Artist To Artist: Varg & Anna Melina
Tomorrow marks the release of a new collaborative project between Varg and Anna Melina – together the mysterious pair have joined forces to create the FLORA moniker. Ever abstract, the dynamic duo have worked to craft two dream like escapades which merge the sonic worlds of abstract pop and ambient together in a beautiful bubble of chaos. The "Impatience" EP is a meeting of minds in the truest sense… Varg is stereotypically known for his rigid techno and oddball electronics which he has released on the likes of Posh Isolation and through his own Northern Electronics imprint… He met with vocalist and producer Anna Melina in Stockholm and the rest as they say is history… well sort of.
We invited the new duo to discuss the inner workings of mind, body and soul as they do so below:
M- Hey JoJo, whats up?
J- I’m inside the Monom studio hiding from the sun. Just got back from the gas station with some cigarettes and a club mate. On the way back I realized how good Mavado actually is.
M- Your the ying to my yang.
M- I’m outside the studio in the sun.
J- Twin flame M- Twin flame
M- Are you drinking bear or club mate ?
J- I am a bear drinking beer, check your spelling.
J- I miss my parents I want to go to Northern Sweden soon.
M- They are the best
M- I don't ever check it no
J- You are so poetic
M- I went to extra spelling classes for so many years without any results so I gave up on that.
J- And the poor spelling both you and me have at times kind of makes stuff more poetic.
M- We should do a poetry slam.
M- Forget about this music thing.
M- You know what I really think is the only true art form… body painting.
J- I love poetry slams. Or actually more like ‘intellectual rap’ like that Immortal Technique shit. It’s so funny how serious they are.
J- Body painting is cool! I used to be in corpse paint when I was into black metal as a kid…Looking like dead from mayhem. My biggest idol as a kid
J- Who was your idol? Also a body painter?
M- My biggest idol was Miley Cyrus for a period of time when I was a young teenager. That was a dark time. This was at the same time as I was in love with Fall Out Boy and thought that Celiné dion was a real angel.
M- I really mostly listened to good music that I still listen to today though.
M- But the artists that I thought were cool were just really not. Except for Celiné dion, she is still cool.
J- Yeah she is cool, but you only like her because you are such a fan of titanic? Or not only but that’s how it started right?
J- I mean I still keep my teenage idols till this day to! Pelle Dead, Paris Hilton, Madonna.
M- Madonna is one of mine too.
M- Love her documentary, it's very cute.
J- Yeah I mean if you don’t have Madonna on your list of inspirations you don’t need to befriend me.
J- I love her book that is just called SEX.
J- Bought it a couple of years ago in this old forgotten porn shop in Stockholm for 5 euros.
M- Wow, do you still have it?
J- Yeah ofc, it has the sickest logo on the cover, always wanted to tattoo that! M- I think we need more matching tattoos.
J- Yeah for sure, what should we get?
M- My face
J- LOL the Madonna book is 2 years older than you…. crazy.
M- But whatever, what do you wanna tattoo next?
J- Still want to get that star next to my eye tbh…. was also thinking about doing another ACAB one, I have 3 or 4 so a couple more of those could be good. Like “Mr Cool Ice” but with ACAB tattoos.
M- I think you should do the star and then do the flower I painted to you when I was waiting for you at Arlanda.
J- Yeah I’m going to do both of those at some point… just not really had the time to actually get a tattoo.
J- Hey, we need to decide what track we want to premiere from our new tape!
J- If you decide the track and meanwhile I decide your next tattoo?
M- Haha, perfect.
M- I think the second one “Life on the water / Welcoming elegance” is good because it connects so well with the MONOM piece.
J- Yeah let’s do that one, its quite short to…. only 9 minutes J- Funny that it’s still the shortest track on the tape
M- but you want people to put it on repeat you know so 9 min is perfect.
M- This project working with MONOM and putting together this show has been the best thing I've done for so long.
M- I’m very proud of our album we put together here man.
M- Also how much I love working with film and theater, now we actually made a movie out of sounds. Can’t get any better then this.
J- Yeah it’s 100% hit material. Hot material.
M- It's Madonna style.
J- It’s hot, Paris Hilton style.
M- That's sexy.
J- You are Nicole Richie, I’m Paris.
M- I know, you tell me every day.
J- But yeah it’s been amazing here.
J- At first it kind of felt like the scene from the Nicole and Paris show where they work at a farm and had to put their arm up a cows behind. Like scary and did not know how or what to do. But this has been so educational. Never evolved my own sound and potential so fast before.
J- I mean we have all these fun projects after this, but it will still be quite a comedown not working at MONOM.
