Interview – Mountain Bird

Swedish dream-pop act Mountain Bird master an original and charismatic sound that will transfer you into a different world. The dreamy noise created by the talented Adam Öhman impressed the Universal Music Group enough to take Adam’s project under their wing. The latest single Violent Night might have taken a while to compose but the final result sees a track full of deep, interesting and beautiful musical work. In the following interview, Adam tells us about Mountain Bird, signing to a major label, his creative process and much more.

Eva: Who are Mountain Bird and how long have you been creating music together?

Adam: Mountain Bird is a Mountain-Pop project from Stockholm. It’s only 2 years old and I’ve had my live band for a little more than 1 year now.. It feels like it’s older but it’s really just compressed during a small moment of time. It still haven’t dropped it’s pacifier completely..

Regarding your sound, where do you get the inspiration from when building a new track?

My sound.. People tend to say that it’s dramatic, almost like in a film or so.. And I believe the only thread I hold when I create is that it somehow somewhere needs to activate and encourage some kind of emotion, often sadness. Inspiration is a really wide phenomena, but I guess everything from films, to in some cases music and sleepless nights.. The things that haunt my mind and me is something I like to write about to get it to leave my head if it’s even for a little while.

You’ve recently signed to Universal Music Group. How did that happen and what does it feel like to be under such a major label?

I think Universal saw something in me, a potential or what they like to call it. So I got a mail from an A&R at UMG Sweden telling me they wanted to discuss the future. Then we had tons of meetings with people I’ve never thought I would meet. They liked me and I liked them so one thing led to another and here we are. It feels great that someone believe in me. At first I thought that Universal only liked more mainstream-pop and such but my A&R listen to really great music, so I’m feeling at home when I’m at the office. It will be a massive help to my music towards the future.

Tell us about your new single Violent Night…

Yes, It’s the first track I ever wrote under the name Mountain Bird and I worked on the track during 1 year and 7 months. Yes, some serious amount of time there. I was so inspired, almost too inspired to fit everything together nicely in a 4 minute track. But it finally came together perfect! It just took some time, and I believe that art isn’t something you rush, it’s done when it’s done.
The whole song is about Violent Nights. But not physical violence, it’s about mental chaos and violence against the demons that haunt your mind down during the dark hours of the night.. About anxiety, feeling small and wanting something more than being a routine driven person all life…Conversations and fights mentally..

Going back, do you remember the moment you realised that you wanted to become a musician?

Every artist always tell journalists about a over romantic moment when they found a particular cd or a book that made them realize that music was their thing, It’s not that simple.. I was playing on my sisters drums a long time before I went to a music school at high school that is.. My mentors which played with really great Swedish acts (Jonathan Johansson, Vanbot and Loney dear) to mention a few.. They really inspired me to be creative and to see opportunities in everything. But what really started the whole thing was my anxiety, panic attacks and things that wanted to get out of my brain. I needed a place to vent, a place to breathe, someone that listened to me, my music filled that emptiness.

If you got a chance to write a song with one of your favourite artists (dead or alive) who would it be?

I’m not good at working with other people because of my creative process, I’m not the one that sits down to write. I run to my computer whenever something wants to get out of my head. I had a really creepy thought that my songs are like my babies, and whenever they’re ready they’ll jump out of my brain and onto the computer.
Enough of the creepy talk.
If I had to cooperate with someone it would be James Blake, Jamie XX or the Swedish artist/writer Jonathan Johansson.

How would you attract a music fan to one of your live shows?

I would inform them, nothing more. If my music isn’t enough to attract them to a show, then don’t come. I mean the goal is to just create the things you’re good at and let the other things happen in its time. You can’t rush anything.

What can you tell us about the current music scene is Sweden?

Radio-Horrible has been for the past 15 years. Festivals and clubs are super great, we have tons of gigs everyday here in Stockholm. Stockholm is the place to be if you want to make music..Every friend I got have a studio somewhere in Stockholm and everyone come to Stockholm just to record because of our expertise in sound, so I believe that’s a great rating.

What are your key plans and ambitions for this year?

SPRING: This year or, actually this spring holds my second EP release. It will contain 5 completely new songs, a little more electronic than before in a good way. I believe I’m closer to finding the sound and feelings I want to achieve. Also coming over to London in May to do some radio shows/interviews and striped down versions of current songs.

SUMMER: Festivals and different gigs all over Sweden, hopefully England as well.

FALL: Hopefully a tour with 2 Ep’s in the wagon. We’ll see but that’s the goal.

WINTER: Back to the studio to write on something bigger……Perhaps travel away for a little while. I like Iceland, Iceland is calm..Yes, Iceland.

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