Friday, April 2, 2010

Transmission Interview: Slagsmålsklubben

We Have Words With Slagsmålsklubben

Slagsmålsklubben are one of the more interesting electronic acts to emerge over the last few years. Not quite Transmission Intro material as they’ve three albums and numerous Ep’s already under their belt, including the recently released single; Brutal Weapons on Kitsuné. Slagsmålsklubben’s Björn had a sit down with Transmission. Here’s what went down…

You originally started off being in a punk band, why the dramatic change to the current sound?

Back in the 70’s in Sweden all the enlightened environment people played in prog bands, progg being short for progressive. They tried to make a better Sweden by writing songs for Chile and wearing clothes of wool. That wave generated some kind of ironic response called ‘idiotprog’, which was basically what we took up thirty years later. For shits and giggles. Shits and giggles doesn’t really last in the long run. But that’s how we came in to music making and playing instruments. I guess it’s just your everyday evolution from doing something for fun to doing something for life.

With the band members spread over different countries over the last few years how do you write your music?

At the moment we all live in a big house in Stockholm. We moved in round Christmas. Basically because we want to stay under the same roof, making music. We did the same thing when we recorded our last album. Making music spread out in different countries works fine, but for an album we need some kind of theme or universal thought/sound, and that’s kind of hard if you don’t have at least one studio where you can team up at any time. We still have one guy living in Berlin right now, but he’s expected back in a couple of months.

Performing live as a electronic act is a poison chalice with a lot of acts not being able to recreate the studio on stage in front of a crowd. Having witnessed you perform at the Filthy Dukes Kill Em All night in Fabric and Oya Festival in Oslo during the summer this doesn’t seem to be problem for you, do you spend a lot of time rehearsing your live show?

I don’t know. I guess it’s very much instinctively, since we almost never rehearse. Mainly because we don’t have a rehearsing studio. Usually we go round playing enough so we don’t have to rehearse. If we add a new song to the set we make some kind of temporary studio somewhere and we learn how to play that song in our sleep and then that’s that. I guess our setup is just very suitable for the stage. And, we’ve been doing it for a long time.

With the recent release of Brutal Weapons & Smedby Eyes on Kitsuné will this year see more new material from you?

Yeah, the Kitsuné release is actually a stripped down EP that we sought to release in the spring of 2009. So we do have a lot of new material. That’s what the house in Stockholm is basically for in some aspects. Getting the new album done. Sorting out what gets to go on it.

For a Swedish act you don’t seem to play there often, what was the reasoning behind that? Was it a desire to prove yourself outside the comfort zone of your home country? Or where you trying to make the Swedish concerts special?

It’s a number of reasons actually. One being that that we’ve been playing everywhere here and we wanted the gigs in Sweden to be more exclusive – or special, as you said, not necessary for the audience, but mainly for ourselves. Not letting it become routine. I mean, it is routine in many ways, but people don’t know that when we’re playing in new places. Ha. Ha.

You’ve toured with previous Transmission guests Late of the Pier, how was that experience?

That was in many ways awful. Great Britain is perhaps the worst country in the world to tour. You sleep in the gutter, you get paid in dead rats and if you ask for something there’ll be another band to fill your spot for less dead rats than you acquire. But aside from that it was marvelous, smashing, and brilliant. LOTP are fantastic friends and we lived in their mansion, when not in the gutter, which was a nice. We got good reviews, we didn’t fuck up, we were magic.

Do you enjoy the touring aspect of being in the band?

Indeed. As long as everything is going as planned and there’s no fire in the hotel it’s all good. We have a kick ass all American hi top van which eases things up. Though, we tend to fly a lot these days since the crew and all has expanded.

The best part about touring is that it’s very intense, or compressed, having a lot of dates in a nice row instead of spread out. It makes you concentrate on what you’re doing right there and then, and when you get home you can concentrate on making music.

Brutal weapons/Smedby Eyes is out now on Kitsuné

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