15 Apr 2006

Helena Josefsson, backing singer at Malmö's studios (V): District 1269 in Wonderland Studio

According to the band of Malmö District 1269, it all started in the fall of 1999, when a 15-year-old boy called Yonaz Grauholtz began to write his own songs on the computer, in a sequencer program called "Cakewalk". At that point Yonaz and Chris "Jersey" Crossbow had known each other for three years already, they met at the age of 12-13 when they started in the same class at 7:th grade in school. Now the class had recently split up, and things started to change. All classmates started in different schools in Malmö, so even Chris and Yonaz. Yonaz was irritated over the fact that they were only playing shit on the radio (at least in his opinion). He thought that he would probably make much better music himself, and that's why he started to make his own songs.

2006 - District 1269

In a dark and cold night in January 2000 when a boy called Yonaz Grauholtz sat with his accordion, playing a scale in D-major just for fun. All suddenly he found a melodic tune that his senses liked, and a couple of days later it has turned into a complete song which he simply decided to call "Baby baby", of all stupid song names. At that time he didn't actually know what to do with the song, but he continued with writing some others. However, time went on and two years (and even more songs) later he finished high school where he studied photography. Quite unsure of what to do with his life, he started to work as a paperboy. And as he earned a bit of money, the idea of recording one of his songs and letting other people hear it came to his mind.

District 1269

The song he thought people would like most was, believe it or not, the song called "Baby baby". At this point even Yonaz had found out that the title was ridiculous, so he changed the chorus and renamed the song "As Happy as Me" which suited the song perfectly. Since he was self critical enough to understand that he wasn't very good at singing, he contacted one of his good old friends from junior high called Chris Crossbow. Now, Chris was pretty self critical himself, but he thought it sounded fun and decided to give it a shot.

Said and done. On May 24 2003, they went to Singel Studio at N. Grängesbergsgatan in Malmö to meet the producer and technician Henrik. The recording started, with Chris behind the microphone and Yonaz at guitar, bass, tambourine and backing vocals. The drums were sampled in Cubase, and sounded pretty dry, plastic and actually not good at all. They got finished the day after, and to be honest they were quite satisfied even though it sounded like a big piece of crap. After all, they only needed to retake the vocals about 64 times…

Of course, Yonaz was eager to send the song to lots of record companies, but he thought that he might need a couple of more songs first. For some reason it took almost one year before they went to the studio next time. This time to Wonderland Studio, placed in the opposite corridor to Singel Studio, along with a beardy drummer named Dag. This time they recorded not one, but three songs. First of all a song called "Sunshine in the Town" (later known as "Summertown"), then another one called "In my Dreams" (another silly song name), and last of all a song called "Visa till Isabelle". "Visa till Isabelle" turned out to sound completely terrible. But what more can you expect from a green haired guy playing recorder and a guitarist who had never heard the song before?

Wonderland Studio, Malmö

Yet another six months later, Yonaz finally found out that "As Happy as Me" maybe didn't sound that good after all. So at the end of November 2004 they went to the studio once again, to make a new recording along with a new song called "Unconditional Love", a song oozing of anger despite the name. For the first time it sounded almost amazing, mostly thanks to a splendid producer named Fredrik Larsson. Yonaz wanted to try to sing himself, but after 87 takes Fredrik fell asleep over the mixing board. In other words Chris had to make the singing, and the result was as said before amazing.

So, finally the time had come to let the world hear the songs! Or at least that was the thought… Yonaz bought hell of a lot stamps and sent about 30 copies to record companies around the world. Mostly in Sweden, England, USA and Canada. The major part of the record companies were ignorant and didn't even answer, but in the summer of 2005 they got an answer from Lookout Records in Berkeley, California. They really liked the songs but they already had a full schedule. Ironically enough, the first positive answer came two weeks later from Fast Future Records in Malmö, owner of the same studio where they recorded their last demos half a year earlier.

The two District 1269 boys were wild by happiness, and the following fall they went to sign the record contract, but the recordings didn't start until another half a year later, in April 2006.

They are at Wonderland Studio recording now a single including two songs, which happened to be "Summertown" and the oldie "As Happy as Me". This was because they are summer songs, and the single is planned to be released in June 2006. To enhance the summer feelings, the producer Krister Larsson have had an idea about using the singer Helena Josefsson for backing vocals on Summertown, and so they have done. We will have more news soon.

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