Posted On 18 Dec 2018
Get to know the Swedish synth-pop outfit Violet Days, whose new collection “Made In My Head” was recently released. Front-woman Lina Hansson and producer Kris Eriksson are well known for their stunning, storytelling visuals as well as their fresh sound. “Made In My Head” is their debut album which Eriksson produced himself entirely.
The lead single “Somber” perfectly encapsulates it all: The track is equal parts passion ballad and futuristic narrative as Lina lays her heart bare over a web of airy, rich synths while guest vocalist morgxn delivers powerful accompaniment. “Somber” contextualizes the shared search for love between everyday people, and the fear and baggage that comes with it, a running theme present across Made in My Head. It is the culmination of years of collaboration and experimentation shared between Lina and Kris. The two originally met five years ago in Sweden via mutual friends and fellow songwriters. They soon started playing and writing together. Today, that long-standing creative bond has evolved into Violet Days, the embodiment of their creative symbiosis: Lina, the conceptual lyricist, visionary songwriter, and bold singer, in harmony with Kris’ talents as a perfectionist producer with an ear for memorable melodies and hooks.
“At first, we really connected over our similar tastes in music; we both love the same things,” says Lina of her working relationship with Kris. “We always react to the same details in songs. We have a good understanding of each other, and that really helps when creating our own music,” adds Kris.
Their versatile songwriting and production approach, which they lovingly dub “alternative pop stories from Sweden,” is defined by Kris’ lush, layered compositions and Lina’s heartfelt lyrics and moving vocals. It’s their winning combination, paired with an inimitable style, which has seen them carve out a recognized sound and a venerable reputation of their own within the songwriting world. And they’ve got the chops and accolades to prove it: Already, their early releases have racked up millions of plays on Spotify, with their first single, “Your Girl,” counting over 13 million streams on that platform alone. Their official songwriting and production credits include collaborations with top artists including Phoebe Ryan, Cash Cash, Shaun Frank and The Chainsmokers, whose hit song “Paris” Kris co-wrote. Elsewhere, Lina was nominated for Rookie Songwriter/Producer of the Year at the 2015 Denniz Pop Awards in her native Scandinavia.
This past spring, Violet Days made their official worldwide debut at SXSW, where they brought the songs of Made in My Head to life for the first time. Violet Days make their most ambitious leap to date, moving to the center of the stage and in front of the world, with Made in My Head in hand and heart.
“It’s very important for me to get my story across in the right way,” says Lina. “I need to mean it to really believe it, as that is what I look for in other artists. My mission is to be as honest as I can, as I hope that that will make it easier for listeners to relate to and to
find comfort, believe in our music.”
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Since we are now at the back-end of 2018, how has this year treated this band? What is one musical goal that you have had for this year? How close are you to reaching it?
I feel like thing year has actually been super long, for once. Previous years just quickly pass but we crossed off a lot of things with Violet Days this year. I always wanted to play the SXSW festival in Austin and this year we got to go, and we had such a blast! The goals are always changing as you reach them, which is amazing if that happens, so next goal is to release more music and hopefully go on tour and connect with more people.
Can you recall the moment when you thought you could be in this group together? Was it hard to think of a name that you could agree on?
It all started with me moving to Stockholm wanting to find a band to play with. There have been a lot of different phases: First, the name was Violet; I wanted it to feel like an Alter Ego persona almost, and not really portray it as a “typical” band. Violet was inspired by my grandmother’s name, Viola. I wanted to relate to it; I then added Days as a “last name”.
How do you think your hometowns have influenced the sound and how you all carry yourselves in this group?
I think that the folk music in Sweden generally inspires a lot; there is a lot of melancholy in the melodies, which I love. There’s also a reason that ABBA made it big! I love the musicality in that.
How has your various musical backgrounds helped shape the sound of this band?
Kris and I actually talk about this a lot. We both grew up on similar music and have been trying to reference the music that had us inspired from the beginning. We grew up listening to artists and albums like: The Beach Boys, Queen, Dirty Dancing (soundtrack), Tina Turner, Beatles, Joan Jett, etc.
What did it feel like finally releasing your new EP, Made In My Head? How did you celebrate the release? What was it like the first time you heard it all the way through?
It was such a liberating feeling; We´ve been living with the EP for a long while so it felt great to finally share the whole story. We had a really fun release party with a bunch of friends coming to our studio. We had all of the artwork up on the walls, drinks, videos rolling in the background…It was so much fun!
I loved hearing the whole thing all the way through; I´m happy that the songs go so well together and we´re super proud of it.
Did anything surprise you about the process of putting it together? Were there any unexpected challenges or surprises?
The surprise was that when we thought we’d start writing the EP we realized that we already had most of the songs. The challenge was to reproduce and make all he pieces fit both with details in the artwork and production.
While it’s difficult, can you pick a few of your favorite tracks on this EP and talk about how they came to be on this collection? What inspired them?
I can tell you about “Cocaine Kisses”: We had just watched the movie Drive and instantly started obsessing over the soundtrack by Kavinsky. We said before writing that song “Let´s write a song that should have been on the soundtrack”, and so we did!
“Leave But Don’t Go” felt like an important song to write; we had a deep, long talk with Brennan Strawn who we wrote it with. We talked a lot about mental health and how it’s a struggle some days to just get out of bed. I think it´s good to bring up that subject in songs and talk about the things that aren’t always perfect; the real life things that people actually deal with.
Generally, how do you all go about writing your music? Do you write together or separately?
Kris and I write most of the music together but sometime we write separately, as well. The process of writing for Violet Days has naturally been us together, though. Sometimes we bring other writers in the room, as well! It´s inspiring having someone else’s vibes inspire a song sometimes; keep things interesting.
Where do you think you are all happiest- in the studio recording new music, on stage performing or elsewhere?
Tricky question- I love both so much.
What do you all think about social media? What’s been your experience like so far using it and how has it been interacting with fans through it?
It´s definitely a love/hate relationship, as for all of us I guess. Social media is putting so much unneeded pressure on young people/everyone and knows no boundaries. BUT, it is also a great marketing tool that we need to use to reach out and connect with our fans on a more personal basis, which is awesome. I just think it´s crucial to find a balance with things like Instagram, and to know that nobody is living a perfect life.
You have released several music videos so I am curious to know what that has been like for this group. How creatively involved do you get with the making of them?
We have been super involved in all the visual material, that´s such a fun part. The idea is for the music videos to reflect the artwork of the EP in a real life way, so everything you see in the videos is also part of the comic book artwork.
We are currently living through a very trying and politically charged time right now so I am curious to know how you all think being musicians and in this band still gives you the most joy in life today? Do you find that your music is an escape to all the current events?
In all the darkness of the political craziness and news today I feel like music is playing a bigger part than ever. It´s so important to have a space where you can go and shut all of that out for a moment, and music is the best escape for that. We feel very privileged that we can work on music everyday and tell a story that can hopefully helps people feel good.
What musicians would you love to work with in the future? What artists have really been inspiring this group and your music since day 1?
I´ve loved Coldplay for so long; I think Chris Martin is a melodic genius and would LOVE to collaborate with him. I also love what Billie Eilish does; I really appreciate artists that dare to stick out and not do what everybody else is doing.
What do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people continue to take away from your songs?
I hope that we can make people feel something- that is always the goal. Also, to write stories that people can relate to. I want people to feel like they can escape in the music and see pictures in their head while the song plays. Dance to it, cry to it, etc…
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about this project?
I hope that people take the time to listen to the full EP so that they can really get to know the story behind Violet Days. Also, I feel super excited about the New Year and I promise there will be a lot more songs coming up to tell the next chapter of the story!