Photo by Simon Helm

Since their first single ‘Dansande Man’ in 1983, Sweden’s PAGE have stuck rigidly to their “Keyboardbaserad Retroromantisk Popmusik” manifesto, never feeling the need to use live drums or a brass section.

Ironically, Eddie Bengtsson traded in his drum kit for two synthesizers to form PAGE with Marina Schiptjenko. Inspired by TUBEWAY ARMY, ULTRAVOX and SILICON TEENS, the duo have nurtured their own brand of poptronica. When PAGE went on hiatus in 2000, Bengtsson continued with his solo project SISTA MANNEN PÅ JORDEN while Schiptjenko found mainstream European success as a member of BWO.

But the special chemistry that was within PAGE could not be resisted so in 2010, Bengtsson and Schiptjenko reunited to release a new album appropriately titled ‘Nu’. New is the theme of the new PAGE album ‘En Ny Våg’ which translated into English means “A New Wave”. As on the previous albums ‘Det Är Ingen Vacker Värld Men Det Råkar Vara Så Det Ser Ut’ and ‘Fakta För Alla’, ‘En Ny Våg’ uses Gary Numan as a catalyst and even brings Chris Payne and RRussell Bell from his imperial live band of 1979-1981 on board to aid the Numanisation process.

Eddie Bengtsson and Marina Schiptjenko spoke to ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK about the continuing PAGE story and the making of ‘En Ny Våg’.

Photo by Jonas Karlsson

What keeps the PAGE partnership going strong?

Eddie: I think that it is because we live so far from each other. We don’t get tired of each other. Also, we have so many other things that we have done and do in our lives. Finally, we are still very good friends and like very much what we are doing and how our music sounds.

Marina: I also would like to add: our history. We kind of grew up together and were both huge fans of the same kind of music. We have so many memories tied to that defining time in our lives.

The concept to “Numanise” PAGE in 2017 began on a few tracks from ‘Det Är Ingen Vacker Värld Men Det Råkar Vara Så Det Ser Ut’, how do you think the adventure has gone since then?

Eddie: When I write the songs, I don’t go in with the mission to copy either early Numan or ULTRAVOX (“NumanVox”). It’s more that those artists work like a catalyst to get me in the mood. Of course, I love the sound of those old songs, and I try to emulate it and let it go through a “PAGE-filter”. If someone tells me, “That sounds a bit like early Numan” or ULTRAVOX, I give them a high-five – because that means that they have understood what I’m trying to do.

Photo by Simon Helm

Have you grasped the world of social media and streaming?

Eddie: No, not yet, I suppose.

Marina: It’s boring to do, but I very much like the possibility to share (and to see!) old PAGE live stuff. I have a lousy memory, so it’s so much fun to see old concerts online.

It’s been a while since the most recent PAGE album ‘Fakta För Alla’ in 2019, but there have been two EPs ‘Under Mitt Skinn’ and ‘Aska’. What was the reason for going down this route first?

Eddie: Both of those EPs started as singles. I didn’t have the inspiration for a full album, but I could manage an EP. When those two EPs were done, we just thought, “Let’s put them together and make an album for those who want that”.

Did you impose any rules or restrictions on ‘En Ny Våg’ such as the synths, sounds and software used?

Eddie: I have had the same rules and restrictions for years and years. Once, I was a collector of synths. In other words, I bought lots of synthesizers just to own them; not really to use them. I have always had this idea, this mantra: “You only need ONE synth – force it to sound the way you want it to sound”. So I realised that I didn’t need that load of synths and sold them off. I sold my vintage stuff and bought ONE fat synth instead. I went for a Moog.

To tell you the truth, I don’t only own ONE Moog, I have a couple. Mostly because they look so nice. The last four albums are 80% Moog Voyager XL only. My Moog Little Phatty, I use as a mother keyboard. The Moog Minitaur is for all basses – the same sound on every song. And, finally, the Moog Sub Phatty is only for live. So, yeah, I want to work with restrictions and rules. Force the synth!

Are you still partying like it is 1980 – has any recent pop music been inspiring?

