Interview conducted December 12 2018
Interview published January 24 2019
Electric Boys played their last
show of 2018 on December 22nd in Stockholm, Sweden, and Metal Covenant
seized the opportunity to talk for a while with frontman Conny
Tobbe: How are you able to find inspiration
to write songs and make albums today?
Conny: Well, I think I find inspiration from
everything, really. And as I start to think in terms of, like, "It's
been a long time since I wrote a song; there will never come another,
ever again.", suddenly there are 5 in a row.
could be anything, like: I've been at home, cleaning, or rebuilding
the apartment for 3 days, and later I have realized that's probably,
you know, when I reset and find the way back to inspiration somehow.
There are, you know, ups and downs; like with everything, really.
Tobbe: So you don't write music all the
time, and instead try to find periods when you're more creative?
Conny: I'm just not that person who goes to work
and write, but rather it comes in chunks. It's hard for me to just sit
down and start writing. I kind of started playing guitar to escape from
school, you know, and going to work to start writing is like ending
up behind a school desk again. It doesn't really work for me.
Tobbe: And when you're writing songs, how
do you know what stuff goes to what song, or do you write a song all at
Conny: Well, if you look at my voice memos, it's
often short riffs, or that I've written some lyrical idea. So there's
often fragments of stuff, but sometimes a more or less whole song comes,
and oftentimes those songs become the greatest ones actually, because,
I suppose, there's something obvious about them; how the verse leads
to the bridge, and how that one leads to the chorus. There's a flow
there, that just makes it really good.
If you look back, songs that have become singles
and the favorite live songs today are to a great extent the songs that
I didn't have a hard time writing, you know.
Tobbe: So in what way does an Electric Boys
album reflect a certain phase of your life? Or maybe it doesn't?
Conny: Well, it does, in some way. But I don't
know if should even try to analyze it. Anyway, I don't know how to.
But of course, all you go through, and you get older, experiences, what
kind of music you hear maybe at that certain time. All that influence
what you eventually end up with when you write your own music, I guess.
I mean, I couldn't have written Get Nasty  today, you know, but
I couldn't have made You Spark My Heart  when I was 20, for that
But as you write music today, do you feel that you still have some of
the same influences as you had when you were younger?
Conny: Yes, I think so. But song-wise, I don't
know, really. It's more guitar-wise. I still have the same basic ideal
about how I think a good, you know, Fender Stratocaster, should sound
like. But song-wise, we've just let the songs come this time around
and then that has become what Electric Boys is today, instead of us
going "We should sound like this and stick to some sort of frames.".
So we have just ignored the frames this time
and just went for it, really. Which is nice, because now that we have
done this, even though it's not a straddled groove or funk rock riff,
you can hear that it's us when I sing and we play. So now it feels like
we can do whatever the hell we want to, on the next record and the record
after that one.
Maybe it will sound more Electric Boys than ever,
in terms of what it was supposed to be like before, or else it might
go in another direction again. But it's nice, and there's no reason
to try to recreate what you have done 30 years ago, you know; when everything
else around you have changed.
Tobbe: You've got a solo record in the works
and what's the status of that stuff right now?
Conny: I've recorded the foundations, so we're
starting to lay down vocals and guitars soon. It's coming out this spring.
Tobbe: And what can you tell me about the
music so far?
Conny: Well, it's a continuation of the last
one, and it's in Swedish. It's recognizable in that way. But it's new
songs, so, you know, it's not the same. I don't know what to say, really;
it's me in Swedish, again, so to speak.
You're the most creative force in Electric Boys, so what makes you wanna
do solo records on the side?
Conny: It's basically because I have more music
inside of me. And I decided, as I put that thing together, that I didn't
want to be held back. You know, when Electric Boys are playing it becomes,
you know, arena rock at once, because it's loud as hell and everything,
and I didn't want to be held back by volume and everything like that.
I want to be able to play different places and let the songs be what's
strongest and not a specific sound picture, or something like that.
So, that's what's the big difference, and that
I want to try to sing in Swedish. And it's nice; it's two separate things
and they split in a natural way in my own head, so to speak. It's not
like I'm thinking about "Is this Electric Boys or not?", but
it speaks for itself, when the ideas come, what it's suitable for.
Tobbe: In regular professions people get
better at what they do as the years go by, and the same goes for a musician's
skills, yet most fans always look back at band's early records, and how
are you able to handle such a situation?
Conny: By not giving a crap about what people
think. [Laughs] No, of course we care about what people think, but you
can't make a record from what you think people will like, you know.
But we have always reasoned like: you know, first of all, if you write
a song and you stomp your feet and move along with the riff, then you
know that you have something going there. Then it runs through the band's
filter, you know.
When we rehearse, it's like "Well, maybe
not." or "Oh, this is good.". And in the end, when we
think it's good, we make a record, and then you just hope people will
like it. But I mean, if people don't like it, it's, you know, like "Oh
well.", because we ourselves think it's really good.
if we had done it the other way; if we had tried to do something that
someone else will like, and even if they think it's fantastic and you
become the biggest band in the world; if I go to sleep at night and
feel like "This sucks. This is not good.", then there's no
point doing it anyway. So, you must follow your own gut feeling.
Tobbe: And if we go back in time, do you
personally think that you guys made any mistakes, career-wise, that stopped
the band from becoming bigger than what you actually became?
Conny: Yes, absolutely. And some of them we couldn't
do anything about. We knew about some of them, like different choices
in releasing singles. We were arguing with our record company in America,
like "This is nuts! You can't release that song. We have to release
this one first, and then you can release the other one.".
We had quite heavy discussions, whereas other
bands were like "You should just be happy to have an American record
deal.", but we were just "This doesn't work.".
We were quite cocky. But it turned out the way
it turned out and there is no guarantee, if they would have done what
we said, that we would have become bigger, for that matter. We don't
know that. But it took too long time between the first and the second
record, for example, so we lost some momentum there.