Filmed: Monday 21 February 1977
Location: Agnetha - she's wearing the same outfit she wore in the Knowing Me, Knowing You PROMO
Broadcast: Thursday 24 February 1977, Sweden, SVT
Release status: This programme has not been included on any officially released video or DVD
Shown in: Sweden
Sveriges Magasin = Sweden's Magazine
ABBA were interviewed for this programme at the same time as for The Don Lane Show, although for this show, Frida and Benny had swapped places and the camera angles were different.
During the interview they were asked the next step in their musical development and Benny mentions it would be fun to do a musical or a pop opera in a clear premonition of what was to come.
Agnetha - she's wearing the same outfit she wore in the Knowing Me, Knowing You PROMO
Reporter: Welcome to us, welcome to Sveriges magasin. ABBA, welcome home to Sweden!
ABBA: Thank you!
Reporter: You've been out touring and it has been successful.
Benny: Yes, it's been good, one has to say.
Reporter: Tell us about the tour! You started off in Norway...
Frida: Yes, the première was in Oslo and we were of course terribly nervous because it was two years since we last toured, and it has been a pretty tough tour since we have been working every night and during the days we have been travelling from one city to another.
Reporter: performances every night?
Frida: Yes, but we have had two days off, but then we have been travelling so there has not been any proper day off.
Reporter: How do you feel after such a tour?
Reporter: What do you mean?
Benny: Well, actually we're in the middle of it as we're back home just a couple of days before we're leaving for Australia.
Reporter: Right, you're leaving for Australia tomorrow, and then we might say why you're here, it a bit of a special reason...
Björn: Yes, this morning we did an interview by satellite for The Don Lane Show in Melbourne, it was pretty amazing.
Reporter: Yes, it's a great thing for Australian television to make an half-hour interview with you.
Agnetha: Yes, it's a great thing to experience such a thing
Reporter: Yes, how to they understand you in Australia, like ABBA collectively or do they know that it is a Björn, Agnetha, Benny and Frida or...?
Agnetha: By now I think they know us as individuals.
Benny: But of course it's still like here, unfortunately; that we become one however you look upon it. Every comment that is made by us or someone outside us gets to represent all four.
Björn: There is no spokesman for the group, it is we individuals who thinks as we do and it doesn't stand for the whole group, but this is how it's often portrayed and this is terribly sad.
Frida: Yes, it's pretty sad because we are different people all four of us, and of course there are contradictions in the group and there can be things that one person likes and another doesn't, but this never gets across, it's like we always thought and acted the same way.
Björn: Then there are some contradictions that has got across that are actually wrong.
Reporter: It' must be exciting for you to read the international tabloids where the have big articles about ABBA, it must be proper news to you.
Agnetha: Yes, you're getting pretty surprised of what you're reading. During our last tours we have experienced some of that, and some things makes you pretty sad.
Reporter: what are the most common misconceptions about ABBA the collective?
Frida: Well, it's different from country to country.
Agnetha: Yes, it's varies quite a bit
Björn: Yes, it's a bit scary that they are trying to make each of us to a specific character, like that I have been labelled as being very business-minded.
Frida: ....and Agnetha has to put up with her bottom all the time.
Reporter: ...and her blonde hair, I suppose.
Benny: ...and romantic, incredibly romantic!
Agnetha: but that can be positive, then there are other things that are not so positive.
Frida: That they wrote in a German magazine that Agnetha is expecting a baby and that's why she's that fat, and Benny left me, so the most amazing things are happening to us.
Benny: Yes, it's odd how media likes to put labels on peoples, I wonder why?
Agnetha: I read a Swedish paper the other day that said that I had been close to calling off the tour because I was so homesick for my daughter. Of course you do, but it has never been any question to such a thing.
Björn: Those direct lies are the worst thing, really.
Reporter: Previously, you've been critical towards the Swedish press, but it seems quite nice and considerate compared to the international media.
Frida: Compared to the tabloids, yes, put personally I think that media is treating us in an odd way; they're trying to create some sort of hysteria around ABBA that doesn't exist, because that's not how we experience ourselves inside the group. They are trying to make a myth out of us, and it is created by media not by ABBA, and this annoys me terribly much.
Björn: Sometimes it all even gets a bit silly; all the space that is spent on us that in fact should be spent on much more important things according to us. And then it gets an absurd, silly non-reality.
Agnetha: The peoples disappears and instead the little myth gets across.
Benny: You can understand this after all, it's difficult for the to find material, there is so much going on for us that we cant be available for everyone who wants to talk to us and make interviews, and then they have to take their information from other sources which is other interviews from other magazines and then it gets a lot of of nothing.
Frida: It's a bit difficult too. You often declines interviews because the interviewers and the journalists often asks the same questions, whichever magazine it is about, and you can wonder why can't they come up with something new as well because it's quite tiresome to answer the same question a thousand times. There are no new fresh ideas, but it's about what it's always has been about when it's comes to us.
Reporter: but now you're a guest in Sveriges magasin!
