Formed in the 2000’s in the small town of Ånge in northern Sweden, Takida is one of Scandinavia’s best-selling rock acts and concert draws over the last decade. With numerous platinum and gold singles and albums, and more than 150 million Spotify streams, the band is a mainstay at the top of the radio charts, continuing to sell out arenas across Northern Europe. They quickly became one of Sweden’s biggest acts drawing huge crowds and winning awards like the esteemed Rockbjörnen for Rock Band of the Year and now have their sights set on North America!
For their new album, “For A Perfect World,” Takida teamed up with legendary American artist/songwriter/producer Ryan Star to write and record an infectious hook-driven album with huge melodies and rich instrumentals. The result was a game-changing record for the group that solidified their position as one of the biggest and most dominant rock bands from Sweden. With the immense success of “A Perfect World” in Scandinavia, Takida set their sights on the rest of Europe and America. “A Perfect World” will be released in North America on October 21, 2016, accompanied by a U.S. tour in support of the album.
Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently caught up with guitarist Mattias Larsson to discuss the band’s longevity, the making of “For A Perfect World” and more!
Let’s go back to your early years. How did music first come into your life?
I guess it started when I saw some TV playing a video by Twisted Sister and other hard rock bands, mostly from The States. Rock bands like KISS to Pantera and everything else that is good had a big influence on me. I was about 8 or 9 years old when I had an acoustic guitar. I was sitting at home just trying to figure it out. I got an electric guitar when I was 11 years old. That is how it started!
When did you decide music was something you wanted to pursue professionally?
It has been a dream since I started with the first guitar! Fifteen years ago, we all quit our jobs to pursue the band full-time. We have a lot of fun doing what we do and creating music. We also have a lot of fun on the road. It is that fun that we find very inspiring! Being a band for a long time, you go through a lot of good things and a lot of shit. To get through all of the hard stuff and the personal stuff, it makes you like a family. We have learned to take care of each other as we go forward and have a great time while doing it! I think that is one of our biggest strengths!
You have a new album out, “For A Perfect World.” What made it time for a new record?
When it is time for us to do a new album, it seems the songs just come to us. The whole band is writing and then we put it all together. When we wrote this album, we worked with an American producer, Ryan Star. We met him through our management in New York. We went out in Brooklyn and had a great time! We asked him to come to Sweden to write some music and have some fun! He did and it went very well, I think!
Did you have goals for the album when you went into the process of bringing it to life?
No. We always try to do the best songs that we can. By working with Ryan, we hope to reach fans in the United States and outside of Sweden, so maybe there was a small plan. We also take a step forward with every album we do and this is no exception but I don’t know where it is heading! [laughs]
You mentioned Ryan Star joining you in Sweden. I expect it wasn’t all work and no play!
Yeah! [laughs] He is such a cool guy to hang out with! He had great nights where we ate nice food and had a lot of good drinks! Absolutely! [laughs] It was a great time and there is going to be more of that!
What did he bring to the table for this new record? What did he bring out in you creatively?
He brought new stuff to our lyric writing and melodies. The whole band comes up with ideas. Each song began with a small idea and we build it into a song. Robert [Petterson] writes the lyrics together with Ryan, on this record. These were new things that we weren’t going to find if he hadn’t been working with us. It was a step forward in lyrics and melody, both!
You lived with these songs for a little while now. Which one stands out as a favorite?
We released the album in Sweden in April and our first single was “Don’t Wait Up.” It is a really cool party song with a lot of energy and a lot of great stuff put into the verses by Ryan. I love that!
We are really excited to see you perform live. When can we expect to see you touch down in The States and what can we expect from the live show?
Live is the way it all started for us. We played and played and played. We sold out rather big tours in Sweden. We recorded our first album when we sold out pretty big venues. So, we started as a live band. I think that shows when you see us live. I think there is a real energy and you are part of it when you are in the audience! You can feel it! We are releasing “For A Perfect World” on the 21st of October in The United States. We hope to follow that up, as soon as possible, with shows. We are all really looking forward to that! We are very excited to meet the fans! The whole band has been to The States a couple of times! We are also big hockey fans and have a couple of friends who play in the NHL. We are definitely looking to checking out some of the big sporting events as well!
What is the best lesson to be learned from your journey as a band?
Work hard and never listen to what other people say about your song, your style or whatever. Do your thing, work hard and your time will come!
We look forward to meeting up with you soon! Until then, we will spread the word on Takida!
That would be nice! Thank you very much!
Keep up with Takiada and all of their upcoming tour dates via their official website — www.takidamusic.com. “A Perfect World” will be released in North America on October 21, 2016 via The End Records.