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Return to Örebro: an interview with Nathan Aeli

Famous as a city of great independent music, Örebro is also home for Nathan Aeli, an acoustic / indie singer-songwriter, who has just premiered a music video for his track “Scheduled”, taken off his latest EP ”Coins I’d Castaway”. Inspired by the environments Nathan lived in during the last summer, the video has been drawn with the help of marine life and the city of Gothenburg. As the name suggests, is simply about being busy. Despite his busy schedule, between writing, recording and traveling, Nathan agreed to sit down with me and shoot a few answers that move him a bit closer to all of you indie / melancholic / minimalistic rock enthousiasts. Check out his lonesome guitar janglin’ accompanied by a loop pedal and some fellow musicians.

Many thanks go to Jesper from DIY booking label Revival, who has been active with attracting focus to new and unknown artist since 2009. Thanks for bringing up the young and aspiring Nathan Aeli and helping me with this interview!

Hi Nathan! Thanks so much for taking some time with IDIOTEQ. There haven’t been too many solo acoustic / indie artists featured here, I’ll give you that :) I am all the more honored to welcome you here. How are you? How’s Spring up there?

Heya Karol!

I read your review about my friends in MURDEROFCROWS and i then got my eye on IDIOTEQ. Well, someone needs to be the first/second then? Im glad to be a part of those few.

At the moment im shining up with the weather here in scandinavia, the sun is just starting to chove away the clouds and the air is refreshing. I look forward to the spring and of course the coming summer.

Great! Where exactly are you based in?

I at the moment live in Sweden, Gothenburg, but I originally come from Örebro, a smaller town in the middle of the country.

Why did you move?

I moved because my father and little brother lives in Gothenburg. It felt natural to change city, atleast for a while. I’m unaware if I’ve settled down yet, but I’m enjoying my current stay.

Considering their local scenes, infrastructure and opportunities, how would you compare both cities?

The local scene in Örebro is quite difficult.

However the infrastructure and opportunities are very good. The city got a calm vibe.

The local scene in Gothenburg is a little bit easier since it’s a bigger city but with a bigger city comes bigger competition.

I’d say that Gothenburg gives you more opportunity since the choices you can make increase in a bigger city.

Are you much of a traveler? Both Scandinavia- and worldwide, what are some of your favorite destinations and why?

Well, of sorts. I’ve toured through Europa and Scandinavia. Besides that I’ve been out a handful of times.

I’d like to visit Japan or China since I find their culture stunning, especially their architecture.

How does living in Sweden inspire your music? How did you end up performing such emotional acoustic tunes?

I live at the west coast right now, where there’s a lot of nature surrounding me. Along with where I live I’ve also discovered new music.

I came up with the acoustic songs during my visits to my family summer house on an island called Nord Koster. I came up with parts of this demo early, already in 2011, but I had other things in my line of sight so the solo project got sidetracked. Then the summer of 2013 I came back and finished them by doing something I have never done and I right now continue to do.

Koster Islands, by vastsverige.com

I went in a musical exile. I went back to my roots and took on a few new acts to help me figure out my arrangements and shoved out all musical acts away from my ears who did not fit in my view. The most mentionable acts, those of significant value, I had in my earphones was SLEEPMAKESWAVES, GEM CLUB, SIGUR ROS, JONSI and FRIDA SUNDEMO. The influence I had before taking on those acts was CONVERGE, CIRCLE OF CONTEMPT, UNDEROATH and VEIL OF MAYA. The thing I enjoy with the last wave of bands I mentioned is that they all work out their arrangements in surprising ways, a pattern which I wanted to follow with a more pop-isch angle.

I’ve been listening to “Coins I’d Castaway” and been wondering if it’s your only record. Is this everything you’ve recorded so far?

It’s the only thing I’ve officially released by myself. I’ve created a lot since before this release but I felt that “Coins….” suited best to come out with first.

I got some more rhythmical and challenging material in stock, which I two years ago started on, but i came to the conclusion that more planning and re-arrangements could make it better.

I got a follow-up release who’s attached to “Coins I’d Castaway” who will be entering my rehearsal as upon this day.

What’s the timeline? Can you share more details?

Well, no exact dates yet. Originally it was supposed to be out digitally by now but when I had all the songs done I made an attempt to adapt them to a loop pedal I had at home. The result was a seven track demo-sheet of the coming mini-album.

