Bob Lefsetz interviewEd Bob Ezrin recently on his podcast.
And Ezrin is a natural talker. He spoke about working in Nashville and having a lot of good session players available to pick from to work on songs. Players with high technical skills who can come in and record effortlessly. And the producers who work in the Nashville Studios, how they come from rock bands like Dan Huff from Giant.
He also spoke about the Swedish School system and how they focus on music and on building a musical culture. It’s probably a big reason why Swedish artists and songwriters are in high demand when it comes to popular music. As a hard rock and metal fan, a lot of the artists I like come from Sweden.
In Australia and from the readings I have done on the U.S, music is sort of ignored or bypassed by prospective talents, because there is no money in it, unlike the Scandinavian countries who offer governmental support. In Australia, the Government wants all the kids to go to the University degree factories so the kids can then get mindless jobs in the Corporation degree prisons.
But in Sweden, education is free. The Government even pays for after school music programs. Max Martin is one of those people who benefited from this kind of education so you know it goes back a long way.
On top of that, the Swedish Arts Council, gives out a lot of money to acts, concert venues and regional music associations. On top of that, there are grants which artists can apply for to help pay for recording time, tour costs and what not.
The Atlantic article makes mention how in May, 2012, most of the Top 10 Songs on Billboard Hot 100 were written or produced by Swedes.
Also while UK artists are looking at giving up their music career because the Government didn’t care about the Arts sector once COVID-19 took hold, countries like Germany, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark are doing the opposite with aid packages.
A healthy culture thrives when people want it to thrive. I remember when Sydney got the rights to host the Olympic Games in 2000. The Government obviously wanted the nation to put on a good show in all events, so almost immediately, funding went up for all the Olympic Sports, to hire more coaches, build better facilities and increase talent identification. Then funding was made available to provide support to the elite athletes. A new sporting culture was created and it’s been our best Olympics, all because the Government cared enough at that point in time for our sporting culture to thrive. Afterwards, the Government pulled funding and we went back to winning medals for the events we normally win, like swimming.
The last 15 years has seen Government investment in tech companies and e-commerce, so it’s no surprise that quite a few companies from Australia are doing great things on the world stage in these areas. When someone cares enough, culture thrives.
And fans try their best to care and keep artists alive, but when the fans are doing it tough themselves, it’s hard.