Greenleaf, meet Australia

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Greenleaf, meet Australia

Swedish retro-stoners Greenleaf make their first visit to Australia in 2018. Originally a side-project for Tommi Holappa (Dozer), the band has been around since late ’99/early 2000 and has released seven albums through three labels with their latest being Rise Above the Meadow. We chat to vocalist Arvid Jonsson ahead of their tour down under.

Hey guys thanks for chatting to Forte Magazine, how are you and what have you been up to recently?

We are just fine and dandy, thank you! These last couple of months we have been working on our new album Hear The Rivers. We just got back from the studio in Stockholm actually… everything is recorded and done now except for the vocals. We’ll take them after visiting your part of the world. And yes we’re pretty damn excited about how it sounds so far! Hopefully it’s gonna be a real killer.
You began as a side project, then your self-titled debut EP was released in 2000, and now having released seven albums, how would you describe the evolution of the Greenleaf sound and as a band overall?
From the beginning as you said Greenleaf was just something to have fun and play around with, but after Dozer (Tommi’s other band) decided to slow down and me (Arvid) and Basse joined in on Trails & Passes, we decided it was going to be everyone’s main focus. I think we came to that conclusion when we started playing live actually; we found an energy on stage together that you rarely come by. Everyone just really wanted deliver.
Soundwise, I think we’re always trying to take steps forward and with me and Basse in the band it might be that we added a little more wideness and fairy dust to the groups soundbarrier, with Basse coming from a background as a jazz drummer and me mostly singing soul and pop before Greenleaf.

You’re finally coming to Australia this March. What sparked the trip down under? What are you looking forward to most?

Your Mate Bookings made this happen! We got a got email and a discussion started about it and in the end we said “Fuck it, lets go!” I’m looking forward to everything. The funny furry things you have down there, the views and the people. But mostly the shows of course, it’s always a real pleasure to play in front of a new crowd. I think by now we played almost every country in Europe so it’s going to be rad to play somewhere completely different. And from what I’ve heard you guys seem to deliver! Also skipping a couple of weeks with temperatures below zero is just fine with me…
You guys are known to blow minds when on stage, delivering this blend of stoner heaviness and delicious classic rock overtones. How do you prepare for a show, any pre-show rituals?
Well yes and no. Everyone in the band has their own small little thing that they do. Tommi tends to just walk around a lot sipping on something stronger, Basse needs a couple of beers to get in the mood, I just tend to be really quiet and focused an hour or so before the show, and Hans likes to take a nap. Other than that we usually just say “let’s just have have fun and make the floor fucking move.”
Thanks for chatting! To finish off, what’s in store for the rest of 2018?
We are going do this tour and then this summer it’s going to be pretty slow since both me and Tommi are becoming Fathers in June… The same week in fact, it’s pretty weird. Then in the fall we release the new album and after that there will be a tour all over Europe again. Thank you and see you down under!
When & Where: The Bendigo Hotel, Collingwood – March 2; Singing Bird Studios, Frankston – March 3 & The Barwon Club, Geelong – March 4.