNV Nation while the rain was pouring down.

It's been five years since you visited the Arvikafestivalen, how does it feel to be back?
- "Yeah, I was just thinking about that. Nothing has changed except it's raining this time. I do think it's a pity though that it aren't more people here because I think Sweden is a country, unlike United Kingdom, were people tend to be in to more different styles and this festival seems to offer just that. Something I respect them a great deal for is that they have many national artists. If you are underground band or whatever, it gives you the chance for people to see you. It's also a lovely location and a lovely countryside. Everything is organized well and we're also going to play at the main stage and I'm of course happy about that."

VNV Nation have played in Sweden a couple of times in a short period of time, is the motivation still on top?
- "I love it! People are very unique here, they are very wild! If you're playing at the Tinitus festival, ElectriXmas, SAMA or some other of those festivals people stick around even if you are playing at one a clock in the morning and still they have a lot of energy and they're going mental! Here we get some of the strongest reactions in Europe. Germans like to go wild, but no one does it like the Swedes. I love to see all the people meeting up from all over and everyone wears the clothes and you know just who's an "electro" or a "synthare" (Scandinavian word for electro/industrial goth - editors note). It's brilliant and it's such a great vibe. One thing I like about the Swedes is that they have a very intelligent sense of humour, a kind of sarcastic sense of humour, more like the English sense of humour in a way. When we played at Lund we got the audience to sing "Små grodorna", well, could you guys tell me the last time you were at an EBM-show where the band got the audience to sing "Små grodorna" or any kind of Swedish children song? One thing I like is that we could be ourselves with the Swedish audience and we are able to talk to them. I love to tell them that we are happy to be here and I want them to know that, that they are as much of the show as we are."

When I've seen a band perform live many times it tends to be quite boring, but a concert with VNV Nation always feels somehow genuine, how come?
- "Maybe we had some gaps between the shows, and I hope that's the right thing. We were danger in Germany, because we did a lot of charity shows and I think we played every six month on a festival and it kind of tires people out I guess. But it never really happened because every show was unique. It's going to be different tonight since we are playing on a big stage I don't want to loose the distance and we want it to be special. We only have an hour and it's a pity that [:SITD:] are playing right after us because it's going to be this exit of electros from one side to the other. I love [:SITD:] by the way, they are good friends of mine. Tonight we want to do something special and we got an hour tonight and were going to pack in as much as possible. It's not really that easy because "Beloved" is seven and a half minutes long and we have to play it or we will be dragged off the festival, tied up to a tree and people are going to throw stones at us. We really do a lot of thought to make sure that the people that come to our show get what they paid for, that's very important to us."

Please tell us a little bit more about your latest album 'Matter+Form'.
- "When I had finished 'Futureperfect' I kind of felt that we were going in a direction were we would end up putting ourselves in a box and repeating the same shit over and I hate doing that. Right after I finished 'Futureperfect' I wrote two songs for the new album, like just in a week or so. I wanted to do something totally different. I still wanted to keep it down and simple and to get underground dance and EBM influences. But I wanted more to write an album of songs and then mix all styles together, so the album became very schizophrenic. You got these instrumentals with a very techno and EBM influence and some of them are soundtrack oriented. I think "Chrome" is the perfect blend of modern contemporary sound without being traditional EBM or like something everyone else is doing. When "Futureperfect" came out nobody thought a band in this genre could write a love song like "Beloved" and get away with it. I thought everyone was going to kill us, really, I'm serious. I thought everyone would hate the song."

It feels kind of strange to hear that, after all, "Beloved" became a huge success...
- "I do the music I want and I do it how I want it, I don't really think about what other people expect from me or something like that. I don't write music thinking about what the reactions going to be, I rather think "Fuck, I love this". I wanted to do a combination of newer styles and not just do original dance music, like "Arena" and "Perpetual". I think "Perpetual" is one of my favourite songs I ever done, because it got the most positive vibe and it's a mixture of indie rock and ethereal trance which is a strange blend for me. I wanted to move on and take us to a new vibe, but the main thing was that I wanted the album to have kind of a vintage vibe to it. So I went back to use my old synthesizers, the special ones I know have the right sound and using a lot of technology to create a very warm and full sound. I also used a co-producer to help me get that sound and I wanted the emotions to be in there."

Tell us more about this emotional part of the music and VNV Nation.
- "If you think about life, if you actually are an intelligent person that just don't spend your Saturday nights only thinking about drinking lots of beer and getting drunk like a "raggare" (Swedish version of a redneck - editors note). If you actually are interested in how you see your life and how you see your world you try to analyze and work yourself out, that's what I did. I went through school thinking "I'm not like anyone of these pricks, I'm different" and they thought the same thing about me. I went through college thinking the same thing and I went through all my jobs thinking "I don't really fit in with these people". What am I? I think differently, I see things differently and I like music that kicks my ass on the dance floor but also makes me think. That gave me the motivation to continue with what I was doing and that's just something that's naturally in me and I'm not digging it up to do it. I can't sit in front of a computer not thinking about a song or sit down in front of a synthesizer not raising a melody. If you leave synthesizers in my room I will continue to write songs, so if you want VNV Nation to stop, take my synthesizers away!"

