LB Lotta BroméAF Agnetha Fältskog
LB : Her first song was ”Jag var så kär” composed by herself. It was a great no1 on the Kvällstoppen(the evening top-chart), Agnetha’s first no1 of Kvällstoppen. But allready as a six-year-old you composed your first song ”Två små troll”, didn’t you Agnetha?
AF : Yes, I did…or at five or something, it was early however.
LB : A great and warm welcome to P4 Extra.
AF : Thank you!
LB : What was it like that song ”Två små troll”?
AF : Well, what was it like? *Sings* Something like that, and then it wasn’t much more so it was probaly rather short.
LB : Did you play the piano to it or was it just with the voice?
AF : No there was always piano from the start, because I found out I could take out tunes on the piano and I started to do this very early. So I’m originally self taught, you could say, and then I have had education after that, but that was much later on.
LB : It was with your dad that you had your debut on the stage?
AF : Yes, my dad was a so-called variety-show king in Småland. He had a ballet of his own, he played the guitar and sang, wrote songs and above all wrote lyrics. So I suppose it is from him I have had the heredity.
LB : Was he fun in the variety-show, you think?
AF : He was very funny both as a person and…I never saw any of those varetiy-shows, that was before I was born you could say.
LB : Would you have liked to see any of it?
AF : Yes, that would have been great fun. I have seen photos and such, but...Then I actually played in variety-shows myself with some other girls.
LB : Really. What was the first variety-show?
AF : It was this kind of local productions in Småland so we didn't went that far. It was very small-scale, you could say.
LB : Where has it gone by the way, your småland-accent?
AF : Well it has vanished. The other day I counted for how long time I have been living up her in Stockholm and it was several years more than what I lived in Jönköping. I moved away from there when I was eighteen. It has just gone away along the way, it's nothing that I have been working to get rid of.
LB : *Imitating a smålands-accent* But certainly you can speak a bit of småland-accent if you need to?
AF : *With småland-accent* Well, I can still speak småland-dialect but then I have to exert a bit like this, you know. But it comes along rather easy when I'm speaking to my sister and so.
LB : Like it is for me with the Västergötland-accent. It use to appear when I'm speaking to someone from Skövde.
AF : Yes then you apparently let something else away and that appears.
LB : Thirteen when you formed your first group. What kind of songs were you playing?
AF : Do you mean these girls? It was my songs. We did just perform at parties and such, so it was very small-scale in that way. But then I started more for serious when I started singing in a dance-band, but then I was fifteen.
LB : Frida told that there was an age-limit for how young you were allowed to be to join the dance-bands, but she lied about her age.
AF : Yes, it might have been so. Perhaps you had to be fifteen or so.
LB : But you was old enough when you started?
AF : Yes, apparently. But considering it now, what it was like for your mum and dad, they were probably little worried, I can imagine.
LB : Where they worried when you left?
AF : Yes, they probably were so because we were travelling very very much around already at that time, by bus. It was late hours of work. You arrived late at night or early in the morning, so of course they were worried.
LB : We started this little talk by saying you that started to take out tunes on the piano as a four- or five-years-old and the music came out of you. Do you know how many songs you have written?
AF : No, I don't, but it is several. My most creative period was there some around between twenty and thirty-five years old, that is when tall pieces have been made. Especially during the time when we were working with ABBA, you can say that I worked double since I made some solo-projects on my own. I also made those records with my children; one Christmas-cd and one children's-cd it turned out to be, one with Linda and one with Christian.
LB : And then in the mid-70's,“Elva kvinnor i ett hus”.
AF : Yes, this one as well.
LB : It was the last Swedish-language album, or should you say the latest. Can you expect it to be a new one?
AF : *Laughing* I wish that I could say 'yes, I'm working with a new one', but this is not the case. There are so many other things that is happening in your life and I think I have done my most creative period, it probably lies beyond me. But I'm having ideas and so, but it mostly says as just ideas and then I somehow put it on the shelf.
LB : I was trying to count how many singles there has been over the years, and if I'm correct there are thirty-three of them.
AF : Yes, that might be correct.
LB : Then there was a career in Germany as well. Do you remember this? *playing 'Wer schrieibt heut noch liebesbriefe'* Do you remember?
AF : Yes, it sounds a little familiar. Could it be “Fragezeichen mag ich nicht”?
LB : For instance. Or “ Wer schrieibt heut noch liebesbriefe”.
AF : Oh, right!
LB : Who is it who still writes love-letters, or something like that it must be in Swedsih?
AF : Yes, right. I did many titles like this in Germany actually at that time. It was a plus to me that I had actually been studying German in school, so it was no problems. It was just to sing on somehow.
