'Weirdos' is how the Swedish group Little Dragon usually introduce themselves. It's this feeling of bizarreness, shared by Yukimi Nagano (singer and percussionist of Japanese origin), Erik Bodin (drummer), Fredrik Källgren Wallin (bassist) and Håkan Wirenstrand (keyboardist) which can be found in their three previous studio albums. Their second album Machine Dreams (2009) is one of their most successful discs, and has given them a rather obscure notoriety in the UK, US and France, as well as the opportunity to collaborate with Gorillaz and Raphael Saadiq.
The band is far from being popular in its own country; this is probably because the musical universe that it is striving to create for itself doesn't really suit the typically 'wise and polite' Swedish people. 'You French had a revolution, you killed kings and all that... that's why you're more wild,' explains Erik. I'm French, probably a bit wild, but I did not understand their latest album Ritual Union (2011), apart from two tracks. It was too abstract, too crazy for my liking - time for these 'weirdos' to be put to the test.
cafebabel.com: Little Dragon, what defines your band?
Little Dragon: We try to be original. We don't want to be like everyone else.
cafebabel.com: What is the thing that you appreciate the most about your friends?
Little Dragon: Stimulation.
cafebabel.com: What is your group's main flaw?
Little Dragon: Thinking too much.
cafebabel.com: What is your favourite occupation?
Little Dragon: Being in a band
cafebabel.com: Your idea of happiness?
Little Dragon: Creativity ('I was going to say sex,' adds Erik).
cafebabel.com: Your idea of poverty?
Little Dragon: Bad sound on stage.
cafebabel.com: Your favourite author?
Little Dragon: Haruki Murakami.
cafebabel.com: Your favourite fictitious hero?
Little Dragon: Fantastic Mr. Fox, for the rebellion against humans.
cafebabel.com: Your favourite composer?
Little Dragon: Igor Stravinsky.
cafebabel.com: Your favourite real-life hero?
Little Dragon: Our friends.
cafebabel.com: Your favourite dish?
Little Dragon: Japanese food – but in Japan.
cafebabel.com: What do you hate the most?
Little Dragon: People who are greedy.
cafebabel.com: If you weren't Little Dragon, what would you be?
Little Dragon: Nothing ('An Olympic athlete,' adds Erik).
cafebabel.com: A natural talent that you would like to have?
Little Dragon: Equilibrium – in both music and on a skateboard.
cafebabel.com: How would you like to die?
Little Dragon: In my sleep ('On my drumkit,' adds Erik).
cafebabel.com: What is your current state of mind?
Little Dragon: Thirsty.