The Bell

PEV scours the globe errrrday for some of the best emerging talent on the scene – our travels today take us to Sweden (little known fact – Creative Director Walt Zalis is part Swede), where we find Mathias Strömberg and his band The Bell. They’ve been putting some indie beats for some time now, debuting in 2007 with “Make Some Quiet.” Today, Strömberg, along with band mates Nicklas Nilsson and Jan Pettersson drop “Great Heat” in both the states and Scandinavia. Mathias doesn’t pull any punches when describing what you’ll hear: “Expect nothing but greatness from now on. Listen carefully; it is not all 80’s nostalgia and indie references. There's more.” It’s the kind of tag line you CAN’T ignore, so check it out. Before sampling “Great Heat”, keep reading for all the answers to the XXQ’s.

XXQs: The Bell - Mathias Strömberg (PEV): Hailing from Malmo and Stockholm Sweden, what kind of music where the members of the band into growing up? Do you remember your first concert?

Mathias Strömberg (MS): I remember my first GOOD concert, it was Kraftwerk after Computer World was released. Holy shit, that's a great album. Anyway, they where doing this stiff robot show, which, in the beginning of the eighties was the coolest thing a nine-year old could see … apart from that, the music scene grew steadily stronger in Sweden with a lot of indie bands hitting big in the early nineties, which is where all three of us has our "growing up" made.

PEV: Tell us your take on the music scene in your hometown and what was it like trying to break into it?

MS: It fucking sucks. Basically, we have very nervous hipsters trying to make crossover stuff we 1) Don’t get and 2) Don’t like. Or we get very able musicians trying to make it big in the USA. One percent succeeds. I guess that's saying something about the amount of bands here. It's getting to a point where it's alternative NOT to be in a band.

PEV: What can fans expect from a live Bell show?

MS: Nothing at all. Well, if we did play shows they could expect the most exciting and groundbreaking piece of on-stage art the world had ever seen. But we need to get a little bigger first. U2 / Coldplay-level I should think.

PEV: What is the first thing that comes to mind when you step on stage?

MS: "What the hell am I doing here? We don't play live!"

PEV: Having all been in other bands before how is playing with The Bell different then those other works?

MS: Yes, now it's only about the music and not free beer, girls and outfits.

PEV: What was the underlining inspiration for your music? Where do get your best ideas for songs?

MS: Kids and pet peeves.

PEV: Thinking back to when you first started out do you ever look back at your career and think about your earlier days and how you’ve arrived where you are today?

MS: Yes of course, all the time – it's really easy to see and understand as well. We develop, try to make it, fail, try again, fail or succeed, die.

PEV: What’s one thing we’d be surprised to hear about The Bell?

MS: I am not sure how to respond to this but if you think I'm a vegetarian you would probably be surprised I'm eating pork right now.

PEV: Was there a certain point in your life when you knew that music was going to be a goal for you?

MS: The goal? What is that? Like, a football goal? I don't know. Art is the goal – music is sound.

PEV: Tell us about your forthcoming album, "Great Heat". What can fans expect from this?

MS: Expect nothing but greatness from now on. Listen carefully - it is not all 80s nostalgia and indie references. There's more.

PEV: How have all your friends and family reacted to your career? What’s it like when you get to play at your hometown?

MS: They love it. Hometown - that has not happened yet.

PEV: What can we find each of you doing in your spare time, aside from playing/writing music?

MS: Life

PEV: Name one present and past artist or group that would be your dream collaboration? Why?

MS: Jason Pierce, Spiritualized, writes the most beautiful songs and seems to like living in the studio for years.

PEV:  Is there an up and coming band or artist you think we should all be looking out for now?

MS: Frank Ocean and all other Odd Future-stuff, Tyler the Creator and that. Fucking great. How can you not like teenagers on skateboards telling you to fuck off and then writing songs better than anything you ever heard about it?

PEV: If you weren’t playing music now what do you think each of you would be your career?

MS: Music is not a career. It's luxury.

PEV: So, what is next for The Bell?

MS: The Bell. Well, we're sort of waiting for reviews right now. Then we'll see …

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