Interview with Jon from MamaKin
Calle: When did MamaKin get together as band?
Jon: We actually formed the band as we were waiting in line at our local bar. That was back in 2001, I think. We had been partying and listening to our favorite music as we were realizing that no band at the time played that kind of ballsy and raunchy party music that we were into. It was like, “C’mon, let’s start our own band, and we’ll make music to hammer down beers to.
Calle: How did the band come up with the name “MamaKin”. Has it something to do with Aerosmith?
Jon: You know, we don’t really have a funny story about that. I guess we had been listening to that song that night or something ‘cause it just popped in our head and we just rolled with it. We pretty much just made clear that the name would fit as a chant, you know “MA-MA-KIN! MA-MA-KIN!”, and it did, so we went with it.
Calle: What got you into music in the first place?
Jon: For me personally, I started playing the same day MamaKin did its first rehearsal. I was that kind of kid who didn’t wanna practice, so I never had the patience that learning to play an instrument takes. Obviously, I got to play bass. But you know, as we went along I started getting more and more interested in my instrument and got my own bass heroes and stuff. That’s when it became fun to practice. Music has always been a big part of my life, though. My first album was High Voltage with AC/DC. I was really blown away by that one.
Jon playing his bass live
Calle: Who are your biggest influences?
Jon: For MamaKin as a band I would have to say KISS, Ratt, Def Leppard, you know bands like that. I’m not sure how much we actually sound like them though. We’ve always had the ambition to do our own thing. For me personally, as a bass player, I’ve always loved the work of Leon Wilkeson from Lynyrd Skynyrd.
Calle: Name 3 “older” bands and 3 “newer” bands you can recommend?
Older: Ratt, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Ozzy
Newer: Airbourne, Hysterica and Crazy Lixx.
Calle: How do you write the songs in MamaKin?
Jon: Ward, our singer and guitarist, writes most of the music. Usually, he has the chords and the melody done when he comes to rehearsal, and then the band members add their own touch to the music.
Calle: Where do you find the inspiration for the songs?
Jon: I can’t really speak for Ward, but if you read the lyrics, the songs are pretty much about our everyday lives. One song of the upcoming album is about us getting harassed by the police. You know, we’re four young rockers trying to live our lives to the fullest, so obviously we got a few stories to tell.
Edwin (drums) Elias (guitar) Jon (bass) Ward (vox & guitar)
Calle: How far are you in the making of the debut album and when can we expect it to come out?
Jon: At the moment we are awaiting the final mix of the album by our producer Rikard Löfgren. Everything has been recorded and I can tell you, it’s gonna blow your mind. It’s difficult to explain, but the whole project has felt so right from the get-go. We created a working environment that was perfect for us, so we’ve all stayed inspired and at our best throughout this whole recording.
Calle: What can the fans expect from the album?
Jon: I’d say you can expect a really big rock album. This is the one thing the four of us done in our lives that we’re the most proud of. Our ambition was to create a grand and unique sound, and I think we did it. And Ward has really written some killer songs.
Calle: If you could choose one song you wish you had written, what song would that be?
Jon: Highway to hell – AC/DC
MamaKin ridin' on the rock wave
Calle: They rock/sleaze scene seems to be “big” in Sweden at the moment. What’s your opinion on that?
Jon: It all started with a few bands that formed around the same time at different locations in Sweden. In the beginning it was MamaKin, Crash Diet, Loud n Nasty and a few other bands, and then it just grew. I can’t talk for the other bands, but MamaKin were really getting tired of the music scene back then. The music was depressing and pop music was getting a lot of attention. I guess we were fed up with it all. We wanted something different. Something to be young, stupid and drunk to.
Calle: Speaking of the rock/sleaze scene in Sweden, I guess a lot of the Swedish bands would like to play at Sweden Rock Festival. Do you and MamaKin have that dream to?
Jon: Yeah, Sweden Rock Festival would really be something extra, that’s for sure. It’s such a great festival with a good atmosphere, good arrangement and a really good crowd. Hopefully we can do it soon.
MamaKin rockin hard
Calle: What’s the most fun experience your have witnessed on the road or at a gig?
Jon: Chaos has always been surrounding this band, which makes it difficult to choose just one thing. But I’ll never forget when Ward took a piss in a living room at a party we crashed after a gig in Norway. I think he was sleep walking at the time, anyways, all of a sudden he stands in front of the last few awake at the party and takes out his dick and starts to take a piss. The owner of the house wasn’t too happy about it, but she actually invited us back for a New Years party.
Calle: Do you or the band have a “special thing” you do before going on stage?
Jon: Not really. We’re getting prepared in our own different ways. It could be getting some sleep or having a beer, but we don’t have anything we always do.
Calle: What can the fans expect from MamaKin when you play live?
Jon: We’re all about throwing a really rowdy party, you know. We want to have a good time, and we want our audience to have a good time, as well. Music, alcohol and sex are our idea of a good time, and we’ve discovered that we share that with some of our fans.
MamaKin live on stage Ward and Jon live
Calle: If you got the chance to go on tour in Europe or The States with a “big million dollar selling band”, who would you like that to be?
Jon: I would like to tour with AC/DC. Always wanted to have a beer with Cliff Williams.
Calle: Where do you see MamaKin in 5 years?
Jon: You would probably find us on the road somewhere, maybe eating some disgusting meal at a diner somewhere. Haha, no but I certainly hope that we’re on tour. That’s my favorite part of this gig.
Calle: If you could put together a dream band of your own heroes (not including anyone from MamaKin). Who would be in that band?
Vocals: Bon Scott (AC/DC)
Guitar Jimi Hendrix
Bass: John Entwistle (The Who)
Drums: John Bonham (Led Zeppelin)
Calle: What’s the best advice you can give to other up-coming bands?
Jon: Do your own thing. And do it hard.
And now some questions outside music:
Calle: What was the first LP/CD you ever purchased?
Jon: High Voltage – AC/DC
Calle: What do you do when you’re not playing music? What’s your other interest?
Jon: Family, food, beer and the occasional pool game.
Calle: Being in a rockband you probably have a drink or two before the gigs (and after). What’s your favorite drink?
Jon: I dig scotch whiskey like Talisker or Lagavulin. Beer, of course. And I’m a sucker for Dry Martini.
Calle: What’s the first thing that comes to your mind if I say Denmark?
Jon: Beer, a Hereford Beefstow and pretty women.
Calle: Any last words for the fans?
Jon: Keep in touch with MamaKin!
Jon drinking beer (not Danish)