Benny Andersson’s son Ludvig and producer Svana Gisla reveal the within story of the group’s comeback
Picture: AFP by way of Getty Pictures)
It was a voice so distinctive it made the hair on the again of your neck rise up
When Anni-Frid Lyngstad sang the primary line of latest monitor I Nonetheless Have Religion in You, it marked the primary time in 40 years the band had recorded new music.
Benny Andersson’s son Ludvig and producer Svana Gisla each bear in mind the second vividly.
They had been there within the Stockholm recording studio to witness historical past within the making as Agnetha Fältskog, 71, Björn Ulvaeus, 76, Benny, 74, and Anni-Frid, 75 got here collectively after a lifetime aside.
The session sparked a brand new album, out in November, in addition to large digital stage present the place “ABBA-tars” of the foursome will carry out in a purpose-built 3,000 capability area in London.
In an unique chat with the Mirror, Ludvig and Svana, who’re each producers of subsequent 12 months’s ABBA Voyage present, elevate the lid on the unbelievable reunion…and the way it bought off the bottom.
The Ladies’ Superb Voices
Anni-Frid and Agnetha’s singing left everybody within the studio “fully numb,” says producer Svana Gisla, including: “They had been simply unbelievable”.
There didn’t appear to be any nerves on show as they took to the mic for the primary time after so lengthy.
“They had been doing it for themselves, as a result of they thought that in the event that they didn’t prefer it on the finish of the day, they wouldn’t play it to anybody,” she says.
Ludvig agrees. “I didn’t see any nerves. It was as if that they had simply walked out the door from 1979 and again in 40 years later,” he says.
Svana says the truth that 4 many years had handed for the reason that final ABBA music had one way or the other enriched and made their voices much more compelling.
“Frida singing that first line… I nonetheless have Religion in you… it’s undeniably Frida.
“However there may be 40 years of dwelling between the final time you heard her sing an ABBA track and now. It knocks you sideways.”
The Comeback U-Flip
The 4 members had no want to make new music down the years, though it was extra a “40-year hiatus” than a definitive cut up, says Ludvig.
“There was by no means a second the place they really stated, ‘Okay, we’re by no means doing this once more,’” he says, however engaged on the ABBA Voyage present “sowed a seed”.
He explains: “The enjoyment of the 4 of them engaged on that then was the thought to possibly do one or two new songs.
“Recording was such a constructive that they only saved going. It was very a lot the enjoyment of working as a 4 once more.”
It felt a pure course of not least as dad Benny had by no means stopped making music. “He’s been working day by day for the previous 40 years,” he says. “He doesn’t should eliminate any rust. He’s saved going.”
The Beard State of affairs
Svana laughs how Benny and Bjorn had been left horrified by having to shave their beards for the primary time in 40 years as they wore motion-capture fits for the ABBA Voyage present.
“They checked out us with utter bewilderment and stated: ‘That’s completely not going to occur’.
I regarded over on the 180 individuals who had been stood there with laptop screens and stated: ‘I’m sorry Benny however you’ll should shave or I should ship everybody house.’
She jokes how the difficulty almost “derailed the entire operation”, earlier than including: “He did shave in the long run, and so did Bjorn. However I feel Bjorn wished to go on a 3 week kayaking vacation afterwards so noone would see him till he bought again.”
In The Studio
“It was solely imagined to be a few songs,” laughs Ludvig “However they liked it a lot, it form of snowballed.”
He says the foursome “fell into the identical outdated dynamics instantly”, and says they even reverted to sitting in the identical locations within the studio.
He says: “They’re very conversant in one another, in fact, and conversant in that surroundings. It was simply as if no time had handed.”
It was a very poignant second for Benny’s son, who was born in 1982 simply because the band known as it quits. “For me, there has at all times been a form of legend of types round them,” he says.
“It’s as in the event you’re moving into your personal fairy story one way or the other.” Svana says she was left amazed by how low-key the recordings had been.
“It was very intimate and really unpretentious. There have been cups of espresso going round , and cinnamon buns. It was similar to outdated buddies. They had been relaxed, very skilled.”
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The Digital Stage Present
There have been talks about taking the ABBA Voyage present on tour around the globe earlier than deciding on a purpose-built London area.
“We quickly realized we’re not going to have the ability to transport the form of of sunshine programs and sound programs to cowl say two nights in Berlin, after which two nights in Hamburg,” says Ludvig.
As an alternative “each inch” of the venue in London’s Olympic Park “may have been designed to completely match and improve the already magical expertise” of a live performance.”
Svana says that is the “solely method this works” and says she hopes the expertise is akin to “being in the midst of an enormous music-box”. However regardless of the extremely hi-tech nature of the manufacturing, it gained’t nearly fancy digital wizardry. Very like ABBA’S songs “it is going to be an actual shared expertise of emotion be it, pleasure, euphoria and even unhappiness.” Tickets are on now sale www.abbavoyage.com/
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