From Top to bottom: Pierre Riddez, Zacharias Zachrisson, Samuel Lundin, Rickard Renström
story + pics / Koko Ntuen
At first glance Swedish based rockers Tussilago have all the ingredients required to look like an up and coming rock group. Four really good looking guys who occasional have to brush hair out of their face? Check. A master of their instruments, which they play with fervor, natural instincts and skill. Check. A story of formation that is not forced yet interesting and involves a catalyst, (Tussilago was the name of the cat that Zacharias’ mother found in the trash and nursed back to health). Check.
Besides the obvious tale you might assume of a band put together by 4 skater friends with gorgeous hair, they are really, really good.
The formation of the band came when Pierre Riddez, Rickard Renström, Samuel Lundin, and Zacharias Zachrisson began skateboarding, exchanging music, and then deciding to make music together. The guys all go way back through different circles but as soon as they started playing they knew it was special.
“We were joking from the start that we were going to be the biggest band in the world. We were half joking but we still thought, ok we could be it,” says Rickard, “We could barely play chords at the time.”
They have progressed a lot since those beginning days. Their namesake debut EP, Tussilago ,has a vintage shoe-gazey, psychedelic approach that makes you want to listen to Led Zeppelin or The Doors after you have heard the last song. That or play the record over again. The chords are interesting, the arrangements complex and enticing, with lush tones and ethnic sounding inspirations. The whole album will make the listener, well, listen. It’s a record that’s good enough to mature in your record collection and appreciate for years to come.
Live they are passionate and their music precedes them. At the record release party at Twang in Stockholm they had the whole crowd transfixed. There were times I found myself bobbing up and down to the beats and others a bit emotional. Love Song #1 is especially a heart tugging tune that makes me think of every relationship I ever wanted to disappear into. When I ask them if they ever become emotional while playing. There is a collective, “Yeah.”
“Rickard is always flipping out, says Zacharias, “He will get into a song and just lay on the floor, not even playing just laying down like, ‘It’s so good.” I just wanna smash stuff though. I want to throw my drum kit into the wall.”
Tussilago was discovered when Samuel interning at INGRID as an audio engineer, was working on building the offices of INGRID and met Peter of MIIKE SNOW (who ended up producing the EP). The boys had previously had a practice space then got evicted when Pierre most notably the bad boy of the group (why do all Pierre’s always have to be sexy riddled musicians?) decided to have a raucous party that left them evicted, on the news and no where to practice. Samuel asked Peter if they could use the INGRID space and when he heard them practicing in the next room was blown away and asked to record them. What comes next is recording, touring and a beautiful EP that is sure to make waves in the music world.
They are currently working on a full length album and the Tussilago EP is out now. Check it out.