De Vet Du on Erectile Dysfunction, Trash Talking and Melodifestivalen Duel (Interview)

Photo: Lizel Strömberg (ZEL Photography)

After qualifying from the first semi-final of Melodifestivalen 2017, De Vet Du have reached the Andra Chansen round in which they will be dueling against boy-band FO&O for a spot in the finals. De Vet Du's entry "Road Trip" has quickly and easily shot to the top of the ranks in YouTube hits, as their dazzling, technically intricate show has captured the attention of many.

For the sake of clarity, all transcribed answers featured in this piece will be abbreviated as follows:
Johan Gunterberg - JG
Chris Martland - CM
Tor Wallin - TW

De Vet Du first began their careers making comedic videos and posting them online, without making original music. This transition was helped along by their difficulties with managing audio equipment.

JG: When we made clips, we didn't know how to use the microphone so we thought maybe it's better if we just make a song because then we can just film it without the microphone and [not] care about the sound. So it was easier.

Their original content includes a wide array of topics they deemed funny or entertaining enough to be inspired by when creating songs. "Den kan inte stå" is one that addresses the woes of erectile dysfunction.

JG: It's about Tor.
CM: It's a true story about Tor.
TW: Based on a true story.
JG: Is that a very Swedish problem, maybe? 'Erectional' problem? Is that Swedish? A little bit, right?
CM: Maybe.
JG: I don't see an American having a problem with that. They have confidence.
TW: I think it's cause of the temperature.
CM: It's cold.
JG: It's cold and Swedes don't have that kind of confidence. Tor has no confidence.
TW: I've been struggling with the confidence.

Despite the success they have achieved, they remain committed to staying humble and gracious when interacting with their fans.

JG: It's not like we think about it, that we have to. I just feel like you've got to be a moron not to treat your fans well. Most [Swedish celebrities] do, but we've heard some stories.
CM: Like some people say 'No thanks' when fans want to take pictures.
JG: And want a lot on their rider when they go to gigs and stuff. They have a rider that has too much on it.

For some unknown reason, the Swedish industry folks responsible for booking them for gigs repeatedly underestimate the level of draw they have. When playing the Stockholm amusement park Gröna Lund, they have been booked on the smaller stage more than once and consequently had problems with overcrowding as a result. The lack of efficiency in business seems rampant in Sweden, which has forced De Vet Du to take on all the added responsibilities of marketing, promotion, merchandise, etc.

JG: No one does it if we don't do it so we have to have the control. When we got into the music business, we thought maybe someone would do something for us anytime. But they don't so we have to do it ourselves.

De Vet Du even created their own limited Swedish reality TV series "De Vet Du Livet" that aired on TV4. The show followed them around for various professional aspects, such as business meetings, attending an award show, and even explored what DJ Hunk gets up to. A recurring gag on the show was at the expense of Tor, who was made out to be the butt of jokes and forced to do unpleasant things when losing bets against John and Chris.

Tor: I'm actually doing okay. I don't really know what to say, I've never answered this in English. I enjoy it as well, most of the time. I see it as sort of a rivalry, not just me getting beat up. Actually in the same show, [Johan and Chris] had to eat this candy that was really hot. I have no problems with doing stuff or anything. I think it's just fun. I've always thought it was fun.

The duel announcements were particularly controversial when De Vet Du was announced to be competing against FO&O, particularly as they were both acts with large fan-followings and many expected that they would be given easier matches to ensure that they make it to the finals so more viewers would be pleased by their being present.

JG: We're just trying to focus on doing our show a little bit better this time and not focus that much on them. If it was sports, we might have been trash-talking but there's no reason in this game.

In addition to making preparations to up the competitive quality of their entry, De Vet Du also released an acoustic version of "Road Trip" during the weeks off since their semi-final.

JG: I think we did it a little bit because of all the hate we got from the Swedish media, who don't know anything about us. They said, 'It sounds like they've never done a live gig' but we've done like three hundred in our career. We just wanted to show them that we can do it. It wasn't that big of a thing. And then one of the guys put it up and said, 'I don't know what this is about but I guess they're trying to say that they can sing.' But still he says 'they'. I sing. They still don't know what singing and rap is, the difference, and that's pretty embarrassing.

Watch our full interview with De Vet Du here:


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