A couple of weeks back, we interviewed Elin Lanto. She’s just about to release her new single in Sweden, ‘Love Made Me Stupid’, and of course it’s been announced this morning that she will be competing in Melodifestivalen 2010 with the song ‘Doctor Doctor’. After that, she’ll be releasing her new album – which we’ve been looking forward to for some time! She’s already blessed us with the singles ‘Speak N Spell’, ‘Favourite Pair Of Jeans’, and ‘Discotheque’, so it’s pretty clear that this album is going to be something pretty special. So we wanted to ask her more about it.
We also wanted to speak to her about Melodifestivalen. Even before we spoke to her, we knew that she was going to be participating. But we weren’t quite sure if she’d be willing to talk about it, given that nobody is supposed to know about it until the official announcement from SVT this morning! In the end though, she agreed to speak about it on the condition that we didn’t put the interview online until after the announcement. And of course we stayed true to our word! And are delighted to present the full, frank, and funny interview here;
scandipop: Hello Elin, how are you?
Elin: Hello! I’m in the car and it’s raining and so cold in Sweden!
scandipop: Oh dear. Isn’t it nice and warm in the car?
Elin: No it isn’t, because I just got here.
scandipop: And what are you up to today, where are you going in the car?
Elin: I’m in a city called Uppsala, I don’t know if you’ve heard of it. But it’s a university town. Oh and this is my first interview in English, so you’ll have to help me with some of the words! (laughs)
scandipop: Really? This is your first ever English interview?
Elin: Yeah, so maybe you’ll have to help me. (laughs)
scandipop: Well hopefully it won’t be your last, as you become a global superstar!
Elin: Yes, ha ha, I hope not! But this one is my first.
scandipop: Ah ok. So you’re getting ready for the release of your new single in Sweden, ‘Love Made Me Stupid’. When does it come out?
Elin: In Sweden, it’s released in the beginning of December. In a couple of weeks. People have seen the video, but the song hasn’t been released yet.
scandipop: And has it been getting much radio play?
Elin: Well we sent it to radio two days ago. So it should start this week. But I hope it will!
scandipop: Ok. Well the video is great isn’t it? It’s quite the masterpiece, but also quite dark too. What did you think of the finished video when you first saw it?
Elin: Well I like to be involved with everything going on around my music, so I was seeing the video from the very start, from even the first ten seconds they got. And I was saying I want more of this or less of this! So I saw it from Day 1. But I love it. I love that it’s not a Barbie video! It’s pretty easy to look beautiful in a video, all you need is the long blonde hair and the blue eyes. But I wanted it to be a little deeper and a little darker. The song tells a story, and I wanted the video to tell it too.
scandipop: Well yeah, the song and the video are certainly well suited. So it’ll be the fourth single to be released from your forthcoming album. Will the three previous singles all be on there? ‘Discotheque’, ‘My Favourite Pair Of Jeans’, and ‘Speak N’ Spell’.
Elin: Yeah I hope they will be. But we haven’t really decided yet if they will be on there. When I recorded ‘Discotheque’ and ‘Speak N Spell’, we were doing songs that were more disco. But the new songs are more pop and rock, with a bit of punk in there. So we’ll have to record them again if we want them on the album, to sound more like…….I want ‘Love Made Me Stupid’ to be the sound of the album, and I want all songs on there to sound like that. Because that’s the best song, I think.
scandipop: Ok, so if ‘Discotheque’ wants to be on there then it needs to be re-recorded in a different style.
Elin: Exactly. But I love ‘Discotheque’ as well, so we will probably record that one again. You will recognise it, but with more guitars.
scandipop: Ok. We’re really looking forward to your new album because we’ve loved everything you’ve released recently. But when you say that your new sound will be more rock, will it still be a lot more electronic than your first album, ‘One’? As ‘Love Made Me Stupid’ is?
Elin: Oh yes! That was a long time ago. These new songs will be much more disco. It’s not rock in that way, these are pop songs. But with some guitars in it. But it’s pop, I’m a pop girl! I don’t want it to be rock, because that’s not me. I’m a dancer and I’ve been dancing since I was five years old. So when I perform on stage I want to have dancers, I want it to be a good show. So I want songs that you can dance to.
scandipop: Ah, so the amalgamation of a dance diva and a rock chick is a pop girl then, yeah?!
Elin: Yeah (laughs)
scandipop: Will any more singles come from the album before it’s released next year?
Elin: In Sweden? Yes, we will have…..OH MY GOD! The guy in front of me just bumped my car.
scandipop: Is everything ok?
Elin: Yes, but the guy just reversed and bashed into my car. And then just drove away. I have to look!
scandipop: Yeah, have a look.
Elin: Just a second…..oh it’s ok, I can’t see anything there. Good. It’s not my car anyway, I have borrowed a car for today, so (laughs)
scandipop: So there are no marks?
Elin: No. So, phew! But getting back to the question – when will this interview go out? When can you see it? Because in Sweden I’m doing this competition called Eurovision….
Elin: Yes, exactly. But in Sweden the papers haven’t announced the artists yet….
scandipop: And you’re not allowed to say you’re participating until it’s officially announced are you?
Elin. Exactly, no, I’m not.
scandipop: Well there’ll be two sets of announcements made over the next couple of weeks. The first list of names is on November 30th, and the second list on December 7th.
Elin: And I’m in the second one. I’m not in next Monday, but the following Monday. So maybe you can just write that yes – I have one more single before the album.
scandipop: Well, would you prefer to talk about Melodifestivalen now, and I just won’t publish the interview until after the announcement is made? I’ll wait two weeks. Would you prefer that?