Frida: Yes, it's great that I can say what I'm thinking, it's very nice.
Reporter: Frida, I've noticed this before as well, you're not saying ”we” you're saying ”ABBA”, as some sort of third person...
Frida: Yes, that's how it gets, I mean...well, I don't know why I do that but I'm private, now I'm Frida, I'm sitting here talking about the group that is ABBA, and we are ABBA mainly when we're on stage and now when we're on television...well, I don't know how to explain it really, I don't know why I'm putting it this way
Reporter: I was wondering if it was like you we're taking on the ABBA-suits and the ABBA-role just before going on stage and besides that are four quite different persons.
Agnetha: That's possible
Benny: then we're quite different on stage as well
Björn: Many in our situation starts thanks to this back up to experience themselves as the centre of the world and we're terrible afraid to to that and I think it's much because of that, that we react on the absurd space in media and so on.
Reporter: In this tour you have had a musical that was a surprise for the audience and I heard that you said to the Australian interviewer this morning that you had more surprises for them
Frida: ...they know nothing about it
Agnetha: No, it wasn't what I meant then, it was that we were going to use seventeen bows that has not been in this tour, that's mainly what I meant.
Björn: They'll rise up on a hydraulic stage in the background in one song
Reporter: That seems magnificent!
Björn: Yes, it's fun
Benny: To go back to the musical that you where talking about, that's an exaggeration, it's a story that I have used as a starting point to write about an half-hour of new music, that's what it is.
Frida: At the same time it can be the beginning of something new.
Reporter: Yes, that was what I was going to ask about, what's next step?
Frida: It has felt very right, that's at least what I think, and I think that Agnetha as well has experienced this great joy of doing something that has a main thread that runs through it, not just separate songs. Björn and Benny have for once been working in another way than they use to. They started with the story, or had an idea, and in that way they went on working with this theme, usually the use to start with the music and write the lyrics after that.
Benny: It was stimulating. It was good to have something to stay to.
Agnetha: it was good to have something to give to the audience, it would probably not have felt as fun if we just had the old songs.
Björn: No,absolutely not.
Reporter: Now you're going to stay in Australia for three weeks and then you're going home and starting to work with new records and...
Agnetha: No, then we're going to have a holiday
Reporter: I don't believe that the boys are leaving their instruments, will it be a holiday...
Benny: It will be the office
Björn: The globe will separate us, we have chosen different places for the vacation, as far from each other as possible, by mere accident.
Frida (to Björn): Then I have to tell you something that you don't know. Yesterday evening we decided to not go on any vacation.
Benny: We're planning to go with you
Reporter: it will be a working-holiday.
Reporter: If we return to the discussion about the musical; what's the next step in your musical development?
Benny: It would be very fun to do something in that direction, a musical or a pop opera or what ever you like to call it, but this provides that you have something proper to work on when it comes to the story before you start
Björn: We have to find...and search and search because if so we have to find exactly the right story.
Reporter: Do you have to write it yourself?
Björn: Not necessarily, you can find it in a book, you can find it in the strangest places, but it has to be strong and feel total right to us. In every way. And to start working on it then is the most fun you can imagine.
Benny: We are looking forward to this both Björn and myself for the writing.
Frida: And for our part, I think it would be fun to act on stage not just to stand...
Agnetha: Now we got to try this...
Frida: You're wiggling your butt a lot and such but...
Frida: ...but I mean to act, to play something.
Benny: But if it actually gets something out of this it's likely that there will be more people involved and not just the four of us when it comes to the performance.
Björn: Because it would be very limiting if you had to have a story that has to be about four people: two boys and two girls.
Reporter: That will be an traditional opera story!
Reporter: So now you are going to Australia, are you nervous?
Agnetha: We've been there once before so we know what it's like and how long it takes to go there
Reporter: But you are not really nervous.
Björn: But it's exciting
Agnetha: It will be fun to perform for the Australians because they very welcoming
Björn: ...open and spontaneous.
Benny: We'll be playing for a much larger audience than we have did in Europe, here it has been between 3000-8000 in the audience and there it will be 30000 in Sidney and 15000-20000 at the other concerts.
Reporter: Then I have to wish you good luck and welcome back!
ABBA: Thank you!
Thank you to Malin at the ABBA4Ever Forum (no longer online) for the translation
Archive Information - Sveriges Magasin
Sveriges magasin : intervju med ABBA
Speltid 11 min., 56 sek.
Originalets nummer R-VB:020381
Leverantör SVT TVARK
Digital Betacam T05-0304
Antal enheter 1
Filbeskrivning 1,5 Mbit/s, MPEG-1 layer 2, 48 kHz, 128 kbit/s
Thanks to Greg Hartney, Chris Williams, Jozsef, Charles Yoneda, Robin Andersson and big thanks to Micke Andersson for taking original photos used on this page off the TV screen all those years ago!
Thanks so much to Malin for the translation and Ivana for the clip - both from the ABBA4Ever Forum (no longer online).
YouTube links c/o ABBFridalicious