On her last LP she was promoted with a sexy look, tousled hair and eyes that promised. But on her new album cover sheís strictly ladylike wearing a black hat. But who is she really Ė Agnetha Fšltskog, 34?
-Itís been said that Iím kind, popular and pleasant Ė and whatís wrong with that?
-But of course that doesnít sound very exciting, now that everything should be so tough and punk-like and trendy, says Agnetha.
She greets us at Polarís office in Stockholm. Sheís wearing an apricot colored soft jumpsuit and recently cut short hair. Her new LP ďEyes Of A WomanĒ has just been released and thatís why weíre meeting.
It has received some doubting reviews, i.e., Agnetha and her voice receives praise, but the song material is criticized.
-I donít care about it that much. Itís just as if there HAS to be bad reviews. That itís something the reviewers have to do. I myself know how much work weíve put in to find the best songs. If you donít like a record I donít think you should review it, then you should give it to somebody else.
Listened to 400 songs
-Last summer I listened through 400 songs and marked the ones I liked the most. My producer Eric Stewart did the same.
-When we met it was natural that we chose the songs both of us liked. Then the producer picked a few just to make sure that the album wouldnít become too one-sided. I didnít like all of them at first. But itís difficult to choose songs, itís a venture as risky as choosing the producer.
You who have had such an experience with the music business Ė why donít you make more decisions yourself?
-I make a lot of decisions, but as long as you work with a producer, you canít be too pushy. It would be difficult to do it all by myself; sing, produce and mix. Iíve been there the whole time. When the album was mixed, I went to the studio to listen every day. If there was anything I didnít like, they had to change it. Iím strong when it comes to getting what I want.
Before ABBA, before you had children, you recorded many records where you wrote the songs yourself. Why donít you do that now?
-No, I donít compose that much. Iíve written one song on the album. Itís difficult. I compose slowly, Iíd rather come up with two good songs than with ten bad.
-I no longer enjoy composing music. And lyrics, well, that doesnít work at all, absolutely not in English. I canít do everything. Iím a singer, composer, actress and mother. Thatís enough.
-Sometimes when Iím at home by myself, it happens that I get in the mood. Then I sit down by the piano. But itís seldom itís as quiet as I need it to be in order to create music. I rarely listen to music anymore, I need concentration and I canít do it if there are too many things going on at home. Thereís not enough time, thereís homework and fairytales and the children have to be taken here and there.
-To be an artist when you have children is both good and bad. During periods when I work itís often so intense that I hardly have any time for them. Itís horrible. But then I have time off, in between.
After 20 years in the music business, Agnetha is tired of the quick pace.
-Itís too tough and hard. I like it a lot better now that I take it easy and work in my own pace. Thatís when Iím at my best.
-The ten years I rushed around the world with ABBA is an experience I donít want to be without, but I also got to experience how mean and cold the winds blow up on the top. So much was expected of us.
Compared with Frida, BjŲrn and Benny
-Iím under that pressure now as well. I have to accept that I always, for the rest of my life, will be compared with Frida, BjŲrn and Benny. But people who keep comparing us will really miss the point. They will miss what I want to tell them. Itís fun to do something on my own, after ten years of adapting to the group. And most of all, now I can enjoy life.
-Everybody needs support, praise and encouragement for what we do. I also need to hear that Iím good, in order to function well.
Agnetha often points out that her children Linda and Christian mean a lot to her.
-Itís about love, I will always fight for my children. Iíve begun to get involved when it comes to school. I think they should have grades.
-I try to encourage my children to believe in their abilities. Both are musical. Weíll see what happens, if itíll be just as important to them to express their feelings, as it is for me, says Agnetha and adds that on April 20 the film ďA fŲr AgnethaĒ is broadcast on TV 1.
-In this program I sing, and talk more about who I am.
By Stina Helmersson