7000apart are the husband-and-wife pop duo of Jon Kresin and Amelie Eiding. They met in high school when Eiding came to Green Bay as an exchange student from Sweden, and they eventually fell in love. They are named for the distance in miles they had been apart when Eiding went back to Sweden. I had been introduced to them through a mutual friend a few years back and I can say they are one of the friendliest couples you’ll ever meet. Their most recent single “Nothing to Worry About” came out in February. They were in Sweden for this interview, six hours ahead of me.
ME: Okay, first things first. Tell me how you guys got involved with Wisconsin Music Ventures.
AMELIE: I think it was through our friend Thea, who works with the ACA and Amplified Sessions. We did a couple gigs with them and then she told us that we need to meet Allison…and so we met Allison! We’ve been talking weekly since then. We really love the collaboration.
ME: Awesome. So I know that you said recently that you’re finally doing 7000apart full-time. Do you want to talk about how you knew you were ready to fully pursue this?
JON: We’ve been really close to being full-time for like a year and a half. We were planning on being full-time that March, and then with all of our shows cancelled we couldn’t. We were forced to be on unemployment, but during that time, it was this weird situation where we were on unemployment and were kind of doing music full-time already and didn’t need all the money since the government was giving it to us each week to survive with our business not able to operate. (To Amelie) You were doing a bit of translation at the beginning of the pandemic and some lessons here and there…
AMELIE: …but it wasn’t enough to pay the bills because we were so used to paying the bills with about 50-75 percent from shows.
JON: Yeah, at least half was coming from shows and we were just about making double what we needed each month. That was before the pandemic, and then during the pandemic we only had a bit of translation and a bit of lessons…and then (to Amelie) you kind of stopped doing translation in like November…but we were still doing fine. Then we got rid of lessons too because we got a booking agent.
AMELIE: I would say that in the short answer, we finally booked enough shows. So we were comfortable enough and also, we didn’t have time for anything else. More than that, we didn’t have the mind space. Playing four shows a week or whatever we’re doing now takes a lot of planning and is a lot of work while also dealing with social media trying to stay relevant, and also working on the next project. All of that takes a lot of time. It’s so much traveling and we just realized that we couldn’t keep up with the other things. But being full-time has been our dream since we started 7000apart, so it was definitely a huge step for us.
ME: How exciting, that’s pretty awesome! Good for you – you should be very proud to have reached that milestone.
ME: So what’s the weather like in Sweden right now?
AMELIE: Oh, it’s beautiful! It’s like 75, sunny, gorgeous; the sun is out till like 11pm. We’re really jet-lagged today so we’ve been trying to be out all day but the sun comes out so early (laughs).
ME: So are nights only like, a few hours then?
AMELIE: Yeah, especially around this time. And the more north you go, the less night it is.
JON: It’s weird.
ME: Yeah, I bet that’s weird, but I’d love to experience that one day.
ME: I’m sure you guys get this next question a lot, but it’s a fun one. What are some differences between Swedish and Wisconsin music culture?
JON: Well, socially, there’s definitely a lot of differences. Concert-wise, the main difference would be that in Wisconsin people are more there to drink and music is kind of a bonus.
AMELIE: Yeah, and you can get paid to play at a bar without there being an entrance fee, while in Sweden you are going to a concert. You might grab a beer or something too but there’s not as many restaurants and bars that do live music, because when Swedes want to go see live music they are going to concerts. It’s not as common to go to the bar and there’s a band playing. It’s more of an experience than an everyday Friday.
JON: You’ll go for an hour to see a concert, and then after you might go out and drink.
AMELIE: It’s not as easy finding gigs in Sweden because of that.
JON: It’s more of a hard ticket culture compared to guarantees. It kind of goes the same way though; people are less casual about listening to music in those environments. There’s bonuses both ways, and you can grow in a whole different way when you’re not the main focus all the time.
ME: That does make sense. So I’m not too familiar with the Green Bay music scene. How has it been surviving during quarantine? Has much been going on?
AMELIE: Not really. We went online and kind of found a new community where we could be safe and all that. We used to run songwriter’s round every week and that was really, really fun even though it was really just “songwriter’s night” because we there weren’t any audiences. We obviously stopped that when the pandemic hit.
JON: I don’t know if we had any concerts in Green Bay. We had the Cup of Joy in May which was social distanced and there was a live streamed version of that. We played it a couple more times, but aside from that, we didn’t really play anything in Green Bay.
AMELIE: We did play a couple farmer’s markets in De Pere.
JON: There wasn’t a whole lot of music happening; it’s started happening but we haven’t really done anything yet. There’s the Birder Broadway Theatre in De Pere that started doing a music series and it’s a black box theatre so it’s a really nice listening room.
ME: What do you miss most about Wisconsin when you’re in Sweden?
AMELIE: Our car (laughs). And all of our equipment; it’s so nice to have everything in one place. We know how to pack the car and go to venues and drive around the Interstate. It’s so simple and straightforward. Here we don’t have a car; my dad and mom both have one but it’s not in the city. Luckily we can rely on public transportation here, which is great, but it’s hard to bring a guitar and speaker and piano on a train.
JON: I’d say just our gear and my family. It’s basically just my parents in Green Bay.
AMELIE: I also love thrifting. And I love The Premier in Green Bay; we’re just getting able to start working there again to have photo shoots and videos and stuff.
ME: The inverse of that is what do you miss most about Sweden when you’re in Wisconsin?
AMELIE: Well for me it’s family. But also Stockholm; we just love the city. There’s so much nature and water but it’s really cool architecture; it’s still a big town but it’s not as tall as somewhere like New York and you can actually see the sky.
JON: It’s a very pop-centric music scene as well.
AMELIE: It’s the third biggest pop city in the world behind LA and London. So just the amount of cool musicians and songwriters, mixers, everything…it’s really cool to meet people here.
ME: That’s really cool. I definitely want to see it someday.
ME: My last question is, what are your summer plans? What do you have in store for the next couple months?
AMELIE: So now we’re in Sweden for three weeks and we have a couple gigs here and there. Mostly we’re just spending time with family and friends and doing some songwriting. We’re also working on our next project and then it’s touring. We are touring all over Wisconsin and a little bit of Minnesota for the rest of summer.
JON: I think we have about 45 shows or something like that. It’s going to be a lot of performing.