Ahead of appearing on This Is A Popscene #2, our own charity compilation album, the Andrea half of I Used To Be A Sparrow speaks to This Is A Popscene about their debut album, the meaning behind the unusual name and of course cheese…
How did I Used To Be A Sparrow meet?
“We met when I was playing a gig with my other project in Västerås. Dick was checking the show out, then we did end up chatting, getting a few beers, talking bands we like, you know…We thought it would have been fun to try and start a new project, so we just did it with no expectation of it becoming our full time musical occupation.”
What’s with the crazy name?
“The name was a line in one of the first songs we made for our record, ‘Life is good’. We both really love the poetry and sort of mystery behind the name… It means something to me, something different to Dick… probably something different to you… or maybe nothing at all… we just like to keep it open.”
How did you record your album ‘Luke’?
“Wherever and whenever we felt comfortable laying down our tracks we just did it, carrying all the equipment and playing all by ourselves. That gave us a lot of freedom to do whatever we liked with the songs.”
What are your influences?
“Whatever happens in our lives is a great influence on us: relationships, travels, dreams, fears… and art and music that surround us. Talking about music, we really listen to a lot of it: Some of our favourite bands are Mew, The Appleseed Cast, The Beatles… Bloc Party, Coldplay, Sigur Ròs, Minus The Bear, The Gaslight Anthem… anything that feel exciting and honest to us.”
What has been the highlight of being in I Used To Be A Sparrow so far?
“We both love pretty much every aspect of being in our band, but I think I speak for both when I say that having the chance to tour Europe so early in our career has been a blast! Making new friends, meeting a lot of people and play our songs on the road is great.”
What are your ambitions and hopes for the band?
“Like any band, we dream to bring our music to as many people as possible, tour as much as possible and hopefully never need a dayjob again haha. But most of all, we just hope that we can continue create songs we are happy with. We love to make music that feels honest to us and reflect who we are, but at the same time we hope other people can relate to the songs in their own way, just like that thing with the band name I was talking about before.We also want to have fun and want people to have fun in the process.”
What was the first gig you ever went to?
“The first gig I’ve seen was probably some italian one-hit wonder pop singer that was popular when I was 8-9 years old called Ambra. I spent my childhood in Italy and I’ve been exposed to a lot of the country’s pop music when I was a toddler ahah. I think the first time I spent my own money to see a show, I was 14 and went to see a punk rock festival called Deconstruction tour, with Strike Anywhere, Pennywise, Anti-Flag, MxPx, Beatsteaks and Yellowcard, among others eheh. I don’t know about Dick’s first gig, but the first gig we both saw together was probably a nice band from our hometown called Leanids. Good times eheh.”
What made you get ‘into’ music?
“My first love was punk rock, because all of a sudden, music didn’t seem so complicated anymore. Listening to bands such as Green Day or The Ramones as a kid, I figured I could be able to play a few guitar chords to go with my lyrics. I’ve been writing little poems since I was a kid, but songs are way better for me, more dynamic, more alive. We just need to do something creative, and music is our thing.”
As a duo… what is your favorite type of cheese?
“Ahahah good questions. In this band, I friggin love cheese. While Dick is lactose intolerant, so keep him away from it! I am a mozzarella guy… Imagine that thing melting on top of a huge pizza… hell yeah!”
Can you both ride a bike?
“Yeah! If you live in Sweden and don’t know how to ride a bike, you are gonna have trouble ahah.”
If you weren’t in a band what would you be doing?
“Honestly, its hard for me to imagine. I really don’t love anything as much as I love music. Maybe I’d try to get into film-making or something, that’s something that fascinates me, however I didn’t had enough time to focus on it yet!”
Whats next for I Used To Be A Sparrow?
“We just released our record, ‘Luke’ in the UK and Japan and we are super-excited about it! We are gonna play a few more shows around Europe, then focus on trying to get our second album out. We’re almost done with the studio work, so we are going to sit down and figure out the best way to release it and the most fitting people and labels to work with ! In the meanwhile, our record is available for free download or donation. Spread the word!”