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Gothenburg-based Little Dragon has consistently been apparent as an alien in the music industry. Over the 13 years aback the bandage appear its admission anthology — 2007’s Little Dragon — the four-piece (made up of frontwoman Yukimi Nagamo, bagman Erik Bodin, and Fredrik Wallin and Håkan Wirenstrand on keyboards) has consistently angry abroad from the accessible bartering success that was aural reach. Instead, Little Dragon’s associates pursued music that they were absorbed in, arch to a description that they alone “almost” fabricated it, a characterization that the bandage has leant into and self-depricatingly accepted in contempo years.
The best accessible crossover for the bandage was 2011’s Ritual Union, as both the anthology and its appellation clue led to a college contour about the world. 2014’s chase up — Nabuma Rubberband — went on to be Little Dragon’s accomplished charting almanac in both the US and the UK, extensive 24 and 14 respectively. For the band’s members, though, axis their aback on that accessible avenue doesn’t beggarly they haven’t fabricated it.
“We’re still actuality authoritative albums and accomplishing shows, we’re beholden for that,” explains Nagamo. “It’s analytic what success means. If we booty success actual seriously, of advance it’s activity to be aching to feel like we about fabricated it.”
“Is success acceptable a Grammy, or is success putting out music, or is success a feeling, or is it accepting one actuality at a appearance be confused for the blow of their lives?” continues Nagamo. “That’s article that anyone who’s accomplishing article aesthetic has to ask themselves.”
“It’s analytic what success means.”
By a lot of measures, it’s adamantine to altercate that Little Dragon hasn’t fabricated it by this point. As able-bodied as accepting analytical praise, the bandage has awash out shows above the apple and is now advancing to absolution its sixth album. The project’s title, New Me, Same Us, hints at an change for Little Dragon, which is additionally reflected in the new way the bandage formed for this album.
“We talked added to anniversary other, we bidding how we feel, area we’re at in life, what we anticipate is important,” says Bodin of the autograph process. This way of putting calm the anthology was a adverse to antecedent releases, which usually relied on aboriginal demos ambience the arrangement for the album. “There’s no point in authoritative an album, or actuality in music, or accepting a bandage unless you are adequate it to the fullest,” continues Bodin. “You accept alone one activity so it bigger be a acceptable one. We accepted that activity in the action of authoritative this album.”
Ahead of the absolution of New Me, Same Us, we bent up with Nagamo and Bodin to attending aback at 13 years of Little Dragon, and what the bandage is planning for the future.
What were your affairs for the album?
Yukimi Nagamo: This is our sixth album, usually the way we assignment is we accept had demos of the clue and we’d add actuality on to that and aftermath the songs. This time we acclimated the audience to accomplish a remix of it, authoritative our own adaptation of it calm and arena our own actuality from blemish and absolutely alive calm added than we usually do. The anthology has alert us calm as a band. We feel like we’re in a new phase.
What was it like to change how you formed together?
Nagamo: It was difficult at times, because we are all appealing adamant with what we like and don’t like. But we’ve been a bandage for a while and we appetite to try actuality and accomplish stuff, put our egos abreast and try what anybody wants to try and see what we can anticipate afterwards. It’s absolutely developed with us, bringing us afterpiece together.
Bodin: It’s been great, it’s been fun and it acquainted like abounding times in the accomplished we accept fabricated demos that we were affected about and we would accumulate the accepted vibe from the actual start. It acquainted like in the action of authoritative this anthology we talked added to anniversary added rather. We weren’t stubborn, for example. I can be actual adamant if I accept a plan, but it’s time to let go of the ego and see area it goes. Who cares? It can be a abhorrent activity if you appetite to try to echo yourself because you anticipate it ability accord you some success or whatever. I feel like we talked about success as a actual ambiguous thing, it’s bigger aloof accepting fun. That was the capital thing, we had fun.
What do you achievement bodies booty abroad from the new album?
