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David Myhr Vital Stats
David Myhr - Photo by Kiku Fukuzumi
Birthday: February 27
Birthplace: Piteå, Sweden

Got you where he wanted


Boom Boom Beat



DISCOGRAPHY

Soundshine
Soundshine

Looking for a Life
Looking for a Life (June 2011)

Got you where he wanted
Got you where he wanted

Andrew's Store - click for full size
Andrew's Store (9-26-97 JP)

Bubblegun - click for full size
Bubblegun (11-27-97 JP)

No Sleep 'Til Famous - click for full size
No Sleep 'Til Famous (10-9-95)



THE ONE

Like in a dream I finally found a star
And how I long to let it shine
We've started on a journey so far
Our paths forever intertwined

And I would feel so lonely
If I should lose my one and only

The one that i care for
The one that i long for

The one that my love's for is you
Du-du-du-duu dut-du du-du-dut-duu

Sometimes we've been lost on our way
But we were guided by our hearts
And now we're getting closer each day
It's like we never were apart

Our home can be wherever
We're there as long as we are together

The one that i care for
The one that i long for
The one that my love for is true

Now I know this love and what it means
learned how to take and how to give
In you I found the star of my dreams
Let's travel on long as we live

Our home can be wherever
We're there as long as we are together

The one that i care for
The one that i long for
The one that my song's for is you

Du-du-du-duu dut-du du-du-dut-duu

And I will always be there for you

Du-du-du-duu dut-du du-du-dut-duu

The one is you

© Music and Lyrics by David Myhr


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David Myhr Interview

David Myhr - Photo by Elias Rådelius

"One day I might aim for a PhD with the goal of finding the magic behind a great melody... Probably I will spend five years realizing that there is no magic trick. Just put some notes together that are easily hummable, and you're done." - David Myhr

From the land of ABBA to the streets of Japan, David Myhr has seen his share of the world's music industry. Formerly of the group The Merrymakers (see our August 3, 2009 interview), David has finally parted company with his longtime music collaborator, Anders Hellgren, to launch his own solo effort. Beginning with the release of two new singles and an all new album, "Soundshine", David has managed to create that foot tapping sound we came to love in his "Boom Boom Beat" music for Puffy AmiYumi.

On February 26, 2012 David Myhr was kind enough to give an interview to Andrew from J-Pop World.


In our last interview you were a member of the group The Merrymakers. Can you give us a quick recap of how and why you started a solo venture?

Yes, our group had downsized over the years. From being five members in the early 90's we became four for a while, and ended up as a threesome during our "heyday" when we were making our two albums, worked with our hero Andy Sturmer from Jellyfish, and had some international success (mainly in Japan).

Soon thereafter Peter left the band and only Anders Hellgren and I remained. We were very determined to continue our career as a "band" although only being two members. We were aiming towards the U.S. market where we just signed a record deal and things were looking good. But then the label "vanished" like they so often do. And the Japanese record company just wanted our first radio hit (Monument of me) over and over again although we tried to explain to them that we had already written that song. So the career kind of faded.

David Myhr - photo by Linnéa Burman of Festivalphoto.net

Instead we became producers and songwriters and put a lot of time and effort on building the perfect recording studio. This, together with the whole idea about trying to earn money from music production and recording came in the worst possible moment in modern history. Suddenly technology made it possible for everybody to record at home, and downloading made people stop buying records, and we had to earn our living by teaching and other things instead. And also we realized there was a life outside of the band. I got married and Anders started a family.

In the middle of all this the thrill of writing songs together was gone. I guess we grew apart musically somehow. At least I got the feeling that Anders very rarely was excited about my songs. So when we finally gave up the studio we decided over a beer to bury The Merrymakers as well. Looking back on it I must say it wasn't a day too early. I became full of inspiration again, and even better -- my whole bunch of songs that I had written over the years were suddenly all approved! By me!

Your new album is called "Soundshine". How would you say the music style and creation process compares to your previous works?

I think my music style hasn't really changed. My influences remain more or less the same and with this my first solo album I didn't try to make something totally different. The difference is being responsible for everything myself whereas in the 90's we were all helping out each other with the songs. But on the other hand, this time I was free to call any musician, producer, co-writer I wanted at anytime and suggest working together. That led me to collaborating with other great Swedish songwriters like Andreas Mattsson (Popsicle), Peter Morén (Peter Bjorn and John) and Peter Kvint.

David Myhr's Soundshine album

But it's true that the production process changed somewhat since I didn't actually pre-produce too much. I went in the studio with some session musicians without really knowing what it was going to sound like. And being very open to ideas and creative input from them. With The Merrymakers there was a tendency to worry too much about sound and production and what every instrument was supposed to do and not do. But I am a restless person and I want quick results. I guess that's why I am happy to leave a lot of decision to the musicians themselves. So instead of thinking too much I decided to finish a few songs, get a band together, and see what happens! Then of course after the basic tracks were done I got back into the habit of spending ages with the vocal overdubs, and other kinds of production polishing.