The recording was made possible thanks to my friend Anton Hedlund. I’ve released 50 limited cds of it which has already disappeared from my line of sight.

It’s the third time I am decomposing these very tracks and the final stage of them will be a five track release with a title connected with my first release.

Any plans to play more shows and promote these new tunes in the nearest future?

I’ll be playing a show in Alingsås on Wednesday with my pal Eddie Wheeler. Besides that Ii got the pleasure to be the opening act for SLEEPMAKESWAVES two Swedish dates, the first one in Gothenburg with the band EF as a headliner, and the second one in Orebro.

After those shows I’m going to focus on writing and maybe add another member to my live performance. I got some strings I’ll be pulling in England, Danmark and Sweden. So a little Scandinavia / UK release tour will be in my idea box.

Great idea! What artists did you already support and what was the experience like, both as a musician and a fan?

I’ve only been an active artist since a year back, and by active I mean playing/touring.

The first show I had was on a bars grand opening called On Stage in Gothenburg, I played alone and it was mostly a show for friends and family along with the people who already was on the bar.

The second was in Örebro, Kulturhuset A-salen, where I played on a two day festival with some Swedish based bands, amongst them was LUFTFÄRD, YOUNG MOUNTAIN, WANDERER and CELESTICA. I personally enjoy playing with bands who differ a lot, it’s much more fun to listen bands that have their own sound.

The third was in Gothenburg, in a venue called “Skriket” promoted by a local promoter group called Feedback Booking. I’d say that this show is my favorite so far. I was a replacement for PAPERMOONS who had to cancel due to something I don’t know.

The lineup was coosy, the main band was Football etc., the second opener was I Love Your Lifestyle. I had a great time especially thanks to I LOVE YOUR LIFESTYLE. I had not heard of them before the show but after I saw them I was glad I did, they’re playing a sort of very hectical and melodic emo/pop kind of music

The day before I had a show at the Dancing Dingo in Gothenburg with a bunch of musicians who played covers, it was a good evening aswell but nothing new, I like to play with bands who make their own music since there is so much more value in it.

I’m really looking forward to my coming shows when i am opening up for EF and SLEEPMAKESWAVES since I’m a big fan of post rock and more alternative music. It will also be the first time I see those two bands which makes it all so much more interesting. My expectations are high regarding their stage performance.

Do you experience any stress before hitting the stage?

It depends on how my day has been.
I’d say that I’m a little nervous when I strum the first chords and open my mouth for the first time when I play.
But I think it helps me focus and after a few seconds I fall into it naturally.

Have your feelings about any of the songs changed since you’ve been playing them live?

Yes, I tend to mix it up sometimes to keep myself sharp but that’s the major reason why I will be working to get my new tunes more interesting to hear live.

What were some of the biggest challenges you faced while making your solo work?

The time was hard to find.

What is it about the solo creative process that you love the most?

It’s great to have something you can put all your personal opinions in, to get something only from one specific person.

Where do your lyrical ideas come from?

All the lyrics I write are angled in three perspectives, the first is the personal, the second is an explanation and the third is the metaphorical. The ideas themselves come from my daily thoughts.

Have you ever thought about joining a band or forming a bigger crew around your persona?

I’ve been in bands before and there’s so much effort behind it. To be in a band is demanding since so many people need to be in consideration. It had benefits of course but I’ve taken a step away from it for a while.
But music is always better with company, I sometimes take in friends to play with me but no permanent members, even if I mostly play with the same persons if there are any more than me on stage.

Alright Nathan, I guess it’s time for literally a couple of random questions and we’re done, aren’t we? :)

What has been the most amusing thing you have read about yourself?

When I was on my bicycle on my way to a lake place with a couple of friends I then, from some unknown source, heard a kid yelling out my name. The weird thing about it wasn’t that he was yelling, the weird thing was that he yelled what instrument I played and after that his entourage giggled and ran off between some houses.

Hahaha, nice one :)

Okay… let’s say you were told that this was your last week on Earth. How would you spend it?

I’d convince my comrades that I was surely dying, get a pal to document me and my comrades march on and cut our own names into the dirt.

…..and by cutting our own names into dirt I don’t mean it literally.

Perfect :) Ok, Nathan. Thank you so much for taking some time with such a small zine like IDIOTEQ. Take care, buddy!

NATHAN AELI Bandcamp
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NATHAN AELI Soundcloud

Nathan acting like the narrative voice in ‘The letter You never got’, written by a HUNDREDFOLD.

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