1883 Magazine

"Say what you want to say. Do it as loud as you want. Be different, be weird, be ugly, be too much, fuck as much as you want and question everything." – That is exactly what Swedish punk-pop band The Magnettes are about.

Re-defining the meaning of ugly as cool, the band have released critically acclaimed singles which showcase the importance of being your true self. Just recently they have released their debut album Ugly Youth, an album with deep, meaningful songs which will make you think. We sat down with them at Junk Yard Golf on Brick Lane and had a chat about Ugly Youth, swedish minorities and more.

Hey! So first of all, who are The Magnettes?

Tomas: I’m Tomas. I’m the beat guy, the producer.

Sanna: I’m Sanna, I’m 23 and this has been part of my whole life. I’m a singer.

Rebecka: My name is Rebecka, and I sing, write and co-produce a little bit.

How did you guys meet?

Sanna: We went to school together, we met when we were 5! We met Thomas when we were 15, we were playing music by then. He was always a part of it but in different ways. Once we started writing together he slowly became a natural part of us.


You recently dropped an album titled ’Ugly Youth’, what story is behind the album name?

Sanna: The album is written about adolescene, growing up, being from a small town with patriarchy. That’s the youth part of fit. The ugly part of it is to redefine the word ugly. Ugly is beautiful, ugly being interesting, as being the rawest and realest version of yourself which we found interesting. That’s what we wanted to emphasize.

What’s each favourite track off it?

Rebecka: Mine is ’Killers in a Ghost Town’, we’ve been playing it for a long time. It’s about friendship. I also love ’Renegates’.

Tomas: ’Killers’ is pretty central, the lo-fi sounds and guitars and all that. But I’m also very keen on ’Parking Lot’.

Sanna: It’s ’Killers’, it’s who we are. I also always had a love for ’Lovers/Losers’. It’s the dorky song of the album.

Interesting! So tell us more about the language Meankeli.

Sanna: In Sweden we are part of a minority. We have this minority language which is a mix between Swedish and Finnish and mostly old people talk that to each other. The language is about to disappear because we can’t talk it really.

Our village is ten minutes from the border so people talk Finnish. So our language is semi-swedish.

I didn’t even know there was a minority in Sweden!

Sanna: Yeah, they tried everything to wash it out, even with last names. My last name Swedish but it would actually be different in Meankeli. They think it’s better to have a Swedish last name.

So your ethos is to stand out from the crowd, how did that attitude come about?

Sanna: We have always been different growing up. Wem ade a choice not to be in the norm, so that’s also what our record is about. It’s about being an outcast, finding your identity and all that.

Coming from Sweden, has the musical legacy from ABBA inspired you in any way at all?

Rebecka: I think in some sort of way it has, we just don’t know how.

Tomas: I never really listened to them.

Sanna: I did!

Rebecka: Even if you don’t choose to listen to them, you just know the songs.

Tomas: I never consciously listened just because they were Swedish.

Where else do you draw inspiration from?

Sanna: A lot from girl bands in the 90’s, the feminist punk scene. We have a punk background so it sticked with us. But also the Top 40, Katy Perry and Lady Gaga for example. Also Disco.

Did you find it hard to emerge in your small town?

Sanna: We always had a lot of support. We are lucky that we get to receive so much support. We played a festival there and everyone knew the songs which feels great. It’s support from young girls, classmates, everyone.

What was the funniest experience while touring?

Sanna: One day in London at a hotel we were meant to stay in a room upstairs but somehow we ended up in the basement. We all shared a room, suddenly somebody knocked so we yelled "it’s the wrong room", and he responded "do you want to have some fun?“. Thomas was quiet so he must have thought it was only two girls in there. We put all our luggage against the door!

The Magnettes debut album ’Ugly Youth’ is out now via iTunes.
For all their latest new head to www.themagnettes.se

Interview Antonia Künzel

Photography Joseph Sinclair

Location Junk Yark Golf, London

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