Interview with Baby Jane

Baby Jane, a Swedish sleaze band, formed in Gothenburg back in 2007, still consisting of the original line-up with the 5 band members Freddie, Rikk, Matt, Manx and Mikey. Since 2007 they've played in Sweden, England and Denmark. And with their heavy guitars and unforgettable melodies it can't be anything else but a band destined for greatness. They recently played at the Swedish Rest in Sleaze-Concert, and received great response from Sweden Rock Magazine, one of the biggest rock magazines in Sweden, who considered the band being rock stars, instead of trying to act like rock stars. This is a band with high caliber, ready to take over the world. I talked to Freddie and Manx from Baby Jane about the band, the future and their opinion on piracy.

Q1. Hi guys! How did you come up with the name "Baby Jane"?

Freddie: It was our guitarist that came up with it. The reason was that we needed a great name which was easy to remember, and Baby Jane was it.
Manx: I believe his though behind it was that it should be possible to draw many similes to it, you know, we don't have the ambition to be any sugar sweet band, who wants to wear make up to look sweet as a doll. But Baby Jane sounds very sweet, and I know there are a lot of people who calls their babies for baby Jane, and maybe we are babies, but a bit more evil and violent creatures. I like the fact that Baby Jane sounds so sweet but ain't sweet at all. We fool them all!
Freddie: Oh yes we do!

Q2. How would you like to describe Baby Jane?

Manx: Very nice attitude, great fellowship and we know what we want. We can conquer in the future.

Q3. Which is the best Baby Jane song so far?

Manx: It hasn't been written yet. Haha. Well, actually, just before you rang we were sitting here with an acoustic guitar and played a new song called "This is war", it's actually not recorded yet, but it is an old Freddie song that he wrote. We've played it live, and I do believe that is the best Baby Jane song.

Q4. Your music sounds a lot like the music back in the 80s, but a little harder and more modern so to speak. Is that intentionally?

Manx: We don't intentionally try to sound like anyone at all, we are definitely not trend followers.

Q5. What's the recipe for a good song?

Freddie: It should be balls in the chorus. When you're at a concert you will remember the song if it's good one, and you will walk around and hum it.
Manx: Well, the thing with a good song is that it doesn't matter how good a song is, you can write the best song I the world, compete with it in Melodifestivalen (The Swedish version of European song contest) and it will become the biggest hit in the world, and then be forgotten 2 days later. I don't think there is song if there isn't anything dangerous behind it. I do think that if it's going to be anything interesting about a band they need more than a hit, it also needs balls behind the hit. Do you understand my point?

Q6. What are your plans for the nearest future?

Manx: We are in Borås tonight, so that is fucking great, and Baby Jane takes all the chances we get. We don't really want to tell to the public just yet, but we do have some awesome things coming. It looks good, we set our goals high, and maybe we fail 9 times out of 10, but the 10th time we nail it. We love playing rock 'n' roll, it just simple as that. And we want to do it for as many people as possible on one and the same night, and then we are happy. So more people on our gigs, that's our goal.

Q7. You started the band 2 years ago, and since then you've already played in England and Denmark. How have you been able to do all of this?

Manx: Sometimes I wonder the same. We went to England on tour, when we had played together once and done 2 gigs. Since day one with Baby Jane it's been kind of weird, we've got a lot of attention, and I don't know if that's because we're handsome or if our band name is good. And going and playing in England was kind of the first thing we did, and I wouldn't wanna listen to those gigs today, but we did have a lot of fun. We were in Denmark in December, and it was a great gig and far too little people. We try to play as much as we can, every weekend. And with a strong will like that we will get forward. We are a band that works great together, we are 5 fucking pirates, and we see this as a big fucking boat that we need to bring to shore, and when we do, the record will be there and we will be making money on playing the music we love.
Freddie: There's nothing to be ashamed of so to speak, there's a lot of bands in our genre but I don't think anyone can do what we are doing. I don't want to sound egoistic or pathetic or anything, but I do believe it is like that.

