Juni Järvi : Wherever thou art (Everlasting Records Sweden)
Visiting Records shops is like going to museum when I'm in a foreign country: "un passage obligé"! And the cool thing is there are usually always nice people behind the desk who can help you finding new records. That's how I bought Juni Järvi's album : recommended, listened in the shop and left w/it. Simply beautiful melodic songs with a great warm voice and maybe a kind of retro/old fashioned flavour. The atmospheric elements and the apparent melancholy of the songs render this record as an original soundtrack for an imaginary movie.
Let's meet the young talented Swedish guy behind Juni Järvi: Mikael Bergtsson and you can try to find the real "him" on the pics.
I read you started a band (Juniper) in 2003 and after the fail of recording songs under this name and split with others members you decided to change yr name for Juni Järvi. So, what is the difference between Juniper and Juni Järvi, except the line up?
Well, actually there is no real difference between Juniper and Juni Järvi. It's been me all the time. The reason for the name change was that I found out that several bands before me had been called Juniper, amongst others an American christian rock duo. I really didn't want to be confused with them in any way so I decided to change my musical name. The change also came at a time when I was changing my music from being guitar based singer/songwriter music to full scale productions playing all kinds. Though Juniper songs won't sound the same as Juni Järvi songs the concept is the same: me!
It's a little bit funny as the name you choose doesn't sound really swedish for me but more exotic ( Indian, or something like that). So, where does it come from? And I found an old pic of you on the web and-maybe i am totally wrong- it's like Juni Järvi is a "character", another side of Mikael Bengtsson, because on yr last pics you got this retro stylish look, well, quite different maybe it just for the pics and video??
Indian?... nope. But perhaps Finnish is exotic enough? Järvi is my Finnish family name and is the word for lake in Finnish. And Juni is just a name and also the Swedish word for the month June. So "
Actually, it's not me in the pictures nor in the video. I couldn't find a good reason for being in the pictures except that it's the way it's supposed to be and I don't want to do what everyone else does. So I asked my friend Lina who is a drag-king if she could "act" me on the pictures and in the video. And she did it with style!
You are often compared to Jens Lekman and the Magnetic Fields, what do you think of this? Is it boring to always be compared to someone else or it's okay?
It's ok when people really have thought I through and have something smart to say about it. But usually people compare me with these two just by pure laziness. They listen to one song and give the verdict. And that's really boring.
Who or what influenced you to make music in the first place?
The Swedish punk movement and social injustice.
What have you been up lately? Any band you like to recommend?Oh, right now I'm producing and recording Jenny Kellerman's (Tiger Lou's sister and
Bands I recommend right now: Bobby Baby, Irene, Marble and Anna Ternheim. (all Swedish of course)
Can you give us one of your favourite addresses in
Mm, a hard one... just one? Ok, it has to be the shoreline of mälaren, a really big lake (goes from north of
What did you release so far? "Just" 'Wherever thou art', or could we find other stuff?
Officially I have released one full length album 'Wherever thou art'? and the single 'The stars above Indian lake'. But I have released many cd-r records with both Juniper and Juni Järvi. But you just wait, I've got stuff coming for sure.
Any last comment?
Ok, be nice to each other, don't eat animals and buy my record. Lots of love !
Interview by Katy from the wonderful Baka-Poï fanzine latest issue ever (RIP January 2007)