Thursday, September 11, 2008

10 Questions

We're rather excited today-and, so should you readers, about our Guest today. It isn't often we get someone from the "First Wave", (in today's parlance, however ridiculous it may be,) but we certainly are thrilled this gentleman has given some time and thought into the questions.

Although he's known now more for his artistic endeavors, our concern-in the main, is with his efforts at the end of the 60s and more specifically with a 1972 effort he was involved in titled Framtiden ar ett Svavande Skepp, Forankrat I Forntiden.

"Älgarnas Trädgård's name translates as "Garden of the Elks" and this debut album has always stood as one of the pinnacles of underground psychedelic rock -- comparable to early Pink Floyd, Group 1850 and other world masters of space-out genius. The title translates as The Future is a Hovering Ship Anchored in the Past. The group employed an instrumental array made of: violins, rebec, cello, guitars, sitar, piano, zither, organ flutes, zinks, jew's harps, tablas, percussion, Moog-synthesizer & VC-3 Putney-synthesizer. Recorded at Studio Decibel in 1971, this CD reissue adds two bonus live tracks from 1972. From Dan Söderqvist's notes: "We have known each other since 1968, when we met in our home neighborhood Västra Frölunda, Gothenburg. We listened to everything; Perotinus heavenly choirs from the 13th century, Messien's heavy works for orchestra, Beefheart's Safe as Milk, with it's surreal lyrics, King Crimson's endless string of chords, the beautiful acoustic Third Ear Band, Terry Riley's minimalism and above all the psychedelic music of early Pink Floyd. Sometimes we played our 'dägga-däng-music', crazy rhythmical plays with acoustic guitars and hysterical giggles. Sometimes we just sat and listened to the sounds slowly disappearing into space ... We experimented with getting strange sounds out of our instruments, started to use amplifiers and played with echoes ... We constantly expanded our possibilities to get new sounds, with organs, mouth harps and pedals ... We got our hands on the first Moog module system that just about had reached Sweden. We mixed Middle Age instruments such as zinks and rebecs, sound effects, church bells, fragments of both Bach and The Beatles and improvised our way through the first album." (From Forced Exposure)

Readers, we're pleased to have Älgarnas Trädgård member Jan Ternald!

Let's get to the 10 Questions, shall we?

1. In ten words-or less, define "psychedelic music."
- Positive mind-expanding and madly enthralling,

2. What is the most psychedelic instrument, why?
- anything run through a tape echo or delay .

3. Favorite psychedelic album of all time?
- Must be the one and only – Sgt. Pepper.

4. Who, in your opinion, is the most underrated psychedelic guitarist?
- Maybe its Robert Fripp.

5. Who was the best Swedish psychedelic band in your opinion? What album would you recommend?
- Sweden didn’t have many pure psychedelic bands. My old band Garden of the Elks was probably the most extreme experimental and the album "The Future is a hovering ship".

(Editor's Note: Jan did the artwork for the cover of this album.)

6. What psychedelic album do you wish more people knew about?
- White Noise "Electric Storm"

7. What band, active today, most defines "psychedelic" to you?
- Hard to say I really don’t have much knowledge of the scene - there is so much
good music out there. I think Nick Nicely sounds a lot like old British psych.

8. What album would you most like to cover in its entirety, why?
- None. I just made versions of " Tomorrow Never Knows" and "Lucy In The Skies" because they have very significant and nostalgic meaning for me. The former was really the first song that heralded the whole thing to come. I’m also a great admirer of John Lennon.

9. Top Ten Psychedelic Songs?
Very difficult I will probably miss a lot
Not necessary in order:
- A Day In The Life - The Beatles
- The Garden of Earthly Delights - The United States of America
- The Visitation - White Noise
- Tomorrow Never Knows - The Beatles
- Interstellar Overdrive - The Pink Floyd
- Axis Bold As Love - Jimi Hendrix
- White Rabbit - Jefferson Airplane
- Space Oddity - David Bowie
- A Saucerful of Secrets - Pink Floyd
- Lucy In The Skies - The Beatles

10. Turn the tables, if you'd like, and ask me a question.
Jan: Will there be a new era of Flower Power?

-valis: Interesting question, Jan. I don't have a strong sense about this either way. I'm of the opinion that if it should happen again it will not come from countries like the U.K. or U.S., but rather a country where the youth have something to really explode over-, perhaps Russia. It's not altogether impossible, nor is it improbable either. I'd also watch carefully to see what transpires post-2012, when we reach the Zero Point.

Thank you Jan and best wishes on your art!


gerryboy67 said...

another smashing capture, Valis. That album is truly underappreciated.
Love his choice of psych tracks too!

Cliff. said...

Yet another fine interview mon ami. Jan sounds like a thoroughly decent guy and can't fault his song choices. Mind you I could tell a tale about an experience I had light years ago involving 'White Noise - An Electric Storm' but that's another story as they said on 'Tales Along The Riverbank.'

Jørn Smedslund said...

To be needlessly pedantic I do believe that what the Swedes call "Älg" (and we Norwegians call "Elg") is what is known under its latin name as 'Alces alces' and should therefore be translated as "Moose". An elk, or wapiti, (Cervus canadensisis) is a different species altogether, and only to be found in North America and eatern Asia..

sr-71 said...

Träd, Gräs och Stenar are pretty darn psychedelic swedes, too. I wonder what Jan thinks about them.

gomonkeygo said...

Very cool! I've got a great AT boot if you want it, v-man.