Monday, 4 January 2010

De Telegraaf, September 1982: ABBA’s Frida in our country today – “I’m enjoying my new life”

An article that was published in Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf on the eve of Frida’s arrival in Holland to promote her album Something’s Going On.
When the marriage between ABBA’s Frida Lyngstad and Benny Andersson was strained and had actually ended already, they had to keep this a secret for the sake of the group’s image.

“It was a very difficult and frustrating time,” Frida says when she talks about the two years before the divorce became final. “Both of us wanted a different life, but as members of the group we had to keep on presenting ourselves to the audience as a happy couple. It even came to the point where we forced ourselves to go out in the evening, because we couldn’t bear to be in each other’s company at home any longer. Life had become too strained.”

“The day after Benny had left me, it was all over the front pages of the Swedish newspapers. I didn’t leave my house for a whole week. I just couldn’t stand it. But when all the fuss had died down, it was actually a relief that we didn’t have to wear a mask any longer and put on a charade.”
The dark-haired Frida explains why the two divorces in the group – first Björn and Agnetha and now she and Benny – were actually beneficiary to ABBA. It was assumed that the private problems could very well mean the end of the group. But Frida says that their professional relationship is now better than ever, exactly because they are now living separate private lives.
“When you don’t have any emotional ties any longer, it’s much more comfortable to work with each other and easier as well. You are able to concentrate more on your job and nothing else. Everything is much more efficient now. Especially because there’s no small talk anymore. You do your job and go home. And you don’t get on each other’s nerves. You don’t see each other all the time. We’ve always remained very friendly to each other. The divorces didn’t cause any bitterness and the new relationships weren’t as embarrassing anymore. I still think that Benny is a nice guy. He has a friendly personality. But our marriage didn’t work and the best thing for the two of us was to get divorced. But we don’t have any hateful feelings towards each other.”
Obviously, there are speculations circulating that ABBA will fall apart in the near future. Frida has recorded a solo album, Agnetha has played her first film part and Björn and Benny are working on a musical together with Tim Rice.

“I know that there are a lot of rumours, but at the moment we are working together very pleasantly,” Frida says while remarking that the group has now existed for ten years. On that occasion, a special album will be released in November, after which they will start working on a new album again.
“We all know that we can’t last forever, but we want to continue as long as we can. As long as we are working together and we are successful, I don’t see any reason why we couldn’t last for another ten years.”
Frida doesn’t even rule out the possibility that ABBA will go on another world tour and this news will definitely delight the ABBA-fans, who haven’t been able to see their favourite group in concert for a long time. Since they started in 1975 with the Eurovision song ‘Waterloo’, ABBA have only toured twice. “It is tiresome as well,” 36-year-old Frida explains while pulling a glum face. “It’s wonderful to be on stage, but the travelling, the airports and changing hotel rooms all the time is very exhausting.”

At the moment, she’s very busy promoting her solo album. This Friday, she will be in our country for that. And on Saturday night, she will appear on the television show MIES. Probably she won’t be able to equal ABBA’s success with her solo album. “But I don’t care about that,” she says, “I wanted to sing a different kind of music for a change. And of course I couldn’t do the same thing as I’m doing with the group. When you’ve worked with a group for such a long time, it’s nerve-racking to work on your own all of a sudden. But I’m one hundred percent behind what I’m doing now. I love the album, I love every song on it and I don’t care what people say or write about it.”
The album is produced by Genesis’ Phil Collins. Frida took this initiative after she had listened to his album ‘Face Value’. “I thought that album was amazing! I must have listened to it almost every day for eight months,” she says, “especially his arrangements and his drum sound impressed me a great deal. When the plan emerged to record a solo album, I immediately thought about him as my producer. Without him, I wouldn’t even have started this project, I wanted him that much.”

She’s very determined in her opinions. She knows exactly what her priorities are in life. Singing is the most important thing for her and it’s always been like that ever since she entered a talent competition at the age of ten. She says the joy of singing means more to her than the fame and fortune that she has acquired. Like Björn said last year, the group doesn’t have any financial reason to keep working together. With a worldwide income, including numerous shares in huge enterprises like the Volvo automobile factories, the ABBA-stars could easily rest on their laurels for the rest of their lives. They are wealthier than the king of Sweden.
This attitude doesn’t appeal to Frida: “I don’t think that I could live without singing,” she says. “It’s the most important thing in my life. It gives me so much joy. It’s really my passion.”
Although she does keep an eye on how the group’s millions are being invested, she never had a true notion about the magnitude of all that money. “I have a feeling as if we’re not part of it. It’s like I’m reading about someone else when I see a story about how big our fortune is.”
She also says that she doesn’t lead an extravagant life. She lives in a penthouse in Stockholm, she drives a Maserati, she dresses very well and she loves to travel.
“But,” she adds, “I don’t need more luxury than that. You can’t do much else than eat, drink and have a good life.”
She admits that she gets a lot of satisfaction from her job, but at the same time she leads a rather secluded, quiet private life. She thinks it’s pleasant that the people don’t really bother her in Sweden. “They leave us alone. I can easily go shopping in Stockholm.”

Frida spends a lot of time with her children from her first marriage, a fifteen-year-old daughter and a nineteen-year-old son. A giant of a guy who is taller than she is. “They are both interested in music and my son also works in this business as a sound engineer, but neither of them is interested in ABBA,” she says with a smile.
“My daughter has great taste and loves all kinds of music and my son is a fan of rock music.”
Since she divorced Benny, no special man is playing a part in her life. And she thinks that’s fine.
“It was my choice to be alone,” she says. “I feel the need to live my own life. Being on my own gives me strength, I discover new interests and new friends. That’s wonderful. Now I’m able to travel a lot as well. That’s a freedom that I’ve never had. I was fifteen years old when I met my first husband and shortly after this marriage I met Benny. So I’ve been involved with someone for a very long time. I haven’t thought about the possibility of another marriage yet. I’m happy with my life as it is. I’m really enjoying my new life,” according to the ABBA-star who will arrive in our country tomorrow.

1 comment:

Jen said...

Anni-Frid is very very beautiful,cool,lovely,real,strong and kind.I'm grateful to Anni-Frid and she's my idol.I love Anni-Frid.Thank you Michel so much for sharing.