Army Of Lovers are back to our world! In late fall of 2012, the famous Swedish producer, businessman and philosopher Alexander Bard wrote on his Facebook page, that the legendary band returns to the stage with a new album Big Battle Of Egos, which consists of a collection of new tracks recorded in 2012 -2013, as well as the greatest hits of Army Of Lovers from 1987 - 1996 and 2000 - 2001. The return of the legendary group was held at the large-scale Swedish TV show Melodifestivalen, which is, in fact, the national selection for the Eurovision. Having no problem to reach the final, Army Of Lovers came back by the top rated TV show to presents a new track Rockin' The Ride. Which surprises are in store for us by the famous team, and if any of them will be the new sexual revolution anthem, you can read in this exclusive interview the producer and member of Army Of Lovers Alexander Bard gave to the Russian magazine BF / Best For.
Den Sokolov: Why did you decide to revive the group? Was the decision made under commercial interests or emotional needs?
Alexander Bard: There was no big plan involved at all. Alexander, Jean-Pierre, and La Dominika have always been close friends and we basically met and had a chat last fall and then decided that the time was right in 2013 for us to get reunited. If anything, we are motivated by politics this time around. Times are really tough for LGBT people in many parts of Europe, antisemitism is also on the rise, and we believe Army Of Lovers need to be back at the forefront in the struggle for equal rights regardless of race or sexual orientation.
Den Sokolov: Do you plan to meet the expectations of fans, whether it will be new hits, so big as Crucified, Sexual Revolution, Obsession, La Plage De Saint Tropez? Or new material will have other special concepts?
Alexander Bard: There are four brand new songs on the Big Battle Of Egos album released March 27 - Rockin' The Ride, Crashing Down, Tragedy, and the new single Signed On My Tattoo, a duet with Gravitonas, but we feel so inspired that we might release even more new material in the fall, including both brand news songs and re-recordings of some Army Of Lovers classics.
Den Sokolov: What about girls? Will Russian audience applaud to La Camilla, Dominika or Michaela?
Alexander Bard: They will definitely applaud La Dominika. She will always be with us since she is a permanent member of the Army Of Lovers line-up. La Camilla however has been altered into Santa Camilla, she is now our official saint but will not go with us on tour. We will see about Michaela Dornonville de la Cour, she might be the joker in the whole game of cards.
Den Sokolov: Will this reunion be only for promo-gigs for the new Army Of Lovers album, or may it have new big history?
Alexander Bard: We actually have no idea and have decided not to make any further decisions before we really have to. The future is open.
Den Sokolov: What about Gravitonas? Will you keep them as authors for Army Of Lovers or will you perform with Gravitonas and Army of Lovers at once?
Alexander Bard: Gravitonas is very much happening. Gravitonas have a new single out in the United States called Incredible, which is receiving tremendous early support especially from the dance music community. Perhaps not surprising considering the fact that Gravitonas have already had three Top 30 Club Chart hit singles in the U.S., including Everybody Dance, our duet with Roma Kenga, and also now a hit single in France called Brighter, a duet with French DJ Guena LG. Also, the Army Of Lovers single Signed On My Tattoo is a duet with Gravitonas, so you are likely to see a lot of Alexander (and Andreas) in the near future.
Den Sokolov: What did you think about situation with gay rights in Russia? How is it seen from Sweden? What do you think about perspectives of this situation in Russia?
Alexander Bard: Gays are constantly discriminated against in Russia, not only in the streets and the media, but even worse, through the law. The new homophobic laws against "homosexual propaganda" terrify us. Army Of Lovers want to work closely with the Russian LGBT community to see what we can do together to reverse the homophobic trend and fight for equal rights and liberty for LGBT people in Russia and Eastern Europe, the way LGBT people already enjoy equal rights in Scandinavia.
Den Sokolov: Will whether Army Of Lovers or Gravitonas raise these issues about gay-rights in their songs?
Alexander Bard: Isn't Sexual Revolution the ultimate gay rights campaign song? It is at least the song ever recorded that has been used the most as a Gay Pride Anthem. And did you see the kiss between Alexander and Jean-Pierre in the Melodifestivalen performance of Rockin' The Ride? La Camilla hanging out with her new young girlfriend? Army Of Lovers will always be at the forefront of the gay rights movement.
