Pär Wiksten of The Wannadies

Astoria, London on Saturday 3 June 2000

Pär Wiksten of The Wannadies Butterfly caught up with Pär Wiksten of The Wannadies at the Astoria... he's a tent-romantic you know...

Are you addicted to festivals? You're playing Glastonbury, T In The Park and Reading/Leeds...

Just 'cause it's fun, apart from bad weather festivals which are the worst. If you're one band that's fun, but if there's a bunch of bands, that's a circus.

Is there any particular festival that you like the best?

We've done a couple that were - Reading last time was great and T In the Park last time - I guess those two were the favourites. I guess 'cause it was good weather... great weather... everyone was smiling and it was impossible to be pissed off at anything. You walk on stage and everyone's already decided that they love you. You don't really have to play if you look at it from a rational point of view... you just stand there. You could play the music on CD and stand and wave at people because they've already decided that they love it... it's impossible to fail and that's pretty cool. We'd have the longest breaks between songs and we'd stand and listen to the people. T In The Park's the same.

What's been your weirdest festival experience?

We've had a few. The police stopped the gig we did in Finland once. We played at 11 0'clock at Glastonbury a while ago - on the main stage. I usually don't get up until 12 and was supposed to be on stage at 11, so I'd had to get up at 9 or something... I was actually thinking of wearing pyjamas on stage... I'd sneak onto the stage at a quarter to 11 and lie on the stage. Then we'd have an alarm bell so as an intro it would go "BRRRRRRIIIINNNNNNNGGGG!" and I would get up in my pyjamas. But we skipped that 'cause the weather was so shit.

We did one festival, it was a one-off festival, they had 5 or 6 bands and it was minus 2, and they put it on in a field that would hold 15,000 people, but they can't have been expecting more than 500... why didn't they put it a village square?! Because it was so cold and horrible, about 30 people turned up! The bands were laughing away; we were warming our hands on the lamps on stage. We cut down our set from 45 minutes to 25! We were chatting to the audience, "One more? Yes? But it's freezing! Oh just one more then..."

What do you hope to bring to Glastonbury?

Hopefully this time we'll have a really good time, hopefully have good weather. We're playing a really good stage this time, sometime in the evening (Other Stage, Saturday - ed.), which is groovy, and there's a bunch of other bands we know playing before and after us too. I'm sure it's going to be mad... too much of everything.

Any surprises up your sleeve?

Yeah, but I'm not telling you! There's a bunch of things we're gonna do this summer. We haven't decided where, or how many, but we'll have some weird shit - not strange, just some tricks...

Were you a festival-goer before the fame?

Oh yeah... I went to Hultsfred... I went to Roskilde in Denmark twice, which is the big one in Scandinavia of all the festivals. I went to Hultsfred only a couple of times before we became a band, but then you're not a punter anymore, it's the backstage pass, free booze... although I'm a tent romantic, so it's hard to be like that. So many people want to chat with you, but you tend to sneak away with the backstage people... you go out, catch a few bands and then you're back in your secure little area. It's easier to get drinks and food and anything special... it's very pretentious and stupid in a way... [adopts posh voice] "mmm... where's the VIP area?"

Pär Wiksten of The Wannadies Any releases due in light of the complications with the record co?

Big Fan is coming out in June but will be a treat to our fans rather than a commercial single release.

What have been the pros and cons of the You & Me song?

There is no con there. We write songs to get thrills, and when we've done that we hope as many people as possible will like it. We can't be disappointed that the You & Me song has been liked by so many people. The You & Me song is big here, not in Sweden. In other countries it's Shorty. Every artist has one song that stands out slightly more. For me, Iggy Pop was 1969 - Passenger, but when that film [Trainspotting] came along the song became Lust For Life.

Who are you going to see this year?

I don't know. I'll be really boring as always and concentrate on drinking myself shameless. Being in a band, you don't get blasé, but there's a tiny level of blasé-ness, because you play so much... it's like, as a chef, you might not be as excited to go out to a restaurant, 'cause you fucking work in a restaurant! You still love food, but you could stay at home and not go out when you have a day off. Usually we have the schedules and we'll say "I want to see that, I want to see that..." and then later we'll say, "What time is it? Ah, I'll skip that and see the other one..." and later on you do the same and you get more and more wasted and say, "Fuck it! We'll see the last ones..."

I think I'll catch Gorky's Zygotic Mynci - they're on the same stage [Glastonbury] as us, before we play. And that single 'Poodle Rockin' was kind of a hit last time we played there - we listened to it on the bus - so I'll catch them live. I haven't got into the album totally yet, but I'm curious to see what they're up to. It's going to be fun if we manage to come across Travis. I've seen them before, but it's great to see the enormo-crowd-pleasing bands.

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article by: Butterfly

published: 04/06/2000 14:01