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Interview with The Exploding Boy.

The Exploding Boy is one of the bands that I listen to a lot since their first releases, over a decade now. ElektroSpank spoke with one of the founding members, Johan Sjöblom, and what he told us is really interesting. Things for a band that has been one of the first ones that gave a new perspective on post-punk and dark indie music.

The Exploding Boy is a Swedish post-punk, dark indie band and was formed back in 2006 from Johan Sjöblom and Lars (Les) Andersson. Since their first releases and appearances they were spotted by major media as one of the best new bands when it comes to post-punk, new wave and related genres. Nowadays and after several member changes The Exploding Boy returned with their 5th full-length album released in 2018, with the name "Alarms!" and a turn in the lyrics to a more social concept. 

We found Johan Sjöblom a while after the end of their "Alarms!" tour and asked him about the band's past, present and future....

ES: Hello Johan. Thank you, and The Exploding Boy, for this interview. Can you tell us about The Exploding Boy? When did you decide to form the band? What is the story behind the name "The Exploding Boy"?

Johan (TEB): It was me and Les who started it all in 2006. I had played in a couple of bands but had played bass for a couple of years in the latest band, so I wanted to write songs and sing again. Then I was dj together with a guy at a party, and when I visited him I saw he had sort of a studio at home. So we suddenly started making songs together, and they were great from the start!

Every saturday we came with a new song to a club where a friend was a dj, and he played it every time, and asked if we needed people in the band, and since it was only me and Les we took him and two of his friends in the band. And suddenly the early exploding boy was born!

I just thought the name was cool. I know it was a cure-song, but I thought it sounded a bit Bowie and Iggy Pop as well. I told Les the name, he liked it and then the name was born!

ES: There are many different influences that someone could listen in your music. Where would you position the band music-wise? Which are the main influences?

Johan (TEB): All the members always had different influences. Me: Indie, Les: Grunge, Nick: Goth & 80s, Stefan: Punk, and so on, so the mix I would say is the magic. Since we write "just great own songs" people have a hard time to tell who we sound like. Of course the sound of the instruments can sound like bands, for example a chorus guitar like the cure on so on, but I think a band have a sound of their own if people have a hard time telling who we sound like.

We always said post-punk or so, but now the label has said Dark Indie, which we think feel good.

ES: While writing the music and lyrics where do you get the inspiration from? Do you get affected by specific events or feelings?

Johan (TEB): We are 2 making the grounds in the songs, so I can just speak for me, but I would say I like dark sad songs. I think that is the only way to do a great song. But I don't do them when I feel bad, then I just feel bad. I make great sad songs when I feel good and are inspired. Or if it is in a hurry to do a new song, I take it as a work. Have a whiskey or two, and work until the song is done!

ES: While reading "The Exploding Boy" 's bio someone could say that the band was immediately accepted and became rapidly known not only in Sweden but around the world, as well. Did you expect such a reaction from the audience and the media? Do you think that, along with your music, this factor boosted The Exploding Boy future course?

Johan (TEB): Hmm, we have never been big in Sweden. Only our friends like us here :) Maybe some others as well... But it was true in the beginning, we got "big" pretty fast, mostly in Germany. But then it sort of stood still. Maybe we should have toured more or something, because we released albums and always got really good reviews, but we never really got bigger than that. On the latest album it has spread a bit more I think, but I'm still waiting for the big breakthrough...

But yes, I understand that people like our songs. They are all great, we could never release a song on an album that wasn't good.

ES: In 2018 your last full length album "Alarms!" was released. Can you tell us some things about this release? Does "Alarms!" differ from your previous albums, in any way, and which are the main differences and influences?

Johan (TEB): We have 2 new members, a drummer and a bass player. And we have a producer! We've been doing it ourselves the first ten years, and been working with a drum machine since the drummer we had in the beginning quitted the band together with the bass player after the first album in 2007. 

So even if there is the same 3 people who makes the songs, there are 6 people involved with the details and deciding. And of course we have real drums and a kick ass bass player.

It is also the first album in 5 years, so we had time to write some great songs, and I think we did. As usual :)

ES: "Alarms!" has been out for over 6 months. What was the audience's reaction on the album? Which was the feedback from media?

Johan (TEB): As usual it was great from media. People liked it as well, but I've heard some say they think it is too "mainstream" or something. I don't know what they mean. I've always only wanted to write really good pop songs, and still do. And we've always done kind of "arena music", and this album is far more arena music than any of the albums.

I also must say, I'm not really a fan of political lyrics, but since the world looks like it is at the moment, we just HAD to do something about it, and I must say I am very proud of doing a VERY political album that works as a great pop album as well.

ES: You have just finished the "Alarms!" tour around  Europe. Can you tell us the best and the worst moment of this tour? Is there a specific concert that you will remember as the tour's highlight?

Johan (TEB): I think the whole tour was a highlight, since we haven't been on a club-tour like this for a lot of years, and we could meet all the old friend and fans again. Hmm I had a bad hangover one time, but I can't really think of a worst moment. It was just good moments. A couple of new cities and countries we've never played in. Italy, Prague for example, it was just wonderful. We must also come to Greece in the future for the first time!

ES: How do you see the dark and post-punk scene in Europe? Do you see some changes compared with the time you started, before over a decade?

Johan (TEB): Yes, it's been a lot more. Especially from Sweden. We were the first band who started playing in Germany and the countries, and now there is a lot of Stockholm bands doing it. I think some are good, but sadly I think a lot of them sounds a lot the same. I am missing a personal sound, but well, if people like it, who am I to complain! I'm always going to think that I am the best, so...

ES: Which are your plans for the future? Which are the next steps and what do you want 2019 and the future to bring for "The Exploding Boy"?

Johan (TEB): Not sure at the moment. We want to straighten this band up a little bit, make some new songs and have a couple of cool festival shows. But at the moment we are relaxing a bit and wait for our next move. But you'll hear from us pretty soon!

ES: Would you like to say something to our readers and Greek dark scene audience?

Johan (TEB): Yes, if you haven't heard about us, check us out, and take us to Greece for a show. We really want to come over! xxx


The Exploding Boy - The Day - Official lyric video



The Exploding Boy on Spotify


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About ElektroSpank - FMA - Online Music Magazine

ElektroSpank FMA is an online music magazine about the darkest side of our lives.

We write about Gothic, industrial, dark wave and all of their sub genres. ElektroSpank FMA is not only about music, but for the dark, Gothic lifestyle as well. We try to support the music and scenes we love. For those who have never heard about ElektroSpank before please visit our about page for more info and history.


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