Did you pre-decide that the album would be as influenced by instrumental tracks?
- "I went in to the studio, with my co-producer, with sixteen songs and we only used two of them. So it was fourteen that haven't been used. "Chrome" and "Homeward" was written in a studio from an idea. "Colours of Rain" was a song that I've had in my head for years that I wanted to write. I kind of developed the vibe in the studio being with some creative people. I have earlier written music based upon my own limitations, and when you enter the studio it's hard to pick a song and change it, so I kind of started from scratch with a lot of songs and took some things from one song, one bit from one song, two bits from another and came up with this combination. I did know that I wanted instrumentals. With "Lightwave" I was prerecording the lyrics with one of these Dictaphones, sampling it. I did a lot of weird experimental things. If we would have another two months to do the album we would have a lot more on there. Probably it would be up to fourteen or fifteen songs. We were doing weird shit like recording an electric piano through a really fucked up amplifier with a microphone in the room and putting it through an old cassette machine, which was part of the sound in "Endless Skies". I always have an idea of what the concept of the album would be. The album is about all the different stages I have going through in my life and how I see the world because of that. I have reached a stage that everything I always wanted with my life and all I wanted to be, I have happened for me. Obviously that's great, but I will go through another transition, and I will change again. The album is about the transition from one stage to another, What I wanted to say for the first time actually to the audience was in all the alternative people, you are alternative for an reason and all alternative people have an creative gift. A lot of people don't look for their creative gift, they feel unwanted and disliked by people, very isolated and very alienated. No one understands me better than me, what's going on in my head and in my world. So I turned my potential into creativeness. I guess I finally realized that I am creative. I got through a lot of hard times writing that music, you can go through big depression stages in your life when you go through big changes and it makes you feel down and I created music as an result. I am a very graphic oriented person, I create all the graphics for the stage sh
VNV Nation interview
January 1, 2005
Brutal Resonance

VNV Nation

Jan 2005
Thanks to VNV Nation's manager during this festival, Alexander Hoffman, we got the opportunity to talk to Ronan for about 30 minutes. Ronan met us up and offer us a place under a raised tent with opened sides. Inside tent there were stashed, cosy pillows and we sat down to talk about VNV Nation while the rain was pouring down.

It's been five years since you visited the Arvikafestivalen, how does it feel to be back?
- "Yeah, I was just thinking about that. Nothing has changed except it's raining this time. I do think it's a pity though that it aren't more people here because I think Sweden is a country, unlike United Kingdom, were people tend to be in to more different styles and this festival seems to offer just that. Something I respect them a great deal for is that they have many national artists. If you are underground band or whatever, it gives you the chance for people to see you. It's also a lovely location and a lovely countryside. Everything is organized well and we're also going to play at the main stage and I'm of course happy about that."

VNV Nation have played in Sweden a couple of times in a short period of time, is the motivation still on top?
- "I love it! People are very unique here, they are very wild! If you're playing at the Tinitus festival, ElectriXmas, SAMA or some other of those festivals people stick around even if you are playing at one a clock in the morning and still they have a lot of energy and they're going mental! Here we get some of the strongest reactions in Europe. Germans like to go wild, but no one does it like the Swedes. I love to see all the people meeting up from all over and everyone wears the clothes and you know just who's an "electro" or a "synthare" (Scandinavian word for electro/industrial goth - editors note). It's brilliant and it's such a great vibe. One thing I like about the Swedes is that they have a very intelligent sense of humour, a kind of sarcastic sense of humour, more like the English sense of humour in a way. When we played at Lund we got the audience to sing "Små grodorna", well, could you guys tell me the last time you were at an EBM-show where the band got the audience to sing "Små grodorna" or any kind of Swedish children song? One thing I like is that we could be ourselves with the Swedish audience and we are able to talk to them. I love to tell them that we are happy to be here and I want them to know that, that they are as much of the show as we are."

When I've seen a band perform live many times it tends to be quite boring, but a concert with VNV Nation always feels somehow genuine, how come?
- "Maybe we had some gaps between the shows, and I hope that's the right thing. We were danger in Germany, because we did a lot of charity shows and I think we played every six month on a festival and it kind of tires people out I guess. But it never really happened because every show was unique. It's going to be different tonight since we are playing on a big stage I don't want to loose the distance and we want it to be special. We only have an hour and it's a pity that [:SITD:] are playing right after us because it's going to be this exit of electros from one side to the other. I love [:SITD:] by the way, they are good friends of mine. Tonight we want to do something special and we got an hour tonight and were going to pack in as much as possible. It's not really that easy because "Beloved" is seven and a half minutes long and we have to play it or we will be dragged off the festival, tied up to a tree and people are going to throw stones at us. We really do a lot of thought to make sure that the people that come to our show get what they paid for, that's very important to us."

