Little Dragon, nicest band on Earth

Sjimon Gompers

little dragon band sweden

Little Dragon. Photos by Jenz.

I had the privilege of being introduced to Gothenburg, Sweden’s electro sweethearts Little Dragon during the Treasure Island Festival. It was an honor that Impose was on their top list for interviews being that they had just flown into San Francisco from Sweden. They might just be one of the happiest bands I had ever met in my life; no pretensions, pure intrigue, fascination and lots of laughter. Now I must experience Sweden for myself, but first without further ado; Little Dragon.

How does it feel to being an electronic band in Sweden when you’re surrounded by so many metalheads?

Yukimi Nagano: We don’t really see the metalheads… we don't know where they're hiding

Håkan Wirenstrand: We run when we see one! [The band breaks out into laughter.]

What got you all into electronic music?

Erik Bodin: Oh, just the synth itself, I mean the first instrument I had was a Casio keyboard and I think it's the instrument that drew us into it. Its magical, it's unreal, it’s artificial, but with a lot of soul at the same time.

How did the Twice/Test 7″ change your careers?

E: That was kind of the first, no it wasn't, it was the second. No it was…

Fredrick Källgren: It was the singles “Test” and “Forever.”

Y: Yeah but he’s talking about the one that Peacefrog released that was Test and Twice, right?

I believe so.

E: How did it look? Was it like green? [The band again begins to laugh.] Was it black? And it turns?

It has a label?

E: I don’t know, at first a friend of ours released the 7” very small, very limited copies, but the feeling that somebody liked it so much made it kinda alright, let’s have a band. Before that we were all kinda flying about doing stupid things, doing things that weren’t really unified as a band.

How did you get sign to Peacefrog?

Y: Well the first little single we released became Rough Trade’s single of the week in London and Pete (Hutchison) of Peacefrog is kind of a vinyl junky found that single and contacted us.

Did you ever meet Geoff Travis of Rough Trade?

Y: Um, no, no…

E: Maybe the guy with the glasses and a beard?

He might have glasses and a beard but I haven’t seen a recent picture.

F: There’re lots of people with glasses and beards…

Y: Kind of a requirement I think if you work at Rough Trade.

What other electronic groups can you guys recommend from Sweden?

E: Uhh, I like Studio, ja, Studio…

Y: They’re from our city in Gothenburg.

E: Yeah…

F: Also a lot of house music that I don’t know the name of but uh, they’re pretty good!

How do you guys feel about your song “Twice” being used on Grey’s Anatomy?

E: I think it’s great, it’s about time! [More laughter.] No, but uh, I mean seriously I don’t’ know because I have never watched it but my mom is a big follower and all of a sudden [on the show] someone is dying or something and it’s “Twice” (playing) or whatever.

F: I mean I would say it’s like when you have parents who watch it, it justifies what we do even more because it’s like, oh they’re on this T.V. show, so we may be doing something that is like, proper!

E: Yeah, it actually exists!

What was the difference between making the self-titled Little Dragon album versus the Machine Dreams album?

E: The first one is more of a ‘best of’ Little Dragon based upon four or five years based upon a lot of old material, it was old already when it got out, we were playing songs from Machine Dreams, so when the second album came out we started to be in sync with ourselves a little bit, actually playing songs that we liked today and then I think the third album is gonna be the real sync!

Can you elaborate on the third album, what to expect, any working titles?

Y: We have a lot of working titles! Some of them are kind of funny, there in Swedish, one is called Mer Bi [sic] which means more shit, it’s a working title, (more laughter from Yukimi and the band) you know, you asked! Another one is called Running in the Fog, it’s a working title as well…and Classic

H: Classic Film.

E: And Frozen…uh, Frozen.

F: Um, that’s beyond, uh, we can’t say that on iPhone. [Referring to my recording device.]

Steve Jobs will censor it, you’ve heard about the anti-“sexting” software they’ve been developing?

E: No! You’re kidding me!

To make sure you ain’t saying nothing you shouldn’t, they already have something like that in the auto correct and it won’t let me drop an F-bomb in a text. They won’t let me; it automatically goes to “duck.”

H: “Duck” then is the new F-word.

According to Jobs it is!

Y: A friend of ours who doesn’t really have all the screws in the right places, he says he went to the conference for iPhone 7 and that the iPhone 7 will turn into a car. [Laughter galore.]

Unbelievable, I’m gonna look into this!

Y: Definitely.

Well I wanted to tell you I’m looking forward to your set and thanks for taking the time!

LITTLE DRAGON: Thank you!

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