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Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

Miike Snow Talks Fans, Collabs, And "Toxic"

Alexa Girkout |
October 25, 2012 | 11:54 a.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

Karlsson (far right) is also a member of the songwriting/production team Bloodshy & Avant. (via Live Nation)
Karlsson (far right) is also a member of the songwriting/production team Bloodshy & Avant. (via Live Nation)
Swedish trio Miike Snow is in town next Tuesday, 10/30, to play the Hollywood Palladium. In advance of the show, band member Christian Karlsson spoke to Neon Tommy about working with other musicians, writing for other musicians, and which country is the best to tour in.

You’ve written pop hits for other artists, you remix tracks for other bands and you now have two albums of your own. How would you describe and connect your many different relationships with music?

I don't really connect them, I love doing all 3 things but they really feel like different things to me most of the time anyways.

Your own tracks have been remixed as well. What is it like to hear other artists reworking your songs?

It's a great feeling  and today I love it. In the beginning I had a harder time with it, I wanted to change the remixes up and I did my own edits of the remixes just because I heard it differently but maybe that was a part of me that could not put the producer role on the side and be an artist.

You’ve beatsmithed for Britney Spears and Madonna. Your music is still pop but indie pop is a distinct genre. How do you distinguish your beatsmithing and your band’s music?

I don't really think too much when I work on Miike Snow stuff, I do whatever I feel like in the studio and I think Pontus and Andrew do the same.

It's when you work for others you have to be more careful, and that's why I think working with your own music will always feel different... like there are no limits or rules to what you are doing in the studio. No formats or arrangements you need to follow.

Christian and Pontus, You worked on Britney Spears’s “Toxic,” one of her biggest hits but not many people know that. Is it strange to think you’re behind one of her most iconic songs?

Yes me and Pontus wrote and produced "Toxic" as well as a bunch of other songs for her. I don't think it's strange, I still like that song actually!

You now have your own record label INGRID. What was the idea behind creating it?

It's more like a collective than a label, we are all close friends and lots of the members live and have studios around the same block pretty much, so it was a pretty natural thing I guess.

You’re very connected to your fans through Facebook (where you’ve made a lot of your announcements) and the “Tiimes” section on your website. What’s your relationship like with your fans?

We have the best fans in the world! We try to give as much back as we can in any way possible.

You just released your second album. What was the process like the second time around?

It was intense creatively and we had a good time doing it, the big difference was that this time around we knew there were people who actually wanted to hear our music and fans who were waiting for it, the first time around we did not have that.

ALSO SEE: Miike Snow's "Happy For You" Delights Listeners From Start To Finish

What’s different about “Happy To You”?

It's even more Miike Snow sounding than the first one!

What was it like collaborating with Lykke Li on “Black Tin Box” on your new album?

It was great, she is a friend and we are big fans of her. I think her voice really fits the song as well.

Despite using a lot of synth and beats, you tend to also feature the piano a lot on your music. Where does that come from?

Me and Pontus bought a cheap piano from some old teacher lady to our studio a long time ago and since then we just started to use it on pretty much everything we did, we love piano! Who doesn't?

You got your big start in the UK and you’re gaining more of an international audience. What’s it like touring in the US?

The US is the best country to tour in by far, you can do it all by bus and there so many great cites and venues and it's all pretty easy compared to Europe. Our big start was not in the UK, it was actually right here in California.

You’re playing at the Palladium on Oct. 30. Do you have any special Halloween plans for that show?

Yes! But I can't tell you guys it will ruin the surprise!

What would your costumes be?

Black satin jacket, black hoodie and a brass face mask?

What are you guys currently listening to when you’re not playing?

We all listen to different things, all kinds of music, old and new. I'm listening to Chilly Gonzales's "Solo Piano II" right now.

Read more of NT's interviews here.

Reach Staff Reporter Alexa Girkout here.



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