Abramis Brama

Abramis Brama Interview


What are your influences and how did you decide on the name of the band?
When the ba
nwas formed, more than 20 years ago, the original bass player Dennis Berg worked with youngsters who were into death metal and they were looking for inspiration for a band name that was all mystical and trve. Dennis is a dedicated sport fisherman so he suggested Abramis Brama, the latin name for bream. The kids weren’t impressed. But the band formed by him, guitarist Peo Andersson, drummer Fredrik Jansson (these days in Angel Witch!) and original singer Christian Andersen used the name to play an early private party gig. The press still makes a point about the band name, perhaps it’s the equivalent to Frank Beard being the only guy in ZZ Top without a beard?
They were heav
ily influenced by the Swedish band November at the time, and covered several songs. November was a very early Swedish proto-metal band, our equivalent to Cream but singing in Swedish. The musical influences from Black Sabbath and Mountain are greater on the overall music of Abramis Brama but I believe more people abroad should check out early Swedish rock, to see where all these contemporary bands parents used to listen to in the 70’s.
Many people thin
Swedish pop and rock history is lame, and it’s true that the early decades were very derivative of rock’n’roll and country – often with badly translated Swedish lyrics or just gibberish that was supposed to sound like English. But in the mid to late 60’s something happened, beat groups like Tages got more psychedelic and heavier, eventually exciting artists like Pugh Rogefeldt and Mikael Ramel came on the scene, progressive rock bands Trettioåriga Kriget, Samla Mammas Manna, the folk influenced Kebnekajse, there was Råg I Ryggen, Nature and also cool stuff from solo artists like John Holm. In some way, Abramis Brama has a connection to these traditions within Swedish music.
How do you approac
song writing and has it changed since you started the band?
The members of the 
band have changed over 20 years, and so has the writing. Previously, bass player Dennis also had a big part in the songwriting, but when he left the band in the fall of 2012 and I came in, they certainly didn’t get no replacement in that department. I don’t have those skills but more of a producers or managers mindset. But there was no doubt that guitarist Peo was more than capable of handling the writing, he wrote pretty much all the music for ”Tusen År”, except the one tune ”Vägen Ut”. That is a Swedish version of the Ashbury song “Vengeance” – speaking of the tradition of translating or re-imagining English or American music into Swedish. The choice of songs on this record was whichever ones fit well together to make an interesting journey, and I believe structuring an album – also bearing in mind the ebb and flow of two sides of a vinyl – is very important.

Where did you seek ins
piration for the songs on this record?
I don’t think you ever 
seek inspiration, but you’ll have to be ready to capture it once it comes. The process usually starts with Peo showing up with his musical ideas that he has been working on at home. Sometimes it’s just a riff on the guitar, sometimes it’s more of a completed idea for a song. We rehearse regularly and record rehearsals, so over the course of a year, a song will slowly form and singer Ulf Torkelsson will get ideas for lyrics and melodies. The process also becomes the inspiration to keep developing the songs. I remember trying out ”Tusen År” around the time we released the last album, ”Enkel Biljett” in 2014, but it had to go through a few different stages, fine-tuning of the parts and structure. We might go into some more details about the lyrics at a later stage – to help out the non-Swedes – but in short, that song is an observation on the religious-military complex throughout the last thousand years, which is what ”tusen år” actually means in Swedish.

How has the music industry
 changed since you started?
You know that! The Internet
! The disruption of all that we knew to be the music industry has meant radical changes for all musicians to be able to support themselves through album sales – while holding on to the nostalgic notion of the album as an art form. But on the other hand, if you are a true musician, you will find a way to keep going. You know what? Go listen to the song ”Everything Is Free” by Gillian Welch right now, one of the best songwriters of this generation. It should take 5 minutes and costs nothing.
So… In 1998, when Abramis Bram
released their first 12 track demo, MTV was everything, vinyl was obsolete, The Hellacopters were Sweden’s coolest rock’n’roll band, and most other CD’s were unfortunately 78 minutes long.
In 2008, digital downloads had a
lready had it’s heyday, The Hellacopters called it quits, Facebook and Spotify were just starting to break through.
In 2018, vinyl is again the premiu
medium, albums have 8-10 songs like they should have, and The Hellacopters are playing again!
It is a strange development, but I’m
 positive to these changes. The amount and quality of heavy music is great, the availability awesome, and the opportunity to make your voice heard is huge. You just got to want to.

What plans do you have for the future?
We are touring Sweden in May, opening foTiamat, which will be very good, and a handful of our own shows, and will continue throughout the year – hopefully also including some shows in the rest of Europe. We are currently getting a lot of attention from outside of Sweden, which I am happy about, and I hope everyone is able to get into the music. Peo’s throwing new riffs at us in rehearsals, we have a new label and certainly lots of plans for a few busy years to come. 

Abramis Brama

Abramis Brama-Tusen Review


Hailing from Sweden, Abramis Brama immediately stands out due to their unique name, the question though is whether their music delivers.

As the bass kicks off proceedings on Lpeld and the guitars come into play creating some swagger, the answer is a defiant yes. This song has got some real groove to it and is definitely going to be one for the books. Vem R Du is a bit like Velvet Revolver, it’s a mix of styles, with some definitive swagger and blues thrown in, an interesting combination. Tusen Ar is old school sixties rock, and with the added hitch of the harmonica is definitely a winner here. Slutet av tunneln, has the acoustic guitar knocked down, and the feeling that this is a song for reflection down pat.

Fel Kvninna ramps things up a considerable notch, getting the head moving and getting the heart racing. A real classic. Vgen Ut is Led Zeppelin, if it were done today. The riffs are driving, the vocals are diverse in their tone and stature. Hav Av Igner builds anticipation with the initial riffs and slowly works its way into an interesting little ditty with the movement of the bass and drums guiding the song. Ta mig tillbaka is long, brooding, chaotic, diverse and a fitting close to the album.

Be sure to get this record when it is released on 20th April via Black Lodge.