Nearly four years after releasing his debut album under the name CEO, the often cryptic Eric Berglund has finally followed it up with Wonderland. One half of the now defunct Swedish pop duo the Tough Alliance, Berglund says the album not only continues what he did with his 2010 debut White Magic, it's tied to everything he's done in the past, too.
"[Wonderland] is ultra connected. It's just the next leg of the same journey, the next level of this fucking game," he tells Exclaim! "TTA was my way to express myself then and CEO is my way of expressing myself now. For me [the Tough Alliance's 2007 album] A New Chance and White Magic are as connected as White Magic and Wonderland. For me, my life is my expression, and it doesn't matter what I call it at the time. There are no such boundaries for me between CEO, TTA, Sincerely Yours or whatever. The only 'project' I have is my life."
His highly revered Sincerely Yours label is still functioning. Not only is it releasing Wonderland in Sweden, but it recently put out a new single by the equally mysterious duo jj. Berglund says he's as involved with the label "as a boy can be in something."
"It's my child and I raise it and protect its neck as well as I can," he adds. "It's hard 'cause I'm not super executive, but it is what it is and what it's supposed to be. Can't cry like no bitch."
As for the Tough Alliance, Berglund doesn't sound like he's chomping at the bit to join the trend of band reunions.
"[I miss it] extremely briefly sometimes, in very weak moments," he admits. "Like in the way you can miss being a teenager or less evolved. Real evolvement can't be reversed so it's just silly. People remind me of TTA a lot, and it can be bit annoying to be forced to your past that often. But I'm very happy I experienced it, everything has its time and its purpose. I'm just even happier it's over. It was very hard. Right now I don't see how it would work but I definitely don't have anything against working with Henning [Fürst]."
Wonderland is out now via Modular. Read our review of it here.
Read more from our interview with CEO here.