He’s been around the block a few times now. Patrik Arve, of among other things, Teddybears fame, working with groundbreaking artists like Robyn to Iggy Pop, cooked up dancehall with jamaican heroes Ward 21, Ninjaman, Cutty Ranks and Natalie Storm, having performed on places like Letterman, rarely bites his tongue. Nor does he here.
T-post: Tell us about your band Krösus, what are the main things to know?
Patrik Arve: It’s a project originating from an online co-operation. I contacted this guy from Uran GBG because I thought they were super good. We started exchanging files. After a while, he introduced this third guy, a rapper, named Imberial Bill. Then the first guy disappeared, leaving only me and Bill as some sort of experimental file-sharing-music. Bill lives in Borås and me in Stockholm, so at one time I tried recording our stuff here, in the form of a punk band. Soon enough Bill, too, left, citing family reasons. I took to the mic and it became Nya Krösus.
T-post: What’s with the Spotify hate, aren’t they Swedish?
Arve: Not sure if it’s really hate directed towards Spotify, I reckon it’s more of a contemporary reflection on
Artful expressions should be totally free from rules
the music industry of today. What’s wrong with it? These mafia-like vampires who suck all the blood from the artists. There’s no transparency or guidelines from above so these so called music entrepreneurs can run rampant and set their own rules. The ones who end up losing? Artists in general.
T-post: Where do you draw your inspiration from when it comes to performing live?
Arve: Frisbee golf, crossword puzzles and trap.
T-post: Have subcultures died out as a result of the never-ending flow of new and available music?
Arve: Not gone extinct, but the new ones that pops up don’t have the same broad appeal like punk, heavy metal or hip-hop had. From an artistic perspective, it’s great to be able to listen to all sorts of genres and have them all available with just the click of a button. When I was young, there was the only choice between Kiss or Sweet. All that changed when punk came around though.
T-post: The music industry now and
twenty years ago, what’s new?
Arve: Digitalism. Record labels losing their power, which makes me smile. The climate is way more democratic in that whoever can compose a song and put it online. Skillfulness and virtuosity, things I never paid much mind, is on the decline. Back in the days there were mostly these musicians that had practiced to death just to be able to a get into a fancy studio. I don’t appreciate skill like that, I value attitude more.
T-post: Who’s dictating the terms of making music nowadays compared to back then?
Arve: Spotify - owned by the big record labels. So it’s not much of a difference there. Among ten artists and labels share about ninety percent of the cake. One can see some light at the end of the tunnel though, with independent Soundcloud rappers claiming their spots on the billboard charts. This pleases me immensely.
T-post: Who are the main gatekeepers today, media or industry, influencers?
Arve: Not really sure, and when it comes to old heads liking Dylan, Dre and AC/DC, I don’t care. With the youth, probably influencers, video games and stuff like Twitch or Instagram. Way back things where
T-post: Is there any relevance left to music reviews?
Arve: Hardly. You can discover the new stuff yourself via YouTube, Spotify and different, you had to read about it on paper, and then go find it in an actual physical record store.
T-post: What’s your take on the whole life artist dilemma, is music not enough anymore?
Arve: For me, I need to do more than just music. Because of financial reasons, and because I like to juggle several different creative projects, even if I’m not a great juggler. I need to express myself with both pictures, words and music.
T-post: What is your social media presence like, and your thoughts on that?
Arve: It’s a love hate relationship, one could say. It’s a means to put forward messages, about veganism, racist national parties, new tracks and stuff like that. With the downside that it can feel somewhat narcissistic at times.
T-post: Do you still buy albums or have you gone over more to individual songs?
Arve: I’m a recovering vinylist. I got clean about five years ago. Nowadays it’s all about songs.
T-post: The vinyl resurrection in itself, good or bad?
Arve: Mostly foolish, also a threat to the environment. Antiques Road Show.
T-post: What makes you tic when searching for new music?
Arve: I still look for that same kick I got hearing ”Anarchy in the UK” for the first time. Dancehall, trap, UK rap, black metal, dark ambient and score music are some of my hunting grounds.
T-post: Can you get sick of people wanting their musical heroes to have opinions on everything from celebs to politics or is that all in the cards so to say?
Arve: If you have a platform where people can be reached, I reckon one should take the chance and speak on subjects close to their heart. I happily use forums adapted to tabloid politics. But I’m against the whole idol concept, that someone is worth more than others just because she or he has a great voice or have recorded some decent songs.
T-post: Tremendous. Any hopes of getting big in Japan?
Arve: Yes, that’s my dream.
NAAH JUNG SONH