Photo by Hans Selander
After listening to their album Organic Universe and some long and careful consideration, we came to the conclusion that nothing could prepare you well enough for The New Alchemy. Try imagining Jason Anderson and Jason Spaceman waking up from horse tranquilizers and crawling to their instruments to make bleak, beautiful songs about death and occultism. Or better yet, try to envision biking through the streets of New Orleans a month after Katrina and losing your way back home with nightfall coming fast. Getting it? You’re still not even close. The New Alchemy is all about Swedish artists Per Svensson and Ebbot Lundberg making dark, intricate psychedlia, and it makes all those other new bands that claim to be “unsettling and fatalistic” sound like a bunch of babies. We caught up with Per and Ebbot to find out more.
Vice: OK, so how did this project get started?
Per: I wanted to deliver “spiritual gold” and reach a natural high by combining up-to-date drone and noise with the memories I have of my first ever sonic meetings—it was encounters with psychrock & punk during the 60s and 70s.
Ebbot: We’ve been living parallel lives for a while and sometimes we’ve bumped into each other during the last 20 years. We both started our so-called careers as artists at Radium Records in Gothenburg in the 80s. And now finally we have decided to collaborate and put our ideas, our density and our gravity together. Though much of this is yet to come. We have only started our journey very recently.
Per: Ebbot is playing Autoharp on this record and live he is a member of the group. For the next The New Alchemy record me and Ebbot have started to record sounds by the sea, on the coast outside Gothenburg.
Your music is very psychedelic—has there been a lot of drugs involved?
Per: It’s not so much the drugs. It’s the northern darkness and the Swedish melancholy and mentality, as well as the constellation of this group of people.
What kind of fiction has influenced you?
Per: Professionally I’m an artist and this may affect my approach on creating music. I often use titles of art-works. By the way, the first Swedish astronaut, Christer Fuglesang, is going to space soon and he once wrote a text for an exhibition catalogue about a project of mine.
Organic Universe is out now on Ideal Recordings.