New Faces: RABBII

Photo: Izabella Englund

RABBII (which stands for Revolutions Are Best Before Initial Inception) are Johanna Berglund and Felix Persson, and the duo make sweeping, powerful electronic pop. After a successful year, which saw them release several singles and get picked to play a P3 Musikguiden gig, 2017 is shaping up to be a big year for the band, with a debut EP on the horizon. We checked in with them.

First of all, tell us a little bit about who you are and how you started RABBII.

Well, it all started about two years ago when we just felt that we had to do something meaningful with our music. I decided that I wanted to write the music and produce it. It’s so easy to not be a part of the process and choose to just be the artist and that just doesn’t work for me. Felix and I just clicked right away. We have the same political views, troubled hearts and weird sense of humour so it just felt like the perfect match. We wanted to write about stuff that we care about and things we’re not proud of – like envy, pettiness and shame. I think that’s how you can change the world or at least your own world, and how you take control of your own thoughts. Basically, we’re two pretentious drama queens who make awesome music!

Your songs tend to focus on melancholic themes. What do you think makes those themes such a strong source of inspiration to you?

I don’t need anyone to comfort me when I’m happy and in love, I need that when I’m down, and that’s when I need songs like ours. I’m a person who often revels in my own self-pity. I have a destructive streak and want to do stuff that’s bad for me when I’m depressed. Melancholia is a form of a drug, a release in this context. I think every single person on this planet can understand that feeling and whether we are blue or red or brown we can meet in the middle where we are naked and safe.

Is it therapeutic to work through them in music? Especially when you pair them with this big, powerful sound that you have?

Both Felix and I are overly dramatic people and we love to push ourselves a little bit further every time. I write as a diary, to get all the words out of my head. Then we kind of cut and paste until something rhymes. Yes, it’s therapeutic. It’s really hard to write music and to put all those emotions and feelings in one song. But when you succeed it’s like Christmas… a good one. So maybe not my usual Christmas, haha!

Revolutions Are Best Before Initial Inception – what does revolution mean to RABBII?

It’s about how when you dream about something, it’s pure, it’s perfect. And even if you get that, in reality it won’t ever be as good as it was in your mind. The perfect revolution can only exist in your dreams.

Anyone else in the Stockholm music scene you think we should watch out for in 2017?

There’s a lot of music in Stockholm that’s awesome. When we played at Musikguiden in P3 a few weeks ago we met Adna, who is this cool girl who produces and writes all her own stuff. She is really cool and makes gorgeous music that gets to you!

Your profile has gone up a lot over the last year, with the new singles and performances at Musikguiden P3 and others. What have you planned for this year?

Our plan is to release an EP in the beginning of the year, we’re finishing that right now actually. We’d like to continue evolving as a live act and keep bringing heart and technology together. And since the world is getting more hateful and disgusting by the minute I think every good human has an obligation to take time they don’t feel they have to fight. We have to fight for equality, fight the rich who feed on the poor, fight the hate, fight the racism, fight the misogyny. If you don’t do your part and we end up with Trump, Le Pen and Åkesson it’s on you. It’s your fault, because you did nothing.

Words: Austin Maloney