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The Magnettes attract concertgoers in Burin

The Magnettes complete a sound check before their first show at Paddy’s Shed on Oct. 13. Colin Farrell/The Southern Gazette
The Magnettes complete a sound check before their first show at Paddy’s Shed on Oct. 13. Colin Farrell/The Southern Gazette

Swedish trio makes successful first trip to Newfoundland

BURIN, NL — The energy of Swedish trio The Magnettes filled the air at Paddy’s Shed last weekend as the band took to the stage for a pair of performances in Burin.

The trio were not only marking their first trip to the Burin Peninsula – it was the first time they had been to Newfoundland and Labrador.

“We love this area,” said Sanna Kalla, who fronts the group along with Rebecka Digervall.

“We really didn’t know what to expect. We have been to Canada before but only Alberta and Toronto. This is the first time here—it kind of looks like home, but more like Norway, and it’s beautiful.”

Tomas Bäcklund Thuneström, who plays drums, guitar and synthesizer for the group, said they are used to living in an area with a lot of trees.
“Being from the north of Sweden, we have moose and reindeer,” he said.

Digervall added, “Everyone is super nice here.”

“They are a lot friendlier than back home,” added Thuneström.

Kalla added that Burin reminded her of her and Digervall’s home town of Pajala in Sweden.
“It feels like everybody knows each other here.”

The band said when their manager told them they would be playing shows in Burin, their response was, “yeah, okay, we’ll go.”

After hearing more about the area and having conversations with event organizer Evan Murray, they were excited to play.

“It’s so (much) fun when you get to go play and see places that you never really knew existed in a way,” said Digervall. “We never thought we’d be here, now we’re here.”

All members of the group agreed they enjoy performing smaller shows.
“It feels like people come to show with an open mind and heart,” added Digervall. “They sort of listen more, which as a musician is fantastic – it doesn’t get better than that.”

The trio has played in major markets including New York and Los Angeles. Kalla and Digervall have been playing together for 13 years.
“Me and Rebecka started out when we were 11,” explained Kalla. “We started to play music together and we are 24 now, but we have been doing live shows for 10 years.”

The trio formed as a natural progression, with Thuneström playing various roles with the group before becoming a member.
“It start out as Tomas was always involved as like a sound engineer, and he jumped in as a bass player once,” said Digervall.

She and Tomas later started writing music together.
“We really liked what we did so we just started writing more and more – it became like a natural step to just (say) ‘you’re in the band.’”

After wrapping up in Burin, the band will make their way to New York and spend some time recording tracks for a new album before returning to Sweden.

“We play in London next month, then Holland,” said Digervall.
Kalla added the band will also tour Europe this winter, before returning to the United States and Canada in March.

Other than what their manager told them about the weather and layout of the land in Newfoundland, they had open minds when they came here.

“We’ve been playing a lot this past couple years,” said Thuneström. “I think we have learned not to have that many expectations, to sort of go in with in open mind all the time and whatever happens, you just take the good (and) the bad – you go in and make it work.”

He added that although they played at a good venue in Burin and the people are friendly, “that is not always the case, so you don’t wanna be disappointed – so you go in not expecting anything and then you get a pleasant surprise.”

The band said that they would gladly return to the area in the future.

“As Tomas said, you don’t expect people to be nice and everything to go smoothly, to be taken care of, but we’ve really experienced that here – that’s just a big plus,” said Digervall.

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