INTERVIEW with VIAGRA BOYS!

Learn about life as a Viagra Boy and get the scoop on the new YEAR0001 release "Welfare Jazz."

On the cusp of their new YEAR0001 album "Welfare Jazz," Sweden's Viagra Boys took some time to talk about the band and the awesome new record. Here is a glimpse into the lives and music of one of the world's hottest new bands from drummer Tor Sjödén

T-BONES: Since 2018, you guys have continued to garner more airplay and more notices from intrepid listeners and critics. When you recorded "Street Worms" did you have any idea that your music was going to grow on people over time - especially in this day and age of so much mercurial and passive listening?

TOR: No, the only thing I knew and felt was that Sebastian could sing and express himself lyrically and that sounded refreshing compared to others. The other stuff just happened  I guess but hey we worked hard also. Done a lot of touring.

T-BONES: “Street Worms” was kind of a down-and-dirty Stranglers-esque album to me. Who are your fundamental influences?

TOR: Too many to mention but I guess overall we are influenced by people that are somewhat free in their music. Bands and people that sound the same over and over feel very very uninspiring.

T-BONES: As you approached the new album with your producers, did you have an idea that you hoped to get across that maybe did not quite cut through on "Street Worms?”

TOR: We always wanna evolve as a band and we wanted to try to take in other people to see if it could take us somewhere.

T-BONES: How did they produce your tracks and how do their contributions differ?

TOR: I mean producing something is just having different ideas. “Maybe you should do that, maybe you should do this” and then we will discuss it together.

T-BONES: How do you see ”Welfare Jazz” as different from “Street Worms?” How should the neophyte VB listener approach it?

TOR: After "Street Worms," we played so many shows and grew as a band that you can hopefully hear on this new album. It’s always about evolving. Never stop searching.  New listeners should just listen. And focus. Too many distractions these days.

T-BONES: “Ain’t Nice” may be the boldest and honest song you guys have made. While your razor wit is there, it feels tinged with some regret. Is that the case? Do the other songs on "Welfare Jazz" follow this more personal template?

TOR: I think Sebastian lyrically has written a bunch of bald and honest songs. And this is a continuous theme. I think it will be forever.

T-BONESHow was working on this album? I get the synths and the saxophone, but at least on the singles so far, I hear a lot more separation and maybe a thrust closer to your live sound?

TOR: Yes, that was a goal with the album since we played so many shows and felt comfortable with how the songs were evolving into a little bit more free versions. I don’t think we succeeded totally but hey we’re gonna do more albums.

T-BONES: How does your label help you with this creative process? Do you have total control?

TOR: They help us with the creative process, but we have total control of what we want to release and so on.

T-BONES: Where do you fit into the "scene" in Stockholm? Did you just know you were going to literally blow everyone away when you started playing? Furthermore, when your music finally came to our shores, you seemed to just leave every packed venue both exhausted and in thrall with your music - can you account for this? Were there acts you saw that inspired you to pursue this sort of "scorched-earth" policy of playing live?

TOR: I mean my whole life I have been playing drums trying to get better and better. I think it’s just about that. Learn your instrument a get someone in the front who can sing. Work hard. I don’t know about the Stockholm scene. But people here seem to appreciate us. But of course, some people think we are crap. People have many opinions.

T-BONES: What are you guys listening to these days?

Been listening to a lot of Phoebe Bridgers's latest album. Also Fiona Apple- Fetch The Bolt Cutters. Moondog, Billie Eilish. Trying to listen to everything that’s good every day. Also, Geoff Barrow's soundtracks lately too.

T-BONES: Are Post-COVID plans taking shape?

Yes, shows are constantly being booked and moved forward. But someday….

Our sincere thanks to the rest of Viagra Boys, YEAR0001 Records, and manager Oskar Ekman. "Welfare Jazz" is available at T-BONES now. "Street Worms" remains a constant Crew Pick as well.

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