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April 2004


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L O S  A N G E L E S  -  Interview - Jesper Andreasson 


LOS ANGELES, CA - One of the hottest bands to hit LA is CITRUS with their music playing all over town. They can be found performing acoustically  at the Karma Coffeehouse in the heart of Hollywood and currently every Monday on stage at the GIG. Their latest album ‘io’ are can accessed on iTunes, Cdbaby, and Amazon.  On Monday May 9th, Citrus will be the featured artist on the After Show, airing on MTV.com  following the ‘Real World Road Rules Challenge (Inferno II)’ for their music participation ‘The Real World’ and ‘Road Rules’. Maestro Arts & Reviews correspondent Adrian Rennie snagged a few moments with Lead Vocalist and Guitarist Jesper Andreasson to introduce CITRUS to the Maestro Readers in our spotlight to showcase people who not only chase their dreams, but make them a reality.




Adrian : Hey Jesper, thanks for taking some time out.  First things first, congrats on your win at the Battle of Bands in San Diego. [4/13/05 - SDSU (San Diego State University) Montezuma Hall - Battle of the Bands Event]
Jesper : Thank you very much....
Adrian : For the readers who aren't too familiar, would you care to explain what that was and who was there?

Jesper :  It's a thing going on at colleges around the country, where 5 bands compete each time against a panel of people that travel around and judge them all.  The winner of each one goes on to the next level and so on...we were the only out of town band so I don't think the crowd was super pleased when they announced us as the winner.  It was a pleasant surprise to be honest.

Adrian :  Excellent! And well deserved. So who are the members of CITRUS?Jesper :  CITRUS is Thomas Hjorth (lead guitar), Mikkel Heimburger (bass) and Norskov Kristensen (drums) and me on vocals and guitar.
Adrian :  How did your group form? 
Jesper :  We met just over 5 years ago here in L.A.  I had placed ads in a few papers and was going through the excruciatingly painful process of having through sift through people calling me on the ad.  It was like trying to find true love through a classified ad but instead of finding one, I was trying to find three...dear god.   

One day Thomas called me and he seemed like such a cool guy I didn't really care at that point if he could even play.  At that point I was pretty much close to a nervous breakdown having to deal with people who either couldn't play, were in it for all the wrong reasons or more likely it was both.  It was brutal.  I went over to meet Thomas and we were wearing the exact same pants, and beyond the pants (that came out wrong) he was a really cool guy.  I knew he was the right guy before he even played me anything on the guitar...
Adrian :  And is every member of your band originally from Denmark?
Jesper :  I'm the lone Swede.  The other three are from Denmark.  Whenever I feel outnumbered, I'm quick to mention it was Sweden who ended up with more land after the Viking wars ended (laughs).
Adrian :  How are the audiences here compared to audiences over the seas?
Jesper :  Europe is more like the U.S. is once you get out of Los Angeles to play shows; people go out to see music.  And there are less bands so it's a bit easier to get noticed, at least early on.
Adrian :  Where can audiences find CITRUS performing, currently?
Jesper :  Through the end of April [editor note: extended through May 9th] we have a residency at The Gig in Hollywood.  Then in May we're back doing the acoustic thing at Karma Coffeehouse also in Hollywood.  We've also been doing little tours through Arizona, up through San Francisco, and doing some colleges.
Adrian :  That’s great! How do you compare the acoustic performing to the stage performances?
Jesper :  The acoustic thing is great because you can't hide behind anything, loud amps or a cranked p.a. etc.  All the mistakes are there for everybody to see and you have to bring the same intensity as a stage show but have to rely strictly on the music.  The acoustic shows always feel really pure.  Sometimes it's a little hard to sit still when the music takes over but it quickly makes you a much better band.  
Adrian :  So what’s your favorite song to perform?

Jesper :  It really changes from night to night.  Right now my favorite is a new song "Potential".  I also always love playing "What A Thought."  It keeps getting more and more amazing each time we play it.
Adrian :  What is 'Potential' about ?
Jesper :  Hmmm yes...I usually try to say as little as possible about the meanings of songs, not for the sake of being cryptic but I find people are usually able to personalize songs much more if they don't exactly know exact meanings.  But, if I may be awfully vague, I can say that it's always looking at tomorrow to be better than today.
Adrian :  What are your musical influences?

Jesper :  The first thing I remember hearing music-wise as a kid was Abba. I think it's Swedish Mandate that all kids must be exposed to a certain number of hours of Abba before the age of 6 or the government comes and takes your kid away (laughs).  But seriously, I remember hearing the Simon and Garfunkel song "El Condor" being played over a TV documentary on South America when I was maybe 5 or 6.  Hearing that song being played over the footage of the horrific poverty and starvation was absolutely devastating.  Devastating in a good way. It's the first time I remember feeling really sad...the song opened something inside me and that was really the start of it all.  As far as influences, I love anything as long as it's honest.  Bob Marley is a god to me, U2, Elliott Smith, Getz/Gilberto, Sunny Day Real Estate changed me...
Adrian :  How did you decide that you wanted this career as a profession?
Jesper :  It's all I've wanted to do since I started playing guitar.  There has never been an other option.
Adrian :  Where do you see yourself & Citrus in 5 years?
Jesper :  Touring the world playing shows.  The live thing is an amazing thing.  A good show can set you up for a few days...it's incredibly addicting. 
Adrian :  I know. Trust me, I know.  What advice or words of wisdom could you offer our readers and others out here pursuing their dreams?
Jesper :  Living in Los Angeles, nothing makes me more sad than when I see talented people, ones having great artistic gifts to offer the world, giving up on it.  But I guess those were never meant to keep pushing on either.  And nothing makes me happier than when I see people keeping their talents pure and guarded at any cost.  In this town, honesty is priceless.
Adrian :  I couldn't agree with you more. Jesper, thanks again for taking time out. I wish you and the band Citrus all the best.
Jesper :  Thanks Adrian very much.  Printable View


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Adrian Rennie, staff writer and editor for Maestro Arts & Reviews, is an actor and Los Angeles area playwright. Having received outstanding reviews for his plays, The Seven Lessons of Life and Only a Phone Call Away, he continues to write and act in Los Angeles Theater, Television and Film. 


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