We are delighted to introduce you to Swedish artist Johan Zeitier who creates illustrious music under the moniker of I AM OK. Ex member of established bands Jeniferever/ The Search- I AM OK delivers lush sweeping pop music with delicate vocals, reverb touched hooks and a hint of the early pop romp of The Cure. Johan Zeitier creates beautiful compelling music that is both moving and intelligently crafted under the name I AM OK. Based in Uppsala, Sweden. Johan is ready to unveil his powerful music to the world.The talent that I AM OK holds is unreal. The ability to create an upbeat summery track even with darker content comes natural to the artist. I AM OK is an artist to watch- as the artist grows, the talents captivates.
What’s more I AM OK have combined forces with our favourite EDILS Records. For those unaware Edils Records help and promote more talent than possible. A DIY label who are directing their passion and love for music and bands’ to supporting them by providing a home to releases with the purpose of it being FOR the band. Getting them heard.The Liverpool based self determined duo behind EDiLS Recordings have the sole intention to release awesome music in awesome packaging.- The perfect label for I AM OK. With the best interest for the artist- there’s no doubt I AM OK will receive plenty of recognition.
I AM OK have three FREE tracks available to download through EDILS RECORDINGS which we are happy to say are exclusively streaming here first. Following these tracks I AM OK will release a brand new EP which will be released digitally on a limited edition CD, again through EDILS. Tours will be be booked in Sweden, Mainland Europe and the UK for 2013.
In this exclusive article and free three track stream courtesy of EDILS- we also chat to Johan regarding his musical outfit, aspirations, live performances and more.
Exclusive Stream and Free Download Courtesy of EDILS :
We were also extremely lucky to spend some time with Johan regarding I AM OK, his passion and his plans. Read our exclusive interview as featured below:
Firstly thank you for spending time with Circuit Sweet.
Thanks! My pleasure!
Before we get to the details of your new 3 track EP and forthcoming EP, we want to get to know more on you- Firstly introduce yourself, how long have you each been playing and performing live?
Since I started playing Instruments, I’ve been in various bands and constellations. Most of my musical endeavours has been with The Search as a guitarist and keyboard player since 98. I also began playing with Jeniferever at the same time and did so until 2003. I later returned with Jeniferever as a hired gun, working the bass for live shows and on their first album as well as their fourth and last one, which was a joy to be a part of.
I’ve been in other swedish bands too for shorter stints. In 2010 I left The Search and began to focus more on what was to become I am OK. For the moment it’s basically just me though. I’ll bring some friends to
the band when shows get booked.
What was it that first got you to pick up an instrument and direct your creativity?
I think it was in school when I was about 14 and picked up the guitar. I started with the captain obvious classics: Come as you are, nothing else matters, enter sandman. All great songs that make me throw up now, as I’m working in a guitar shop. These songs still live on with the kids, however a bit out of tune. The longevity of those riffs is astonishing!
I later fell in love with the smashing pumpkins and learned all of their songs. There was a time when I knew all their albums and B-sides by heart, but I stopped listening to them after they split up, right around the time
I turned 20-ish. I should have seen a therapist about that. It got a bit out of hand.
My guitar-obsession was driven by an obsession of making the guitar sound anything but a guitar with russian fuzzboxes and analogue echoes and filters. An obsession which now has evolved into making scary pop songs
with a synth-vibe derived from the 70’s-80’s.
What outside influences continue to trigger your creativity and create your unique sound?
It’s not so much outside as the inside actually. Often, music just comes to me. I always come up with ideas as soon as I pick up an instrument. It’s just a matter of choosing what to make something out of. I record them in
my stupid smart phone that has taken over my life. I then migrate it to my music studio and translate the humming or the strumming to tons of reverb.
Other ideas might just come as a flash out of nowhere. While walking the dog I hear a bass-line or a synthpad echoing inside my head. I guess the sound I’m going for could be described as melody based but carried with an
idea of old synths, when the technology was still new. I’d also like to add some horns later on. “To make it feel more organic” as they say. But that is just me talking.
As an artist what are your aspirations you’d like to achieve with your talent?
I’d like to come out and play! I’ve been hiding away for so long with this, and back when I am OK actually had some band members, we had a real force to our sound that was overwhelming. Like a disco juggernaut! Lots of keys
and synths, big clean guitars and up-beat, heavy drums but still played with a light touch. I was so proud of us making such a devastating sound!
I also want to finish much more of the music I have on my three or four drives. It’s like I have mountains of backgrounds and foundations of music that is ready and waiting, I just need more words to put the right emotion
in it. I have these hill tops to shout whatever I want, but its hard to find something to shout that is worth sharing with the void I’m staring into (a computer screen). I obviously need to get out more! Thanks to my dog, I actually do sometimes. Thanks doggie. Now, I could write about chewing gum and “please put a DJ on, mr record”, but I’d like to try to write words that mean something else than going out clubbing as many of our contemporaries seem to express their feelings about. I don’t say there’s anything wrong with that, sometimes it is just what the doctor ordered. I just feel the need to contribute to the pile of music that doesn’t pollute our precious airwaves further with that simple same old theme.
