Taking inspiration from all over – including from retro gadget noises – Swedish producer Saturday, Monday (don’t forget the comma) has been treading his own unique path since before he dropped last year’s gorgeously ethereal ‘Late’ EP. Fast forward a year and that desire to go against the grain to create genuinely arresting art has only continued to flourish on his March released EP ‘SUPERSET‘. Boasting the atl-pop anthem “Baby Fox” – a track which marries 80s nostalgia with crisp modernity – as well as the slow burning electronica of “Cheaper Than Plastic”, the standout record has guest features from the likes of Pell and Hayley Kiyoko. Not bad, right?
As you can tell, we’re keen on Saturday, Monday here, which would explain why we’re pretty excited to be premiering the new video for “Pilgrim”, a stellar cut from ‘SUPERSET’. Filmed in a Swedish refugee camp and follow a 17 year old refugee (who wished to remain nameless, scared of persecution), the video firmly demonstrates that Saturday, Monday is a musician interested in creating holistic work that interrogates the world we live in. Good job we’ve got an in depth interview with him about the video, his process, and his penchant for weird equipment then.
The video for “Pilgrim” follows a refugee and is quite unusual. Talk to us about your inspiration and the filming process?
I was actually really taken aback from the manner in which Europe has turned it’s back on these people and how we define our capacity of refugee intake. And how people, not just ”crazy” people but people that I know as otherwise good and unselfish buy into arguments like how granting asylum to refugees will affect our economy and infrastructure and crime etc. And they don’t seem to get that, yeah, people are running for their life so in order to be decent humans and save lives we might have to give up just a little bit of our convenience.
So when we decided to make a video for Pilgrim, given the title of the song and everything, I knew that it had to be about refugees in one way or another. I think that some of the reasons why people feel so disconnected with refugees is because they are always portrayed as a mass, a flood of broken people. And that might be scary if you’re in a society that always seems to highlight single individuals, strong and successful. So we filmed this one boy, who came to Sweden alone. 17 years old. As far as we know, everyone in his family is gone. He does not speak English or Swedish and we don’t know much more about him. But when I watch him it is at least clear to me that he has as much right as me to be here. That he deserves to live. Even if it would mean that I’d have to work a little harder for a little less.
Obviously there is a strong political context to the video. Do you consider yourself and your music to be political?
I consider myself political in the sense that I think that everyone deserves an equal chance in life and I think that is far from true today. Structural sexism, racism, class gaps and homophobia is such a menace to society and is creating all sorts of crazy ricochet effects.
And then there’s the song itself: how did you formulate the track and why are you drawn to those deliberately off-kilter moments?
Well my workflow is such that I come up with an idea that I start building on, then I realize that idea wasn’t as good as I first thought, but maybe some of the layers I added on are. So I scrap everything except the few parts that I really liked and start building around them. So I think the fact that my songs are often built on something that has been taken out of context is a big factor in that off-kilter sound. But there is also the fact that I’ve been listening to a lot of music over the years and I also get inspired a lot from art and film, and as a consumer I like to be surprised. But in order to do something surprising you need to embed it in convention. Like, if I listen to Arca, it’s crazy and cool but I’m not likely to get surprised because it’s all crazy. I want to do something that is cohesive but still a bit forward thinking and original.
How did you end up collaborating with Brolin?
We worked together on a song called Marble Coast for my last EP. A collaboration which was really just a random session but we were both really happy with that song and the collaboration and I think he is excellent so when I came up with this beat he was the first one I sent it to.
What are you working on right now?
I’m producing stuff for other people at the moment and I’m not really in a position to speak too much about it but hopefully I will be able to show you in the not too distant future. I’m also moving from Stockholm to London next week so I’m hoping to find even more cool projects once I’m there.
Your inspirations are obviously disparate and wide ranging, but what are some of the biggest influences on your music?
I feel like I’ve said 90s video games and 70s rock so many times and whilst that is true, there are some people that bring me inspiration on a more day-to-day basis right now, people like Shakka, Stormzy, JME, Sampa the Great, Mura Masa, Jamie XX, James Blake, 40, Nisj, Romare, Caribou, Blawan, and ok… so many more. There are so many good ones out there so I try to capture a little something from wherever I can and use it as inspiration for my music.
By your own admission you use some “weird equipment” to get your unique sound. What’s the strangest?
Hmm I’ve used landline and cell phones on several occasions for synth lines with the dial tones, I have a Doraemon alarm clock on a few songs. One of my favourite tools for this EP is a combined filter/reverb/overdrive (that’s still in production so not ”strange” as in rare) by Vermona and it’s pretty much a one stop shop for ”What is that weird sound?”
What do you hope the future holds for you, musically?
I want to be able to keep doing projects that inspire me and hopefully do more cross-over work like music for film or games and producing other people side by side with the Saturday, Monday project. And keep getting better at what I do.