After spending the last year releasing a bright and bouncing selection of Britpop-inspired ditties, Swedish outfit Great Park Avenue have now returned to deliver their third single 'Au Revoir'.
Taking their cues from The Strokes and The Cribs, 'Au Revoir' makes for a wonderfully bold and enticing offering from the trio. Jam-packed with killer hooks, a sweeping atmosphere, and some brilliantly catchy moments, expect this one to be stuck in your head long after you've finished listening.
So with the new track out and about, we sat down with them to find out more about their background and what has inspired them most over the years.
What was the first instrument you fell in love with?
Zach: Maracas, since they always come in pairs and are easy to play.
William: Probably guitar i would say, it was the first thing I really wanted to play, after that came drums which I thought were a bit cooler. It feels like everyone plays a little guitar and that drums are more unique. But I never got any good at drums so that romance slowly faded.
Johnny: Guitar for me as well. We had a guitar and a bass hanging on the wall when I was a kid and I had just started listening to Punk and Rock more seriously, so for an 8 year old kid they started to look quite interesting that weird shaped piece of wood. Then there were a few painful months struggling with an old crappy spanish guitar before I got my first electric guitar.
What has been the most prominent inspiration behind your music so far?
Zach: The love for the artform, but also great bands with big personalities like Oasis and to always give 110% of what you have.
William: For me it must be technology and the realization that you can do so much by yourself today. You got your Macbook, you got your SM57 mic and you’re off. You’ve had a nasty customer at work and you’re sick of it, then you go home, eat something cheap and record something. It’s not that bad when you think about it. You don’t have to rely on anybody anymore, you don’t have to sit around and wait for anything, it’s nice to be independent in some regard.
Johnny: Realising we can create as good music as the bands we love, and with the home-studio revolution there are no boundaries on what you can create by yourself today. Quite scary but uplifting at the same time.
What kind of music did you love as a teenager?
Zach: I listened to a lot of punk music, but also garage rock, mostly The Strokes which gave a great lot of inspiration to the music we do today.
William: I had a kinda mixed diet… I listened to great amounts of Nirvana and Swedish punk band Ebba Grön early on in my teens, then some hip hop like Wu-Tang, Gangstarr and Cypress Hill, also things like Bassnectar and Slagsmalsklubben. Bassnectar especially was an eccentric choice of mine, I Skateboarded and Snowboarded a lot and was introduced to lots of weird music that way. Later in my teens my music taste developed to a more straightforward rock oriented thing where my favourite band probably was The White Stripes, then I had about a year only listening to Bob Dylan which was when I was like seventeen. I have always had this thing where I direct all my awaken time on an artist when I first discover them so that's how I move through the music history.
Johnny: Unfortunately, I listened to a lot of metal, I mean real pig screaming kind of metal. I guess it was a development from the aggressiveness I loved with punk music which was my first musical entry. But in my late teens I came to my senses and discovered the unknown world of Britpop and Indie, which in most cases had some punk elements to it combined with well written songs and melodies that really got me hooked.
What do you find is the best environment to find inspiration for your music?
Zach: Close to untouched nature like the ocean or a pristine mountain site.
William: I think you can find inspiration at all places but the best must be in a vehicle right? Like a bus or in the passenger seat of a car, or while driving yourself. When I was a teen I had a moped that I went to school with everyday, I used to hum on song ideas on my way home. It was a special feeling singing in the closed helmet and one time I almost crashed right into the car in front of me when it stopped for a red light, I hit the brakes just in time and barely touched it with my front tire but it definitely was a close one. After that I stayed more focused on the road while driving, but yeah, I think some great songs got lost during those moped rides, I could barely ever remember what I had sung when i finally arrived home.
Johnny: Anywhere, it can hit you wherever you are or whatever you do and hopefully there is an instrument close around. But most of the time, being in our studio listening to some nice tunes, chatting or messing around with some ideas can quickly develop into something interesting. While we’re in there, with the intention to get something written, having all the equipment/instruments just an arm stretch away makes the process very comfortable and easier that it’s usually enough to get something going.
Who are your favourite artists you have found yourself listening to at the moment?
Zach: Kevin Parker and his project Tame impala, I love the iconic synth-sounds he manages to carve out of all those old synths.
William: I just found Jacques Brel and absolutely love everything I hear, watched a documentary on him which got me to wanna leave Sweden and move to Paris to become a poet and songwriter, another french guy is Serge Gainsbourg who has written songs for France Gall and Franscoise Hardy, I love them all . I have also been listening to a bunch of Reggae and Dub lately. I am really fond of artists like Marcia Griffiths, The Revolutionaries and Linton Kwesi Johnson. On the indie rock side I haven’t found anything new in a while, unfortunately, I would love to get into some new great things.
Johnny: Top 3 at the moment are Babyshambles, Stone Roses and Parquet Courts which I came across just recently just by scrolling through Spotify. Two minute up-beat songs but still very catchy, the first two songs on their first album absolutely blew my mind. There’s a lot of interesting approaches in their music but they still keep it quite simple and easy to listen to which is what I like about them.
How many of your songs have you written about people you wish you’d rather forget?
William: Probably not a single one. Feels kinda contradictory writing songs about things or people you’d rather forget since the song (if you record it) will be there forever. Makes it kinda hard to forget them.
What has been the funniest moment in your career so far?
Must be this one gig on a local venue where the deal was: no pay but food and drinks are on the house. Well, our guitarist Johnny took the opportunity to drink about 10 white russians… Which ended with him finding a spraycan and graffiting our name on a wall inside the venue. We told the manager of the place what happened, since we felt that there was no way denying this, and he just laughed at the fact that we would have to go back the following day and clean it, which by the way is way harder than you think.
If you could open a show for anyone in the world, who would it be?
Miley Cyrus? Tony Bennett? Arctic Monkeys? Can’t really decide...
If you weren’t a musician, what other path do you think you might have taken?
Zach: Definitely an arborist.
William: Well, when I was about sixteen the choice for me was either snowboard or music when I was off for college. I was really really close to picking a snowboarding school up north in a town called Malung, but at the last minute I came to my senses and thought: What the hell! I can’t move up north! So I kinda picked music there and then, but if music never was on the table I probably would have gone to that snowboarding school in Malung and I would probably have been on the top of some skiing slope right now instead.
Johnny: Perhaps Politics/Politician.. On the good side of course.
And what is the best piece of advice you have received as a musician?
William: Not sure, probably that thing about never quitting, something like: The apprentice asks the master “What is an artist?”
The master answers “One who keeps going”.
Can’t remember who said that though…
Great Park Avenue's new single 'Au Revoir' is available to stream and download now. Watch the new video for it in the player below.