Ahead of their upcoming gig at The Arches on Saturday 4th Dec, Mary Machin caught up with Lisa Milberg, lead singer of Swedish band The Concretes…
How has the year treated you and has anything changed?
Lisa: It’s been overwhelming, nothing’s really changed, a lot of good and bad things have happened but it’s probably been different just because I was shocked by how much work that comes with releasing an album.
Did that shock alter your writing or recording techniques?
L: Not really, the shock came after all of that, there was a contrast in writing but that’s something that’s going to be different with every album.
How about the reception for the record, was it what you expected?
L: You can’t really ever expect something particular you can only ever hope for the best, but the reaction to WYWH was great and we were really happy with it. It was weird reading reviews though, because even though it’d be a great review, the writer wouldn’t have got what I wanted them to from the record, but it’s great that people like it
Are you now getting used to your role as The Concretes’ vocalist?
L: Yeah I am, I enjoy aspects of it like writing and making the most but the live part of it still intimidates me.
Do you feel it was a better choice than bringing someone new into the group though?
L: It would have been very strange bringing a new person into the group, yeah. I feel I made the right decision and it wouldn’t have felt right breaking up and starting fresh since me and Maria have been in the band together since the start.
What’s your classic piece of album artwork?
L: Right here on the spot I’d say New Order’s Power, Corruption and Lies, or something like Roxy Music’s Country Life, with the naked girls on it. If I had more time I could probably think of something less famous.
What was the last record you approached because of its artwork?
L: That’s very easy, it’s by a girl called Katell Keineg and it’s called At the Mermaid Parade, the cover is a badly developed picture of her and once I’d got it home, the music was great too!
How involved are you with your own artwork?
L: I do everything, not by hand obviously, but the cover for WYWH was chosen by me for example. I knew I wanted something to thank Sweden and I was looking around for ages for the right thing. I rang up my mum about it and she said her boyfriend had a painting that could work, I was unsure about it at first but when I saw the painting I knew I wanted it as the cover. It seemed almost like it was painted so we could go out and write the album for it.
Would you be happy if anyone else were to choose the artwork instead?
L: I would be very happy if someone else did something for a change as I’m very tired! [laughs] It makes sense for me to do most of the artwork because I work as an Art Director but it’s always interesting to see what someone else would do. I almost wish we could have both, like two versions or something.
Is that what you wanted to achieve with your recent blog where fans send in summer photos?
L: Sort of yeah, I’m inspired by photos and images so it was cool to see what people were doing, it’s also something that keeps you warm in cold weather too. I’d like to keep it going and not restrict it purely to summer.
Is there any difference in audiences who come to see you live in different countries?
L: Each country has very different crowds I think, but we’re always getting emails through from our fans in Mexico and they seem so warm and enthusiastic that it really makes us want to visit them there.
Finally, what are your plans for 2011?
L: I need to get a driver’s license, I should have done it already but haven’t had the chance. I’m quite worried about driving on the left side of the road but I seem alright when I’m walking around, like I always look the right way at crossings. Then we’re also touring a lot, we’ve got a few UK shows and then America in January, February and March!
The concretes play The Arches on Saturday 4th December 2010
Box office: 0141 565 1000