Alpaca Sports is the project of Andreas Jonsson, and with the help from his talented friends, Alpaca Sports create uplifting and bouncy indie-pop gems. We’ve been fans of Andreas’ work since the beginning of the project, and it was a true pleasure catching up with the songwriter, vocalist, and guitarist in this interview! With a debut album, Sealed With A Kiss (pre-order here), scheduled for release this Monday the 24th, we spoke about studio highlights, meaningful lyrics, and trading places with Gene Simmons.
AMBY: Hello Alpaca Sports, welcome back to AMBY! How have you been?
Alpaca Sports: Hi Alicia! We’ve been very good, thank you! 2013 was an amazing year for us.
AMBY: Your debut album Sealed with a Kiss comes out this week. What’s the significance behind the album’s title?
Alpaca Sports: The title and the songs on the album are very much inspired by love letters. I came up with the name after watching the British movie “Melody” (UK title “S.W.A.L.K” Sealed with a loving kiss) from 1971 which is about two twelve year old kids who declares to their parents that they want to get married. It’s so sweet! I can highly recommend it.
AMBY: Which songs off the LP are your favourite?
Alpaca Sports: I’d like to say all songs, but that’s boring right? So maybe “She’ll come back for Indian summer” and “He doesn’t even like you”. But that changes from day to day. “As long as I have you” and “I was running” are definitely up there somewhere when it comes to playing live. And “Just for fun”. Now I feel like I want to apologize to the rest of the songs.
AMBY: What is one reason people should be majorly psyched about Sealed with a Kiss?
Alpaca Sports: The songs. I hate to break this to you, but we’re not so much about sex, drugs and rock’n’roll, haha. So instead of all that we put our hearts into writing pop songs we could feel proud of and I must say I’m more than happy with how the album turned out. Can’t wait for it to finally be released!
AMBY: While recording the album, what were some of the highlights you had?
Alpaca Sports: One big highlight for me was the recordings of the first single. I was so happy with how the songs turned out (way over my highest expectations) and that gave me a lot of inspiration to continue writing and recording new songs. I was especially very nervous about singing and these two songs helped me increase my self-esteem.
Another highlight was to work with producer Kalle von Hall. We have a great time together and his studio is amazing. It’s filled with so many great vintage instruments, amps, organs, microphones, speakers etc. We always play around with lots of different instruments, rhythms, effects, sounds etc. before we decide what works best in the end. No ideas are too crazy to try out and I really like that.
AMBY: Tell me a bit about your writing process. How do you start writing a song and who writes what?
Alpaca Sports: It can look a bit different from song to song. But I guess on most of the songs I record a simple demo first in my country house situated 2 hours away from Gothenburg. That’s a place that inspire me a lot (and in the beautiful artwork Ray Kimura did for the album you can see the train station of this little village “Råbäck” in the background). Then I show this demo to my friend Carl and he gives his suggestions and thoughts on what to do with the song, and then we take it from there. Then I record another demo before we’re trying it out with the rest of the band.
AMBY: You recently released your video for Just like Johnny Marr. What inspired that song?
Alpaca Sports: It’s about trying to save a relationship, no matter what it takes. And the fear of losing the one you love and ending up alone with a broken heart. I would never be able to play guitar just like Johnny Marr, just so you know.
AMBY: If you could trade places with another artist in the music industry for one day, who would it be?
Alpaca Sports: Gene Simmons from Kiss. I know nothing about the band, or Gene, but I think it could be fun to dress up in that costume and to put on crazy make-up for one day. And I would do Gene’s famous tongue pose all the time.
I used to have a Kiss-pin on my jacket when I was 6-7 years old. But I stopped wearing it and threw it away immediately after my older brother said it was “kiss” on it (kiss means urine in Swedish).
AMBY: What was the best release of 2013?
Alpaca Sports: The best release (and best looking) was definitely the “Scared to get Happy”-compilation that was released by Cherry Red Records. They describe it as “A story of indiepop 1980-1989” and it includes five discs with so many of my favourite bands. The Brilliant Corners, The Hit Parade, Fantastic Something, Aztec Camera, The Wild Swans, The Rosehips and many, many more.
AMBY: Lastly, what’s something about Alpaca Sports that nobody knows yet?
Alpaca Sports: Hmm, that nobody knows yet? Haha, our drummer Hampus is a big fan of ABBA and often ends up playing their greatest hits (he calls it his “ABBA-medley”) at after parties, after our shows. Please feel free to join us and sing along if we ever get the chance to visit your city!
Thank you Alpaca Sports, for giving us your answers!
Alicia Atout | @AliciaAtout