Thursday, 5 June 2008

Hitkrant, October 1982: My best fans are Dutch

An interview from Dutch magazine Hitkrant. The interview was done during Frida's promotional visit to Holland for Something's Going On.
Obviously, Frida talks about her new album, but also about the gossip-press and the contact with her fans.
Not only because she’s a member of ABBA, more because she recorded a solo-album: Frida Lyngstad was in Holland to promote her album 'Something’s Going On' and that’s what we talked about. Is this promotion really necessary if you’re a superstar? The audience will buy the records anyway. But no, that’s not how things are. An extensive talk about success, the gossip-press, the fans and the positive things in life.

The famous punk-hairdo isn’t that extreme: Frida’s hair is back to almost normal, just a little pink here and there. She looks good, but the small wrinkles around her eyes reveal she is 36. She will get back to that later.

I ask her how many hands she shook today and she replies smiling: “I didn’t count them, but it wasn’t too bad.” She gets the star-treatment: limousine, bodyguard, drinks and snacks on the table. But of course Frida ís a star.
Hitkrant: Isn’t it much easier for someone like you to make a successful solo-album than it is for another artist? I mean, it’s easier to get connections and of course everyone wants to work on an album with an ABBA-member.
Frida: “Yes, there’s some truth in that. I’m in a position that things come easier. But you can’t stay at home, if you want your album to be a success. You’ll have to work on it. That goes for anybody who wants to achieve something, and even if I have the advantage of being well-known, it’s still a lot of hard work. Success doesn’t come easy.”
Hitkrant: The success is there already. Do you think the success of your album and single has to do with the fact that you’re an ABBA-member?
Frida: “Surely, it has something to do with it, but how much? And the sound is so different from ABBA’s work, that I hope I have reached a new audience, a different audience than just ABBA’s.”
Hitkrant: It’s your second solo-album. Is there much difference to the previous one, 'Frida Ensam'?
Frida: “Look, it has been seven years, so I’m seven years older. That’s the most important difference. And of course the producer: Benny produced 'Frida Ensam', Phil Collins did 'Something’s Going On'. Other than that I used a lot of writers and musicians from abroad and of course I chose the material all by myself this time. That’s why I’m one hundred percent behind every song on the album. Because I picked them.”

Hitkrant: Did you know what you wanted when you started this project?
Frida: “I really had no idea! I turned to lots of record-companies and listened to about 500 songs, but I couldn’t find what I wanted. That’s why I approached a few writers myself and asked them if they had or wanted to write a song for me. Out of those I picked a few, Phil as well, and together we picked the rest.”
Hitkrant: Björn and Benny didn’t work on the album at all?
Frida: “Not at all. That wasn’t the intention either. Well, I asked them if they wanted to write a song and they tried, but didn’t succeed. I thought, maybe it’s all for the better. In hindsight, I’m actually happy about that.”
Hitkrant: Do you think a follow-up to “Something’s Going On” will emerge?
Frida: “I don’t know yet. First, let’s see if this one is successful. When the time is right, I would certainly consider a second solo-album.”
Hitkrant: Doesn’t that cause problems with ABBA’s work?
Frida: “Absolutely not. I have my priorities, you know, and ABBA still comes first.”
Hitkrant: The day will come that ABBA ceases to exist. What will be the reason for that?
Frida: “That’s a tough one! It will certainly not be because of a fight or something like that. ABBA will probably quit when we no longer feel working in the group satisfies us, when we grow apart. That would definitely be the end of ABBA.”

Hitkrant: How about the rumours of a new world-tour?
Frida: “That’s all they are at the moment, rumours. Maybe sometime in the future. In the end, that’s what every group has to do; you can’t go on for years without touring, no matter how famous you are. From time to time you need to show yourself to the audience, even if it’s only a promotional tour. But it’s very tiring, and let’s be honest: we don’t get any younger, so if a tour happens, it has to be in the near future.”
Hitkrant: Coming December is ABBA’s tenth anniversary. Don't you get bored with all the publicity, the hundreds of interviews, by now?
Frida: “Oh, it depends on the journalist. Some of them have very interesting questions, so you really have to think about your answer. Other questions you’ve been hearing for years, and you know exactly what you’re going to answer.”
Hitkrant: So when I ask if ABBA is going to split up, what’s your answer?
Frida: “No.”
Hitkrant: Good!
Frida laughs heartily and continues: “You know, all those things like promotion and your fans are so important to allow you to grow. You have to invest in it as much as in making a record. Showing yourself to the audience is very necessary, as an artist and as a human being.”
Hitkrant: Yes, the fans. How far can you go with a fan?
Frida: “Very far, but it’s important how the fan reacts on the artist. I have to say that Dutch fans are among my best. They come to Stockholm and to my door: I like that. When they react in a positive way to me, I react likewise to them. But you have to draw the line somewhere and the fans respect that. Most of them at least. You know, a fan can have the feeling that he owns the artist; they like you so much that they want to be part of your private life as well, and that can be difficult sometimes. So that’s where the line is, although I do understand. When I receive letters from people begging me to meet them, I write back and try to explain the situation. Mostly they understand. But it is essential: I need that communication with my fans, just as much as they need me. I need to have confidence in myself and I get that from people who love what I do.”

Hitkrant: Last week there was a riot in Sweden because of a gossip-article about Agnetha. Do they bother you as well?
Frida: “No, it’s not that bad. But in this case the magazine had been extremely offensive. They wrote Agnetha was pregnant and had been left by her boyfriend. Although the last part may have been true, she was only playing she was pregnant for a movie-part. Agnetha has written an open letter in one of Sweden’s most important papers and that was very good. What they wrote was a real disgrace and Agnetha had to do something, I sensed it as well. And she achieved results: the magazine had to answer for themselves and they will probably leave us alone for a while now, because no-one will believe them. Other than that, it’s not too bad: they stay on the surface with their stories. Only when Benny and I divorced, all those awful stories hurt me deeply. It was very painful, but after a few weeks it was over.”
Hikrant: As a famous person, you give up a part of your private life.
Frida: “That’s true. But I’ve learned to manage it myself. When I don’t want to be in the limelight, there are plenty of places for me to go. I’m convinced you can lead your own life, even if you’re a star. I can keep my integrity and I can live with it very well. And I choose the things I want to share about myself. Like I’m doing right now. Those are the positive things in my life.”


Anonymous said...

Thanks for this article!
Frida has always been kind to her fans and she has remained the same today.

Michel said...

Yes, Ivana. I couldn't agree more. All 4 ABBA-members have remained so down-to-earth and were never blasé about their success.