On Friday March 2nd, we had very special guests at our monthly electroswing party “Klub Shwing” at the Ost Klub in Vienna: The MOVITS!
As organizer and DJ of this evening I had the opportunity to talk with the three nice Swedish guys backstage , before they went on stage and really rocked the house. You can watch the entire interview on the video (sometimes it’s a bit hard to understand because of background noise). For those who don’t want to watch the 30 min. clip I wrote down the essentials.
The Beginning: The two brothers Johan and Anders started to make music in their hometown Luela, far up in the northern part of Sweden. Their first EP was released under the name “Planeten Jorden” (Planet Earth) and the style was acoustic hip hop and reggae. Johan was responsible for the lyrics and Anders was the DJ and Producer and played also several instruments.
The duo turned into a trio when the Rensfeldt-Brothers were joined by Joakim Nilsson saxophone player . They started touring in Sweden from festival to festival. It was at an after-party to one of these festivals, that they discovered the swing. All three were dancing as the DJ started to play “Sing Sing Sing” by Benny Goodman. This incident inspired the three to take a new direction using drums and horns like in the swing era. They started to work on their album “Appleknyckarjazz”. They worked together with dozens of musicians to create this new sound. During this period (three years) they changed also their name to “MOVITS”.
2008 the MOVITS were invited to a TV-show in the United States. Stephen Colbert has seen a video of the band in the internet and invited them to be featured in his show the “Colbert Report”. After that, their music went high up in the U.S.- charts – that was the beginning of their worldwide success.
The Movits never thought about an international career, when it happened it happened despite the fact that they are singing in Swedish. So there is no need to change to English.
Johan is responsible for all the lyrics. His brother Anders does the beats and the musical arrangement assisted by Joakim. The ideas are produced as drafts with midi plugins on a computer. When this is done they invite friends and musicians of the local scene to replace all midi tracks with real played instruments – they never have used samples. Therefore their sound is very organic.
The Live Set Up:
When playing live they have a quite minimalistic set up. There’s no computer on stage! Only a DJ gear consisting of two CD-Players and the DJ-mixing console, a drumpad, three microphones, the sax and sometimes a guitar. Anders is playing the tracks from CD, adding some live drumming on the pads, Joakim plays the Sax – both are doing also the background vocals. Johan sings and rapswith a very energetic vibe -that’s it and it works perfect!!! Sometimes they add guest musicians to their live shows.
Movits and Electroswing:
The Movits never thought about which genre their music belongs to. Their roots are definitly in hip hop. In fact they were quite suprised when they were asked to be part of an electroswing compilation. That was the first time they heard about this genre! But to be labeled as electroswing makes things easier for bookings or to explain their music. It’s great for them to be part of an emerging movement.
It’s important to be properly dressed for the occasion – their music has reminiscences to ballroom music. Therefore also their styling is quite elegant with bow ties, white shirts and the characteristic glasses. It’s a good thing to establish also an optical trademark and it makes things easier because you don’t have to think every time what you’ll wear on stage.
After talking with me, they dressed up and rocked the house! The crowd in Vienna went mad and all together (musicians and audience) were enjoying themselves!!! What a great evening!!!
link to video interview :
link to video from the show: