Interview with New Found Land (Anna Roxenholt)
Sweden. The land of Ikea, ABBA, and the Swedish Chef. Stereotypes aside, Sweden does produce some mighty good music. The latest act from Sweden that you should check out is someone we have already featured a couple of times – New Found Land.
New Found Land is the stage name of Anna Roxenholt. After winning us over with a few solid tunes, we thought we should chat with her and find out more about her. We caught up recently over email and talked about sharing a name with a Canadian province, the better of Sweden or Germany, and of course,
Ikea favourites band recommendations.
PeteHatesMusic (PHM): I hate asking bands or acts about their stage name, but being a Canadian music blog, and with you having a name mimicking our province of Newfoundland, I have to ask – why are you called New Found Land?
New Found Land (NFL): First of all I simply liked the name of Newfoundland, so I started to play around with it – new found this and new found that – and finally came back to New Found Land, written in three words. Moreover, I had been playing saxophone and jazz before, but founding New Found Land and starting to write pop songs with lyrics was a new found land for me. A place where I felt very good. I still like the name, because it can be there as a reminder of never getting too comfortable, always continue to look out for that what feels new to me.
New Found Land – Mirror
PHM: How long have you been making music, and when did you think you wanted to do it for a career?
NFL: I have been playing music since I was a kid, going through several music schools, playing in orchestras, various bands. It was a lot of fun, and never forced upon me. After high school I took a year of music and during that year I realized that music was the only thing I really wanted to do. Sometime at the end of my education I realized that saxophone/jazz/playing fast and weird wasn’t really my thing. I like to make more or less simple music with more or less simple lyrics that can touch people.
PHM: You recently released your third album. How did you approach it differently than your first two albums?
NFL: I knew from the beginning that I wanted to produce myself this time. I wanted to record some things live with musicians, to get that nerve that can be hard to achieve alone in front of a computer but then I also wanted to have the time and space to work with it by myself. So after some days in the studio I went to my mom’s house in Sweden and sat there tucked up with thick blankets and big pots of coffee. The album got its shape there – more electronic and a bit darker. Just as I wanted it.
PHM: You’re touring Europe this month. What do you hope fans experience in your live show?
NFL: I believe that my live performance is a bit more positive than my albums might give the appearence of. I like to interact with the audience – playing live is so much different from rehearsing or producing. It’s a dialogue. The audience is so important. I always feel a big responibility. They have all come out to see me. Now give them something to be touched by, something to remember. Something else than half an mp3s or a glossy video on youtube. Music in reality, from human to human.
PHM: You were born and raised in Sweden, but now call Berlin home. How did this come about, and which one do you prefer (yes, I’m making you pick!).
NFL: I definitely have to pick Berlin. It has taken me many years to grow in to this city, but now I really feel that this is my home. Sweden is great for its nature, cleanness and calmness, but it is just not enough for me there. Berlin is Europe, Berlin is the world. People are ugly, pretty, dirty, rich, poor, they scream at each other in the street (haven’t really gotten used to that yet) and they don’t all wear the same clothes and the political views that comes with them.
PHM: Sweden has a good reputation for pop music exports. I don’t know how I would classify German exports, so I’ll toss the question over to you – how would you describe the German music scene?
NFL: Hm, that’s a hard one. I’m not too involved in the German music scene to be honest. My husband has a great band 1000 GRAM, but they don’t really sound typically German. I used to listen a lot to German bands as a teenager (D.A.F., Einsturzende Neubauten, Das Ich i.e.) – I didn’t have a clue about what they sung about, but it all just came along with the synth/ebm scene that I was very much into back then.
PHM: Congratulations, you have full control of PeteHatesMusic for one day. What bands and artists would you put up on the blog?
NFL: Ah, I’m a bit tired of my music collection right now. I need some new input. But ok:
Mariam the Believer (SE) (Mariam is a good friend from Sweden. Also plays in the duo Wildbirds & Peacedrums)
Gold Panda (UK) (great organic techno)
MS MR (US) (love that song – Hurricane – but will probably get tired of it soon..)
El Perro Del Mar (had bit of a hard time with her music until this new album. That one’s really great though)
Miracle Fortress (CA) (Was I the Wave is still such a great album)
PHM: Thanks for your time.
NFL: Thanks for having me!
New Found will soon be releasing a video for second single The Hunter. For now, check out an acoustic version that was recorded between shows on tour.
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New Found Land – The Hunter (live acoustic)