Q8. What is the funniest thing you've done during your 2 years?

Freddie: The funniest? Everything we've done has been fun, and that's how we feel. But the gigs on Sticky Fingers were very good and successful, a lot of people showed up and we got a lot of attention. But the best and funniest most have been Rest in Sleaze 2009.
Manx: Rest in Sleaze was awesome.
Freddie: We are like in a rollercoaster in this band, and Rest in Sleaze was one of these tops, and we think it was really fucking funny.

Q9. Which band has been most fun playing with?

Freddie: Our last gig with Danger was really fun.
Manx: They are awesome guys, and they have the same goals as us. We played with them in Malmö, on a Wednesday, and as it was in the middle of the week we didn't have so high expectations, but we succeeded with both one thing and another. Vains of Jenna was fun playing with as well, we played with them at Sticky Fingers in November I think it was, last year. A little bit more boring band was Wrathchild, the band we played with in England, and it probably is England's only sleaze band ever. It was our forth gig, and I think the audience liked Baby Jane better than they liked Wrathchild. But they had cool drums anyway, with chainsaws.

Q10. What band would you like to play with in the future?

Freddie: I don't care, give me a beer and you know I'm happy. What's maybe been good for Baby Jane to gain success is to play with a band that maybe ain't a sleaze band but rather maybe plays future music? I don't know, it's hard to say.
Manx: But we would like to play on Peace & Love Festival this summer, play on the same place as Mötley Crüe, that would have been awesome. But actually we don't need any other bands to do what we want to, we walk our own path, and the less competition the better for us. I guess we rather play with bands that are smaller than us, that's for the best.

Q11. Baby Jane got great response from Sweden Rock Magazine after your gig on Rest in Sleaze. How did that feel?

Manx: Awesome! Really fun, Sweden Rock Magazine is one of the biggest rock magazines in Sweden, so I'm very proud and it's a nice push for the entire band.
Freddie: It was like wood on the fire. You hear a lot of good things about the band, but sometimes I don't know what's true and what's not. But if they actually take the time to write it in a magazine and give the rating 7/10 you do accept it. It was so fucking nice to read.

Q12. Have you used the money from the grant you won on Rest in Sleaze yet?

Freddie: Not yet.
Manx: We're collecting money, we are the fucking poorest band in Sweden, but it was 4000 SEK that will land in the van as soon as possible. It just that we have to choose what we're going to have, and look at cars, and that isn't our strong side so to speak. But what the hell, the money will be used to buy a van, and we actually don't get the money until we can show them the receipt.

Q13. Sweden Rock Magazine called you rock stars, do you feel like rock stars?

Freddie: I've felt like that since I started in Baby Jane, so definitely.
Manx: I was born a rock star back in 1981, so of course. No, seriously, we do think that what they wrote is true, it's not unlike what we have been thinking ourselves. But we have no ambition trying to be rock stars, we only want to be who we are. And if Sweden Rock Magazine thinks we are rock stars when we are the way we are, we get happy of course.

Q14. On stage you seem to be rather wild and impossible to tame, are you like that off stage as well?

Manx: When you start a band when you are like 14-15 years old, you kind of just do things. But when you get older you need to have a purpose with the band, you can't be one in the multitude anymore. And since we've started Baby Jane we've been working our way up but not on the sacrifice of our wild sides. We go all in, and there's nothing to lose.
Freddie: Too answer your question, no, nothing can make us tame. We are fucking wild, so come and party with us and see how wild we can be!

Q15. What do you prefer to drink on stage?

Freddie: BEER!
Manx: I've tried to drink other things, I've tried whiskey like Mötley Crüe use to drink a couple of times, but we drink mostly beer, and some water.

Q16. What is music to you?

Freddie: Music is to get a feeling, an experience of all of it, you can take it to you and get inspired.

Q17. Do you sing in the shower?

Freddie: YES!
Manx: No, I don't, that one's on Freddie, cause we really don't.
Freddie: Oh, yes we do sing in the shower.

