● Can you tell us the story behind your name?
We used to have a dog, an American bulldog named Wilson, who looked cute and scary at the same time and was the gentlest and most loving creature in the world – he might have kissed someone to death, but that was all. Anyway, these dogs and others like boxers and different breeds of mastiffs are called molossers – in Sweden at least. We liked the sound of it, plus that the mix of muscles, menace and gentleness seemed appropriate.
● We know that the two of you met in Gothenburg, where you both played in a variety of bands, how exactly did your project start?
For different reasons, we left the city and had to make do with the two of us. Molosser started out as an electric project with pretty heavy music, but when we rehearsed the songs on acoustic guitars we found that this gave us a much wider dynamic spectrum to work with. It turned into a project where our musical differences became a positive ingredient in making a kind of music neither of us had played – or heard – before. Also, it put our instrumental skills to test and forced us to evolve as musicians.
● Tell us more about your album “Appear,” how did you set the tone of its songs?
When we started working with the album, the plans were to record the songs in the “barebones” fashion with just the two guitars, recorded at the same time, and vocals. But then we started playing with the idea of making something that sounded more or less like a full band based on the two acoustic guitar parts but adding drums and a few overdubs here and there. A truly moronic project, really, but by using multiple microphones and placing them at different places in the mix it turned out pretty well in the end – and gave the album a unique sound. Also, we learned a lot about recording, mixing and – not least – playing in the process.
● Between making the original singles, and making the barebones live sessions, which style did you enjoy the most and feel more like you?
Making the album was interesting and fun, since it took us in directions we didn’t even know existed and helped us finding our own sound, but we find that we’re feeling more at home with the more direct expression of the barebones format. The next album will probably be more along those lines, a bit rougher and simpler in texture and sound. At the same time, the playing in itself is moving towards a looser structure as we get more and more confident and can step away from the main road without getting totally lost.
● If you had to choose one favourite song from the album, which would it be?
Probably “Unsolid”. That’s one track that feels thoroughly Molosser, both in the album and the barebones version, and can take a lot of beating without losing its inherent feeling. It has gone through many different phases, and there is an original recording that sounds totally different to what came out on the album. Maybe it will be included in a deluxe edition celebrating the 25th anniversary of “Appear”
● Did you have any amusing incidents while working on the album?
One thing we can laugh at now is how strong a force the thing called “psychoacoustics” can be – that what you hear is greatly influenced by what you think you’ll hear. Like when comparing different settings on a plug-in during the mixing process, both of us saying that “Yes, that one sounds so much better” – just to realize that the channel we’ve been manipulating was not at all the one we were listening to and the changes were all in our heads. That’s what too many hours in the studio will do to you.
Also, there’s always the cats. We have five cats who all love to be in the room when we play – but sometimes they want to participate too, and it can be pretty frustrating to listen to what is otherwise a perfect take and find that you have unwanted background vocals.
● Tell us more about how living in the country and becoming more connected to nature has influenced your music.
There is a common misconception that things are “happening” in the city and not in the countryside. We have found that it’s rather the other way around. In the city, or in the world of humans, generally, you have to do things for them to happen, and a lot of what’s happening is just human constructions that tend to fall apart if you look at them too closely. Whereas nature happens whether you’re there or not, regardless of if you’re a member of this club or that subculture, and nature always delivers. As soon as you step outside the door you can connect to the ground as well as to the skies above. If you just open your eyes there’s things to see everywhere, new stuff to discover along a path that you’ve already walked along a thousand times. And maybe that has put its mark on our music – the importance of the tiny variations, the fact that nothing looks the same from one day to the next but still is, on a fundamental level, itself. This might sound a bit over-philosphical, but actually it’s quite simple.
● Do you want to collaborate with another artist in the future? If so, who would you like it to be?
Not any specific artist, no. There are lots of people that we like and admire what they do, but right now we have a hard time fitting in all the notes and rhythms that we already play and sing between the two of us, and getting even more people into the concept … that might be hard. And it might be hard to fit us into someone else’s music.
Still, we have been talking with some guys we know in England about cooking something up together just for fun. We’ll see how that turns out.
One thing that we would like to do some day, though, is to work with a really good producer and see where someone else could take us and our music.
● Finally, thank you for your time, and please tell us more about your future plans.
Thank you for listening to the music and asking relevant questions!
We have a bunch of songs for a new album that we’re working on, so that’s what we’ll focus on in the near future. Maybe record some more barebones songs first to get to know the new, fantastic microphones we have bought and try out some ideas about mic placement and mixing – but no more live sessions with the guitars and the vocals at the same time, thank you very much. It makes for a good energy but is pure hell to mix due to all the leaking between the microphones.
– Review – Black Oak by MOLOSSER
– Review – Dive In by MOLOSSER
– Review – Unsolid by Molosser
– Review – Solid Gold by Molosser