Aftonbladet has it own Music Award every year. It is called Rockbjörnen (The Rock Bear). The newspaper's readers get to vote. Last night ABBA were awarded with a lifetime achievement award and instead of the usual appearance of B&B Agnetha and Frida showed up to receive the award and to be interviewed. The interview can be seen here. And a longer clip here.
Here are translations of the two articles:
Thanks to all readers!
Agnetha and Frida at Rockbjörnen: We feel nostalgic.
Talk about a surprise. The roof of Cirkus almost came off when Agnetha Fältskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad appeared to receive ABBA's Rockbjörn for "Lifetime Achievement".
- We have been very nostalgic tonight, said Agnetha Fältskog on stage.
At first no one came.
Then came Anni-Frid Lyngstad. And Agnetha Fältskog. When Per Sinding-Larsen announced that ABBA had won the special Lifetime Achievement Rockbjörnen Award and then introduced the two singers the audience cheered. And after a dramatic break they came up on stage.
- No, now you have to be quiet, said Anni-Frid Lyngstad, 63, as the audience kept cheering.
Agnetha Fältskog, 58, rarely visits public events, but last night she made an exception for Aftonbladet's readers. And she was also in a very good mood.
Many shared memories
- We have talked about money tonight, Agnetha jokingly said when asked what she and Anni-Frid had talked about during the evening. She quickly added:
- No, not at all. We became very nostalgic. We share so many memories. And we are very humbled that, once again, a new generation, is listening to our music. We never get blasé, we are just as nervous to get on stage as we used to be, said Agnetha.
Anni-Frid clutches her Rockbjörn and adds:
- This is fantastic. That we still after 35 years are appreciated by people from all over the world.
When Per Sinding-Larsen asks if they have a funny ABBA-memory to share, both of them burst into laughter.
- No, nothing we can tell here. But it's about a washbasin and a wigs. Let that be picture puzzle for Aftonbladet, says Frida.
At the party following the awards the big topic discussed was the ABBA-girls appearance, especially Agnetha's. ABBA were reunited on photos at the opening of the "Mamma Mia!" movie last summer, but it was a very long time ago when Agnetha were so open and outspoken in public.
The ABBA-stars toasted with champagne after their victory.
The whole world says "thank you for the music" and that pleases Anni-Frid Lyngstad and Agnetha Fältskog. They can enjoy new successes and awards for ABBA. They are proud that Meryl Streep and other stars are singing their songs. But no new recordings are planned.
- I no longer have anything to do with music, says Agnetha Fältskog.
They are two happy artists, drinking a glass of champagne, after the enthusiastic celebration at Rockbjörnen Awards. Warm and happy to talk and very harmonius in each other's company.
How has the whole "Mamma Mia!" success been for you?
- It's still our material all the time. That makes me feel very proud, that the music never dies. New generations come along and they appreciate our music. That feels hopefull.
- We often get questions about how it was with ABBA. Björn and Benny are presented as the geniouses of the band, but all the creative work were made in the recording studio. We were a group of people, not just the four of us; technicians and musicians, creating our work in the studio. We worked with everything, all our harmonies.
- We did everything ourselves. It was an enormous task.
- That is often forgotten. The creative work happened in the studio during many, many hours. It's fantastic that we were able to create this special vocal sound.
How did you like the reception from the audience tonight?
- Unbelieveable. It was so warm.
- There is something I want to clarify. Everything that has been written about me and Agnetha fighting and being enemies. There is absolutely no truth in any of that. Naturally, we were competitive, but that was what made the result so good.
- God, no, we were never enemies. We have been forced to live many of those kind of lies.
- ABBA weren't just two married couples. Agnetha and I were also married in a way.
- We supported each other. If one of us had a cold or felt down.
- We were very considerate towards each other.
How long has it been since you met in private?
- A long time ago.
- But it feels like yesterday.
- Yes, sometimes I dream about Frida. Sometimes about Benny and Björn in different contexts.
- It's a process. We have been through so much and it has been an incredible life. Both professionally and privately. We will continue to process it for the rest of our lives. It's not something you can put away and forget. We are constantly reminded of it, like tonight. We live with it with pride and afterthought.
And it's only you two who know what you went through and saw it with the same eyes.
- Exactly. We as women experienced it in a special way.
- More emotionally.
- For me it meant a lot of guilty conscience and missing my children. Like Frida says, there are many mixed emotions about ABBA. Contrasts. Like the travels when we lived a life in luxury and then back home to do the dishes and make casseroles.
Do you ever want to record again?
- I was just about to ask Agnetha if we could make an album together.
- A double album, he he he...
You released a new album a couple of years ago.
- It's hard to find the motivation now. I have so many other things to do now. I'm in another phase of my life. I'm a grandmother and so is Frida. ABBA will always live inside me. I dream of ABBA. I can't get away from that. But I live my everyday life, I've become more and more distant from the music.
You used to write many songs.
- Yes, I write sometimes. But it all stays in a file. I have the composing in me. Even lyrics, I sometimes get ideas. But from that to doing something...
- It's a big step. Almost unachieveable.
- I can get the idea and put it together just fine. Working in the studio is a lot of fun. But then. Getting out there.
- That's right. I can see the fear in what you are saying. To do promotion and travel - it just can't be done anymore.
- I'm too old for that. I'm not up for it.
Do you listen to a lot of music?
- There is a lot of good music - and a lot of really bad music too. For example, I really like Laleh, she is really good. And Robyn.
- I have also like Robyn since she started. I always said that that girl will become huge.
When ABBA still existed the focus were maninly on you two. It used to be A&A. Nowadays it's mostly B&B who get the most attention.
- Naturally, because they are composers.
- But we really have to change that in some way.
- I agree. Can you arrange a full picture of the two of us?
That can be done.
- All kidding aside. I think that we all four are very proud and humble and thankfull for what we have been able to give.
In the video interviews we also get to know that Frida has played ABBA Singstar with her 13 year old granddaughter and, embarrassingly, lost most of the times. Agnetha had heard about the game, she has a computer but she never uses it. Frida also told the audience about her grandson Jonathan who plays in a heavy metal band, a difficult thing to deal with for a 63 year old pop singer grandma.