Stars in Coma emerged on the Swedish indie pop scene in 2006, and has toured countries including Germany and Italy in recent years. The band shares kinship with weirdo-poppers such as of Montreal and Ariel Pink, but it is also possible to pick up echoes from British bands Belle & Sebastian and the Smiths. It’s a Trap called the band’s most recent album, Midnight Puzzle, a “dazzling cloud of sound”, while She Turns the Tables described it as a combination of “surf rock era Beatles, low fi bedroom ballad of Montreal, extraterrestrial psych rock Flaming Lips, and at times dropping a synth line you’d expect from the likes of MGMT”. We dug deep to find out a little more about this eclectic group and their upcoming full length release due in April.
Entertwine: Tell us a little bit about Stars in Coma? How did you all form as a band?
Stars in Coma: We started out as a solo/bedroom project almost a decade ago, but has gradually transformed into something more communal. I still write and produce all the stuff, but nowadays I have a live band comprising awesome and lovely musicians.
ET: What is the band’s past music experience like? Did you always want to play music?
SIC: Yeah, I have always been tangled up in music and the culture surrounding that. 99% of my life tend to include thoughts about music. I started play guitar when I was 10, and was kind of lost after that.
ET: If you could describe Stars in Coma’s sound in three words, what would they be?
SIC: Bittersweet, melodic, rhythmic.
ET: What is the story behind the name, “Stars in Coma?”
SIC: Actually, there is no story. It just came to me one day, and it kind of stuck with me. Some people have told me it sounds a bit pretentious, like it is a name of a symph rock band. That’s OK, since I enjoy listening to a lot of British progressive bands from the 70’s who could have had similar names *laugh*
ET: Where do you find the inspiration to write and perform music?
SIC: In personal turmoil and political tendencies.
ET: How has the indie pop scene in Sweden positively impacted your band’s presence?
SIC: I guess we have been able to book gigs abroad due to some people’s glorified view of the Swedish indie pop scene. There are, or at least used to be, a number of Sweden-focused club nights/live shows around the world. These days, I’m not really sure there is a vital indie pop scene in Sweden. There a few great band, but the whole scene seems to be a bit scattered. It’s much better in European cities like Hamburg or London, and we enjoy performing there. But I live in a city where punk and rock has a very strong presence, so perhaps it’s better in the other big cities in this country.
ET: You have an album set to release April 30th. What can fans expect from this release?
SIC: Well, it’s a lot more personal compared to previous albums. It is mainly a record that deals with my father’s passing in 2012, and all the difficulties I went through afterwards. I guess that is pretty evident when reading the lyrics in the booklet. Additionally, me and the band’s designer Håkan also tried to do something else with the physical release. It is still the same old CD, but the sleeve is basically a book the same size a 7″-single cover. The artwork is based around old family photos that I collected from my father’s apartment in Munich this summer. We think the design has certain advantages, like it is much easier to read the lyrics and watch the artwork. We are really proud of the product, and I hope people will appreciate the effort.
ET: Are there any songs in particular that you can’t wait to perform live?
SIC: We’ve begun rehearsing for upcoming shows, and some songs sound really awesome in the live setting. I can’t wait to perform “Tricks,” which is probably my favorite song on the album. It is really upbeat and poppy, but has some very personal lyrics. The first single, “By the Memorial Urn,” is also really fun to play, it sounds really groovy.
ET: What was one of the biggest challenges while writing this album?
SIC: Getting it done. I had a complete album in the winter of 2012, but I kind of abandoned it because I was really depressed and fed up with music. I started working on it again during the summer of 2013, added some songs, and had it done by the fall. It has haunted me for over two years, and now it is almost out. It’s a relief.
ET: What are Stars in Coma’s future plans once the record is out April 30th?
SIC: We have some festival gigs lined up during the year. We will also try to do some shows in Europe in the fall, if everything goes as planned.