Tell us more about the people involved in creating the music with you.

Well, I wrote almost all of the songs myself. But as I said I involved some of Sweden's best pop music makers but mainly in the lyrical department. Like for example on Looking for a life which Andreas Mattsson wrote the lyrics for. He's a Swedish indie pop legend since he fronted the great band Popsicle in the 90's. And Peter Morén of Peter Bjorn and John helped me out on another one called Icy Tracks.

Andreas Dahlbäck, David Myhr, Rikard Lidhamn, Anders Pettersson - Photo by Paula Muñoz Macaya

For the recording I worked with one of Sweden's best producers and drummers. He's called Andreas Dahlbäck and is a great inspiration in the studio. He hears a song, and then he starts playing it like he had played the song for years with great energy and passion. Things happen fast in the studio around him and it was a great relief after having spent so many years with The Merrymakers without actually finishing an album.

Would you say there is a "theme" to the album?

Yes. Songs in major keys! Every song, even if it might start in a minor key, ends up in a major key with a chorus that most people should be able to sing along to after one (or two at the most) listens. Lyrically I don't think it has a theme, at least not that I'm aware of. But it has occurred to me that a theme that seems to be coming back is the one of keeping your dreams alive, following them, and listening to your heart. I guess subconsciously it has to do with the fact that I didn't give up music although times were tough and the career hasn't exactly been sky-rocketing. And I'm over forty years now and I should probably have worried more about getting a "real job" much earlier but I never gave up my dream of living a life full of music.

"Soundshine" is being released by different companies in Japan versus the UK and Europe. Can you tell us how you got involved with them?

I had my eyes on an English label called Lojinx since they seemed to be releasing only great music. Luckily the label manager who also is a member of the great band Farrah liked my album and Lojinx will be distributing my album throughout Europe including my home country Sweden -- releasing in on March 26, 2012. This means that I'm in the very best of company since Lojinx also has quite a bunch of my favorite current artists and bands on their roster. Like for instance Fountains of Wayne, Brendan Benson, Bleu, Josh Fix, Pugwash, The Wellingtons, and Farrah themselves. Just to name a few! These are all in my opinion representatives of highest quality melodic pop -- or power pop -- or whatever you want to call it. It's all about great pop, great songs, and great sounds!

Spain has a special place in my heart since my wife is from Madrid. It has become a second home country for me. The day we met back in 2003 it was because of an arrangement by a record label called Rock Indiana who once were interested in releasing The Merrymakers but we stupidly said no. So now I thought it was the moment to rectify this mistake and I'm happy to now have entered an agreement with them for Spain where the album will be released March 13, 2012.

David Myhr - Photo by Kiku Fukuzumi

In Japan I had a track record since The Merrymakers were quite known way back, and since I had written quite a few songs for Puffy AmiYumi over the years that had been heard a lot on Japanese TV and radio. So I was quite optimistic to begin with. Then I realized that the music business had changed and independent labels were dying one after another because no one buys records anymore. And Swedish and international music wasn't as hip as it used to be -- the kids are into Korean boybands at the moment. So I became somewhat more pessimistic. And then just about the same week when I finally presented my first album since The Merrymakers' Bubblegun in 1997 Japan was hit by the terrible catastrophes of 2011 -- the earthquake, the tsunami, and the nuclear catastrophe. And suddenly my project seemed even smaller and even more unimportant... and I suffered a lot with the Japanese people.

I was just about to give up when finally I managed to track down a label specializing in power pop, which seems to be the closest description to what I do. And luckily they loved the album and wanted to work with it. Not only did I let them release the album months in advance of the rest of the world (after all it's Japan!) -- I also gave them a couple of extra bonus tracks which were songs I had originally written for Puffy but now made covers of myself. A funny experience! The best thing about it was that I managed to get Puffy to sing background vocals on both of them. One of the songs was Boom Boom Beat and the other one is Happy Birthday which in my version is called Record Collection.

David Myhr with Yumi (left) and Ami (right)

How can fans purchase your music online?

On my official website I have a store for both the physical and digital version but it will also be out on iTunes Store. In Europe and Japan it should be possible to order anywhere since it's distributed by labels there. American people can go to Kool Kat Musik, CD Baby or my webpage for the physical version.

We really loved the sound and feel of Got you where he wanted. Can you tell us the story about writing and recording the song?

