Viva Sounds 2022: a festival of new, emerging and exciting music

Swedish festival Viva Sounds kicks off this week. Here's some of the stuff to check out from the 2022 line-up.

Swedish festival Viva Sounds kicks off this week. Here’s some of the stuff to check out from the 2022 line-up.


Sounds of the international underground. That’s the tag line Gothenburg’s Viva Sounds festival works to – and it fits, too. Bringing together a whole load of new, emerging, established and exciting talent from far and wide, it’s a great place to take the temperature of the music scene.

Kicking off this Friday (2nd December), the two day event – taking place across 10 clubs across the city – features some familiar names, from The Hidden Cameras and Bad Nerves to Girl Scout. But there’s also a whole load of acts that may need a bit more of an introduction too. We’ve rounded up some more local highlights from this year’s event, asked them a few questions, and gathered them below. Enjoy!

Hello Tilde, how has your 2022 been so far?
2022 has been quite a ride so far. Lots of stuff going on, both on a personal level and music wise. I’ve been recording a new album which I feel very excited about and yes, I can’t wait to share it!

Tell us about your band – who are you all, and how long have you been making music together?
Me and Simon (the guitarist) have known each other since we were like 12 and went to school together. He has been involved one way or the other in every album that I’ve made and he is the co-producer of my upcoming album that will be released next year. He is one of my favourite musicians- he’s so very talented and just the best. Axel who is playing the bass came into my life last year when we did a gig in the UK actually, at Focus Wales festival. He is also amazing and plays like everything. He has played with me since.

What’s the music scene like in your area of Sweden? Are there many opportunities for up and coming bands?
I’d say yes. There are quite a few venues and I feel the bookers are quick on giving opportunities to new emerging acts. Overall I think the music scene is very much alive and vibrant here. Gothenburg is a working class city and I think that you can hear that in the music coming from here. It’s a little more rough around the edges and less polished. In a good sense!

You’re about to play Viva Sounds, who else would you recommend on the line-up?
I wouldn’t miss Makthaverskan.

What else do you have going on at the moment?
I am just finishing my next album that will be released in 2023 so it’s a lot going on with that. It’s exciting and even though it’s a bit scary to say, I really feel like it’s the best album I’ve made so far.

Is there anything else we should know?
Keep your eyes open for a new single that will be released beginning of next year.

Hello Jack, how has your 2022 been so far?
I would say it’s been quite a euphoric year in general, except that the nazis won the election. 
A lot of high energetic shows and some very exciting collaborations that will be presented in the near future. We just got back from a tour in the south of Spain, so I’m not complaining right now. We might just move there.

Tell us about your band – who are you all, and how long have you been making music together?
We all grew up in the same travelling circus together, but after years of juggling and shovelling donkey shit, we decided that dry land wasn’t our thing.
So we bought an old wooden ship together and spent the next three years at sea, where the sound took shape. And we have been playin’ together ever since.
 
What’s the music scene like in your area of Sweden? Are there many opportunities for up and coming bands?
I think Gothenburg is full of really good bands and musicians, and some really nice venues too, but I guess it depends on what kind of opportunities you are looking for. The City is kinda fucking the” free culture” over with gentrification right now. Tearing down beautiful buildings that are housing important culture in different shapes and forms, to make place for fancy hotels and apartments that no one can afford.  

You’re about to play Viva Sounds, who else would you recommend on the line-up?
I haven’t really had time to check the line-up, but The Exorcist GBG is always a good choice.

What else do you have going on at the moment?
There’s a lot of good things cookin’ right now. We are gonna announce a bunch of upcoming shows soon, some live sessions that will be released and an album that’s in the making. 

Is there anything else we should know?
We never played in the UK, so feel free to hook us up.

Hello Felicia, how has your 2022 been so far?
2022 has been alright – ups and downs as always.

Tell us about your band – who are you all, and how long have you been making music together?
Spøgelse is dumb rock/drumken hardcore created by four westcoast fuck-ups: Rille plays the drums, Viktor is the main guitar dude, Anton plays the bass and I (Felicia) play guitar and yell.
We found each other through our love of beer, motörhead and ruthless hardcore. The three dudes started the band on a drunken night in 2019, and a couple of rehearsals later they asked me if I wanted to join the band. The original idea was to write songs that were fast, loud and straight forward. We want short songs with lots of attitude and cool riffs – we are simple people, really.

What’s the music scene like in your area of Sweden? Are there many opportunities for up and coming bands?
We are a Gothenburg based band (even though Felicia lives in Stockholm…for now) and we’ve all been really involved in the music scene in different ways: booking bands, playing in bands, going to shows, promoting local bands.. None of us is actually from Gothenburg, but the whole vibe here is very creative and DIY.
There are loads of smaller bookers and venues, and the independent music scene supports each other in a really great way, but a lot of places are fighting an uphill battle. Many venues and bookers are struggling with shitty neighbours, landlords and/or struggling to make ends meet. Hopefully the city won’t sacrifice the heart of Gothenburg by only caring about profitable arena shows instead of supporting smaller venues that make this city interesting.

You’re about to play Viva Sounds, who else would you recommend on the line-up?
Our buddy-band The Dahmers always gives a killer live show. I personally love Bad Nerves and I’m so stoked to see them play right before our show. I also recommend Pigman and The Exorcist GBG.

