SEP 9, 2009
Swedish actor Alexander Skarsgard plays the powerful vampire Eric on HBO’s series True Blood. His Guest DJ set was emotional and revealing as he chose to dedicate each of his five songs to people that play an important part in his life — including his father, actor Stellan Skarsgard, a lost love and an old friend. True Blood’s Season 2 finale airs September 13.
Rolling Stones: Mothers Little Helper
Ebba Grön: 800 °C
The Buzzcocks: Ever Fallen in Love
Van Morrison: Brown Eyed Girl
Iggy Pop: The Passenger
Anne Litt: Hi, I am Anne Litt and I am here with the actor Alexander Skarsgard who stars in the popular vampire drama series True Blood on HBO. He plays the powerful vampire Eric. Today, we will be playing excerpts of songs he has selected that have inspired him over the years as part of KCRW’S Guest DJ Project.
Alex, what did you bring us today?
Alexander Skarsgard: I brought 5 songs that I’d want to dedicate to people – five people that play or have played an important part in my life.
AL: What a great idea. Let’s start with Rolling Stones “Mother’s Little Helper”
AS: I spent a week at my Dad’s country house in southern Sweden. His grandfather built that house 9 years ago and my dad, it’s very important to him to maintain it like the way it was built, to preserve it and not to modernize it too much. So, there is no running water there. If you want to take a shower you have to go out to the well and pump up water and pour it over yourself. When I was a kid, me and my Dad would go out and pump up water, pour it over each other and sing this song. So I want to dedicate this song to my old man and I want to thank him for not building a jacuzzi out there or an infinity pool or anything like that.
Song: Rolling Stones” Mother’s Little Helper
AS: At the time , I didn’t know a word of English but it didn’t stop me from shouting, ‘ra pa doo pa da da dee…’ I just made up jibberish but it was just a beautiful thing to share with my Dad singing that song. I couldn’t care less what we were saying.”
AL: That was the Rolling Stones, “Mother’s Little Helper.” I am here with Alex Skarsgard on KCRW’s Guest DJ Project. What’s the next dedication?
AS: When I was a teenager I was a punk rocker. This was in the early 90′s and it was like 15 years after it was cool to be a punk rocker. Everyday after school I would bring my boombox out to this park and I would sit there with my friends singing and watch the sunset and listen to loud, angry, fast music. One of my best friends from back then, he’s sick. He’s been in and out of the hospital for a couple of years now. This is like an old Swedish punk song from the late 70′s that I would like to dedicate to him. I hope he gets better soon so we can get a chance to drink cheap beer and bitch about the decay of our civilization. This is Ebba Grön (dedicates it to his friend in Swedish)
Song: Ebba Grön’s 800 °C
AS: I was kind of a half ass punk rocker. I didn’t go full punk. Ebba Grön started the Swedish punk wave in the mid-70′s so this was 15 years after that but we loved this band and listened to them all the time.
AL: Are they still around?
AS: They’re not but they are still very, very famous in Sweden. I still love them and think they are an amazing band.
AL: I am Anne Litt from KCRW and we are here with Alex Skarsgard. This is KCRW’s Guest DJ Project and the next song I want to talk about is the Buzzcocks’ “Ever Fallen in Love.”
AS: Yeah, I had this girlfriend awhile ago, many years ago, and it was a very passionate relationship. I was very much in love with this girl, but after a few months we both realized we weren’t good for each other. But it was one of those relationships that we didn’t make each other happy, but every time we broke up, we ended up back together and that went on for almost 3 years. I don’t know if you’ve experienced that, but it just killed me. It was really, really tough. I just tried to move on and so did she but we just couldn’t. I want to dedicate this song to her and I hope she found happiness somewhere out there.
Song: Buzzcocks’ “Ever Fallen in Love”
AS: Every time after a fight I would just put on my big headphones and I would crank up the volume and go Pete Shelley freakin’ gets it. In a way she will always be a part of me, but I don’t have to listen to Buzzcocks and cry every day and night any more. I can actually listen to it now and enjoy it because it’s a great song.
AL: It’s the Buzzcocks,” Ever Fallen in love”. We’re here with Alex Skarsgard from the HBO series, True Blood, on KCRW’s Guest DJ Project. What’s the next song you have for us?
AS: When I was a kid we went on a lot of road trips and my mom had this song that she always wanted to play. She is a very considerate person, my mom, so she would always ask the kids and my Dad if it was okay if she played the song. Like I mentioned before, I was a punk rocker so I would just shrug my shoulders and be like ‘oh whatever, I don’t care.’ So I want to dedicate this song — my mom’s favorite song –to her and I want her to know that even though I would never admit it at the time, I actually loved it every time she put it on.
Song: Van Morrison’s “Brown Eyed Girl”
AL: Do you ever feel homesick?
AL: Is there a piece of music that you hear that just takes you there?
AS: It’s kind of tough because I am the only one in my family here in LA. The rest of my family lives in Sweden so music is great for that. I just put on a song and it brings me right back home.
AL: That was Van Morrison’s Brown Eyed Girl. This is the KCRW’S Guest DJ Project. I’m Anne Litt with Alex Skarsgard who has brought in a whole bunch of great songs and the next one is “The Passenger” by Iggy Pop. Tell us about that one.
AS: I’ve been in LA for five years now, on and off. Growing up in Stockholm, Sweden that transition, it’s not easy because Stockholm is a very densely populated place, you walk or you ride your bike. Most of my friends are within just a few blocks away from each other and coming out here was kind of tricky. Suddenly you’re in a city where it’s considered normal to sit in traffic for 45 minutes for coffee with a friend or people drive Hummers to the gym so I’ve kind of spent five years complaining about LA and talking about how much greater Stockholm is, how good it is back there. I was just there for two weeks and when I landed I flew into LAX and I had this really weird feeling when we touched ground. I felt like I was coming home. I’ve never felt that before so this last song I actually want to dedicate to Los Angeles and I hate to admit it but I think I’m falling in love.
Song: “The Passenger,” by Iggy Pop
AL: Nobody is going to let you get out of here today without telling us what music Eric listens to.
AS: He listens to a lot of Swedish death metal.
AL: Is it hard to talk with those things in your mouth?
AS: The fangs?
AS: Yeah, you know, it takes a while to get used to it.
AL: Are they like those things you used to get on Halloween?
AS: Well, they’re not plastic they’re like molded for your teeth but it’s basically the same thing.
AL: Alex, thanks so much for joining us on KCRW.com, you’ve shared such a meaningful group of songs
AS: Thank you so much for having me, it was a true pleasure
AL: For a complete track listing and to find these songs online, go to KCRW.com/GuestDJProject
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