Please tell us a little bit more about your latest album 'Matter+Form'.
- "When I had finished 'Futureperfect' I kind of felt that we were going in a direction were we would end up putting ourselves in a box and repeating the same shit over and I hate doing that. Right after I finished 'Futureperfect' I wrote two songs for the new album, like just in a week or so. I wanted to do something totally different. I still wanted to keep it down and simple and to get underground dance and EBM influences. But I wanted more to write an album of songs and then mix all styles together, so the album became very schizophrenic. You got these instrumentals with a very techno and EBM influence and some of them are soundtrack oriented. I think "Chrome" is the perfect blend of modern contemporary sound without being traditional EBM or like something everyone else is doing. When "Futureperfect" came out nobody thought a band in this genre could write a love song like "Beloved" and get away with it. I thought everyone was going to kill us, really, I'm serious. I thought everyone would hate the song."

It feels kind of strange to hear that, after all, "Beloved" became a huge success...
- "I do the music I want and I do it how I want it, I don't really think about what other people expect from me or something like that. I don't write music thinking about what the reactions going to be, I rather think "Fuck, I love this". I wanted to do a combination of newer styles and not just do original dance music, like "Arena" and "Perpetual". I think "Perpetual" is one of my favourite songs I ever done, because it got the most positive vibe and it's a mixture of indie rock and ethereal trance which is a strange blend for me. I wanted to move on and take us to a new vibe, but the main thing was that I wanted the album to have kind of a vintage vibe to it. So I went back to use my old synthesizers, the special ones I know have the right sound and using a lot of technology to create a very warm and full sound. I also used a co-producer to help me get that sound and I wanted the emotions to be in there."

Tell us more about this emotional part of the music and VNV Nation.
- "If you think about life, if you actually are an intelligent person that just don't spend your Saturday nights only thinking about drinking lots of beer and getting drunk like a "raggare" (Swedish version of a redneck - editors note). If you actually are interested in how you see your life and how you see your world you try to analyze and work yourself out, that's what I did. I went through school thinking "I'm not like anyone of these pricks, I'm different" and they thought the same thing about me. I went through college thinking the same thing and I went through all my jobs thinking "I don't really fit in with these people". What am I? I think differently, I see things differently and I like music that kicks my ass on the dance floor but also makes me think. That gave me the motivation to continue with what I was doing and that's just something that's naturally in me and I'm not digging it up to do it. I can't sit in front of a computer not thinking about a song or sit down in front of a synthesizer not raising a melody. If you leave synthesizers in my room I will continue to write songs, so if you want VNV Nation to stop, take my synthesizers away!"

Did you pre-decide that the album would be as influenced by instrumental tracks?
- "I went in to the studio, with my co-producer, with sixteen songs and we only used two of them. So it was fourteen that haven't been used. "Chrome" and "Homeward" was written in a studio from an idea. "Colours of Rain" was a song that I've had in my head for years that I wanted to write. I kind of developed the vibe in the studio being with some creative people. I have earlier written music based upon my own limitations, and when you enter the studio it's hard to pick a song and change it, so I kind of started from scratch with a lot of songs and took some things from one song, one bit from one song, two bits from another and came up with this combination. I did know that I wanted instrumentals. With "Lightwave" I was prerecording the lyrics with one of these Dictaphones, sampling it. I did a lot of weird experimental things. If we would have another two months to do the album we would have a lot more on there. Probably it would be up to fourteen or fifteen songs. We were doing weird shit like recording an electric piano through a really fucked up amplifier with a microphone in the room and putting it through an old cassette machine, which was part of the sound in "Endless Skies". I always have an idea of what the concept of the album would be. The album is about all the different stages I have going through in my life and how I see the world because of that. I have reached a stage that everything I always wanted with my life and all I wanted to be, I have happened for me. Obviously that's great, but I will go through another transition, and I will change again. The album is about the transition from one stage to another, What I wanted to say for the first time actually to the audience was in all the alternative people, you are alternative for an reason and all alternative people have an creative gift. A lot of people don't look for their creative gift, they feel unwanted and disliked by people, very isolated and very alienated. No one understands me better than me, what's going on in my head and in my world. So I turned my potential into creativeness. I guess I finally realized that I am creative. I got through a lot of hard times writing that music, you can go through big depression stages in your life when you go through big changes and it makes you feel down and I created music as an result. I am a very graphic oriented person, I create all the graphics for the stage sh
Jan 01 2005

Patrik Lindström

info@brutalresonance.com
Founder of Brutal Resonance in 2009, founder of Electroracle and founder of ex Promonetics. Used to write a whole lot for Brutal Resonance and have written over 500 reviews. Nowadays, mostly focusing on the website and paving way for our writers.

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