My first encounter with Susanna Brandin’s music was on the last night before a friend of mine took off to Edinburgh to investigate strange foreign languages at some university. She played the WTHL record and the first two songs (“Unison” & “When You Said You Headed Home”) suddenly hit me. I made her play these two song over and over again and almost killed the evening, until I inally could let go off these beautiful tracks. Next day her plane took off and I had her WTHL record in my rucksack.By chance a few weeks later Winter Took His Life played a show together with Björn Kleinhenz and Cedarwell (who has released a great new record recently by the way) in the small sweet Stereo Wonterland in Cologne. Well, Stop. I´m off the rails. Back to Start.
The Swedish songwriter Susanna Brandin alias Winter Took His Life comes from Gothenburg. Her debut “You know what it´s like to be alone and shut out”, which was released by Bless The Press Records in 2006, is one of these sweet warm records, which make up the perfect Soundtrack for each season and mood. It´s typical ingredients are the guitar picking and her voice. Since her first record-release Susanna has been on tour quite often and supported Björn Kleinhenz several times on his records including a split ep, which can be downloaded for free at Björns Homepage. Recently I sent her a few questions concerning her music, here´s her response.
Sonic-Reducer: How and when did you start playing guitar and writing songs?
Susanna Brandin: I started playing the guitar when I was 10, my sister taught me my irst chords. I took lessons for a few years, but that was more classical stuff, nothing I’m using very much now. I learned inger-picking on my own.
SR:What is your happiest memory in connection with your music?
SB: Apart from the tours I’ve been on (Europe and the States) and the friends I’ve met, it’s an email i got from my friend in the US a while back. He told me a very sweet story. He had put one of my songs on a mixed cd for a friend of his who was driving somewhere. she had never heard my music
before, but she had to pull over when she heard my song because she started crying. I ind things like that very amazing. that a song that i’ve written can make someone else feel something so strong.
SR: A lot of independent musicians I´ve talked to have to earn their living by working part-time or full-time. How about you?
SB: I work part-time as a personal assistent. It’s a great job.
SR: About a year ago you´ve played this great tour with Cedarwell and Björn Kleinhenz and you also played some shows with Björn before that. How did you get to know Erik and Björn?
SB: i got to know Erik when I lived in Boston for a year after graduating. he was playing and singing in the subway and I just loved his voice and songs. and he was very cute too. We started hanging and he talked me into start playing with him. I had never played in front of people before, so he got me started. I met björn when I moved to Gothenburg in 2006. We bumped in to each other at a party at a friend’s place. we started talking music and a few weeks later he texted me and asked if I wanted to sing on his album.
SR: When you look back at the concerts in Germany, what did you like about the country and are there certain spots, wich you always like to visit or play?
SR: I love Germany. people there are just so appreciative and nice. And people actually come to shows. Swedes are more picky I think. It feels like they’re harder to please. I didn’t think much of the country for 22 years, but since I’ve spent time there, hung with Germans and seen big parts of it through car windows I have to say that it’s one of my favourite countries. It’s a lot like Sweden visually I guess, but so very much more relaxed when you get to know it. The best show I’ve ever played was in Tübingen with Björn and Erik. The venue was an old wine cellar I think and the audience was fantastic. It was a fantasic evening and the craziest after party. I have to go back there sometime.
SR: Any plans to visit Germany again and play some solo shows or some more shows with Björn?
SB: No plans at all, but I’d love to of course.
SR: Are there any news concerning a new Winter Took His Life release?
SR: No plans there either. I’ve been recording at home for a while now, but I haven’t decided what to do with it yet. If I’m going to do anything with it. we’ll see.
SR: And inally, what´s the story behind the name Winter Took His Life (and also the beginning of the song “Where I Can See The Sun”).
SB: I’ve always wanted an artist name. but i had a hard time coming up with one. I wrote “Where I Can See The Sun” when I lived in Brighton and it’s on the irst ep I recorded. When the ep was done I needed to decide what name I was going to put on it. I went with “Winter Took His Life”. It sounded good then, and i still like it very much. I’m sticking to it.