EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: The Bell

April 21. 2011 | By Trina Starke


Photo courtesy of Bad Man Recording Co.

In 2011 it doesn’t come as a surprise that a band separated by hundreds of miles is still able to record and produce an infectious album. With drum machines providing the foundation for its melodic-poppy tracks Great Heat is the baby of Swedish trio, The Bell. The band is quickly gaining momentum in the U.S. with their music being featured on both Vampire Diaries as well as Jersey Shore. Frontman, Mathias Strömberg, recently exchanged words with The Owl Mag and shared about creating an album via Skype, touring in America and gave us his opinion on Sammi and Ronnie.

The Owl Mag: Do you feel that the distance impaired the creative process at all in making Great Heat?

Mathias Strömberg: No, no, it improved it since we didn’t have to look at each other’s faces the entire time. You tend to get a bit annoyed at each other during writing and recording so this minimized the risks of falling out.

The Owl Mag: Are there any plans to do any touring to promote Great Heat? Coming to America perhaps?

Mathias Strömberg: We would love to go to America, of course, we’ll see how it all plays out. Touring is a big machinery and since we have difficulties settling for “just the band” it is mainly very expensive. With commitments on hold, families traveling along and a 20k dollar minimum for the on-stage art and effects… well… we’ll see.

The Owl Mag: How would you compare your first album, Make Some Quiet, to Great Heat?

Mathias Strömberg: As it goes for most bands, Make Some Quiet was a typical debut – it contained tracks gathered from the years up to being signed. They are individuals. Great Heat is more of a collective. We knew we were writing an album all along and that makes a huge difference. Also, Great Heat was based on the idea “equal parts: dance floor and dorm room” which I think shows pretty well.

The Owl Mag: If I asked you to make a playlist for me what bands would I find on it?

Mathias Strömberg: Pitchfork indie, French beauty, and British hip-hop. Right now, that is. Or,
Phantogram, Francoise Hardy and Klashnekoff to put band names on it.

The Owl Mag: If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?

Mathias Strömberg: Invisibility, for sure.

The Owl Mag: What five words would you use to describe your band?

Mathias Strömberg: Naive, intelligent, optimistic, introvert and true.

The Owl Mag: Do you use social media such as Facebook or Twitter to help promote your
music?

Mathias Strömberg: Well not really in the way we should. I think these are very helpful for touring bands but we rely more on our website, thebell.se and use Facebook sometimes for various purposes. I think it has to rely on some sort of two-way communicating and we are more of a one-way band.

The Owl Mag: What do you think of Sammi & Ronnie?

Mathias Strömberg: Well, Googling them, they sure show a lot of skin. Which is all good, of course. But apart from that, they doesn’t strike me as very grounded people.

The Owl Mag: If you could tour with any band, past or present, who would it be?

Mathias Strömberg: The Velvet Underground I reckon, either that or some jazz group in 50’s
Europe.

The Owl Mag: Snickers or Skittles?

Mathias Strömberg: Well, Skittles is the dirty choice so that would have to be it. We don’t have them in Sweden though. The candy, that is.

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