Benny featured in Dagens Nyheter article

Benny speaks about his influences and the fact that now everyone asks him about Mamma Mia! instead of about the other music he is making.

Benny Andersson – Photo: Elis Hoffman (Dagens Nyheter)

Thanks to the Official ABBA Fan Club:

In a DN newspaper interview, Benny complained that nobody was asking him about the music anymore but rather about MM! Here are some interstesting extracts:

When asked about Gammal Fäbodspsalm that he played as an intro on the 1979 tour, he said, ”I played it so that the audience knew where we were coming from, that we grew up with the Swedish folk music.” He added, ”I don’t know my jazz, I don’t know my soul, I don’t know my blues either. But I feel absolutely home in the Swedish musical tradition. I would never want to live abroad, and that has a lot to do with how the music sounds here.”

”Writing music is also about being born with a talent. In 45 years, I have written about 24 albums, that is about 16 hours of music and makes 20 minutes of music a year. And then I haven’t done much else during those years other than to sit by the piano and try and try. It can take me a month to find eight bars that are good enough.

Benny said that he missed not being active in politics in the 60s and 70s. ”I was totally absorbed with how things should sound like. Here we have a song, how can we deal with it in the best possible way? That was all that mattered. And we really did the best we could; all my time was spent writing and working. But it is a correct analysis of the group (ABBA). For those who were looking for the feeling of uproar or protest, there wasn’t much to find with us. But when I was in the Hep Stars in the 60s, then it was full speed, almost like a war.

I know what fantastic power there can be in a melody, and it is a privilege to work with something that affects people so strongly. The best thing is if you can keep a melody as simple as possible and then dress it in different things afterwards. And it has to differ from any other melodies, and then I really mean ANY other melody. That is a point of honour, but I don’t know if I have succeeded every time.

Asked about The Day Before You Came, Benny said, "This is not melancholic song; it is sad. There is something special about this one, it still gets hold of me today, and that is both because of the lyrics and because of the way Agnetha sings it. It’s rare that I feel like that about something that I have written myself.

Dagens Nyheter – Med vemodet som ständig följeslagare

8 thoughts on “Benny featured in Dagens Nyheter article”

  1. The picture – looks quite strange and interesting at the same time. Is it a painting? Where is it taken? What about the black bird on the antique piano?

  2. Benny is brilliant! I can’t wait to see Kristina here in the US. I love the new ‘Story Of A Heart’ album too!

  3. Hi ICE

    Thanks for bringing us (ABBA/Benny fans) this article. I appreciate this.

    Benny Andersson is simply the Master of Music!

    Kind Regards
    Samuel Inglles

  4. It’s a good article.The full version in Swedish and my translation of it isn’t great but it’s quite sad as Benny talks about more time has passed than is left,quite a deep interview really.
    The interview was done in a studio at Mono music with Benny and the interviewer listening to various pieces of music.
    Someone do a real in depth interview about music with the genius as he seems quite down over just being questioned over ‘mamma mia’and nothing else.
    The Steve Wright interview on radio 2 recently was the best heard in a long long time.
    Interesting he appreciates ‘The day before you came’ now as he used to wish they had let Agnetha ‘sing’ the song in older interviews.

  5. I Agree with Darrens comment regarding what Benny says about "The Day Before You Came".
    It’s interesting to me as Benny has stated in many interviews once he’s finished with a song he doesn’t often look back.
    Most of us analyse each song to bits so it’s nice to know Benny is sharing in that experience.
    I appreciate he must be throughly sick of the whole "Mamma Mia" bandwagon by now and is the "Point Of Honour" statement a regret about the rehash of "I Am The Seeker" on B.A.O 3…I feel that should have been left well alone.

  6. Here is one breakdown of the 24 albums of original material he has done-Hep Stars 4, Bjorn and Benny 1, ABBA 8, Chess 2, Gemini 2, Josefin Nilsson 1, Benny Andersson solo 2, Benny Andersson Orkester/Band 4. Of course, one could fiddle with the numbers here and there.

  7. Thanks for posting this- it’s interesting. I can understand how he must be fed up with being asked about ‘Mamma Mia’ by now!I think with the ‘point of honour’ bit, he mainly meant other people’s melodies.But think of how many Abba songs there were-and they were all different!
    On another subject, about the Steve Wright interview- I agree with Darren and I’m surprised no one else has really mentioned that on here.Steve seemed genuinely interested,and gave him more time than his normal guests, and I liked that he played ‘Move On’ as his favourite at the end-I’ve only ever heard that(on radio) on his show! By the way does anyone know if it’s still possible to find a podcast/recording of that?- as I taped it on old-fashioned cassette which promptly got chewed!(how primitive!)

  8. Benny´s playing is at total different way to play than any other pianists. He have a great feeling for the classical music. He´s not at rock and roller as much as he compare with Mozart ore Chopin. It is wonderful to hear him playing alone. And dont remember he learnt to play by himself. He doesent read notes.

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