Published: 14 April, 2011
by ROISIN GADELRAB
GLASVEGAS have toured with U2, Kings of Leon and supported Oasis.
Three years ago they were winning universal critical acclaim for their debut album. But over in Sweden, young drummer Jonna Löfgren had never heard of them.
In fact she nearly missed the lecture that changed her life and catapulted her into one of Scotland’s most talked about bands of the last decade.
It may have been a joke, no one really knows, but when Rab Allan (guitarist and frontman James’ cousin), said he wanted a Swedish woman to replace original drummer Caroline McKay, Sony listened.
“I’m glad they took it seriously, otherwise I wouldn’t be here,” 23-year-old Jonna says.
She’s still not clear about Rab’s motives: “He likes Sweden, he likes Swedish girls and he likes girls. I think he just said it one day, I don’t know if he was really serious. When they tell me, they don’t know if he’s serious or not.”
Glasvegas play HMV Forum in Kentish Town on May 10. Expect to hear tracks from album Euphoric /// Heartbreak \\\ released last week.
Jonna has been in the band for just five months. She was studying at music college in Sweden and had just signed a contract to drum for a musical production of Snow White for the next six months when everything changed.
She said: “We had a guest teacher for a day (at college) and I had just had a fight with my ex-boyfriend. I didn’t want to go but we ended up going to the lecture. I think it was meant to be.”
Jonna got talking to the speaker who mentioned Sony was looking for a Swedish female drummer. She sent demos to Sony and Glasvegas’ management but it was a DVD recording of her drumming over the track Geraldine that clinched it.
“I was playing the song standing up like how they play it,” says Jenna. “I think that video was the thing that got them to like me. I think they felt my drumming was good enough so I didn’t have to audition for them.”
Jonna was invited to meet the band in London.
She says: “I was really nervous. I had a whisky on the plane down. Before I went I looked on Youtube for interviews with them speaking because I wanted to practice the accent, it’s so difficult. It didn’t work because I couldn’t understand them at all. Now it’s different because I’ve been hanging out with them so much. I really enjoy the accent.”
Jonna confesses she didn’t quite understand the enormity of being chosen to play for Glasvegas.
She said: “When I got the first phone call I didn’t know who they were. [The caller] was telling me on the phone how big this was. My hands started shaking when he was telling me. When I hung up the phone I Googled them. There was so much to read about them, how they’ve been touring with U2 and Kings of Leon, I was like, ‘Oh my God’.”