10 000 ar is an indie duo from Sweden. Harald and Assar started making music together while being more or less strangers. Check out their song Into Your Arms below and then learn more about their story.
WCBU: How did your musical partnership begin? How do you all handle songwriting/production/recording responsibilities?
Me (Harald) and Assar first met in high school. But we never got close. Matter of fact we barely spoke to each other. But in our school there was a room dedicated for students wanting to play music during breaks. A very small room with two guitars, a bass, an electronic drum kit and a piano.
And every single break both me and Assar would be there, together with some other classmates, and jam. I didn't know much about Assar, but I knew he practiced the guitar and was learning music theory.. I myself never cared much for any of that, but I've always liked creating digital experiences... Meaning shortfilms, documentaries, photography or music. So I spent a lot of time learning producing, recording and mixing, and of course creating a whole lot of nonsense music while doing that.
After high school I once again felt the need to create one of these experiences... I really wanted to create an album. And it was perfect, because my parents would leave the house empty for almost a month to go on vacation. Remembering Assar vaguely, I called him. Basically said
"Hey, I know you're talented with the guitar and that you wanna pursue music. I have an empty house, some speakers and I know how to produce. You should come live here for a week or two and we can create an album"
... and he said yes.
On July 17th Assar came here with one acoustic and one electric guitar. And between July 17th and July 30th he lived here, sleeping on the coach. Here's a picture of the setup in the living room:
And the wildest thing was that we didn't really know each other. Every day I would wake him up at 10. We would have some coffee and work for about 6 hours. Then we would walk down to the ocean, jump in, walk back, and work for another 8 hours. More or less every day for two weeks we would do this... And obviously we got to know each other pretty well throughout this time. Assar went from being someone I barely knew to my best friend. I have a very specific memory the second night. We had been working on this one song and were starting to figure out the lyrics. I had, without telling Assar, been trying to write the song about this girl I had a weird relation to (can you say that in English? a weird "situation"? Basically we had a thing a couple of years back KINDA and I wanted to write it about her). But I didn't wanna tell Assar outright as it was a very personal subject NOBODY knew about except me and her. But at one point I said fuck it and told him. And we started talking back and forth. He started opening up about himself and after that everything just kinda fell into place. When he knew the full story he helped me.
We would religiously wake up at 10, work, eat pasta and meatballs and watch Norm McDonald standup, go swim in the ocean, work, drink beer, work, every day. As far as responsibilities, Assar usually improvises riffs until I hear something I like. As soon as that happens we record, and then start improvising lyrics until we find something. After that it's miserable problem solving until the song is done. I have taken care of most of the brand / marketing, handling tiktoks (which I assume is how you found us?) and for example the album covers, music videos, advertisements etc. WCBU: What's the story behind 'Into Your Arms'? You mention some of your songs are inspired by life changing events. Any interesting stories around the genesis of this song? Into Your Arms was originally a guitar riff we created as the bridge in "Smoke Signals". We didn't really like it there so we decided to cut it. However, after Assar left my house I stumbled across the riff again and couldn't get it out of my head. I decided to loop it and sing over it. Without being able to re-record the riff properly (as I can NOT play guitar) I was stuck with that imperfect recording and my voice. So that's what the song ended up as. I called up Assar and showed it to him, and he really liked it. Later that day he came over and recorded his verse. As far as lyrics go, the song is about that girl I mentioned earlier. Originally Smoke Signals was about her.. And as we wrote that song, as delusional as it sounds, I kind of fell in love with her again. Or at least the idea I had of her. So at the time of making Into Your Arms, that's all I could feel. The song I would say is about being in love with somebody who since long has forgotten you. And the frustration that brings. I don't even think it was real love, but it sure felt like it haha. I still haven't asked what Assar's verse was about. WCBU: What were some early musical experiences that made you guys want to pursue music making? (Assar over the phone, summarized:) When Assar was younger he and his parents used to listen to music together in their car while driving to their summer house. These memories are to this day very special for him, and has in a way dictated what kind of music he listens to today. For me (Harald) it's kinda weird. When I was younger I really liked video game edits. Kind of montages of peoples gaming clips, where they would do cool things in-game. They would often sync up to music and create whole experiences for the viewer.
As time went on, and as I grew older, these edits went from being about the clips of the game. To being more about the art of the editing, music and sound effects. I would watch them religiously, in school and everywhere.
These audiovisual experiences making you feel happy, sad, angry or whatever really resonated with me. So naturally I got into creating these myself. Editing, visual effects, sound design, and after a while music. All these edits introduced me to a lot of smaller artists that has been a huge inspiration for me in many ways. Especially the artist "Corbin" or Sun Kil Moon. WCBU: What's the best way people can keep up with what you're doing?
If one really cares: Our personal instagrams. @harald.2 and @assarjacobsson
If one just wants occasional updates: Our band instagram @10.000ar