In a sense, All We Have Is Now, is a traditional coming-of-age story, following Lisa, Cissi, and Rebecka, three young Swedish girls, as they navigate the getting older and maturing into young adults. But the added pressure of their explosive fame as punk-pop sensations Vulkano unsurprisingly complicates the perils of puberty.
With intimate behind-the-scene interviews, director Alexandra Dahlström captures the multifaceted nature of friendship, alongside energetic, pop-punk performances. We sat down with Dahlström to talk about capturing these moments, the relationship between subject and filmmaker, and what it takes to make a kinetic rockumentary.
Rooftop Films: How did you meet Vulkano and decide to make this documentary?
Alexandra Dahlström: I first met Lisa and rebecka when I was casting for one of my short films called Because the Night. I knew of [their former band] Those Dancing Days but when I saw Vulkano for the first time I was really happy for them that they had broken out and were expressing themselves in a totally free way. I could really recognise that energy in myself, I felt there was a mutual frequency and a strong story to be told about these people.
All We Have Is Now is just as much a coming of age story as a music documentary, with [SPOILER ALERT] Rebecka’s departure serving as a major turning point in the film. What was it like for you to document Vulkano during this period of flux?
It was quite heart-wrenching to witness the split-up, it was like seeing your parents getting a divorce and hoping they would stay together although you know it’s not possible.
The film’s playful lack of self-seriousness gives it a very distinctive feel, and differentiates it from other rock documentaries. How did you think about and approach the film’s tone while you were shooting?
Pure DIY. I did not have the time or patience to depend on other people, I just wanted this film to happen immediately. And it did.
You recently shot a music video for Giorgio Moroder, which features Lisa from Vulkano as one of Sia’s doppelgangers. Though also related to music, All We Have Is Now, a documentary feature about a band’s evolution, is quite different from a narrative short inspired by and set to a piece of music. How do you approach these different genres, as a filmmaker? Do you enjoy maintaining variety in your work?
Yes! It’s more fun to be able to move between different genres and do what feels right in the moment. My background is in fiction so that’s what I always come back to, but my love of music has always been very central in every story I choose to tell. In All We Have is Now the music and the characters exist in real life so making a documentary felt like the most natural way to tell this story.
Is there a moment that stands out to you when you look back on the film?
The scene where Cissi and Lisa catch snowflakes on their tongue.
There’s a scene in Lukas Moodyssons We Are The Best where the main characters do the same thing. When I first saw it I realized somebody had been writing a fiction script where the exact same thing happens that I was filming for a documentary I started really believing that there is something like a collective subconscious.