You’ve come along way musically and have been featured in various notorious bands- what made you break free and direct your music solo?
Around the time I realized I had a singing voice of my own I also realized that all the music I’ve been concocting could have a leap out of my small world. I have now developed a very clear vision of what I want to do musically, and while it’s fun to be in bands I’ve found that I work quite fast alone when my focus is left undisturbed. There are literally three or four drives full of music I’ve made waiting to be finished. At the same time, I also relentlessly come up with new stuff. So it is starting to spill over in a sense. It needs to be let out, therefore I need some time to focus on getting this done in my own creative flow.
Whats the story behind the name I AM OK?
It’s from an article I read about an explorer set out in alaska to spend some time there. I think he came there by balloon in the summer and built a camp for himself. (I might remember some details wrong. Maybe all of it, except the name I stole) Winter came and he was all alone and cold and too far from anywhere and everyone. He was meant to be picked up but the pick-up never came. One day a plane came by and he waved for them to come and rescue him and somehow he used the wrong signs which came out as “I am OK”. Which he wasn’t. He wanted to come home. That’s about all I remember from it. I didn’t save the article for later and it never shows up when I search for it on the interwebz. I read it like ten years ago, and I’ve been thinking all along that it’s a brilliant name for a band. Short and catchy but with an abyss of loneliness behind it. A bit different than Whipläsh Wänkers as i saw someone in a band-tee some days ago. But hey, that’s friggin catchy too.
The 3 new tracks that is set for release on EDILS shortly- can you describe the writing and recording process for them?- And where did the inspiration come from?
Much of this music is stuff I’ve been writing on the side since i got my first music computer. Two years ago, a friend (Mattias from Caterpillar Ghost) asked me if I knew any band that needed a keyboard player. I said “How about my band? But it doesn’t exist yet!” then, we started sifting through the enormous amount of project files that laid on my drives and patched some songs together and “saved some for later”. Some of it is older than time, some we patched together with new ideas. But he left after some months, seeking other inspirations. But thanks to Mattias, I found a way to make use of all the projects I had lying around and also how to start singing. We still hang out and sort out each others projects occasionally, sharing ideas. He’s a great guy!
What does the final finished product of your 3 new tracks personally mean to you?
A new start! Rock and roll! The track 1×1 is my first ever stab at writing lyrics! God help us all.
For those unaware EDILS Records are a great DIY label with a lot of love, and even more talented artists. A very underrated label but also one of the best. We are delighted to praise the amalgamation. EDILS have plenty of plans for I AM OK but how did getting involved with EDILS come about?
Phil from EDILS used to book shows for us in Jeniferever, so we must have met in 2002-2003 while we were on tour. We started chatting recently, talked a little about music and I told him what I was doing right now, I sent some songs (Like 30. I know you shouldn’t do things like that. “SEND MAXIMUM 5 SONGS” is what they tell you, the talent suits. I say no to conformity. Send 100.) and he seemed to like them enough to put me on his roster. It’s gonna be great releasing this stuff now!
Following the 3 new tracks you also have a new EP set for release shortly- Can you tell us more about this release, the recording process and what we can look forward to?
Oh, some of them are finished since before, some of them are still work in progress. Mostly it’s just the vocals that needs the final touch. I also think I’m aiming for a little simpler touch with the later projects. Not as many instruments going on everywhere at the same time. We’ll see if I can contain myself in that department. It is probably going to be a failure in that sense but it will probably make me happy either way. It’s all written and recorded in my small studio where I have everything I need, my Autoharp, my Omnichord, my moog-delay -oh lawdy, and my P-bass. And a bunch of guitars. And a dog and two cats.
It’s been stated you will be booking a tour through EDILS for 2013, whilst we wait for that and for those of us this side of the pond who would love to see you perform live; what do your live performances possess? And what live ventures have you got in the pipeline?
Right now we’re just gonna release the two EPs, see how they behave and then take over the world. Nah, but shows will probably be booked sometime in spring next year. Then we’ll do the taking over the world stuff.
All featured artists are asked this- What album or track has been stuck on your turntable, ipod, cd player for a while now?
I’ve been listening to the national a lot lately, “Hi violet!” is a great album as is all their latest three. And Death cab. I’m also a big fan of Belle and Sebastian and their funny frog album, Feist and sweden’s biggest arena goths Kent. Some years ago I just stumbled upon a relatively unknown band, Long Wave, that I listened to a lot and still do sometimes but they seem to have dozed off. They were great though, their album Tidal Wave has a great opener!
And finally any last words from you?
Ah, gotta get back to my studio, I hear a slowly beating tom in the distance that needs to get tracked. Ow that reads a little nasty. ta ta!
Following these three fantastic tracks, we can’t wait to hear the forthcoming EP. We sincerely thank both I AM OK and EDILS.
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