- I will be sad if my solo album would turn out to be a flop. But I am not going to compare my work with neither ABBA’s nor Frida’s sales figures. We aren’t envious, we are happy for each others successes.
On May 30th your first solo album in many years “Wrap Your Arms Around Me” will be released. The single is called “The Heat Is On”. Is this very different material from what you have done before?
- It’s quite different from what I have done as a solo artist earlier, I used to “sound” much nicer (even though in my soul I’m still nice). The album “Wrap Your Arms Around Me” is very playfull and positive. I have felt much more free because I didn’t have to take the same considerations or compromise as much as you have to when you are working in a group.
Why is your hear so messed up?
-It’s important to present the songs in a way that corelates to the feeling of the music.
Frida and you are persuing solo careers, Björn and Benny are writing a musical. Is the ABBA era over?
- We have not had a formal meeting where we have decided that ABBA is over. We all think that it’s excellent that we all do something else besides ABBA for a while. But I do hope that we will work together as a group again, recordingwise.
What do you want to say with your album?
- There are a couple of red threads. I wanted it to include good, melodic songs in a positive spirit. Not just tragic ballads about someone who has been left and now life is so hard to live. However there is one song like that, “Once Burned, Twice Shy”.
Is it as exciting today as it was when you had your first shot at Svensktoppen?
- I don’t know. In a way it’s something I’ve gotten used to and I think different today at 33 than I did at 18. I don’t want to sound blasé, but you do get a little bit spoiled when you have had a lot of success. But I’m really excited about hearing how the album will be recieved. Even though I’m myself is so fed up with it right now, but that’s only because I haven’t had any time to create any kind of distance to it.
And now you are going on tour in Europe, doing TV-interviews and TV-shows. Isn’t the music strong enough to speak for itself?
- I don’t mind travelling around promoting my music if it gets the album some recognition.
But you are not going to the US?
- Maybe by boat because of my horrible fear of flying. Hopefully my fear of flying will go away the older I get, but at the moment I just simply don’t dare to challenge fate.
Who are your musical favourites at this time?
- Michael Jackson, Hall & Oates and – as always – Donna Summer.
Will we ever get to see Agnetha Fältskog live on stage again?
- I will be on stage in different TV-shows, among them a 50 minute tv-special which will be recorded this fall for Swedish Television. And it’s not impossible that some day I will put together a little band in the future.
But never again in a full blown concert tour?
- I would like to but there are so many components in such a project that I’m just not comfortable with. But maybe we could go to one place, stay there for two weeks and then go home. There is also the question of what you feel you are good at. I don’t think I’m as good live in concert as I am in TV- and recording studios.
1983 is really your year, a new album and a little later on this year the movie “Raskenstam” where you are making your debut as an actress.
- 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986 etc are all my years.. I’m only joking. It’s a very exciting year, but I would prefer to wait until the year is over and then decide if it has been “my year”.
So are you going to be a movie star now aswell?
- I have no Hollywood ambitions or to go there and live the Hollywood life. I just wanted to try acting and other ways of expressing me.
You don’t have any formal acting training, do you think you would have gotten the role if you hadn’t been a celebrity?
- At first I felt bad for all the actors who has all the training and who are struggling really hard to get a role like this one. However I have some training after all the years in the business. It has given me experience with working in front of a camera. And I also always play a role on stage even with ABBA.
You have recently gotten engaged in the fight against drugs. What can a person who lives so far away from that reality do?
- First of all let people know where I stand. If you are an idol or maybe I should say role model for some people and they read that I’m against drugs then there’s a chance that they get influenced by me. Nothing would make me happier. We only have one life and we have to treat it with care.
- I’m sure I could take the subway, I just haven’t done it for years. I love going out to eat as long as it’s not too often.
You have challenged some of the tabloids here in Sweden who are spreading lies about you.
- Yes we file complaints about all of them who write lies and it seems like it has taken effect. At least it has been a little calmer lately.
Some people say that now that you have become a superstar you can walk all over the Swedish press and that it was a completely different story in the beginning of your career.
- It’s not about “walking all over” but I will have to start to defend myself against the lies. In the beginning when Björn and I was just married we agreed to almost everything the magazines suggested. We did it because we thought it was fun and our need for privacy wasn’t a big thing then. But that trust was abused and just because we said yes to everything when we were 18 doesn’t mean that we have to say yes to everything for the rest of our lives. However, I have no problem talking to the media as long as we talk about my work, not my personal life.
Isn’t it a pity to miss out on the good stuff in life like Lotto, scratch tickets? I mean you are already a millionairre?
- That is not what is the good stuff in life for me. I am a very down to earth-person. What is important to me is the simple things, that I have my health. Nature, spring different smells. It sounds banal and simple but that’s how it is. Of course, I am very previleged and spoiled so I can buy a piece of salmon every now and then and drink champagne, but that is not something I do every day.
After your divorce from Björn Ulvaeus you have been seen with two tough guys, one hockey player and one policeman. Do you like tough guys?
- Just because you have a “so called” tough job doesn’t mean that you have to be a tough person to do it.
So even the softer guys can take a chance on you?
-Absolutely. A lot!
MAGNUS JANSSON, AFTONBLADET 13 MAJ 1983