Eddie: I’m not very much for partying – never was. I keep my sources of inspirations very limited. It’s like 3-4 artists, all from the same era of early New Wave / Post Punk electronica. I have come to the conclusion that it was the time when the sounds were perfect. Earlier, I did look into to other styles, new and old; but, looking back, I think that made my own songs be influenced by too many things, and the red thread got kinda lost. So, I like the way I do work now. I have a road to walk down, and it’s very straight, and I love the walk.

Photo by Simon Helm

On the ‘En Ny Våg’ opening title song, you invited Chris Payne from the first Gary Numan live band to perform on it, how was the experience?

Eddie: THAT was a really huge thing for me. To have both Chris Payne and RRussell Bell from the Numan band and DRAMATIS playing on the new PAGE album was fantastic. They are such amazingly talented musicians. Chris plays the violin on the song and his parts really lift the song, I think so, at least. We had contact, and I instructed him to play the parts that I wanted. Then I told him that he could have a free hand to add whatever he could come up with. The part in the middle, where his viola leads, is goose-bumps beautiful.

RRussell Bell also contributes to the album, what did he add?

Eddie: RRussell plays the guitar on ‘Frusen’ (‘Frozen’). He added great atmosphere to the piece. It was so cool to have RRussell, as well as Chris, because he is such an important part of Numan and DRAMATIS story.

At the end of the album, there is an atmospheric track called ‘Korridoren’ that would make OMD proud, how did that develop?

Eddie: That was a quickie. Actually, I wrote it when the album was done and ready to be pressed. There was this day when I had just bought a new microphone, and I wanted to test it. I connected it and tried it out. The sound of that mic was unbelievable, compared to the mics I have been using before. So, I sang a line that sounded good – very close and kind of intimate – and then I put the instruments on that. It took me an hour or so. The result was a very cool song. I like it. Maybe OMD can make a cover of it? 😉

Photo by Jonas Karlsson

One of the highlights is ‘Det Här Är Mitt Sätt’ with its catchy riffs and soloing, what was the idea behind this?

Eddie: The idea was to use that synth sound that leads the song. I did this sound, and it was very much the sound as heard on ‘Fade To Grey’. So, I guess my goal was to make something that would sound a bit like ‘Fade To Grey’; I failed with that, but it became something else. I suppose it sounds very much like classic PAGE.

On ‘Genomskinlig’, you get to do the Billy Currie synth hero thing again, but have you considered getting the Korg ARP Odyssey reissue or does what you have already do the job as you require?

Eddie: No I haven’t. I have no need for it, because I force my synth (the Moog Voyager XL) to sound like a Billy Currie Odyssey solo. The result isn’t perfect but almost – and definitely good enough for me.

What are your favourite songs on the album?

Eddie: My favourite songs are ’En Ny Våg’ (‘A New Wave’), ‘För Du Är Rädd Nu’ (‘Because You’re Scared Now’) and ‘Stop-Vänta-Nu’ (‘Stop-Wait-Now’). All of them are very good songs that I’m very proud of. I totally love everything about those songs: the way they are built, the sounds, the arrangements, the melodies, the beat, the harmonies, the vocals, and the words. They really represent what I’m trying to do.

Marina: ‘En Ny Våg’ and “För Du Är Rädd Nu”, those are two magical PAGE songs.

Photo by Simon Helm

This present phase of PAGE started in 2010, it is more enjoyable than back in the day?

Eddie: Maybe. I haven’t thought about that. I guess it’s more mellow these days. It feels nicer now, when I really, really love the sound. PAGE has always been special, in the sense that there was never anyone that sounded like us. And that is still a fact.

Marina: I am so happy and grateful that Eddie doesn’t force me to play too many live gigs *laughs*

PAGE, in the early days, was a lot about live performance. I truly enjoyed it back then, but now it’s more pressure.

What is next for PAGE?

Eddie: Now we have to kind of sit back and see how the audience will receive the album. I hope they like it as much as we do. When it comes to playing live, we haven’t decided yet if we are going to perform the album or not. If the right opportunity arises, then we might. But it would have to be something that means something special. When it comes to composing, I’m at the moment taking a rest. Maybe, someday, I will start all over again with filling myself with inspiration and ideas.

ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK gives its warmest thanks to PAGE

‘En Ny Våg’ is released on 29 September 2023 by Energy Rekords as a CD and vinyl LP, pre-order from

Text and Interview by Chi Ming Lai with thanks to Simon Helm
8 September 2023