Petronella Nettermalm (Paatos)

Paatos have a new CD out, V, and with a European Tour planned as well I decided to get in touch with Petronella Nettermalm to find out more. Unfortunately, since we talked together the tour has had to be postponed for personal reasons, but as the new CD is already released I decided to present a slightly edited version of out interview together. The whole of the DPRP staff wishes the best for Petronella and her family during these difficult times.

Interview for DPRP by Dave Baird

Hi Petronella. The last time we spoke together, Paatos had just released Breathing, the first studio release for five years. Now 18 months later you’ve released a new album already, how come?

The time before the release of Breathing was a time of lots of discussions and disagreements in the band and that was a process that took some time. After Breathing was released we started to write immediately – we didn´t want a long gap again – we were all eager to both record and play live after the long silence before.

Why are there only four new songs? What was the driver to re-visit the older material?

This album is just a prelude of whats coming. We´ve got lots of new material in the making and the plan is to start recording a new album when we get home from the tour. We chose to re-arrange some of our old songs with this new setting of the band. We had the idea for a long time and talked about it before – it´s a way of broaden our spectra and show where we stand to day.

So it’s more like and EP really. Are you not worried that people might be disappointed that there are only four new songs?

Our intention is of course not to make people disappointed! Quite the opposite. The old songs sound like new, and for us this is an important step of our development. The songs are now what they would have sounded like if we released them today. It is the same with a “live” version of an old song-it can never be done the exact same way twice in our world…

You’ve taken a song from each of the previous studio albums (except Breathing), but what made you pick these specific songs?

It could have been any songs from the previous albums. A band is like a living organism – the input and the output changes all the time. It´s exiting to remake old creations because we change and our old songs obviously gets another sound when we record them today. We might do it again!

Both Téa and In Time are listed as “Revisited” whereas Precious and Your Misery are “Remixed” – can you explain the difference and the approach?

The revisited songs are totally new recordings/realisations of these two songs, while the remixed ones are made mostly out of the old audio-files, but with new clothes!

Regarding the new material, Paatos seem to have moved away from the ambient, dreamy style that many associated with you before. Is that a conscious change, is it the end of that phase of the band or just the way the new songs came out?

Everything that we have done in the past is a part of us. We never plan how to sound – the sound is a result of our present state. I can´t say if we´re going in this or that direction musically – we´ll see where the next album takes us.

I’d say that the new music continues the up-tempo theme that we heard on Breathing, but the track Desire is much heavier than we’ve heard from Paatos before with it’s grungy, riffy, retro feel – where has this come from?

The embryo for Desire is accually old – it was supposed to be on the album that later became Breathing. But since we never could agree of how to make that album in the original setting it fell into oblivion until now.

Leading on from the above, what bands influence Paatos now and in the past?

Every band we ever listened to has influenced us in a way or another – some more than others of course. In a good way or in a bad way. We listen to all kinds of different music in the band – but what unites us all is that music is for us something very serious.

Did Ulf take part in the writing this time?

Yes – everybody is involved and takes part of the creative process.

Last time we spoke you were just about to tour with Riverside, how did that go?

It went just fine. We had the best time and the Riverside-guys are just great people! It was a thrill to get to play in Poland – people were really kind and got the chance to meet both old and new friends.

One of the challenges of Paatos as a four-piece band was to reproduce the music on stage, particularly the keyboards. How will you solve this?

Yes- touring the Breathing album we were using computers for backingtracks and thats something we will never do again for sure! We are very happy to announce that we now are five members again – thanks to excellent keyboard player Mikael Nilzén! The album title V partly stands for that. I´m really looking forward to this tour and beeing a full band again!

As well as being the 5th studio album I guess… Were you introduced to Mikael by Ulf, I see they already played together for some years in Thåström’s band? Is Mikael now considered a full member of Paatos?

Right You are! Yes, Rockis introduced us to Mikael, and he is truly a great player with loads of interesting soundscapes on his palette! Mikael is a full Paatos member and we feel we have only started scraping the surface of things to come…

Finally, Paatos is an interesting word, what’s the meaning?

Well, in spanish “Pato” is a “duck”!?! But, seriously-Paatos, or “Patos” means when You feel really strong for something-and we feel very strong for what we do!

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