PSYCH ONATION

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This interview with Vilavion Hagman of Psych Onation was done face to face by Matilda Einemo on June 21st, 2006.

Vilavion Hagman (also called Villa) works as a tailor in Gothenburg, sewing stage-costumes for others. But once in a while she puts on her straightjacket and enters the stage as the rock star we all want to be. My first impression of this energetic woman was received at such a time when she was strutting around the stage. Villa is the vocalist in Psych Onation, a young Swedish band that features the former members from Lambretta, Petter Lantz and Marcus Nowak.

How come you started singing with Psych Onation?
I had recorded a demo and when I met an old friend that I hadnít seen in years I gave her a copy of it. She happened to be married to Petter Lantz (one of Psych Onationís initiators) and a week later Petter called me and asked me if I wanted to come and sing with them. And I justÖ excuse me? But then I did, so I just happened to be there at the right time.

And it all has happened quite fast as I understand it?
Yes it has. And I couldnít even imagine that we would go half as far as we already have. But that everything has happened so quickly is mostly due to that Marcus and Petter have done this before.

Tell me about your musical background.
I have mostly been singing to the radio and in the shower. Then I have some friends that have been playing music so I have been helping them some, but I have mostly been singing in the shower.

What music do you listen to and who are your vocal role model?
I prefer to listen to music like Pearl Jam, Queen, Sheryl Crowe and Heather Nova. I donít know about the role model, Heather Nova is very different from Psych Onation. It is depending on my mood I guess, I donít even listen to that much music anymore. The more music you work with the less time youíve got to listen to it. When I came home after recording the album I just want it to be quiet for a while.

Tell me about the album Symphony of Death.
We recorded it in Petterís studio. We were there for 3-4 days, went home for a while and then went back and recorded some more so it has been a lot of travelling there and back. There were some songs before we started because Petter and Marcus had been thinking about this project before the rest of us joined. It was a good thing that we had some material to star with, the rest have we worked out together and It has been a lot of fun. I have been writing most of the lyrics together with Petter and we have both been writing some on our own as well.

The Lyrics are angry and aggressive, are you an angry person?
It is a good way to get the aggressions out of the system, out with the old and in with the new so to speak.

How would you describe Psych Onations music to someone that never has heard about the band?
I would describe it as harder rock, but still quite commercial since the vocal is very melodic. I think it can appeal to many that doesnít usually listen to heavier music.

How do you feel about the PR work that you need to do now, like answer stupid questions from people like me?
I still find it rather fun. But the others in the band are a little sick of it since they have been doing this for ten years already.

Have you been reading any of the reviews of the album?
Yes I have been reading those that I have found on the internet. And yesterday there was a review in Expressen (Swedish newspaper) and they expressed the opinion that I needed a vocal cord operation. We have mostly received really bad reviews and I thought that I should have a harder time dealing with the criticism. But now I just think they could write whatever they want, they should try to do it better themselves. I meanÖ a vocal cord operation, so I should sound like everyone else? That would be really boring.

Many of the reviewers have compared you to Guano Apes, what do you feel about that?
That is a weird comparison since I donít think we sound like them at all, but I guess I should be happy about it since I like Guano Apes. It is funny when they try to compare you to other bands and it is fun to read the complaints that some have. In one of the reviews the main complaint seemed to be about the logo and I cant help wonder if that person could not find anything about the music to complain about. It is laughable.

Will there be any tour for Psych Onation ahead?
I think so, all the dates are not confirmed yet but there are a lot going on. During the summer there will be some shows here and there and some showcase gigs, the tour will be in the autumn.


Links of interest:

Psych Onation