- Words Louis Rabinowitz
Swedish duo Teddy Failure chat about their joining of musical minds, coming of age stories, and the need to find optimism within the struggles of growing up.
Don’t let the name fool you – if there’s a cloud around, Teddy Failure will be on the hunt for a silver lining. The result of a partnership between Swedish musicians Teo and Frans, Teddy Failure tackles the universal experience of coming of age with good vibes and an eye towards finding the bright side of it all.
Teddy Failure formed during the COVID pandemic towards the end of 2020, though it’s far from Teo and Frans’ first experience in the music industry – the pair met at art school, and have both racked up significant experience collaborating with some of Sweden’s hottest talent over the years. This latest extension of their collaboration came about as the pair hunkered down in the Swedish countryside outside Stockholm to write a catalogue of songs that would become Teddy Failure.
The pair pull from a wide variety of influences, including Simon & Garfunkel and Tyler the Creator, but their art comes first and foremost from their lived experience growing up, which has proven to be an all-too-relatable subject for their growing fanbase. Their new song, “1000 Tears”, is a real calling card for them, studying the awkward experience of catching feelings for a friend, but bringing a cheerful and redemptive narrative to it.
To celebrate their new track, we sat down with Teddy Failure to chat about how their collaboration began, their optimistic outlook and their love for indie film, and much more.
What made you guys want to start making music together?
So we started making music together in school! We were going to this pretty classical music school in Stockholm, and we both were not the best musicians tbh… so we started making silly songs instead, that led to us keep working with other artists and eventually starting Teddy Failure 🙂
How do you think COVID affected your first steps as a duo?
For us covid was a big factor why Teddy came together. So me and Teo were producing and writing for other artists before covid, but when covid hit we decided that it was finally time for us to do something on our own!
How does your joint love for indie cinema feed into your music?
Oh I think it’s the root of our music 🤓 we always have this test: if we like a song, we put it on to a scene in Juno and see if it fits. If not we scratch the song 🤪 We both grew up with those kinds of movies and we really want our music to feel like them.
Your music shines a bright light on the mundane and the everyday. What power do you think there is in focusing on the ordinary?
Yeaaah, what can I say? We are pretty ordinary people ;P and I think a lot of us are.. and that’s cool! And also inspiring, there’s something really cool with describing the ordinary and the everyday, because I think we all can relate to it.
Seeing failure positively is a key part of your duo, down to the name. How do you work that idea into your music?
Yeah we really believe failure is part of life and being human! For example we easily write 20 bad songs to get one good, and we believe those 20 bad ones are as important to get to the good one 🙂 We also want our music to not feel 100 percent perfect, to have some imperfections and fails in there often makes it even better 🤓
How has your often differing musical experience helped with your collaboration together?
I think it’s been really important for us that we come from different musical experiences. For example when we produce and write music it’s really cool that Teo is one of south of Stockholms best classical guitar players. He’s really virtuous! And I (Frans) can slap the bass pretty aggressively. Those things really helps when u want to be creative.
What do you hope your listeners take away from your music about the coming of age experience?
We hope they feel like they just got a warm hug!!!!!
Why was important for you guys to keep the tone uplifting in this new single despite the heavy emotions?
So the new single is about falling in love with a friend who doesn’t love you back. And even tho it sucks so much it’s still part of life you know. You’re not the first one to feel this kind of emotion and not the last either. So just keep swimming and things will be ok. There is something uplifting in that.
What’s inspiring you both creatively at the moment?
We just bought a tambourine, so there’s a lot of percussion things going on atm.. haha…
What are you manifesting for 2022?
Denim on denim and a revival of angry birds that game is still sick!!!!!