“It’s the Frog Version of a Boom Box” – UNO MØLLER Discusses His New Album
Returning to his solo project after five years, Uno Møller is set to release his fourth studio album, Frog Box. We had a chat with the singer about his musical career, unexpected influences and the forthcoming album.
Starting out in the most innocent way “me and a friend of mine playing with toy guitars and rocking out to ‘Basket Case’ by Green Day in my friend’s basement”, Uno Møller soon became an aspiring musician.
I asked my mom for a real electric guitar. I was this football kid when I was little, so they didn’t really understand what I wanted a guitar for, though. But I got one, started my first band right away, and have been playing in bands ever since.
Drawing on a vast variety of influences, Møller doesn’t necessarily pinpoint a specific sound, nor is his inspirations strictly musical.
Lately my ideas and influences has come more from pictures and films, and experiences, than other music. One of the inspirations for ‘Frog Box’ for example, was a Japanese anime short film called The Diary of Tom Riddle; The Red Berry.
Uno’s debut, Songs From My Beautiful Colour Ball, came out in 2010 followed up by Silent Riots and House Of Hearts in 2012.
I kind of put the whole Uno Møller solo thing on hold indefinitely in 2013, I think. I was so sick of playing acoustic guitar, and writing what I felt was the same song over and over. Although my first two albums got a bit of attention, and ended up on a couple of best albums of the year lists, etc. I just got bored of the whole thing. I don’t think I had any plans of doing an Uno Møller album again, until suddenly last year.
Though he was still making music with other projects such as Team Me and Twin Pines Mall at the time, the urge for solo material came creeping back. “Suddenly I just had these songs that were all over the place, but still, in my mind, felt like a weird journey of an album. I was just writing songs for the fun of writing songs, just for me really. So I thought, why not make this the new Uno Møller album.”
Musically this release is quite different from your previous work, what inspired that change of direction, and did you have a specific moment when you realised how you wanted that sound to evolve?
To be honest, what really started the writing songs for fun thing. I was listening to the radio a bit last year, and eventually I got so sick of the music that kept pumping out. Everything sounded exactly the same. So, I just shut off everything, and started to listen to older music and weird music. I found myself listening to Chinese traditional music and meditation music and sounds. Like frogs at night and like beavers gnawing on trees or whatever. It was really refreshing actually.
I actually turned on the radio again here the other day by the way, and it’s like they’re still playing the song since last year. anyway..
Then I was invited to play at a country evening at the local pub for some reason, and decided instead of playing my sad acoustic songs to loud drunk people, I just wrote a couple of country songs and put together a band. So suddenly we were on stage playing some punky country songs for middle aged country enthusiasts. It was a weird evening, but kind of great at the same time. A couple of those songs ended up on the album actually.
After that, I started writing songs, with only one rule, that they should be different to everything else I had done before. So, out of that came this weird and funny album, that sort of makes a bit fun of it self at the same time as being a serious album.
Frog Box may sound a bit peculiar for an album name, and definitely draws associations to Australian grunge-outfit Silverchair and their chart topping Frogstomp. “You had to be in my head when I thought up the name to understand, I guess,” the singer admits.
It’s the frog version of a boom box. It’s a frog walking down a dirty old road one day in the summer. With a wine bottle in one hand, and a boom box in the other. Just having a really nice summer’s day. And there are so many different types of frog, you know..
Though Frog Box is a new musical chapter in Uno Møller’s discography, his many bands and projects root far back. Having spent such a long time both creating and observing music, I wondered if he approached music divided as an artist but also as a fan?
Music has been my life since I was 15 or something. I lived in my favourite records when I was a kid. And I remember when we had our first real real band Wintermare. Our lives were based around that band, even though we never got anywhere really. It was just who we were. So, music is very important to me.
I don’t know if I have a different approach to music really. It’s kind of the same I guess. Obviously the difference is that with my own music I can build it up as I want, and hopefully get it the way I like it. Do things that I haven’t heard in the music I listen to. But, it’s kind of all one big thing for me.
Already set to work on new things we hopefully don’t have to wait another five years to hear from Uno Møller.
I’m actually going back into the studio on Friday, the day ‘Frog Box’ is released. I’m working on a new thing. Can’t really say much yet, though. We’re also a few mixes away from a finished new Twin Pines Mall album. And we’re working on an EP for Elida Inman as well. So, there’s lots going on.
Frog Box is out 21st of April through Furuberget.