LB : Yes, how is it with the German nowadays, does it work fine?
AF : No, it doesn't, since you don't keeping it up. But it is aslo still there somewhere. I worked quite a lot there and recorded a lot, and lived there fore some six-months as well.
LB : You had a German boyfriend who was a producer
AF : Yes, that is right, I had.
LB : There is a lot that happens in life
AF : It is.
LB : But this about ideas coming...what are you doing during the days. Do you strum a bit on the piano, what are you doing?
AF : Yes, it still happens that I strum on the piano but then mostly together with...I'm having grandchildren now and it is a blessed gift, really, and then I'm trying to teach them a little. So it happens that you're strumming a bit to teach, but otherwise I'm doing almost everything else but music, to say.
LB : Like what?
AF : We're having a great farm here and there is always something that has to be done. And then you have your children and grandchildren. The daily life, you know, all that it means.
LB : It is the family that you care about?
AF : It, is. It has always been.
LB : Are you good with cooking,by the way?
AF : Well, are you hungry?
LB : Yes, a little actually. What do you offer?
AF : *Laughing* At the moment there is nothing on the stove, but you might have some idea later on.
LB : I talked to Frida, Anni-Frid Lygstad, last week and she told that when you last met, in connection to the Mamma Mia! Premier or something, you had been talking about what you spoke about earlier, the significance of inspiration. That is you should do something new than you really have to feel inspired.
AF : Yes, I believe it is very difficult otherwise, and especially at this age. We have done so incredible much both Frida and myself, with ABBA and as solo-artist. It is difficult to find a new angle of approach, something that you are motivated to do. For instance I have been thinking about doing Swedish ballads, there are so incredible many good ballads. But I do not manage to actually do it, it is hard. One has to sit down, one has to offer time to go some where and...
LB : But do you experience that there are high demands on you since you are a living legend?
AF : Yes, it probably affects me, but it wouldn't stop me if I was enough motivated to do something new.
LB : One might perhaps think that you are a shy person, but you are rather determined when you tactually want something.
AF : Yes, I'm some strange mix. I'm both shy and determined. The shyness is still left there inside me, it is this about showing up yourself that I'm finding a bit difficult. I have always enjoyed the work in the studio more than standing on stage. But that was also very fun sometimes, so it's fun to do even those things that you maybe don't think you are very good at. We were less or more forced to do that, so it was just to go on stage, even if you didn't felt well. If you are doing well then it goes on very good, but you not always do and then it can feels very frustrating.
LB : Then it probably feels better now when you're having control and can decide when to how up and not.
AF : Yes, I do think so. But you are feeling incredible humble and grateful today for what we have achieved and that the music still is alive, and that it comes in new versions all the time.
LB : Really. Did you hear about this tribute-concert in Hyde Park last Sunday?
AF : Yes, I knew about this one. It's amazing!
LB : It was Chaka Khan and Kylie Minogue, for those who, who among others made a tribute by singing ABBA-songs. 40 000 British people braved the weather.
AF : It is amazing. It doesn't seem to be any end of it either, this music goes to history.
LB : Björn and Benny were on stage last Sunday, I suppose that you was asked as well?
AF : I'm not an ace of travelling there and back. I haven't participated that much in this kind of events. It 's not this that I don't want to, it's that it costs me a bit...
LB : Flying isn't that fun, is it?
AF : No, but I'm beginning to learn this as well.
LB : You're keeping it up
AF : Yes, so you never knows where it ends
LB : No, you don't.
We have had the pleasure to have an Agnetha-week. If you should choose yourself among the songs you have made over the years, what do you chose then?
AF : ...”Då finns du hos mig”.
LB : Tell us about this song.
AF : It is a little favourite. I can't realise myself that I have written it. It is very special. I can't say what it is, but I do think myself that it's good.
LB : Does it happens, Agnetha, that you are listening to your own music?
AF : It happens. It happens if I'm having a bit of weak self-confidence sometime. Then I might play something and then you're thinking 'well, this was good anyway'. And I must say that if I sometimes are playing some ABBA-songs, then I'm feeling what an energy it is within it and you understand what people sees in this music. We really gave everything, this energy, and our voices were at top, so what we achieved will always sound good. It is not much to criticise there, we were very accurate and made everything ourselves. It is made in an accurate way.
LB : Now we will listen to the songs you have made yourself and when you performed at top.
AF : Thank you
LB : How nice you participated in P4 extra.
AF : Yes, how nice. Is it over now?
LB : Yes we stop here. For this time any way. Now we will listen to your song.
AF : How nice
Many thanks to Malin for the translation