Elin: I don’t know. Are people interested in that over there?!
scandipop: Erm…….YES!!! It’s got a massive fan base outside of Sweden! Its adoration is the reason we started the scandipop club night. People come along to dance to that sort of music, and we’ve had Melodifestivalen artists perform there! That sort of music has got quite a hardcore following outside of Sweden you know.
Elin: (laughs), oh that’s great!
scandipop: So let’s chat about Melodifestivalen then, and I won’t publish the interview until after the official announcement has been made.
Elin: Yes, let’s do that. But you have to promise me!
scandipop: Oh of course. I think your management that I’ve been talking to would probably kill me if I got you disqualified from Melodifestivalen!
Elin: They will! (laughs). And I will too, ha ha!
scandipop: So you’re releasing ‘Doctor Doctor’ and then the album will come out straight afterwards?
Elin: Oh my, you already know the name?! Yes, we will release ‘Love Made Me Stupid’ next month and then Melodifestivalen is in February. And then we will release the album after that.
scandipop: So tell us about ‘Doctor Doctor’!
Elin: It’s a pop song. ‘Love Made Me Stupid’ is a really dark song I think, and you have to listen to it maybe five times before you love it. But ‘Doctor Doctor’ is a lot more direct, you can just sing along with it. You can hear it once and then sing along to it.
scandipop: Well that’s what you need for that kind of competition. People need to get the song straight away.
Elin: Exactly. Melodifestivalen is in a world of its own. Maybe it’s not the best song on the album, but it’s a good song for that competition. I’m gonna make a really good show on stage with that song. With dancers and everything. It’s good to make a show on Melodifestivalen.
scandipop: Have you already thought up the dance routine in your head?
Elin: Yes I have! When I hear the song, I imagine the show on stage. That’s the good thing. I can see what colours I want and how we’re going to move.
scandipop: And you’re excited about doing all of it? The first few months of the year are going to be very busy for you aren’t they?
Elin: Yes, I’m excited about it. I’m looking forward to work! When I don’t release music, I do nothing for months. With ‘Love Made Me Stupid’, we’ve had that song for seven months. But you have to wait for the right time to release it. So this is the best part – when people can hear it, and I can sing it, and we can make the video. I love it, I love to work!
scandipop: And of course you’ve entered Melodifestivalen before, back in 2007 with the song ‘Money’. Was it a good experience? Did you enjoy it? Did you learn a lot?
Elin: Yes! I’m glad I’ve done it before. This is the second time, and so I’m a lot calmer now. It’s like a big circus! Everyone can see and hear what you’re doing. Not only in the show, but they’re with you for the whole week.
scandipop: Yeah the papers go crazy don’t they?
Elin: Exactly, yes. But I love it! I want it to be like that. It’s my dream. And I’ve done it before, so maybe this time I’m not gonna be as nervous as I was. I’m three years older now, I’m 25. So I know exactly how I want it to sound and how I want it to look. So I’m more calm, it’s good.
scandipop: It’s good to have three years more experience behind you isn’t it?
Elin: Yes. But I feel old now (laughs)! I’m 25, so it has to happen now!
scandipop: Well, you could always be one of these older schlager divas who come back and compete in their 40’s and 50’s with Thomas G:Son songs!
Elin: (laughs) Which one if your favourite? Do you like Carola or Charlotte Perrelli?!
scandipop: Erm….there are so many really. This year I liked Lili & Susie. And then I loved it when Hanson, Carson and Malmqvist got together a few years back to do a schlager comeback. Perhaps you could do that when you’re older. Elin Lanto, Velvet, and September!
Elin: (laughs) yeah, ha ha, September!
scandipop: So this year, will you do anything differently to how you did three years ago?
Elin: Hmm. Three years ago my thoughts were how I can do this so that everyone will like it. But this year I want it to be my way. It doesn’t matter if I win or if I come last, it doesn’t matter. I just want people to see how I am, what I’m doing today. What Elin Lanto is all about in 2010.
scandipop: It’ll be a good showcase for your new album.
Elin: Yeah. I don’t want other people to decide for me, I want it to be exactly how I want. If it goes well, that’s great. And if it doesn’t, then that doesn’t matter. At least I’ve showed people what I’m doing today. And I know it’s good, so (laughs)
scandipop: That’s a good attitude to have.
Elin: Last time was my first year and I was younger. I wanted people to like everything. They had to like my clothes, they had to like the dancers I picked. But not this time! I have to like it, that’s all!
scandipop: Ok. Moving on the the UK now, ‘Discotheque’ was signed to a UK record label this year. But it still hasn’t been released yet. What’s happening with that?
Elin: Actually, I don’t really know. I don’t know. I don’t have an answer.
scandipop: Because it would have been so good to have had a proper release, for you to come over here to promote it.
Elin: I know! It would have been great!
scandipop: Do you think that this could still happen?
Elin: With ‘Discotheque’ or with ‘Love Made Me Stupid’?
scandipop: Well with either really.
Elin: It has to happen, I want it to happen! And I don’t know why it didn’t. But even though I love ‘Discotheque’, I think ‘Love Made Me Stupid’ is an even stronger song. So for me now, ‘Love Made Me Stupid’ is the one I’m pushing now. ‘Discotheque’ was first released over a year ago in Sweden, so it’s old for me. ‘Love Made Me Stupid’ is the song that we are focusing on now.
scandipop: Ok. Well thank you very much for your time Elin. Have you got a message for all of your English speaking fans that will be reading your first ever interview in English?!
Elin: (laughs)…oooh, that’s a difficult one! I just hope that they get to hear this song, more than they got to hear ‘Discotheque’. And that they will like the video. I don’t know what I should say, it’s so difficult in another language (laughs)! But thank you so much.