Q18. What is your opinion on piracy?

Manx: I think we have different opinions. But my personal opinion is, I'm maybe one of the little, little percent in this world who thinks that Pirate Bay should be hanged and dug down in a hole. I'm one of the few who still buys records.
Freddie: Well, Pirate Bay have destroyed a lot of things, and some bands have a hard time getting up in the business because of it, but it can also be positive, and I personally think it is, the music comes out in circulation right away, and it's easier to make a name of yourself when people have the possibility to hear it. So I vote for Pirate Bay in the future.
Manx: And also, we released our demo on Pirate Bay, so at the same time it's mean of me to speak against it.

Q19. What's your opinion on women making music?

Manx: So fucking great! More women should go forward, is what I think. Crucified Barbara for example, I think they've done great progress and I want more chicks in the music industry.

Q20. Which band do you consider are the most overrated?

Manx: Everyone works for their own thing, and overrated is just some fucking newspaper-thing according to me. How could someone be bigger than they really are? But the band H.E.A.T. maybe?
Freddie: Yes, H.E.A.T. is overrated, just as well as Hammerfall, they've been in the business for quite some time, and they're starting to get pretty screwed.
Manx: I sat at home watching MTV yesterday. And Katy Perry and Pussycat Dolls had a concert there and played like 5 songs. And Pussycat Dolls were dressed really cute and danced really well, but only one of them were singing. And also, the singing was recorded in advance. And then it was Katy Perry, also a musician getting famous in a month, and while she was picking up her guitar I was thinking: "What's the difference between her and us?". Okay, she has songs, she sings well and she has Max Martin to her help. But there's nothing about that concert that Baby Jane couldn't have done better. Well, maybe our dancing wouldn't have been as good as Pussycat Dolls dancing, but at least we know how to sing in our microphones.

Q21. As musicians, what can't you survive without?

Freddie: Beer.
Manx: You can't survive without a band, according to me. We are 5 persons in this band, and if all of us don't feel the same, it's going to be able to hear it and see it on stage. Freddie is a great singer on stage, but it's not enough without a band, he needs 4 more people, Matt behind the drums, and I think he is the best drummer is Sweden, easily. And Rikk doing his thing and Mikey plays his guitar and I play my bass. That is needed to make it a unit, and I think that me as a musician, never could survive without my band members, it would have been worthless.

Q22. Is Baby Jane the next big rock band?

Freddie: If we do get right support, so hell yeah!
Manx: We really commit ourselves to this, we do what we do right now. And it doesn't matter how far we reach and how big we get, because we're doing our best and that's all we can do. But I promise we are going to have fun for some years to come. But if we get big on the way and gets the chance to release our music, that would be great. But this isn't about making money really, it's all about having a great time along the way. I think we all have the same ambitions in this band, we want to have fun, do gigs and preferably every day, we want to record our music in a studio and release it. We want people to listen to our music, and honestly, we want to do interviews after the trot on Saturdays rather than doing nothing at all.

Q23. Some quick questions:

Stockholm or Gothenburg? Difficult question, a punch under the belt. Actually we're sitting in Borås as we speak, but the home ground of Baby Jane is Gothenburg. But we have nothing against going up to Stockholm, and we would like to explore it some more, and check out their bigger places, but we choose Gothenburg.
Tattoo or piercing? Tattoo!
Mascara or lipstick? Mascara, haha.
Would you prefer eating barbed wire or taking a bath in broken glass? Broken glass I think, it feels a bit more kind, it's something you could get away with.
CD-record or vinyl-record? Vinyl is so fucking much cooler. But I rather start a CD than a big LP. But I do have lots of vinyl records, but no player so I can listen to it, so I have to prefer CD, cause I have a CD player.

Q24. Any last words?

If we survive the night, we hope to see you again, and that it's going to be a fucking great evening, when we see you again we mean.

Interviewed by Johanna Salo

Visit the Baby Jane Website