by Mike Giles
Born Oskar Humlebo in the Swedish village of Färila, Moto Boy first fell in love with music during a boys choir rehearsal in a London cathedral at the mere age of eight. After joining a choir back home, discovering the guitar and then leaving home to study music in a neighboring city, Moto Boy spent his teens exploring jazz and experimental music. The result is hair-raising music that evoke feelings parallel to that of a Jeff Buckley song or a David Lynch movie.
We sat down with Moto Boy to ask him a few questions about his new self-titled album and plans for the future.
Who is Moto Boy and where does the name come from?
He is the superhero of romance. Romance can't be boring, it has to be rough, it has to be tender. This world needs it and I didn't want to wait for anyone else to do it so I did it myself. I guess I've always felt somewhat frustrated that life in general never came close to the romantic beauty of some great music or art, like Édith Piaf or John Bauer, until I realized it's all about perception and action, and I chose to see and portray the world that way. It's very pretentious I know, but so is life and love, and I do not wish to wait for death to be a salvation, I want beauty now—I want it all and I want it now.
Your newest self-titled album is full of beauty, what was your motivation behind making it?
Really I had to, there was no alternative. I've wanted to do it since I was ten and luckily for me I met Martin of Songs I Wish I Had Written who wanted to release it. The motivation is love, kisses, longing, sex, beauty, dirt, angels—all the intense moments. It's what makes everyone so touched by music of whatever kind, whenever and however.
One of your songs on the new album starts with a music box, was that the idea behind making promotional ones?
Everything is digital today, so it was interesting to do the opposite and go back to the absolute basics. Music on a steel machine is very romantic.
Can you name a couple of albums for a typical Moto Boy lover?
I would say Serge Gainsbourge's La Decadence, Édith Piaf's Mon Dieu, Sebastien Tellier's La Ritournelle, The Doors' You're Lost Little Girl, Tom Waits' San Diego Serenade and Air's How Does It Make You Feel to name a few.
Where are you touring next?
There are some shows in Sweden and Finland this summer and probably Germany this Fall. I've just been to Moscow for a show, that was a trip I tell you, very special place—extremely beautiful and very rough.
When will you play in North America?
Hopefully very soon. I was in the U.S. when I was 12-years-old for only one month, so I'm eager to go to both Canada and the U.S. soon. I have this dream of road-tripping North America in a huge T-Bird, or even better on a motorbike—it has to be the best place for that kind of trip. All I need really is the flight ticket and some bookings, and then the rest will follow. I personally believe North America and Moto Boy would be even better together than Brangelina.
What are people missing if they haven't heard your music?
Something to love or something to hate maybe, I don't know, but have they any love for romance or uninhibited devotion of beauty, or just a general wish to skip the usual music/concert/artist crap and do something relevant together. I think they would appreciate a Moto Boy show and let it be part of something new and beautiful in their lives. At least that's what I'm trying to do myself.
The Swedish Model has one promotional musical box to give away, all you need to do is send an e-mail to ilovemotoboy [at] theswedishmodel [dot] org with an original idea on how to best raise funds for a Moto Boy tour in North America. You will automatically be added to their mailing list and be entered into the competition.