Interview with Riot Girl: Mathilda Sundin From Fuck Frankie & Elvira Bira!

Mathilda Sundin AKA Elvira Bira


Age: 27! 28 in March!

Photo Mathilda Sundin

Mathilda is the lead singer of the Swedish Punk band Fuck Frankie and her band Elvira Bira Med Full Fart, where she plays on here ukulele and sings in a more reggae feeling way , but still as soulful as every vocal work she?s ever done.

Her voice is her trademark and its a gift sent from wherever good things are sent from.

Take a listen to Fuck Frankies song < Give it to me> or< Trash Can> and Elvira Biras song< Natalie >, you will notice what her voice can do! Clean or raspy ? No problem , She can do it all!

A proper punk rocking riot girl with an attitude to follow and with her black studded vest shes as tough as tough gets. and she immediately gets everyones attention when she enters the stage.

Seeing her perform live is an experience i would recommend to EVERYONE !

I was fortunate enough to get a interview with her , so here it is!

Can you remember when your interest for music started?

and what made you wanna start playing music/sing?

As a child I loved to sing and come up with songs in my head, aka improvise! As soon as I learned how to read and write I wrote down my songs to remember them.
When I got a keyboard (and even later a REAL piano) I tried to sing some but I thought I wasn`t really good at it. I made a lot of my own music but without singing.
It wasn`t until I saw The Distillers on TV that I started to sing with more power and wrote more songs that I really liked to sing. I felt this is going great and noticed that I actually got better at it if I sang a lot. I even played drums and guitar and I saw no limits as long as I was having fun with the music. Especially playing with other people was fantastic. THEN THE UKULELE GOT IN MY HANDS! And everything was more awesome than ever.

Do you remember the first song you learned to play/sing to?

I think it was Tears in Heaven by Eric Clapton, I sang and played piano.

Which musicians has had the most impact on you ?

The Distillers, Hole, Otep, Kyuss, Bad brains, No Doubt is some of them. Listening to their music really inspired me to play and write my own music.

Photo Mathilda Sundin

What does playing music means to you?

Music is a wonderful part of life. It connects you to yourself and others. It`s like therapy in a way because you get in touch with feelings you thought you didn`t have. And you process, accept and grow as a person. Music means so much but I really think playing music opens up connections in your brain helping you to understans the world better, think logic, increase creativity and imaginary thinking. Especially when we play music together we also evolve and learn about interplay and teamwork which helps us not least in the society but also in our family and with friends.

Can you rember and describe your very first instrument?

And what it ment to you?

My very first instrument was a trumpet, I was 8 or 9 years old and it was not easy playing. I got lessons but as I grew I started to lose interest. I know that when I really thought it was fun playing was when I played with other people. When there was a context I saw meaning and had fun.

Are you ever influenced by old records & tapes?

I actually don`t listen as much to music as a did when I was younger. I`m too busy playing and creating my own music. I really appreciate silence. Even in music we should not forget the silence is a big deal and you can put a spin with pauses, breaks and dynamics. Though I like to go and see live gigs. It`s such a different experience when the music becomes alive in front of you.

When did you know that music was one of your missions in life?

When I started playing with other people I knew I always wanted to play music. I was about 16 or 17 when I invited friends home to jam with me. I had instruments, amps and drums at home since I wanted to play everything for a while there. And also because my brother and father played guitar and bass.

Photo Mathilda Sundin

How and when did you get your band together?

I tried to start a band when I was 17 but it wasn`t until I was 19 I had found people who wanted to play punk with me under the name "Elvira Bira".
By then I lived in Uppsala and it wasn`t easy putting a band together over there. In Stockholm it was a piece of cake!

Which band have you played in / Are you playing in?

I am still playing with my first band Elvira Bira where I song and play ukulele. When I moved to Stockholm I was in a "popabilly"-band called Mobathila where I also sang and played ukulele for a while. We recorded some songs but we never played live. Then I started to sing in City Demons. Kind of a punk rock`n`roll sound.
We recorded songs and had a couple of gigs in Stockholm and later on we dissolved to other projects. Then Lisa and Jsses caught me and I became the singer of Fuck Frankie! Me and Lisa also had a Stoner band namned Flying Head with two other friends. She played bass and I played guitar and we had a lot of great songs but decided not to continue when the other guitarist quit.

