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Tobias Froberg

#33.1 – ON GOD’S HIGHWAY

Director : Vincent Moon

Shot in Paris, 2007

We had just stepped away from the terrace. It was only ten meters until the cross-street where he had to hang a left. He took a right.

Afterwards, there wasn’t that much that had to be done. He had to walk and we had to follow. Tobias, you have to understand, isn’t a difficult person. But he did turn out to be impossible to follow. I found it rather disconcerting–which is surprising, considering that I’m so used to seeing Vincent Moon unhinge so many bands with his crazy flair and camera acrobatics. Tobias, however, just couldn’t walk straight. He would take two steps, stop, and then start back up again. He was turning all around, slipping into doors, singing ballads to girls, infiltrating Bar-Tabacs that were trying to close, etc. In spite of all this chaos, though, he continued to play calmly as if nothing out-of-the-ordinary was happening. He also looked at everything with such curiosity.

Sometimes it takes awhile before you discover someone’s vibe and the way they work. In Tobias Fröberg’s case, the discovery was almost immediate: he works with his eyes. Wide-eyed and interested, searching ceaselessly with the desire to soak everything up and not miss a single beat. It was as if his eyes were in charge, entities unto themselves, eager to snatch up the world.

We met up at the entrance of G20 after being cordially, yet surreally, dismissed from a chic restaurant. Tobias tried to catch a glimpse of everyone passing by. When we got into the record store, he didn’t miss a chance to stare at a single poster or fix his gaze at the camera. It was all pretty impromtu and casual, like an impulsively hummed tune that just kind of floats in the air. “Whatever.”

Oh yeah. “Whatever.” Casually at ease. Tobias is certainly not starting a revolution, but he couldn’t care less. His first album is full of beautiful folk songs. And the ones on his second album, Somewhere in the City, are even more enchanting and consistent, paying tribute to something grander than just a wink of the eye. Listen to the album version “God’s Highway” from the first video: it’s a perfect replica of Simon and Garfunkel. He admits it; he doesn’t care.

The filming is similar. Three scooters nearly crashed, and he didn’t give a shit. The garbage collectors stopped him, and after giving them a few verbal jabs, it was obvious he couldn’t care less. The song remained calm and light, and it didn’t occur to us to stop him. We just continued on. He didn’t even stop singing when this guy with a tuba walked by. He ignored the guy and continued to captivate the camera. Tobias could go through his daily life like this, as if it were completely natural to show up someplace with a guitar in his hand and ask, “hey, can I play here?”

That night, Tobias Fröberg was certainly the man in charge. He took us by the hand and did his thing, and we could only go with the flow, accompanied by soft melodies and casual song.

P.S. Thanks a million to the owner of Music Avenue, who welcomed us in with a smile–and who also has a kick-ass MySpace page.

#33.2 – WHEN THE NIGHT TURNS COLD

Director : Vincent Moon

Shot in Paris, 2007