I mentioned this on a blog post of mine that it was the intro riff of Matthew Sweet's hit song Sick of myself that inspired me to the guitar riff of this one. It's something about the raw energy and simplicity that always strike me when listening to that song. I turned up the volume on my VOX AC-30 amplifier, took my guitar, came to think of this song, and somehow I just switched the order of the chords and there was the embryo of a new song. In the end if you listen to the songs they don't have much to do with each other -- but this is a good example of a spark that ignited the writing of a song. Re-cycling is a big part of what great pop-writing always has been about! Just ask Per Gessle of Roxette or Noel Gallagher of Oasis...

Looking for a Life, like so much of your music, gets our feet tapping from the very first time we heard it. Where does this "magic pixie dust" you seem to sprinkle on your songs come from?

I'm very happy to hear that! It's a difficult question to answer. I guess the magic comes from a deep love of melody and the fact that I don't finish songs unless they have a very strong hook, or a chorus that makes me happy every time I sing and play it. That's also an explanation as to why it has taken me ten years to write songs for this album. They don't come from nowhere. Well, yes they do... but what I mean is that they don't come by themselves without being persistent in the search for a strong melody. Although that sometimes is the easy part. Then the anxiety over lyrics begins, and then the production, then the mixing, and so on. By then we're talking LOTS of work.

David Myhr - Photo by Andreas Dahlbäck

Anyway my goal is always to give myself and hopefully others the same thrill as I get myself from listening to a great pop song. But if there's magic, and if so, where it comes from... that's the question which I might look deeper into in the future since I work as a senior lecturer at a university in Sweden. One day I might aim for a PhD with the goal of finding the magic behind a great melody so I can spend the rest of my life going to conventions and telling people what the trick is. Probably I will spend five years realizing that there is no magic trick. Just put some notes together that are easily hummable, and you're done.

Your acoustic version of Happy New Year shows a different side of your music. What inspired you to tackle this notable cover song from ABBA?

I wanted to offer something for my early fans while waiting for the album instead of my webpage being completely dead. So my English label Lojinx suggested that I'd make some acoustic covers as giveaways. And the idea was to make them as simple as possible, just my voice and a guitar, as opposed to my record production technique that tends to have quite a lot of overdubs to it and quite elaborate background vocal arrangements.

It so happened that it was around New Year's eve and I came to think about one of Sweden's biggest success stories ever alongside IKEA and Björn Borg; ABBA! As a lover of melody and being a Swede there's no way getting around them. (Actually there's nowhere you can get away from that group!). And as if it wasn't enough I sometimes play the role of Benny in ABBA tribute shows touring the world. I've had my most amazing live experiences in my life as "Benny", among them a couple of unforgettable concerts at the legendary Hollywood Bowl in front of 16,000 people. So ABBA are always present in my life one way or another. Not as much as the Beatles but that's another story...

David Myhr (right) with Super Trouper - photo by Fredric Alm

Tell us more about the lyrics for your song The One.

Lyrics was never my main priority when writing pop songs. And usually I don't have something very specific in mind when writing lyrics. I just want it to sound good, and feel good when singing it, and hopefully rhyme. Sometimes it means something specific, but not very often. When I first met my wife Paula she thought that hooking up with a musician would mean having songs written for her all the time. But it turned out it didn't really happen. So she was kind of disappointed and started to complain about this -- half jokingly, half seriously. I love her a lot and she means the world to me so I thought -- what the hell -- I'd better give it a try.

She's from Spain and moved to Sweden in order to be with me and she has been going through some tough times because of everything that leaving one's home country means and being a bit lost in a new culture, language, and everything. So I owe her a lot and try not to forget all the sacrifices she has made for me. And sometimes when she misses her family, Spain, and the sun too much, I want to make her feel at home, and that home is wherever the two of us are, as long as we are together. And this song is for her!

Outside of music, is there anything else going on you'd like to tell us about?

What! Outside of music!? There's a world outside as well? I get pretty stuck when I'm supposed to talk about something else. I guess I have to work on that...

What are your plans for the rest of the year?

I will probably dedicate a lot of 2012 to trying to make people aware that this album of mine, Soundshine, is out there. It's a very tough job since everybody's making music these days and nobody has time to listen. Myself included. I'm not expecting everyone to love my music but I know there are people who are thirsty for some melodic guitar based pop -- instead of what you normally would hear on the radio, like Rihanna, Beyonce, and Lady Gaga -- so I will try my best to reach out at least to them.

Do you have a final message to all your fans?

Well -- if there are any fans or followers who actually read this far I want to thank you so much for your interest and support. You mean the world to me! You are all most welcome to "like" my Facebook page, and make small comments or ask questions. Communicating with, and meeting, great people is what makes everything worthwhile!



For more info checkout David Myhr's official site and Facebook page. Leave your comments about this interview and read what others had to say at the following link: Interview Comments