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February 2021

Francobollo: Long live life

With their debut album 'Long Live Life', Francobollo are ready to take on the world.
Published: 10:59 am, July 20, 2017
Francobollo: Long live life
"We're going to have a record on our merch stand!" frontman Simon Nilsson enthuses. "Up until now it's only been crackers and glasses of water," he laughs. "And some homemade cheese," guitarist Petter Grevelius adds. Taking a break from shooting the video for recent single ‘Worried Times' ahead of their debut album release this summer, Francobollo are in high spirits.

They've every reason to be. Fresh from a tour with Marika Hackman and Our Girl, with their first album about to drop and a headline tour on the horizon, the future's looking bright for the Sweden-via-London quartet. Seven years in the build-up, ‘Long Live Life' is a chronicle of the ever-evolving topsy-turvy cosmic energy that band and fans alike relish in.

"One thing leads to another: you musically fall in love, then you start making music together," Petter describes of what drew them to form the band. "It's like making babies." Relocating from Lund to London as they set about making a name for themselves, it wasn't long before their music started to catch on further afield.

"We played in London for ages," Petter recalls. "You start noticing that the crowds are quite different in certain places," Simon adds. "In Scandinavia for example, and in Norway, no one wants to be the first one to clap in the room.

"No one's ever excited to the point of them not caring about social rules and structures," he laughs.

"pull" text="It's like instead of having one sperm winning the contest, it's twelve of them!

It's through these live shows that Francobollo sparked their reputation. Armed with a galactic sonic pallet, a whirlwind of energy, and an engaging sense of humour, the outfit have taken their time to build up something truly spectacular. Now, with an album made up from twelve of their strongest songs about to see release, the group couldn't be more proud.

"It's kind of like instead of having one sperm winning the contest, it's twelve of them," Simon describes of the record. "Like if you had twelve kids at the same time." Rather them than us, but the group are quick to roll with the analogy. "They all came out at the same time, but were made in different times," Simon illustrates. "That's kind of the 'Long Live Life' concept," he laughs.

"It's got a really naive sense to it," Petter offers of the title. "'Long Live Life' sounds like 'YAY! We're musketeers! We're fighting dragons!'" he cheers. "Life is long, and you live it, and you walk it," Simon counters. "It's weird – kind of like Francobollo's music. You can't really decide what it is that you're feeling."

Described by the group as being "kind of like a greatest hits up until now," ‘Long Live Life' incorporates everything from thunderous garage rock through cruising synth pop and stripped back harmonies to indie at its most anthemic – sometimes all within the space of one song. Evading description by being a little bit of everything they want to be, with their debut record Francobollo present a world that's thrillingly freewheeling in its chaos.

"The album is all over the place," the frontman describes. "Every second it changes. It's just an explosion! And life is kind of like an explosion. That's why ‘Long Live Life' feels good." With a title that sounds celebratory and melancholy in equal measure, on their debut album, Francobollo offer a condensed and ever dynamic taste of everything they've grown to be.

"It seems like the better we get as musicians, the more the songs change into different things," Petter expresses. "The way we recorded was very much to capture the moment in time that we were playing, so the songs were all kind of fresh and new to us as well." Addictively raw at the same time as being deliciously smooth, the album seems to live and breathe, thriving and flourishing as if by instinct alone.

"I saw this interview with Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the creators of South Park," Petter states. "They never thought that they would be able to continue doing what they were doing so they were always trying to outmanoeuvre and do everything." Such a process isn't too dissimilar from what has driven Francobollo this far.

"We just want it to work so we can do it again but in different ways," Petter expands. "We've been doing it for so long now that we want to be able to continue doing it because we really love doing it." "And do another one, and do another one, and do another one…" Simon adds. "We're actually working on our second album already," he enthuses. "Jamming, coming up with ideas, recording it on our phones, and then dreaming about it. That's kind of almost done."

Having spent seven years building up to a debut record, and now with a second album almost ready before the first is even released, Francobollo have their foot on the pedal ready to speed wherever the future may take them. "What I'm most looking forward to is looking at everyone else in the band and seeing how they react to it," Petter enthuses of their upcoming headline shows. "It's going to be really funny to see the excitement."

"It would be really good to be able to make music and then through that explore other kinds of art and other kinds of expression and just get completely free hand to do that," he adds, looking forwards. "We want to be realistic too, but that would be the dream for me."

"I think our dream is to have our own studio somewhere on a big piece of land, with a river flowing behind it, and a little boat, and you grow your own tomatoes," Simon counters. "Somewhere we can sit on the porch and record our country album, playing the banjo, and smoking a pipe," he laughs. "That's kind of the dream: just living an easy life through music," while Petter affirms, "as long as there's a wheat straw in my mouth when I come home, I'm happy."

Taken from the August issue of Dork. Order a copy below. Francobollo's album 'Long Live Life' is out now.

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