What else do you have going on at the moment?
We just released the second single from our upcoming album that will be released on 12″ vinyl by Welfare Sounds next year – finally! We have a lot of live shows planned, mostly in Stockholm and Gothenburg, for the first quarter of the year. And then we will have a huge release party. Looking forward to release the album, sell our merch, play new venues and cause some mayhem.

Is there anything else we should know?
Nah, not really. Just a friendly reminder to support your local scene, wherever that may be. Support what brings you meaning by buying beers, tickets, merch, records, you name it. Consumerism at its finest, really.

Hello Agge and Erik from Puppy Eyes, how has your 2022 been so far?
2022 started off pretty slow but lately we’ve been playing more shows, which is what we enjoy the most.

Tell us about your band – who are you all, and how long have you been making music together?
Puppy Eyes is about three years old, though we’ve been playing music together in a lot of different ways for over 10 years.

What’s the music scene like in your area of Sweden? Are there many opportunities for up and coming bands?
Gothenburg’s music scene is very much alive! It’s a pretty diverse scene, you have metal bands, next to indie bands, next to hip hop groups, next to jazz groups, and a lot of good rave opportunities. I would say that Gothenburg, compared to Stockholm, is a lot easier on upcoming bands. People really enjoy going to see shows here in Gothenburg and there’s a bunch of really good venues here, so you have to be grateful for that.

You’re about to play Viva Sounds, who else would you recommend on the line-up?
Go see Girl Scout! Emma, the singer, is from our hometown and we go way back. They’re really really really good and very cool people.

What else do you have going on at the moment?
We’re just looking for gigs! Oh and we’re gonna do some recording pretty soon. We recorded our first EP ourselves, and we’re thinking about doing that again. DIY is king.

Is there anything else we should know?
Yeah, don’t get sucked into this Black Friday stuff. It’s stupid consumerism propaganda. Just come see us and all the other bands at Viva Sounds.

Hello Anton, tell us about your band – who are you all, and how long have you been making music together?
We are a four piece solid rock band from Gothenburg. In this outfit, we have been making music together since late 2018.
All of us have been part of different bands and projects before the marvellous invention we call Hot Breath.

What’s the music scene like in your area of Sweden? Are there many opportunities for up and coming bands?
Gothenburg is known for being a good melting pot for all types of bands. I would say the scene is still very healthy and thriving.
There is all ways someone somewhere that would want to start a band with you. You just have to know where to look. Create your own map and start searching!

You’re about to play Viva Sounds, who else would you recommend on the line-up?
I would like to catch Exorcist GBG and Rokets! I have to admit I don’t have a lot of knowledge of all the bands on the bill.
The Dahmers are always good, don’t think I will miss them since we are playing the same stage the same night.

What else do you have going on at the moment?
We have started to look at new songs. We got booked to Sweden Rock Festival pretty recently.
That will be a lot of fun. Guess I have to buy a cheap cowboy hat for that one!

Is there anything else we should know?
McDonalds’ new burger “cheddar dijon” was pretty decent. But we hoped for more. It’s worth a try though!

Hello Boy With Apple, who are you all and how has your 2022 been so far?
We are a group of friends trying to find our place in the world and create a meaningful existence by making music. More specifically we are Zara (vocals, synth), Saga (vocals, bass), Tim (guitar) and Valle (guitar). So far this year has been a mix of things! A lot of good things, like releasing our three singles at the start of the year and playing our first gig outside of Sweden in Austria.

Tell us about your band – how long have you been making music together?
As friends and as bandmates we go way back. Tim and Valle are practically brought up together. They started a grunge band as teenagers, which Zara and Saga joined and the sound transformed into indie rock and subsequently shoegaze. Even back then it was obvious that creating art and playing in a band was something we all were passionate about. After that the band broke apart. But Tim and Saga kept the flame alive by starting Boy With Apple in 2019. Thanks to them we’re still doing the same thing, but on a higher level. What we play now is best described as dream pop or shoegaze but we don’t actively try to play a specific genre. Our music is just an expression of what we listen to and are inspired by, which changes over time.

What’s the music scene like in your area of Sweden? Are there many opportunities for up and coming bands?
Gothenburg has kind of a tradition of being a place for alternative music (as well as some mainstream music). A lot of the bands we like are people we might pass by on the street or lock eyes with at a bar. It’s a nice medium size pond where we’ve gotten to become friends with a lot of people we look up to. Playing good music and making friends makes you a small part of that ecosystem. So there’s definitely opportunities, as long as the things you make are good, things are gonna come your way.

You’re about to play Viva Sounds, who else would you recommend on the line-up?
Makthaverskan and 7ebra. Makthaverskan is such a staple band in the indie music scene in Gothenburg and in Sweden, and they are really great live also. 7ebra we played with earlier this year in Malmö and they are great!

What else do you have going on at the moment?
We’re just trying to capture the current energy and momentum we have and channel it into new music, new experiences and personal growth. Coming up is probably recording and releasing the new songs we’ve written this year. We are not committed to a fixed sound or the shoegaze label so hopefully the new material will sound fresh and fun. We know that we’ve been promising an album for a really long time…

Is there anything else we should know?
In March we’ll be playing the new colossus festival in New York, Manhattan which will be really fun and a new milestone for the band! Otherwise everyone should follow our instagram to keep track of our troublemaking @boywithappl.

Viva Sounds takes place in Gothenburg, Sweden from 2nd-3rd December. Visit vivasounds.se for more information.

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