Niklas Börjesson - Lotus

April 19, 2001

Give some background information like names, where you guys are from, etc.

We are from Gothenburg, Sweden. We're a three piece band called Lotus. This formation has been playing together for five years now. We released our debut album in '97 called Fruitage. Me and the bass player, we formed the band in this area called Fruitcake at the time with a different drummer. We released one CD as well under the name Fruitcake. Then Hans Eriksson, our present drummer, he joined us in '96 or '97. The bass player, his name is Tomas Modig. My name is Niklas Börjesson.

How did the band form and how did you guys meet up?

The band formed by coincidence actually because Tomas and I were at the Culture House in Gothenburg and I had a rehearsal studio there where bands rehearsed. One day we did some work in the studio and Tomas came in and we started jamming. A guy called Hans Bruhm, who is actually a keyboardist, he sat down behind the drums and started playing. It sounded great. We had a lot of fun. We formed the band Fruitcake in the early '90s. We had a recording idea. All the heavy metal bands and all the hard rock bands were uptight and serious so we decided to sing about fruit. The fruit you eat, not the sexual. We had schizoid songs like "Citric Acid In Lake Placid", "Happy Apple", corny songs like that. We never really thought that anybody would take it serious but they did. We had a lot of gigs and after one year or so we released a four track CD, Freaks, dedicated to all the Fruitcake freaks who hang around. The first Hans had to quit the band and we met Hans Eriksson. We used to call him the reborn John Bonham because he's huge and plays huge drums and doesn't quit. That's the trio we are now on the CD. Hans, Tomas, and me.

Some of your influences include Cactus and Iron Butterfly. How did these bands influence you?

Actually I'm not so sure those are the bands who influenced us the most. That's actually used by the record company. I've always listened to Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Frank Zappa, Motorhead, that kind of stuff. I think Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, and a bit of Claptonish guitars along with Frank Zappa are the main influences. If you talk to Tomas, our bass player, he's huge on all those '60s, '70s bands. He could probably name 40 or 50 others but I think those are the main influences.

How did you get involved with the Captain Beyond tribute album?

We had done the song "Mesmerization Eclipse" live a couple of times. I think they thought it sounded good and we love the song. That album is in the best category. I think "Mesmerization Eclipse" is one of their absolute best songs. We enjoyed playing it live and when they heard it they said join the tribute album so we did. I think we did a cool version of it. That's when we first met Ron Oswell.

How did you hook up with Brian Robertson from Thin Lizzy?

Again it was one of those funny coincidences. He had apparently heard our first album Fruitage and liked it. He liked it that much that he used Fruitage to test equipment. Played it all day long. When we heard that, we asked him if he wanted to add some lead guitar on "Mesmerization Eclipse" and he said yes immediately. He was in Gothenburg so we spent a weekend in a studio in Gothenburg and did "Mesmerization Eclipse". We had that much fun so we presented some old new written songs. He liked that as well so he put on his guitar wrote two. The results you can hear on a limited edition tour edition we released in '99 called A Taster For The Big One and Brian plays lead guitar on two songs.

Which two songs are those?

"Granny Smith And Wesson" and "Visionary"?

Quartet Conspiracy is your third album. Can you give a little background on your first two releases?

The first two releases that we mentioned, I don't count them. In '97 we released Fruitage as we said before and we had some additional musicians. We had kind of a Jethro Tull feeling on that one. On the first album, Fruitage, it was material left over from the Fruitcake period that we wanted to record and release. That's why the corny Fruitcake theme. There are a lot of names like "Rhubarb City", "Green Power", "Banana Head". That's the album that Robertson heard the first time. Then we released A Taster For The Big One in '99. It was supposed to be leftovers from the first Fruitage session but since we got along great in the studio, we recorded some new stuff so that it became an independent release as well.

Brian Robertson makes a guest appearance on Quartet Conspiracy. Does he play on the entire album?

