By Nicholas Jason Lopez
This past October, Sweden-based indie-rock group Amaunet put out their latest six-track mini-album ‘While I’m Living’ via Lövely Records, an audial ode to 90’s Britpop and innovative 00’s alt-rock stereo-breakers such as The Strokes, Coldplay and Kings Of Leon.
With bouncy singles like “Word” and “When You Come By” and at the helm of it all, it’s hard to argue that the band haven’t gotten tighter since their 2017 formation and have even regularly been featured on radio stations across Australia and America.
Amaunet are lead vocalist Nariman Mirzaie, electric guitarist Oliver Miller, electric guitarist Viktor Hallberg, drummer Oscar Ahlbin and bass guitarist Josefine Hedberg.
The Music Bugle had the chance to talk with the band about ‘While I’m Living’ and more.
Music Bugle – What makes you the most proud about where you come from?
Josefin Hedberg – We are all from different parts of Sweden from the beginning, but we are based in Lund, Sweden. It’s a small student town with around 100,000 people. It’s close to Malmoe and also close to the capital of Denmark, Copenhagen. We think the greatest thing about Lund is the people. The people are usually open and good people and its kind of a mix of both Swedish and Danish mentality, which is nice. Lund also has a great live spot called Mejeriet. We love that live spot. We have seen a lot of up-and-coming bands throughout the years and we have performed there at least three times.
Music Bugle – What excites you the most about your style of music?
Viktor Hallberg – It’s definitely the energy of rock ‘n’ roll music that excites us the most! The combination of tight direct drums, driving bass, roaring guitars and rock ‘n’ roll vocals. It’s also that kind of music I love to play live. Our music is always better live.
Oliver Miller – One of the most exciting things about our music is that it’s hard to label. Some might call it indie, others rock ‘n’ roll, others pop rock or something else. I would say that it’s all of those, but mostly rock ‘n’ roll.
Nariman Mirzaie – I guess that people usually – or at least people that are not that into rock music – usually think that rock ‘n’ roll is like Metallica or Thin Lizzy – they rock, by the way, but it’s a much wider genre. When I think about rock ‘n’ roll, I think of bands like The Kinks, The Rolling Stones and The Strokes and therefore, I would say that Amaunet is rock ‘n’ roll most definitely, but it’s always up to the listener to decide and we are cool with whatever label they are putting on us.
Music Bugle – How was the band name decided?
Oliver Miller – Great question. We started to discuss different names and we decided pretty quickly that we wanted a female goddess. We landed on the ancient Egypt goddess Amaunet, who is the goddess of air and invincibility. Her name means, “a female who is hidden” and her powers are connected to the words “silence,” “stillness,” “mystery” and “obscurity.” You can imagine that we felt that it was rock ‘n’ roll, right? The goddess of silence and we play rock ‘n’ roll? That felt right.
Music Bugle – What was your goal for your mini-album ‘While I’m Living’?
Nariman Mirzaie – We wanted to create a album that felt real and honest. We recorded everything live in The End Studios in southern Sweden. Recording the album live was one of the cornerstones to achieve that goal. The songwriting is personal, honest, in-your-face and also reflecting on today’s society, from small things to bigger perspectives and even if the songwriting sometimes is self-critic, it’s always with a positive and uplifting tone. Our main goal with our music is to create music that makes people get off and feel something, no matter what it is. We always want to meet our audience face-to-face from the stage.
Music Bugle – Who are you listening to right now, music-wise?
Nariman Mirzaie – We all listen to Oasis, The Strokes, Pixies, Beatles, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Radiohead, Joni Mitchell, Pearl Jam, Nirvana and Amy Winehouse.
Music Bugle – What made you want to release “When You Come By” as a single?
Oliver Miller – It felt like a single. It was upbeat and had a nice drive in the guitars and vocals. The chorus is strong, but the verse is almost stronger. That’s usually true in Oasis tunes, but also in our tune, this time.
Music Bugle – What was it like making the music video for “When You Come By”?
Josefin Hedberg – We worked with amazing filmmaker Julian Emile Guedj, who has always got an amazing creative mind. “Less is more” is usually the best way to make a music video – at least with a small budget – and if you can’t crash cars and burn houses, you can always focus on the band and the instruments. It’s still music, right? So, that’s what we did. We bought some sheep fabrics in different colors and matched it with our outfits and pressed “record.” As long as the band’s cool, you don’t need much money.
Music Bugle – Does social media help or hurt musicians?
Oliver Miller – (Laughs) These are good questions. Both, I guess? I mean, it would be easy to say that identity is a new thing in music, but it isn’t. I think there is a quote in the movie, “Almost Famous,” where the guy who plays music journalist Lester Bangs says that rock ‘n’ roll is dead and that the rock ‘n’ roll bands turn the music industry into an “industry of cool” and that the music is lost on the way. I mean, there will always be a guy or a girl that thinks that everything was better back in the day.
Nariman Mirzaie – I think that social media can help artists, but there has to be other things as well. I mean, you have to make great music and perform it great live. That’s the key. Social media can not ever replace that, but sure, it can help.
Music Bugle – Which of your songs were the hardest to write?
Nariman Mirzaie – “Sunny On A Plane” was the hardest to write, or at least, it took the longest amount of time. We tested a lot of different ideas. Usually, a song follows a typical pattern. This song did not, so it took some time to get it right, but I think it might be the greatest song on the album, though.
Music Bugle – What was your favorite moment while on stage?
Nariman Mirzaie – We looked forward to getting back on the stage. We have had the pleasure to play at different types of festivals, showcases, opened for artists and been the main act a few times. I guess the best show would be the one at Mejeriet’s in Lund, Sweden, a big scene in front of hundreds of people.