Hard-boiled wonderland: Author Zac O’Yeah starts an experimental pop band, The Anda
AUTHOR Zac O’Yeah and Swedish synth musician Karl Gasleben know each other since the mid ’80s, when Zac played guitar and toured Europe with Karl’s electropop band, Twice A Man. “I was younger then, had hair on my head,” Zac jokes as we sit down forour interview at Koshy’s. But touring got boring really fast. “It’s fun the first time you do it, but then you end up sitting in the same seedy bar, in the same seedy town, where you’re playing in the same seedy rock club,” he laments. That’s when he decided to retire from the music business and ended up in India to become an author of books such as the Mr Majestic Trilogy.
But now, the duo are marking a return to the music scene and have also roped in Anna Öberg, a Swedish pop sensation from the ’80s (“We needed someone with a brain, a woman,” Zac observes). They are called The Ändå. Ändå means “nevertheless” in Swedish, and from a philosophical point of view is a metaphor for second chances. It also means ‘egg’ in India. This sums up a lot of the band’s philosophy about the circle of life and creation, but with a hint of cheekiness.
Both Karl and Zac hail from the town of Gothenburg, in Sweden. It’s a harbour town, and is known for having a thriving music culture. “It was the Liverpool of Sweden, a little run down, a little working class. So you either get drunk or make music,” Zac explains. The sound of the band, largely synth pop and prog with a bit of punk, definitely reflects the roots of these two artistes.
The video of their newly released first single, Yes, was born out of a short story idea that Zac had, “I had a sci-fi idea that what if we could control the world around us with video game controllers.” The avant-garde, abstract video, shot in Coorg, Mysore and even Sweden has the artistes using gaming controllers to move around in time and space. Anna is on the keyboards and has also co-produced and mixed the track.
Up next, they are recording an album, which has the working title Salty Mummy, themed around eco-consciousness. The name itself comes from a 10-year-old conversation, in Goa, between the two musicians about how Mother Earth should actually be Mother Ocean, since that’s where all life form began.
You can follow the band at gasleben.com/anda