Joe’s big ABBA scoop
FORMER SHEPP MUSO FIRST TO ANNOUNCE SWEDISH GROUP’S NEW ALBUM IN 40 YEARS
In all the excitement around Swedish supergroup ABBA’s first new album in 40 years, former Shepparton musician Joe Matera has admitted he got the scoop on the big news two weeks before it burst across social media on the weekend.
A fortnight ago Matera recorded a Zoom interview with Sweden’s Janne Schaffer who was ABBA’s guitarist during the band’s heyday in the 1970s.
‘‘He mentioned rather loosely in conversation with me a new ABBA album was on the way,’’ Matera said.
During the interview, Schaffer talks about unofficial ABBA historian Carl Magnus Palm who wrote the bestselling book Bright Lights, Dark Shadows: The Real Story of ABBA.
Mid-conversation, Schaffer drops the bombshell news.
‘‘He’s writing a new book now because ABBA is releasing a new album this autumn,’’ Schaffer says nonchalantly.
When Matera posted the interview on his YouTube channel it caused a sensation in the British media.
‘‘My interview was name checked by magazines and newspapers such as NME, The Telegraph, The Independent
and also on some TV news reports in Europe,’’ Matera said.
‘‘I had people commenting that this could not be true. In the first five days, my interview had 5500 views, the most of any interviews at my new channel.
‘‘Then on Friday ABBA announced officially they indeed had a new album coming — their first in 40 years.’’
ABBA’s forthcoming album
Voyage, to be released on November 5, is the first since the band released what was considered to be its final album
The Visitors in 1981.
Two songs from Voyage — I Still Have Faith In You and
Don’t Shut Me Down — were released on the weekend.
Matera has previously recorded with Schaffer who played on his track Take A Look released in April.
Matera said he usually played lead guitar on his own songs, but when he learnt Schaffer was a fan of his music he stepped back to give the Swedish player the lead part.
Matera said Schaffer played on every ABBA album and was a number-one-selling solo artist in his own right.
‘‘It was such an honour to have such an iconic guitarist playing on the track,’’ Matera said.
Matera, who was born in Kyabram, played regularly around Shepparton and Mooroopna during the 1980s and ’90s before moving to Melbourne to pursue his musical career.
He has released five albums and three EPs through European labels and has toured regularly across Europe.