Gärdet. Gröna Lund. Mikael Persbrandt. Good ice-cream and (mostly) horrible communal traffic.
The highest density of musicianship in the world.
Being a band not submitted to the current trends is not hard in Stockholm - it's very hard. The reason simply being that everyone, and I do mean EVERYONE, plays music. And when everyone has a band, who would give a fuck about yours?
Stockholm is probably the only capital where "I'm in a band" is probably a more failure-capable pickup line than "Wow, it must hurt when you fell from the sky".
(Even "A big strong one and a date, please." generated more of a smile than that the last time I tried picking up girls at bars, haha)
With that much of musicians - pretty good ones, the most of them - comes a few pros of course. Want to start a band? (Please don't, we have enough already) Just stand in the alley between Drottninggatan and Sergel's Torg, stretch out your arm amongst the crowd, grab randomly, and voila!
But there's also the con that with so many people having bands, so much people have so much to do, and so little time left for, er, other people.
Not that Deathember is not a part of this. With a 5-week Deadbeat Tour, who to blame if I couldn't come to see a female punk band playing at a kid's yard in Nacka? (Sorry Emmy!)
But the biggest problem with Stockholm is not the practical "oh-no-I-can't-we-must-rehearse-for-the-recording-of-our-3-song-demo-that-we-will-be-super-proud-of-for-about-2-hours-until-the-first-criticism-coming-from-a-friend's-friend's-friend-shatters-our-communal-hopes-like-a-fucking-cardhouse", nor is it the fact that the expected coolness of playing *fuck yeah* GUITAR in a *fuck yeah* BAND rathe reverts, sucks itself into your pure foundations and lies shattered before you.
It's, rather, the whole thing.
The fact that a "band" has been reduced to something that music school studens waves together once the caffeine is out of their bodies. On one hand can I count the bands that seem to have a brotherhood worthy of Deftones scripted into every nuance of their music, lyrics and stage prescence - that's still going strong.
Of COURSE there are exceptions - and nothing brings my heart to life as seeing young people start a band - a horrible, horrible band - young enough to still relish that golden age of naivete and pure joy that sprung legends like Deep Purple, Metallica and Death to life.
But the stoned faces, the sly and often downright dishonest 'good playin'!' and the general semi-elitism one can count after five years in this town is not really skyrocketing - but alarmingly high.
Musician's beginner's guide to Stockholm?
Run. Run far - run fast.