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NUNN ON ONE: MUSIC Getting Persson-al with A Camp's Nina
by Jerry Nunn
2009-05-27

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A Camp is a Swedish supergroup composed of Nina Persson from The Cardigans and Niclas Frisk from Atomic Swing. While the group's first self-titled effort was only released as an import, the new CD, Colonia, brings them to the forefront in the United States.

Windy City Times: Hello, Nina! I have been such a fan of your voice through all the different styles of music through the years. How do you describe A Camp's style?

Nina Persson: That's a really hard question. I don't what we're doing. [ Laughs ] I sort of leave it up to everyone else to put names on it. We call it "powder pop" or rock music with makeup.

WCT: In what way has your husband, Nathan Larson ( from the group Shudder to Think ) , influenced your music?

NP: Since his "bread" job is to be a film composer, I think that has had a huge influence on the music. When he puts on a producer hat, he's such a creator of atmosphere. He great about analog keyboards, crazy sounds and effects. That's his big contribution—simply the sound and production.

WCT: You did a movie in 2006 called Om Gud vill. Do you want to do more acting?

NP: I am very passive in my movie career. That was my friend's debut as a director. It was a very comfortable environment for me—a total low-budget black-and-white movie with no complicated acting involved. Acting should not be taken lightly and you do need training. I respect actors a hell of a lot more after doing that film.

WCT: Is A Camp more of a band or solo act for you?

NP: It is a band, kind of. I took the first record on tour while Niclas and Nathan were part of producing and writing it with me. This time, we love each other's company and we were excited to hang out so we decided to make more of a band out of it. We are on tour now in Belfast and we have extra musicians with us as well.

I don't care how people market it. It's my main thing right now. It's equal in the amount of work as any Cardigans record. This is not a side thing because it's too much work for that.

WCT: After "Lovefool" was such a hit, did The Cardigans have a lot of pressure to make more chart toppers?

NP: There were certain expectations from record companies. They would have loved to have another "Lovefool." We didn't really want to make another one, and it's very dangerous to try to. After success like that, you have to wash your brain clean of it, just pretend like you never did it. It's going to haunt you if you try to repeat it. We just moved on. We had some minor hits after that, which was great but after that song took off, it was impossible to imitate.

WCT: You sang Dolly Parton's "I Will Always Love You" at the tribute concert in Stockholm, correct?

NP: Yes. That was part of a group but I sang several of her songs. I also sang "To Know Him is to Love Him" and "Daddy was an Old Time Preacher Man." We are huge fans and are also making a movie about it, a documentary where I am stalking her in Nashville. I got to meet her and give her a pair of Swedish clogs. She thought they were too low-heeled so she was going to have her shoe guy fix the heels.

WCT: That's hilarious. I am from Nashville and I have been to her house. Country music keeps calling you with the song "The Bluest Eyes in Texas" from the Boys Don't Cry soundtrack. How did that come about?

NP: I loved doing it. My husband did the score for that movie. The director wanted that song because the character loved to sing karaoke to it in real life, so we covered the song. So it's not really an A Camp song, but it's a song that we liked so much that we just slapped it on the first record.

WCT: Is the song "Stronger Than Jesus" about love versus religion? Because that sounds like a gay anthem to me, honey.

NP: We were making that tune and it's such a sing-along song, kind of like "Give Peace a Chance." I made up the words and it's just catchy. I respect religion but also like to poke fun at it. Religious people are so serious, and for me Jesus and God are inclusive and loving. We have a lot of Catholic fans and they are really upset but I don't see why.

WCT: I didn't take it like that at all. I just thought about love being the most important thing.

NP: Yes, it's another "Lovefool" where love makes people do fucking crazy things. It has big power over people and more than Jesus. That's what it's about to me.

WCT: I actually saw you perform at the Double Door years ago with the Cardigans, and I look forward to seeing you with this group!

NP: We are at the Double Door again. I love it! Come and see me after the show. You will have to get through my bodyguards, though.

A Camp will be performing at the Double Door, 1572 N. Milwaukee, on Wed., June 3, at 9 p.m. Tickets are only $15, for more information visit www.acamp.net or www.doubledoor.com .


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