Den Sokolov: What about SoFo Records? Like, that's a production company which was founded by you. Will you somehow affect the products which will be manufactured by SoFo?
Alexander Bard: Alexander helped Maria Molin-Ljunggren and her staff at Lionheart Music set up the new SoFo Records label to bring out a new generation of Swedish pop stars, producers and songwriters. Robin Stjernberg, who will represent Sweden at this year's Eurovision Song Contest, is a SoFo Records signing, following Alexander having found Robin during his involvement as a judge on the Swedish Idol TV show. But it is Maria and her staff and not Alexander who run the record label and they're doing an amazing job for the SoFo Records artists, including Gravitonas and Army Of Lovers.
Den Sokolov: Many fans are wondering, what are the members of Army Of Lovers doing in that moments, when the band does not exist. Many of them know about you being a businessman, a sociologist and an author of many songs. And what about Jean-Pierre, Camilla, Michaela and Dominika?
Alexander Bard: Jean-Pierre runs a major hair salon in Stockholm and a make-up and haircare products line called By Barda. La Dominika runs a PR agency called Mafioso. Camilla Thulin, who designs all the Army Of Lovers outfits and scenography, is Sweden's leading theater costume designer. La Camilla is not doing much besides being on the occasional TV show, while Michaela Dornonville de la Cour is busy running her own jewelry line.
Den Sokolov: Some of your fans could read the influence of the themes like conspirology in a lot of AOL tracks. Is that just jokes, or are the AOL some kind of new Bible?Maybe there's hidden messages?
Alexander Bard: There are definitely hidden messages everywhere, both in Army Of Lovers and in Gravitonas. These are for us to know, and for you to find out. We are talking about two very secretive sects here.
Den Sokolov: What is annoying for many people, is that the Army of Lovers have not been elected to the final of the Swedish selection for the Eurovision Song Contest. But was there such a goal, or participation in the Swedish selection was just a way to this beautiful comeback?
Alexander Bard: No no no, Army Of Lovers never planned to perform at the Eurovision Song Contest. To win at Melodfestivalen we would have had to compromise far too much but this is not what Army Of Lovers are about. Instead we made a shocking performance at Melodifestivalen, stole the media limelight from all the other artists, and are now ready to go on tour around Europe. Army Of Lovers only performed at Melodifestivalen to tell everybody that we are back and we are more outrageous and avantgarde than ever before. Melodifestivalen is such a big TV show in Sweden (over half the country's population are watching) so it was the perfect spot to stage the comeback, that's all.
Den Sokolov: Do you follow imitators of Army Of Lovers? There's a lot of Russian and Ukrainian bands that cover AOL songs. And there is a perception, that the most popular gay artist of Russia - Boris Moiseev has been successful because of copying the style of Army Of Lovers in images and songs. What do you feel about such things, just as sympathy or indifference?
Alexander Bard: It is flattering that other artists are copying Army Of Lovers. We don't have a problem with that at all. There would never have been Lady Gaga, if there had not first been an Army Of Lovers, so it's certainly not just Russian artists who copy our style.
Den Sokolov: And who was inspiration for Army Of Lovers in late 1980s? Who were these people? Liberace and who else?
Alexander Bard: Marie Antoinette, Oscar Wilde, Cher, Liberace, Alla Pugacheva, Rasputin, Bollywood movies, Central Asian wedding costumes, we have thousands of references and inspiration in our music and image. Anything and everything camp and outrageous is fine with us.
Den Sokolov: Can we hope that after the new album Army Of Lovers will record more new songs? Will there be any videos of them?
Alexander Bard: We plan a video shoot for Signed On My Tattoo in April, the video to be premiered in May. It's a duet between Army Of Lovers and Gravitonas so writing the script and making the video will be an interesting challenge.
Den Sokolov: What do you think, which kind of music will be popular and loved by the audience after 10 years, 30 years, 50? And which kind of music will have a commercial success? Will it be the same styles or different genres?
Alexander Bard: We have absolutely no idea and we never speculate anyway. We just do what feels right for us to do and then we go ahead and do it with full energy and enthusiasm. This is what is important to us. To have fun and to be uncompromising.
Taken from the Russian magazine BF / Best For, issue #6 2013.