Photo Mathilda Sundin

How would you describe your music style to other people?

Broad. Its mostly some kind of punk or rock but also folk inspired.

I know you have played a lot of gigs , does it ever happen that you get nervous before a show?

I can get nervous sometimes but I never see it as a bad thing. It`s exciting to get nervous and I try to use it as energy while on stage.

What advice would you give to beginners who are nervous?

Use you nervousness. Let it happen and let loose and eventually you get comfortable on stage. You are not there to play music for the people who have come. You are there to play music for your own sake. You are playing because you want to play. It`s about you, not them.

Photo Johanna "Jonna" Hector

What kind of concerts do you like to go to yourself?

I like to see punk bands on a small stage in a pub.
It`s great to witness and experience the atmosphere with all the happy punks. I also work on bigger stages. Like the Swedish punk festival Augustibuller or Rebellion in Blackpool. As long as we take care of each other and contribute to a joyful atmosphere we can get som of that punk rock love.

Have you ever gotten rejected by venues because of the kind of music you play?

I suppose I have but I have been understanding for some reason. But the thing I hate the most is when I get rejected by punk venues because we are not famous enough or something. Punk is not about being famous.. Also when venues don`t answer emails.

As a girl , have you experienced beeing underestimatet musically?

I believe I have. People mostly give comments about my singing. Like "Sing more feminin" or "Don`t be so masculine on stage".
I find it very strange that people are so fixed about what women and men should or shouldn`t do.

I see a difference in how people answer to women and men around venues.

Expectations are higher when it comes to women. You have to be really good at what you`re doing to be accepted. Also women are being objectified and judged because of how they look and dress a lot more than men.

I think it is important to see that this is happening so we can do something about it. It`s about a change of attitude and we have to be conscious about our actions so we can make a difference.
I have experienced this. It`s really uncomfortable being in a situation when people are trying to figure out if they think I am hot or not when it has absolutely nothing to do with me and my band conveying our music. If you think about it I don`t think it is as common the other way around, when there is a guy on stage playing music.

Is it difficult for you to balance your music-career with your personal-life?

No it works OK. Right now I am studying but I do wish I had more time doing band stuff.

What is your best music related memory?

It`s hard to rank my best music related memories. I can see a pattern being at concerts overwhelmed about the situation as well as the music. Feeling everything at the same time and allowing myself shred a tear of happiness. Example: Hultsfred, Sweden, 2005, Nine Inch Nails - Hurt, I felt as if I was in love. Nothing mattered.

Photo Mathilda Sundin

Listening to your records (Fuck Frankie ,Elvira Bira) , i can hear you have your own vocal sound , is this something you have worked hard on to achieve?

I did work hard on finding a technique that wouldn`t be too strenuous on my throat. I felt much more relaxed when I was singing with distortion than singing clear. I actually had a project last year in school about the vocal chords so I did some studying about techniques and tried out different things before I got to the sound that felt good. It`s a long process and I can still see progress. As long as I keep singing I will always develop.

Also , Fuck Frankies song Trash Can is quite hard in comparance to Elvira Biras song Natalie , do you ever experiance difficulties performing such different songs?

Not at all.

Photo Mathilda Sundin

And last but not least , what goals do you wanna reach with your music?

I love to be a part of what I have with my fellow musicians. Standing up against standards and show others they can always do it in your own way. I hope to inspire others to sing and play. I want to play as much as possible. I want to travel, tour and enjoy life as long as sending a message with our music. Also I am studying to be a music teacher and will be working with kids helping them to boost their confidence, see the magic in playing music together and spread interest and creativity.

Be sure to check out her bands :

Fuck Frankie: www.facebook.com/Frankiesthlm

Elvira Bira : www.facebook.com/Elvira-Bira-med-Full-Fart-141599119505

Thanks for the interview!

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Trendkilling Music

Trendkilling Music

2, Oslo

Trend Killing Music! The title says it all, this is a blog focusing on trend-killing music, both domestic and abroad! Interviews, music review's and alternative fashion are some of the things that will be regular topics . Stay tuned !