Back in 1996, filmmaker Baz Luhrmann used the Swedish pop group The Cardigan’s song “Lovefool,” in his movie, “William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet,” starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes.
The song, much like the film, became wildly popular, catapulting The Cardigans to new heights. However, like many bands who found success in the 1990s, popularity was fleeting. They released three more albums, but the lightning was out of the bottle. Although, to date, they have sold more than 15 million albums worldwide, The Cardigans would not have another chart topper.
When the band does get together to tour, like they did in 2012, tickets to see them are usually hard to come by.
The voice behind The Cardigans, Nina Perrson, released two albums under the band name A Camp, although she was “the band.” It wasn’t until this past January that she decided to release her first studio album with her name on the cover.
Persson, who lives in New York, will be performing songs from “Animal Heart,” when she performs on Saturday at Jammin Java in Vienna.
“I really took my time [putting the album together],” Persson said. “I hadn’t made a record in quite awhile. I worked with a person who lives in Portland, so we worked in stints. He’d work a couple of days in New York and then he’d go back. It took quite a while but it was nice. When you wait for four or five years, a couple of months won’t make a difference.”
A Camp was a solo project Perrson worked on starting in 2001. The self-titled “A Camp,” studio album was followed by “Colonia” in 2009. Although Persson was hesitant about releasing a solo record with her name on it, she said she has been pleasantly surprised by the outcome.
“The only difference is that I’m using my name,” Persson said. “Technically I write as much and the process of working is the same. … I’ve been scared of the solo concept before. I was not at all attracted to doing something all on my own. So I didn’t know what it was going to be like, but it’s really not very different.”
A lot of things changed for The Cardigans with the success of “Lovefool.” According to Persson, the band’s activities became regulated by different managers and label executives.
“We were working for the labels and sometimes it felt like we were working not for ourselves,” Persson said. “Just working for the man. We always had schedules put in our hands.
“Sometimes if felt like you just sold your whole existence to the trade.”
The band put everything they had into making new music, Persson said. The idea, of course, was to capitalize on the success of “Lovefool” as quickly as possible.
“You do what you always do and then everything seems to be working all the time,” Persson said. “That was hard sometimes. We really just worked intensely and that’s what became a little hard.”
Still, Persson said she wouldn’t go back to change anything – 18 years has given her a time to reflect on the situation.
“I’m really happy for the way things have been for me and the things I’ve done,” Persson said. “I also know there’s no point in wanting to change things because you can’t.”
The Cardigans were touring as recently as this past December, doing a show in Moscow. With the increase in fan support, Persson said there’s always a chance the gang gets back into the studio to record a new album.
“We did the tour and we just really enjoy working together and playing together,” Persson said. “It’s just a logistically crazy project these days. We’re quite spread out over the world and we all have different jobs. I don’t know … we have things going for us. We talked about it [and it] could be fun, but there would be a lot of preparation with figuring out the when and where and the how with who and what and all that.
“The will is there, but we also have a good time working now the way we do.”