M- Totally… https://goo.gl/images/SKpvpB M
J- What’s the link? I don’t trust links.
M- It's Nicole putting her arm up a cows ass.
M- But yeah it's really hard to listen to music in another way now that is not 4D
M- I actually like to listen to the natural surroundings more then my iPod rn. Never heard it all the way I do now.
M- It's all just amazing randomised compositions.
J- Yeah… I don’t enjoy ambient or soundscape music at all right now if it’s not 4D. I can only handle more like dancehall or edm.
J- I can even enjoy kids crying at planes now.
J- My first release was actually only field recordings from Stockholm city enviorments where I mixed in unnatural sound sources to create like a fake image of the world. It’s kind of what we are doing now except we are not 13 anymore and this time it actually sounds for real.
M- When I was younger I worked for a guitarist a little bit…and he thought me how to meditate. He mostly did that by listening to sounds and by really enlightening the surroundings even more then you do normally, breathing in a certain way, closing your eyes. I just did that when I was on my way to places, in the subway and so on. That was very nice and also a bit like how I feel now, maybe I will pick that up. I know you meditate a lot?
J- Oh really? I used to be better at meditating, now not so much. I don’t read anymore either which is also some light weight version of normal day meditation
M- Maybe we can try it together? The same goes for me, I love reading. Books is where a lot of my inspirations comes from.
J- Yeah we can try but I will probably just end up making fun of you or vice versa.
M- Maybe that's why I haven't written any songs for almost half a year now…Or how long has it been?
J- Melina it was the day before yesterday, haha
M- Haha true, but I'm separating hit songs from the other kind of…
J- Remember the first time we worked together? How smooth it was.
J- And how much knowledge you had about stuff you never tried before.
M- It was wonderful.
J- You kind of just dived in, fearlessly.
J- And we’ve been making str8 hits since.
M- Thank you.
M- You where also great.
J- Oh yeah I am great, difference is I have not really really left my comfort zone as much as you did.
M- I really liked you from the start.
M- No but I think for me it was more about the effortlessness then comfort zones. It was something new for both of us, completely, but it was the most comfortable I had felt for long working because of how well our expressions go hand in hand still it’s exciting to work with someone who has totally different knowledge.
J- Yeah I was really not eager to meet you from the start to be honest… always been a big fan of your music.
M- Me 2
M- Not a fan but the first thing haha
J- I had a feeling I would not get along with the person because I usually don’t…
M- I was at a bad place with meeting people in the scene too
M- I never felt comfortable or inspired by anyone
M- And then we made another track after that first one and I listened back to it and it made me cry so much
M- It really made me write about real stuff
M- It felt fake for so long to do that in what I was doing you know
M- And then us working together kind of felt like the right thing and the right place for me to be at creatively
M- And it opened me up again to do what I did from the beginning of my solo project
J- Yeah that track means so much to me. Like Onda was supposed to have that beat but he unfortunately passed away during the process of the recording. So happy that it became such a piece in the end anyway. Per would be proud, RIP
M- That makes me happy too
M- I’m very honoured that I got to write and sing on it. It's my absolute favourite song ever.
M- Can't wait til we can release it.
J- Yeah I mean we made better tracks for sure, but it’s packed to the fucking max with emotions.
J- But a lot of our work is
J- A bit too much emotion haha, It’s like the combined diary’s of ours
J-So glad that you also express a lot of my history in the lyrics
J- I never felt confident enough to do it myself really
M- Witch song are you talking about now haha?
M- I’m talking about "limestone island"
J- Yeah but I’m talking about us in general right now M- We did impatience long after that dude
J- You did
J- I did not do so much
J- Like the hi hats and some FX only
M- We do 50/50 but it differs from track to track
J- And that ‘vallmo’ edit of it I did a bit.
M- I think we balance each other out perfectly.
J- Yeah I mean IDGAF about the roles.
J- As long as it’s a masterpiece.
M- Like I said your the ying to my yang.
J- twin flame.
M- Your the salt on my sweet.
M- My twin flame.
J- We need to burn together in the studio now.
J- We have a lot of emotions to put in this piece.
M- Yeah On my way!
J- Just looked at the tape artwork.
J- I like that it’s basically just your ass LOL
M- Another masterpiece
M- The tape is called "welcoming elegance" GET IT NOW
J- I learnt something,people always wants to hear about synths
J- Tell me your favorite synth.
M- the synth of life man
M- the buchla music easl
J- Mine is still the iPad, the only synth that also has Netflix and online retail therapy
M- it's the future and the past that creates the present
J- I love presents
M- see you in 6 sec
J- Also, all love from us to the bassiani crew and the whole youth of Georgia!!!
M- All the love