Wednesday, 27 July 2011
Indietracks interview #29: Suburban Kids With Biblical Names
For today's interview, Paul from Scared To Dance has been chatting to Johan from our Friday night Indietracks headliners, Suburban Kids With Biblical Names!
Suburban Kids... is a Swedish band formed in December 2003 by Johan Hedberg and Peter Gunnarsson. They put two songs on an internet site in 2004 and soon after were signed to Labrador Records. The duo combine intelligent, often darkly humorous, lyrics and a bewildering mix of musical styles from skiffle through African hi-life and electronica to produce infectious DIY pop.
Their debut album #3 - following their first two EPs #1 & #2 - was released in 2005 by Labrador Records and subsequently released in the US by Minty Fresh and in the UK & Ireland by yesboyicecream records, receiving widespread critical acclaim.
Hi Johan, how excited are you about playing Indietracks this year? What do you know about the festival?
It’s going to be great fun. Peter played there with his and Linas other band Springfactory last year. I know it’s a big festival for music lovers who are into indiepop and various smaller genres. I haven’t had the time to look up on all of the other bands playing; hopefully I will be surprised and discover different new bands.
You haven’t put anything out for a couple of years now but I read recently that you have new songs you are working on. Will you be releasing new material soon?
I really hope so. It’s a long process. We released an EP (#4) back in 2009 and we also released a new song on a small label (Sound of Young Lötkärr Vol 2) last year. We’ve been working on different songs for quite some time now and some of them are pretty much finished. Now it's summer and we will probably start to work on the songs when we’ve had our vacation.
Tell us more about the songs. What are the ideas behind the music and lyrics?
The ideas behind the music and lyrics are pretty much the same. Depressive and funny at the same time. This time some lyrics lean towards more serious things too.
Labrador have an amazing roster at the moment with Acid House Kings, The Radio Dept., Sambassadeur, Pelle Carlberg. How important are they in promoting Swedish indiepop? Will your new songs be put out by them again?
Labrador is pretty big outside of Sweden. They are one of the biggest indiepop labels in Sweden and they are very good at putting out things in the world. They have helped us by being on their roster to get through to the rest of the world. Apart from that I don’t think you can call it a sound and I like that. AHK and The Radio Dept. have very different approach towards music but it’s always a certain quality to most of the things they put out. Our new album will be out by them if they have the patience to wait for slow guys like us.
Your EPs and album have all been numbered like Led Zeppelin used to. Why did you decide to do that? Will you be giving your releases titles from now on?
I don’t know why we decided on that, the first one we entitled #1 and then it was easy to follow on that concept. We’ve been talking about changing that theme but time will tell.
How do you find it with just two of you in the band? Do you ever get sick of each other on tour or does having a backing band with you help?
Having a backing band does help but we haven’t had that much trouble throughout the year. I think all people tend to get a little crazy when being on a tour because it’s such an intense thing. If you only have that in mind and let people have their space then things will work out fine.
Do you have plans to tour Europe this year?
We don't. We've only been planning this show.
You played recently Huset ved Sjøen festival in Norway. It looked like a unique festival with just nine bands on the bill. How was it? How much will your set differ at Indietracks?
It was a really magic festival. Set in an old Greek temple on a fjord outside of Oslo which was pretty sick and we played on a boat. With the audience standing on land in the temple. There were a lot of good bands playing that day. The setlist from that show will probably be pretty the same, I hope we can cram in some new stuff in there as well and some more old songs.
Will you be staying for the entire weekend? Are you camping or going upmarket and staying a hotel?
We are staying in a hotel and we will be there for the whole festival. Coming up on Friday.
Which bands are you looking forward to seeing the most at the festival?
Edwyn Collins, The Garlands, Jeffrey Lewis, Crystal Stilts.
Thanks! Suburban Kids With Biblical Names headline the Outdoor stage on Friday night at 9:15pm