Josefin Öhrn + The Liberation – Interview – 2015

Josefin Öhrn + The Liberation are the queen of stoner pop in Sweden. For a band that is still relatively in its infancy, only having an EP and two singles, they have quickly made a name for themselves in what is mostly a male-dominated psyche scene. Their mesmerizing sounds of hypnotic gospel and dreamy soundscapes has certainly been exciting BrightonsFinest, After tours with Goat and Les Big Byrd, Josefin Öhrn + The Liberation recently got nominated for Swedish Grammy as Best New Artist. We spoke to Josefin to find out more about Josefin Öhrn + The Liberation.

How do you think your background has influenced your music? 
I grew up in Stockholm but I have family in Belgium and France so I spent a lot of time and most summers there, as well as Italy. I think living in the one Nordic country that is most submissive to authority and consensus has made my urge for movement and something vivid very strong. I also lived in Paris which is a huge contrast to Stockholm. Paris has influenced me on so many levels.

What music were you brought up on? 
My parents listened a lot to Pink Floyd, Neil Young and David Bowie.

What was the first instrument you played, and when? Do you have a favourite instrument? 
I bought my first guitar when I was sixteen. I then started playing piano/synthesiser. My favourite instrument is the cosmophone.

What drives you to write music? 
I think it’s a very fundamental human drive to create something from the source of your own soul that transports you to altered states and connects you with bigger or deeper contexts and universal invisible architecture beyond time.

How was Josefin Öhrn + The Liberation formed? 
I just met all these great people and musicians and it kind of formed itself with people coming and going and other ones becoming a kind of fixture of my life. They are amazing, anyway and I’m so incredibly happy to play with them.

How would you briefly describe your music/ethos? 
Psychedelic Spacegaze. With a lot of space in the music, as in open vistas, outer and inner…. That’s where I hope we’re headed at least! 

What inspires your lyrics? 
I find that the art and literature I experience tend to inspire my lyrics a lot, as with my own experiences of what goes on around me.

Do you prefer writing music or recording music? 
I enjoy the contrast a lot, I think I need both of it for my personality, the introspective and the extrovert.

Is there an album coming soon?
An album will be released this fall and an EP early summer. We’re recording right now in a small analog studio in Stockholm

What would be your perfect line-up of any 3 acts for a concert and were world they play? 
Can, Moondog and Catherine Ribeiro, preferably performing together. It would be put on the high cliffs of south Corsica when the sun sets low and the sea turns even more turquoise.

If you could work with any artist who would it be?
John Cale circa 1969. He would bring his arrangements, his sleep deprivation and over all menacing presence and outlook so that all false artifice would fall off like so many snakes shedding their skins. That’s how I imagine it at least!

What makes you happiest when you are not playing music? 
Sensations. I very much enjoy visual sensations, seeing art or interesting new places. I also love surfing.

What are your future plans for the summer and beyond?
As far as I know now, we’ll be playing festivals and other gigs in Scandinavia, such as Roskilde and Spotfestival. A new single will be released pretty soon, followed by an EP and an album this fall. We'll be writing and recording new stuff. I’ll be traveling around Europe so I’ll definitely be coming to Brighton!

What music are you listening to at the moment, any recommendations?
Les Ralliez Denudes, The Lay Llamas and Morgan Delt