MUDFISH
Mudfish
(Paraply Records)

 

In late 2019, singer-songwriters Joakim Lövgren and Åke Strömberg (first name pronounced like the word Ókay), released the self-titled album debut by their band Mudfish. Upon first hearing it, another recent Swedish band called Bonefish came to mind as both bands are from Sweden, are friends with each other and share a great exuberance for the joys of modern day rock filled with a catchy, yet edgy pop side. In the past decade, Sweden has embraced an affinity for Americana and West Coast pop and rock sounds, evidenced in part by a number of bands and artists that both Joakim and Åke have worked with through their Paraply Records record company. With hooks a-plenty and an upbeat rock attitude, Mudfish reveals yet another side to the Paraply label with this first Mudfish album. After all, the word Paraply translates to “umbrella” in English and at least from a label perspective, it’s good to be inclusive of a range of music that covers different musical genres. Speaking about the unique history of their acclaimed label, Mudfish explain, “The first proper release was Carried Away with Klas Qvist in 2004. Up till today we have issued 30 albums/EPs on Paraply Records. The closest to a label M.O. might be "music we like" or "acts we find interesting". If we don’t agree to a release, there will be no deal.” There’s a kind of a Rolling Stones inspired party atmosphere on the Mudfish album, with a sound that also brings back the upbeat energy of the post-Beatles, late 1970s Euro-rock era espoused by bands like Boomtown Rats and Holland’s great alt-rock legends Gruppo Sportivo. On this 2019 Mudfish album, Joakim and Åke receive fine support from their Mudfish bandmates and, with nine tracks clocking in around 33 minutes, the six-piece band strikes a chord for the modern day, post-punk and power pop genres. As the owners of the internationally acclaimed Paraply label, Joakim and Åke are seasoned pros on the 21st century Swedish music scene and they bring that same high level and approach forward on the debut album from Mudfish. www.paraplyrecords.se / www.hemifran.com






mwe3.com presents an interview with
MUDFISH


mwe3.com:
How did you come up with the name Mudfish? Is there an aquatic connection in the name?

Mudfish: We wanted a name that had a ring to it as the music we knew we would like to write and play. Among numerous wild suggestions we unanimously chose Mudfish. The connotations to the zoological entity of ”mudfish” though, would be a creature that during a drought silently survives under the riverbed, clay and dregs, until the day the rains fill the river and the mudfish come out to mate and multiply; just like our band again and again returns from silence and oblivion to move the audience with another chunk of pop & soul.

mwe3: Who is in the Mudfish lineup of 2020 and who plays what instruments and who are the main songwriters and when was the band formed?

Mudfish: The band was formed in 1997 from the ruins of Detektiverna (The Detectives). Åke and Joakim have played and made music together since 1980. In Mudfish, Åke is responsible for most music and Joakim for most lyrics. In the 2020 lineup we have Christer Rudmyr (electric guitar), Johan Novenius (bass), Anders Nilsson (keyboards), Ulf Svedberg (drums), Åke Strömberg (acoustic guitar) and Joakim Lövgren (lead vocals, harmonica and percussion). Backing vocals are mainly by Åke, Anders and Johan.

We have played with Christer and Anders in different constellations since 1980 and with Johan since 1991. Ulf is a friend from way back that joined the band when Mudfish emerged anew in 2013. Åke had been the drummer originally but attending a live performance with Deadman in 2011 convinced us to adjust the lineup and add an acoustic guitar. Åke, being the composer, was the evident choice. Mudfish performed on stage in March 2014 in this new appearance and we felt this was much closer to the idea of the ‘Mudfish-Song’ expression that we had been looking for.

mwe3: What year and era of music did you grow up in, and what were your first main musical exposures and influences? Were you influenced more by music from the US and UK than from Sweden's music?

