– I am very fascinated by classical music. To compose a song is an exciting craft and classical music is doubtless the hardest, David says.
Some time after finishing college he got the idea of writing a requiem and David admits that it was a pretty cocky start since most composers end their career with writing their own death mass. But the young David Pagmar thought to do the opposite and started his career by composing a classical piece.
Nowadays those sheets are packed in a boxed and stored away and it is no longer opera which is David’s forte but grand arrangements and bombastic melodies.
– I read a review where they called my music florid orchestral pop. I thought that was a very good description of what I am doing today. On the first album, Drama I neither had the knowledge nor resources to make it sound exactly like I wanted it to. But on Skaizerkite I had found the sound I wanted, David says.
The band that backs the one-man gig Montt Mardié recently became complete and when they play live they look like a classical orchestra and sound the same. The pop influences are apparent, so are the sweet 60s tunes. The brass section makes the most sensitive soul romantic lift an eyebrow and David’s voice has a steady resonance and is easy on the ears.
How does your writing process work?
– It starts with a melody, often with some type of hook. It is hard to explain with words but it is extremely important. When I have that special hook, an industrious task to find a strong enough theme begins. When I’ve got it I feel a kind of euphoria.
Montt Mardié when it is at its best sounds like a modern Swedish version of Phil Spector’s classical Wall of Sound. The music has a depth and a clang which resembles classic soul tunes. At the same time you can hear the dance sound of the 80s and indie beats from the year 2000. It is hard to establish which age Montt Mardié really belongs to. Modern nostalgia may be the correct term.
– I am inspired by so much. But when it comes to my own music I want it to grab hold of your heart and give an emotion. A song that gives me that special feeling is Somebody’s baby by Jackson Browne. There is a certain something about both the lyrics and melody, David says and expound on the song and the feeling of just wanting to be somebody’s baby.
The latest album, Skaizerkite contain several collaborations with, among others Hanna Lovisa from the now defunct Cat5. According to David it is important to invite other artists since it makes the music more interesting. Together you can broaden the music and hold a discussion which makes the result more interesting. And since Sweden is so small you have some kind of connection to most people in the business. The collaboration with Hanna Lovisa started with them getting in touch online and ended with her coming up to Stockholm to record the song Unknown pleasures.
Outside Montt Mardié, David has several other projects on the go, one of them is in Swedish but it is still a bit secret.
– I have just started writing songs for other artists, which is really exciting. But since I have only done it for a short time I don’t know how it is going to turn out yet, it remains to be seen.
Do you have a dream collaboration?
– I would like to write a song with Phil Collins.
Translation: Marie Lindström