Yeah. He not only on the entire album, he plays all lead guitars on the album. I left that to him entirely. He also produced the entire album. Lotus, the trio, wrote the songs but Brian spiced it with his guitar, some piano, and also produced it.

One of my favorite songs off the album is "Oriental Fog". I kind of like the beginning. What inspired the song?

We listened to a lot of Arabic music for a while. Especially Tomas, our bass player, who I should say has written most of the riffs, the melodic lines, for the instruments on the written part. He was totally spaced out for those erratic singers, for a while. Played weird cassettes he bought for a while. We try to experiment as well. We like to listen to very different kinds of music. Both classical, jazz, and ethnic music so it was nice to meld those things together. Classical hard rock riffs. Glad you like it.

I know a lot of people who are just set on listening to one style of music. Do you feel that introducing people to different styles of music makes them receptive to listening to other forms of music?

I think it's always good to be kind of bold minded musically. I can only speak for myself. I've grown up with a lot of different music. My father was a bass player, the contro bass, jazz style. I grew up with a lot of jazz and classical music but also the pop from my older sister like The Beatles and stuff. I think you tend to be inspired by many kinds of interests.

What are some of your favorite tracks off the new release?

That's always a hard question. They're all my babies. They're all quite different. I have a few favorites. The opening track, "Eyeball", is one of my favorites because I'm satisfied with both the riffs and the song structure. The lyrics. "Blocking Out The Sun". "Nauseous". "Nauseous" is fun because it's two minutes. Poof, no brainer. It's kind of fun. I'm a bit split concerning "Butterfly Effect". "Butterfly" was meant to be an acoustic song when we wrote it. More like Neil Young's stuff. We started experimenting in the studio and started fiddling with it with a string quartet and so on. We got the string quartet on it. I liked it. We have a different mix we're gonna release later. Playing acoustic. I'm satisfied with "Sometimes A Mule, Always A Dog". I like that one as well. I've almost mentioned all the songs now, haven't I?

You cover a wide spectrum of subject matter from disgust, to different cultures, fame, anguish, peace, and people playing God.

We write the lyrics, Tomas and I. I tend to write about how I feel or how I think the world is feeling. I get a lot of questions in other interviews about "Genetic Jesus".

That's an interesting song.

What do you think about it?

I like the song very much. When I listened to it I was thinking about when they started cloning sheep and cows and now they want to clone people. I think that stuff is so crazy.

I think so too. At the opening line of the song it goes "old time Trinity has turned old and grey, mankind create on their own". That's exactly what we're doing now. We don't need God anymore. We try to play God ourselves. Create and ruin and kill. It's a bit like if your heart is on judgments you can always draw a parallel to, I tend to anyway, parallel to Nazi Germany. Tried to exterminate some people. If we go too far with this, I think we endanger mankind. The little man, little people, who get in between, if you want to have the perfect human being, we can create it in a couple of years I guess. Do we want a perfect human being? I don't. I prefer that we're born different. Some people are born without legs. Some people are born with a special kind of brain that works in a special kind of way. I worked a lot with disabled people. Both kids and adults. They give extremely much when you work with them. They have a different kind of way of looking at life and leading their lives. I think that's the way it should be. They're no less human than I am.

You should take the good with the bad. That's what makes life, life.

Absolutely.

Have you guys toured?

So far we've only toured Scandanavia. We hope to, since the latest recorded album Quartet Conspiracy has ben released throughout Europe now and the States as well, we hope to get on tour this summer or this fall. Nothing is decided yet. So far we've toured in Finland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden. We had a great tour together with Brian last year just after we had recorded the first two songs. They're great songs. We set up a tour through Finland and Sweden and it was great. We had a huge amount of fun and a great jam session. That's partly why we ended up doing an outside album together.

We can expect to see you in the States soon?

Hope so. Definitely hope so. It's up to you. You have to keep voting for the music. Spread the word. We'll get over anytime you want.

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