Sweden Dominated '90s Radio, and a New Generation Threatens to Do the Same
See also: What The Hell Is Backstreet Boys' "I Want It That Way" About? UPDATE: Mind-blowing Shit Has Come To Light
Trevor Conner Adam Roth, left, and Frederik Eriksson
Sweden makes big hits. And we're not talking about Abba and Ace of Base songs, we're talking about American hits.
In the '90s, much of the most famous (and ridiculous) pop music was churned out by a literal hit factory in Sweden called Cheiron. From a studio in a small Stockholm office suite, the company's masterminds wrote and produced for groups like Bon Jovi, Backstreet Boys and Britney Spears. They somehow managed to revolutionize American ear candy, even though not everyone involved spoke great English. (Which is part of the reason Backstreet Boys' "I Want It That Way" makes no sense.)
Cheiron closed after co-founder Denniz Pop's death around the turn of the millennium, but another guy from Stockholm, Fredrik Eriksson, was inspired; a couple years ago he teamed with Venice-based songwriter Adam Roth to create serious pop for a new generation. The duo added another Swede and created a group called Griz Adams -- Roth's rootsy twang blended with Eriksson's crisp pop. They are producing an album together, though it doesn't yet have a name or a release date.
We can all rest assured knowing that at least one bona fide American is creating music in Sweden that Americans like. Before that Roth, whose songwriting credits include the theme song for animated series Trailer Trash and placement in The Hills, had been playing with a variety of bands including La Vie. "Fred and I met and we started writing together," he tells us. "After a few days, we had literally dozens of songs." He started traveling to Sweden last year and will be headed back soon.
One wonders: What's so musical about a half-frozen, fjord-etched chunk of northern Europe swathed in near darkness half the year? Sure, we understand Swedish metal, what with the homogeneity and Viking ruins. But what about Ikea and lutefisk and the bork-ing Muppet chef?