We love Peter Bjorn and John! This trio from Sweden brought us the jam “Young Folks” that has blasted up our speakers for months here at FF. They will be returning to the US in August and will make a stop at Chicago’s Lollapalooza on August 5th with Amy Winehouse, Daft Punk and lots of other must-see artists! New Yorkers don’t fret, the boys will be playing in NYC on Sept 6th with The Clientele. Swing by www.peterbjornandjohn.com and www.myspace.com/peterbjornandjohn for more on these supertalents! Check out their animated video for “Young Folks” and meet PB&J’s Bjorn!
How did Peter Bjorn and John come to be?
Me and Peter met in high school. He was the only one with a decent record collection so we started rocking out with two guitars and a drum machine. It was great! We did that for a good 8 years till we met John. He said he had a decent record collection too, so he was in. And after we met him, we came up with the name.
Who were some of your musical influences while growing up?
Good timeless stuff like Nationalteatern (political-folk-rock from Sweden), Depeche Mode, ZZ top and Steve Miller Band. After that, a lot of Shoegaze and Charlatans, Stone Roses and so on.
Does the music scene in Sweden differs greatly from that in the US?
Yes, it’s tiny here. And people in Sweden don’t like going to concerts as much as Americans, so it’s harder to get gigs.
How do you think your music has evolved since the release of your self-titled debut? How would you describe your sound then and now?
Both albums are based on pretty much the same things: cheap instruments vs. expensive tape machines, cheap distortion vs. expensive delays and cheap rehearsal spaces vs. expensive mixing rooms. The arrangement has improved a lot, though…
You all stepped forward to write and sing lead vocals for your latest record, “Writer’s Block”. Did you find this challenging?
It was only John who hadn’t done that before and he is very brave, so that wasn’t a problem.
You have toured all over the world. Where is your absolute favorite city to perform in and why?
I like Portland very much. It’s always a blast there. But New York is cool, too. Gonna stay there a few months in the fall!
What’s on your list of NYC musts to see and do when you’re in town?
Must go see hockey if I can. It’s great watching a game at MSG and then go to Schillers for a beer or two.
In your years on tour, what is the wildest, most off-the-wall experience you have had while traveling?
Must have been when John drove a rented car into the sea outside Barcelona. It was totally destroyed and the only thing to be saved was a CD with Alice Cooper.
What has been spinning in your record player as of late? Anyone we should keep an ear out for?
Sagor & Swing from Sweden is great!
We think your video for “Young Folks” is genius! Who created it and how did you come up with the concept?
The video is directed by Ted Malmros (of Shout Out Louds) and the animations are done by Graham Samuels who also did our covers on this album and the single. The concept is from a Swedish cartoon called Bamse.
Speaking of “Young Folks”… That song has been everywhere and kind of became an anthem for us! Did you all immediately know there was a masterpiece in the making while it was being written?
Speed round time! fave movie: “Shadows” by Cassavetes fave book: Äldreomsorgen i Övre Kågedalen (Swedish book by Nikanor Teratologen) and Krazy Kat (comic book by Herriman) fave color: red fave candy: psychocandy fave wildlife creature: Owl