Nagamo: We absolutely took time alignment the tracklisting of the album. We apperceive these canicule it’s added about songs and playlists, but we adulation to accept to the abounding anthology so we had that in application aback we fabricated the clue account and we capital to accomplish it feel like a trip. You alpha about and you end up about else. You can accept to the accomplished anthology and feel that journey.
“There’s no point in authoritative an album, or actuality in music, or accepting a bandage unless you are adequate it to the fullest.”
It’s been three years aback the aftermost album. How is this one different? How has that breach been for you all?
Nagamo: It’s been a acceptable break. You can reflect a little bit. Activity changes as we all know, everyone’s activity bearings changes with every album. Anniversary anthology represents a new affiliate of area we are. Even if you don’t try to acquisition a new concept, activity is a new abstraction at that point. We were all in a altered place, we had new belief to tell, and we didn’t appetite to accomplish a archetype of the aftermost album, which we acquainted was added electronic-based and this acquainted added acoustic.
You mentioned chief not to aloof chase success. Why was that so important?
Bodin: I anticipate it’s because we accept a addiction to get annoyed of ourselves and additionally get annoyed of the activity of actuality stuck. We are allergic to a playback machine. Aback we met, amidst all the assorted altered music genres, we were all array of unified beneath applesauce and chargeless jazz, we absolutely enjoyed that array of thing: aloof grab the moment. If you attending at music and you absolutely acknowledge those sorts of things again it doesn’t accomplish any faculty to echo yourself. Music is added about exploring yourself with sounds.
It’s been 13 years aback you appear your aboriginal album. What accept you abstruse over that time?
Bodin: It feels like we’ve learnt aggregate and nothing. You can be abundant added in ascendancy of what you appetite to do. Aback you’re starting a bandage and you get so aflame that you accept a almanac accord that you’re accommodating and able to go with annihilation aloof for the account that you’re absolution an album.
Nagamo: I anticipate we learnt to say no. You’re aggravating to grab every befalling and you’re so beholden for every befalling you get that you abhorrence if you say no to article it won’t appear back. Of course, things accept afflicted by the sixth album. I acquainted like we were up and advancing for like forever, but I anticipate that with time you apprehend of advance you ability appetite opportunities but you can’t aloof accomplish choices out of abhorrence out of them not advancing back. You’ve got to accumulate authoritative music and accomplishing what you do and sometimes if you’ve been on bout consistently for six years, you charge a break.
How do you ascertain success?
Nagamo: I anticipate success, for me, is to still be accompany with the guys in the bandage afterwards all these years, afterwards difficult times, afterwards arguments and disagreements and differences on all levels, still actuality actuality and accepting fun together, acknowledging anniversary other. That’s success.
“We were all in a altered place, we had new belief to tell, and we didn’t appetite to accomplish a archetype of the aftermost album.”
You’ve formed with a lot of collaborators throughout your career. What do you attending for in addition to assignment with?
Nagamo: Acceptable accordance in the music, it’s consistently attractive for article different. It’s not like, “Oh it has to be this,” we will coact with anyone that we anticipate is absorbing and inspiring. We’re music lovers and nerds, we don’t like one style. Whatever moves us at the moment.
What’s that action of accord like?
Bodin: It can be actual different. It can be aloof sending files over the internet, never affair with the parties or talking, but you’re autograph on anniversary other’s music. Or it can be added like two or three canicule in the flat area we aloof played with anniversary other. Aback you accomplish music over the internet, in a way you don’t accept to be affable but you absence out on that activity of alive actuality to actuality with another, which is a actual able bond.
Why has the beheld aspect consistently been important to Little Dragon?
Nagamo: It’s allotment of the experience. You booty in music with your eyes and your ears, it’s like an addendum of the aesthetic expression. You aloof accurate yourself more, above aloof the sounds.
After this anthology what are your affairs for the approaching of Little Dragon?
Bodin: To accumulate authoritative music. We had so abundant fun authoritative this anthology that we’re not beat of authoritative music calm in any way. I anticipate we’ll aloof go aback and accomplish added music.
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