Joakim: I was born in 1959 and I had a lot of Beatles, Rolling Stones, glam-rock, soul, Bowie from the start. Dad being a jazz-musician contributed with quite a bit of Miles, Chet, Duke, Coltrane and Erroll. Through Brit-prog and Swedish progressive, American West Coast and fusion… Zappa and Talking Heads. I came to Bruce Springsteen and Swedish pop acts like Eldkvarn in the 1980s.

Åke: I was born in 1964 with a guitar and harmonica playing Father who filled the house with Elvis, Johnny Cash and Owe Thörnqvist, a Swedish rock pioneer. Among my first single records were the Sweet’s “Ballroom Blitz” and Gary Glitter’s “Leader Of The Gang”. Later on Swedish punk legends Ebba Grön, among other Swedish bands of the 1980’s, Dag Vag and Eldkvarn, Reeperbahn and Docenterna as well as Elvis Costello, Graham Parker, Blur and Oasis from the UK and Bruce and Southside Johnny from the US. And yes, we had lots of good music when we grew up. The Eldkvarn concerts in the early 1980’s were a great inspiration.

mwe3: When and how did you start Paraply Records? What was the first CD release and how many albums have been issued on Paraply. Does the label have an M.O., or a modus operandi?

Mudfish: Around 2000 we got a studio of our own. We recorded a couple of songs and by the time of release a friend, who also had a studio in our town , came up with the idea to join forces in order to make an impact. So 2 different independent studios released 3 EPs in a package. Not a label, but a collaboration. We called it Paraply Records. The first proper release was Carried Away with Klas Qvist (Citizen K) in 2004. Up till today we have issued 30 albums/EPs on Paraply Records. The closest to a label M.O. might be ”music we like” or ”acts we find interesting”. If we don’t agree to release, there will be no deal.

Our first label slogan was ”Music from Borås”, i.e. locally produced music. When Peter Holmstedt came onboard and widened our perspectives, we embraced all kinds of acts that wanted in under the 'Umbrella', as long as we found them agreeable, funny, nice, interesting, good, unique…

mwe3: Who's idea is it to press the CD with a black vinyl look? I can't remember the first label to do that but you're right up there. How is that done and where do you press the CDs? It's a very cool thing indeed.

Mudfish: When Peter and Michael were designing the first Hemifrån compilation I Like It Better Here – Music From Home, they aimed at a ”worn LP cover look”. To have the compact disc look like a vinyl record would of course be very cool. Peter checked with Dicentia and they had such a design. As record-lovers our first love was, of course vinyl. To be able to connect to that original idea of what a record is, should be and look like was an easy choice to make.

mwe3: What's the current mood in Sweden for both music and politics? I under stand there will be another political firestorm in the age of Trump and now this crazy virus called Corona.

Mudfish: As you put it, Corona has moved practically everything else off the table. For now… Politically we have had a huge change the last two decades where our community now is showing gaps. Hopefully we will soon detect signs of a new common understanding, given the crisis of global warming and the pandemic horrors. Musically, the live scene has really come to life last couple of years. Not only festivals and cover bands, as was the case for too many years.

mwe3: Tell us about the upcoming releases on Paraply and what are you hoping for and looking forward to for the label?

Mudfish: Upcoming releases on Paraply:
• Mikael Ramel Band Till Dej : The Bäst Band Lajv 2019 (PARAPLY 033)
• Greg Copeland : The Tango Bar (PARAPLY 034)
• Mannish Boy : Last Ticket To Rock’N’Roll Land Redux – The Tour Edition (PARAPLY 035)
Råttorna : (PARAPLY 036)
Blues Escape Featuring Johanna Lillvik (PARAPLY 037)
• Safari Season : A New Future (PARAPLY 038)
• Meadow Creek : Pieces Of Driftwood (PARAPLY 039)
• A.K & The Brotherhood : Oh Sedona! (PARAPLY)

We are hoping for a new Mudfish release coming this Autumn. We hope for a lot of happy moments meeting and releasing new music from people who find our label agreeable. We are hoping for a lot of magical moments with our music...


Photos courtesy of Peter Holmstedt @ www.hemifran.com



 

 
   
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