Going the distanceSide Effects
The psychedelic Stockholm quartet side effects started their rise to fame at a very young age, recording and releasing their first record, A Walk in the Space Between Us (2013), during their late teens. The band is made up of guitarist and vocalist Billy Cervin, drummer and vocalist Hugo Mårtensson, organist and vocalist Elias Jungqvist and bass player Joacim “Jorba” Nilsson. They started out together with a heavily retro-orientated look and musical style, as heard on that debut album. Without losing their personal sound, side effects have since taken a walk in the period between records, landing in a more synthesiser-friendly and arena-compatible realm with terrific singles such as Wanna Lose You and I’m Falling. The new EP, Feels Like Walking on Sunshine, will be released on October 20, and perhaps the changes will speak for themselves.
All members play in other groups, too. For example, they play in The Indigo Children with The Soundtrack of Our Lives frontman, Ebbot Lundberg, of whom they have always been great fans. Right now, side effects are starring as the house band on Lundberg’s TV show, Ebbot’s Ark, where they sail the seas and play cover songs with Sweden’s brightest stars in every harbour. Looking like the cast from The Life Aquatic… in red hats and blue shirts, the band is a pleasant addition to the show’s set of a picturesque sailing boat.
Another project featuring some of side effects is The Hanged Man, who once performed a gig in a Whyred store. Jungqvist tells the tale: “Jorba and I played in the store, so we have seen it from a bird’s eye perspective. The payment was clothes, and when you’re wearing them you feel really cool.” Jorba agrees: “Sweden is so good at design, and Whyred in particular have always had great clothes. Tasteful, if you know what I mean.”
Having moved on from a rear-view-mirror approach, side effects dress a bit more contemporarily today. The question is, then, what really is contemporary fashion, and is there even anything contemporary outside what reflects the past? Cervin tells us about the style the group used to have. “There was something of an unwritten rule that we should all wear blue paisley shirts for gigs and photos. That ended quite quickly when we got signed and the label thought it was a good image – the teenage defiance kicked in and I don’t think anyone has worn a blue paisley shirt since.” Nilsson agrees that the band’s style of clothing is not as defined now as it once was: “But it’s easier to look back and frame a vibe that existed then. I don’t know, maybe we’ll be labelled in retrospect.”
With their dedication to not getting too comfortable in either their sound or their style, the future of side effects should be interesting to witness, no matter if they are looking backwards or straight ahead into the future.
Side Effects´s influential mix: