Living two dreams
[2012-08-02] The Umeå band Deportees seems to be loved by everyone – music enthusiasts as well as seasoned industry professionals. Peder Stenberg, the group's vocalist, successfully combines the role of group frontman with an academic career.
“I believe people listen and understand that our music is important. That it is about the present and created for just the right reasons,” says Peder Stenberg.
That it became music seems almost inevitable. Peder Stenberg describes his childhood in Vindeln, fifty kilometres west of Umeå, as a perfect mix of opportunity and boredom. Umeå – a bus ride away – with a music scene that was always cooking with jazz, rock, punk, hardcore and pop, became a source of inspiration and a reason why Peder Stenberg, brother Anders and friends spent most of their time in the rehearsal room.
“I am grateful that I grew up in a small community, where you have to make things happen. It probably gave me the ability to take action,” he says.
The hours in the rehearsal room increased, just like the gigs and in 2003 they created Deportees. He also dreamed of an academic career and studied theoretical philosophy at Umeå University. It continued with sociology, political science and ethnology. After twelve terms and four papers, he received a post graduate appointment.
Two dreams crowded into the same space. Deportees made it big and Peter tried to combine a life in elegant meeting rooms for recording companies with a doctoral studentship at Umeå University.
He speaks fondly of the boldness that marks ethnology as a subject – that you don't shy away from unusual subjects. He himself has studied cultures created in a virtual world – mainly in the online role playing game World Of Warcraft – including how networks are created, the driving forces that exist, the reward systems that are used and what the creation of meaning by players looks like.
Academics and music – two separate worlds that still have points in common about how to capture a phenomenon and a feeling, how to pinpoint an area and break the code...
A tour in Sweden and maybe overseas awaits, and in the fall of 2013 they plan to release their next album. Otherwise Peder Stenberg doesn't think too much about the future. Although the industry is pushing the band to live closer to Stockholm, members of the Deportees seem to be staying in Umeå.
“Many people who play here stay here; it is largely thanks to the people and the Scharinska stage with all the clubs and concerts that Umeå has such a unique music scene. I am not inclined towards celebrity parties. It is important to keep your feet on the ground, hang out with people you like and make the best music you can!
The title of Peder Stenberg's dissertation is: “The serious game: About World of Warcraft and leakage.” Deportees were named Group of the Year by P3 Guld and received a grammy for Rock of the Year.
Editor: Karin Wikman
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2015-06-24 Umeå University EC Jubilee Award 2015