Talking to Goat is an experience comparable to an Ouija board séance – you ask a question, but may never be sure who is there to answer. Protecting their identity behind masks and puzzling stories, the band has attracted public that cares about the joy of sharing music more than about celebrity cult.
This time, the member replying to my emails chose to sign his letter as Ulf Lundell – the famous Swedish bard, musician and writer, often compared to Bob Dylan. And since everything is possible in Goat’s perplexing world, where previous incarnations gather on the scene with the physical musicians – who am I to question more.
You come from the community of Korpilombolo in Northern Sweden, that you claim bares a voodoo curse. Could you tell me more about the energy of this place and how it has influenced you?
– It’s a place of endless love and constant gratitude for life itself. The village embraces the truth that everything in life holds darkness and light, but it is still divine. We can only hope that some of this energy is noticeable in our music.
Do you feel bounded with some kind of Swedish spiritual tradition?
– We feel bounded with all spiritual expressions in the world, all religions. But in Sweden we are influenced from old pagan ideas and also the thoughts of Swedenborg, who actually spent some years within our commune.
Living in the tiny community and touring with concerts on the world’s biggest festivals seems like two completely different realities. How do you cope with this changing routine?
– I see the big differences and the changes as funny and life-enriching. It’s not a problem, it’s a benefit.
I think traveling, meeting people all over the world always ensures you that we are so similar, everyone of us. All mankind and its various cultural and spiritual expressions holds more similarities then differences. That proves that we all are one and shall act according to that if we wanna survive and achieve peace and happiness.
Your music connects the primary energy of tribal rituals with the modernity of rock and electronics. How important is it for you to bring back your modern, urban, fast-living audience to a kind of deeper and more instinctive spirituality?
– Having it that as the main reason for making music would be way too pretentious. We can’t turn back time or change the modern life of today. But we can in all modesty give a glimpse of an alternative maybe. It’s just music you know, enjoy it or forget about it. That is what it’s really all about.
Since you maintain the anonymity of the band members, many of your interviews try to know more about your identity. Don’t you find it fascinating, that the desire to stay anonymous paradoxically brings out so much attention?
– I’m not really sure that is a fact. Interviewers always ask us about it in some way, but I don’t think our audience really care so much of who we are. In any case the attention we get is not focused on us as individuals, but more on us as an collective, which is really the whole point.
Where in the world would you like to live for a while in order to get inspired by the traditions and energy of the place, that could later be transformed into your music?
– I think maybe Fredrikshamn would be a good place.
Words by Weronika Pérez Borjas
Photography by Clara Uddman