Re: New Benny Interview
- 04.11.2007, 16:09
Here is the translation, from ABBA Mail:
"I WANT TO MAKE FILMS AGAIN"
Benny Andersson: It is more fun than theatre.
How much fun was it to adapt "Mamma Mia!" as a film?
Benny was so inspired that he would rather do more films than new theatre.
But first there is the new album. And to rebuild ice rinks and folkparks.
We met on Skeppsholmen in Stockholm where Benny Andersson has his office and studio. In his room with a view of the water, there is both a grand piano and a keyboard connected to a computer.
The album and concert is when the live musicians give swing to his songs. On Friday 26 October, Benny Anderssons Orkester play a dance at Globen. Göteborg people get to dance on 2 November.
How will the performances be at Globen and Skandinavium?
- The dance floor is on the rink, as big as it is. We have put down gunpowder on the surface.
Benny Andersson peers at a portable computer as he goes through the songs. Three and a half hours of dancing but still not everything he wants is in place.
In another digital folder, there are the ABBA songs
that Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Stellan Skarsgård and the others have sung.
Did you see much of the "Mamma Mia" filming?
- Yes. It was something surreal to stand in Greece and see Meryl Streep on a rock in the sea singing "Winner Takes It All". I have seen every take.
Has it given you an appetite?
- It was more fun to make a film next time instead of theatre. I will produce and make sure it happens. And do the music. But how do you make a music film without it being a traditional musical? So you must also have a brain.
Well, almost. The brainy Benny Andersson has to work at being so really good. Although he doesn't want to work at song lyrics.
In the Hep Stars, you also wrote lyrics.
- I realised quickly that I wasn't going to do that.
- I didn't know English at the time I was writing English lyrics. "Sunny Girl" has scary lyrics. Good melody, good title, s*** lyrics.
On the new BAO CD, 7 of the 12 songs have lyrics. Like the unusual "Bonde söker fru" (Farmer seeks wife). It is almost a protest song that Björn and Benny have done.
- You have to ask Björn. He writes what he wants to write.
But you must surely be responsible for the lyrics?
- Of course, it is my band. The song is fun because it is a boogie. Björn asked what I thought of the title and I said ... yes.
- He thought to write about those dreadful docu-soaps.
Revealed from the song vaults
One of the choruses and melodies is taken from Benny's vault. "Crush On You" was written during the ABBA years.
- The chorus was ready and the demo lyrics were "Crush On You". There were just careless lyrics, an unfinished song. "Du är min man" is a really old thing. "Det är vi ändå" is also as old as the hills.
You have more in the vault?
- Oh yes, perhaps many things that I think are good but which would be better in a different forum to BAO.
In other words, more music exists. Just have to also think of a film.
BENNY ABOUT ...
... was "Helens brudval" (Helen's bridal waltz) written for Helen Sjöholm?
- Yes, it is her actual bridal waltz. I did it for her wedding.
... promoting his records.
- To be noticed you have to be on 40 TV shows in the same week. I promised myself whe I finished woth ABBA never to do that again.
... BAO's success.
- Both records have sold 140,000 copies. I would like to know who has sold more than that. Kent [Swedish group] perhaps?
... a BAO CD in English.
- Yes, I think so. ”Du är min man”, ”Lätt som en sommarfjäril”, ”Vår sista dans” are already recorded.
... the next long-runner on Svensktoppen.
- "Fait accomplit" perhaps? We have done a single of it.
... Kristina Lugn [poet, author] writing lyrics for one of the songs.
- She asked me to write the music for ”Jag har ett flygfotografi av kärleken” (I have an aerial photograph of love) [play by Kristina Lugn].
Article by Jens Peterson
Translated by Grant Whittingham for ABBAMAIL