If you’re from Sweden and you listen to indie music, chances are you know and love Ane Brun. For those of us state side, chances are you will soon know and love her. With two previous studio albums released in Europe, Brun’s upcoming Changing of the Seasons is being released in the United States and will certainly garner her more and more American recognition. Her hauntingly beautiful singer/songwriter style has earned her comparisons to artists like Feist and Neko Case. Not only that, but the songstress started her own record label in 2002 called DerErMine Records. BTR asked Brun about her distinctive writing style and her decision to start her own label.
BTR: When did you start writing music?
AB: I wrote my first song ten years ago. It was in Spanish, a song about loneliness and love…of course.
BTR: How did you know that it was what you wanted to do?
AB: I fell in love with playing the guitar and singing when I was about 21, and I did it night and day for the first couple of years after that. Then later I started writing music and lyrics and it got a more deeper meaning to me. And when I had released my first album I went from being a full-time university student to being a full-time musician. Somehow I had a theory that I didn’t want to make my music my job, because I was afraid to ruin the magical therapeutic effect it had on me. But now, 5 years after my first album was released, I still love playing music even though it´s not just a hobby anymore.
BTR: What inspires you most when you’re writing songs?
AB: Situations and people in my life. Thoughts and existential wonderings. Many songs are interpretations of moments or meetings with people.
BTR: What do you see as the main differences in the Swedish and US indie music scenes, especially with more Swedish artists breaking through both markets like Jens Lekman, for instance? Is Sweden the next Montreal?
AB: I can’t really speak for the Canadian indie scene, but the Swedish indie scene is very vital at the moment. There are several indie labels and artists with their own labels doing really well. Many traditionally non-commercial artists and labels are establishing as the most important ones in the Scandinavian music scene.
BTR: What motivated you to start your own label?
AB: At the time I really just wanted to record the songs I had written and have a real album so that I could get better gigs and to sell the album to my fans. I talked to a couple of labels, but my suspicions were right, it was slow and difficult to get them started. So I decided to use that energy on doing it myself. My ambitions were small and reasonable, and I was really surprised when my distributors decided to release my debut album all over Europe. All of the sudden I was touring and doing interviews in Berlin, Amsterdam and Paris. It was an adventure! But difficult to run the label at the same time, so I started working with my manager back then. And that saved me.
BTR: Has that been a good experience for you?
AB: I don’t regret starting my own label at all. It´s been difficult at times, but mostly just very inspiring and creative to be able to make all decision myself. The most important factor is the freedom of choosing when to be creative. I have never been in the situation where I either have to wait or rush a creative moment like an album release or a tour. It’s always been my call. I think this has been important to me, and it has kept me inspired.
BTR: What artists are you listening to right now that you think should get more recognition and who do you particularly like at the moment?
AB: Tobias Froberg, Nina Kinert, Don´t Be A Stranger, Wendy McNeill. I listen a lot to Joan As Policewoman and Bon Iver.
Catch Ane Brun on tour all over the world!
10/28 – Cafe Du Nord – San Francisco, CA
10/30 – Hotel Cafe – Los Angeles, CA
11/1 – Schubas Tavern – Chicago, IL
11/7 – El Mocambo – Toronto, Ontario
11/8 – Les Saints – Montreal, Quebec
11/11 – Great Scott – Allston, MA
11/12 – Union Hall – Brooklyn, NY
11/21 – Cultureel Podium Roepaen – Ottersum, Netherlands
11/23 – Tromp Festival – Eindhoven, Netherlands