Part 8 (of 12): Interviewing Frida and Agnetha

Published March 30, 2010

Now that I had gained the trust of Björn and Benny, the next step was to secure interviews with Frida and Agnetha. At the time, both were largely inactive as artists, so their motivation for doing interviews, whatever the media, was fairly low. Indeed, Agnetha hadn't given any interviews whatsoever since her last few promotional efforts for her I Stand Alone album in early 1988. The number of interviews Frida had given since her last album - 1984's Shine - were easy to count, and most of them had been on the subject of environmental issues rather than music.

Agnetha and Frida at Polar Music Studios in 1979.Fortunately, Frida said yes to an interview, and we met at the restaurant at Cirkus in Stockholm on August 13, 1993. We talked for about an hour, and needless to say this was hardly sufficent time for me to get through all the questions I needed to ask. When I suggested that perhaps I could fax her the remainder of my questions, Frida was gracious enough to agree to this. This correspondence took place a week or two later.

With Agnetha the situation was a little more complicated. I knew that she didn't enjoy interview situations very much, and in fact didn't really give interviews at all at the time. So I gave her the opportunity to choose between a face-to-face interview, a phone conversation or answering questions in writing. Unfortunately, she chose the latter option. Needless to say it's easier to have a conversation with someone so that you can establish some kind of personal relationship and also be able to ask them follow-up questions.

However, given that she didn't really want to answer any questions from any journalists or writers at all at the time - and this apparently was when her interest in music was at an all-time low - I graciously accepted what she wanted to give me. Notably, it took a few months before I received her answers; I got the impression that the written interview wasn't exactly at the top of her agenda. Nor were her replies very extensive. But at least she did make a contribution when she could just as easily have chosen to turn me down flat, and for this I was grateful.