What is No Modest Bear?
No Modest Bear is a Swedish music blog focusing on new music, preferably stuff that the average music blog reader wouldn’t have heard of it it wasn’t for NMB. But it can be everything really, as long as I like it.
Also, it’s all about the music and not so much about the words; instead of writing reviews or thoroughly describing each song, I say what’s important (release dates, basic/relevant info, etc.) and let the listener form his/her own opinion. Just press play and, if you like it, follow the links to where you can fully support to the artists. The vast majority of my followers are non-Swedish so… yeah, it definitely works for me.
When did No Modest Bear form its shape? Why?
Sometime in the spring of 2009. I don’t really know exactly because when I first registered the blog on blogspot, I had no intention of starting a music blog. I had very little knowledge about the music blogosphere actually, I just wanted to share what I thought was cool at the time, no matter the context. Then, as I started to learn more about the music on the internet thing, I slowly realized that this is what I wanted to do.
Do you remember your first post? What was it?
For the reasons stated above and because my first posts have been deleted (sorry), no, but it was probably a Youtube clip or a funny/cool picture or some childish thoughts on the society or a Douglas Coupland quote (I was very much into Douglas Coupland back then).
How would you describe the music of No Modest Bear?
Music you never knew you needed until the moment you pressed play. Sort of.
Why the bear?
Besides being very much into Douglas Coupland, I had a song by the Scottish singer-songwriter Malcolm Middleton stuck in my head. And that song is called, yep, No Modest Bear. You can listen to it here . I just thought it sounded cool, it doesn’t really mean anything to be honest. Although I do love animals.
Proudest moment of the blog?
I co-presented (together with the ever amazing Veronica from Cream Team) an official showcase at the Hype Hotel at this year’s SXSW. We had Taken By Trees, Korallreven, Blouse, Jonquil, Caged Animals and Young Man on the bill, and even though I couldn’t attend in person, it was an amazing experience. I love you, Dev from the Hype Machine!
What’s your secret source to finding good new music?
It’s not really a secret, but I always keep an extra eye out for what artists I know (or know of) listen to. Artists would make the best bloggers, hands down.
Why do you think Swedish music is so successful nowadays?
I could think of 100 people who could answer this question better than me, some of whom are not even Swedish, but I’ll give it a try. I think that tradition has a lot to with the Swedish music wonder. For as long as I can remember, there has always been amazing musicians around for aspiring talents to look up to. I think it creates a “if they can make it, I can make it” mindset among musicians. And this tradition also give Swedish artists a head start internationally because of the great reputation we’ve gained throughout the years. Also, we are given the opportunities to learn both English and music in school from an early age, so writing music and internationally viable lyrics comes naturally to many Swedish artists. I think? And then there’s the political side to it all, but I’ll leave that to the pros.
Favorite Swedish bands right now?
These are all well worth your time right now (and forever): Jonas Lundqvist, Badlands, Duvchi, VED, Korallreven, IKONS, Bobby Bell, Niki & The Dove, World Tour, Taken By Trees.
How would you describe this mixtape?
It’s Swedish. Some tracks are non-Swedish though but those tracks have been remixed and/or edited by Swedes so Swedes have made them what they are on this mix – Swedish. It’s a Swede mix! Made by a rambling Swede…
If you would attach a feeling to this mixtape, what would it be?
A sense of well-being.
When is the best time to listen to this mixtape?
When out and about enjoying nature.
In addition to running the blog, is NMB doing something else to spread fantastic new music?
I am the co-editor of Ja Ja Ja, a London based blog and club night organizer focusing on spreading the best new Nordic music.
Also, I started a disco/nu-disco/re-edits/balearic/deep house/dames tumblr quite recently, because I also love disco, nu-disco, re-edits, balearic, deep house and dames (ps. don’t worry about the dames thing, you’ll see more skin in a gossip magazine). It’s the year for it, and it’s what I play when I’m DJing. Anyway, it’s called World Class Disco Club, go follow.
I haven’t really been doing the parties thing, at all, because I’ve been studying/living in a small city called Halmstad for three years, and it’s just not the place for my kind of music, sadly. Sweden sucks in that regard.