It’s exciting, Bergman is one of the top icons in Sweden, and as soon as it was published that we were going to be doing this, I got an email from the Ingmar Bergman Society, saying, ‘If you want to come and work at Ingmar Bergman’s house, on this island, where he had his study and which is now an artist residence, just let us know and you can come here and work for a few weeks on this project.’ It’s so strange, what doors open when you work on these highly cultural things.”, KDA: “I told it to the other two and they were like, [in a panicky, excited voice] ‘Yes! KDA: “I think some people thought it was, and I was a bit afraid that it was seen as a religious ritual, black magic or nature religion, which it’s just not about. Pop music has always been about brokering a compromise between art and entertainment. KDA: “For me they are really scary – so unpredictable, people in suits. [she says firmly]. First published on Sat 23 Mar 2013 02.00 EDT. So, yes, both projects were happening at the same time!”. Instead, true to the band's principles, their new stage show has been devised in collaboration with an all-female collective of choreographers and set designers. Helpfully, the Knife's startling new album Shaking The Habitual puts plenty of water between them and the pretenders to their throne. All rights reserved. Musically I was involved everywhere, in some tracks less than others. It was really fun and it’s something I think they will remember forever.”, L&Q: This loneliness you mentioned before, it seems to be an integral part of Swedish culture, the sense of darkness and introspection, which is why Bergman is such an icon, and it’s certainly a big part of your music…, KDA: “Do you think it’s the climate?”. He was a humanist and had very controversial ideas about what a human is and the way he and his wife looked upon family, it puts perspective on what life is today. [laughs] We’ll see.”. [still giggling] No, we just wanted to take another turn and see how it changed things.”. For me it had similarities. It's not so easy to come through with a political message in music.". Yet it's also inspiring to hear a band talk with such intelligence about the ideas underpinning the consumption of music, rather than going with the flow in order to build a career. In Darwin, for example, time was something we discussed a lot because we wanted to work in different time spaces, like this very long time from the Big Bang until today, and also the time space of Darwin’s life, from when he was born until now, and something also very contemporary. If it goes well, it’s a fantastic way of experiencing music.”. Andreas Nilsson is doing the set design, I’m doing the music and it’s a friend of ours directing. I think we need to start experimenting with it, because we’re not there to show our cool clothes, it’s not a fashion show. My sister, she never combed her hair, and with this white blouse [laughs] and the kilt, it was so wrong! It’s pissing down wi­­th rain in Brixton, London, and I’ve just been ushered into a starkly furnished dressing room, offered a place on either of two well-worn sofas, and told simply, “Karin will be along in a minute.” Last we saw of Fever Ray’s Karin Dreijer Andersson, she was accepting a Swedish Grammy for Best Artist, decked out in a parody of Lady Gaga’s head-to-toe red lace ensemble, with the addition of a mouthless, melted face mask. Lyrically, the album takes aim at imperialist governments, phoney cultural constructs and families both royal and nuclear. "Sometimes I think I should get another job, and do this only for its own purpose. Kill 'Em All @ Fabric 23/1/09 featuring We Have Ba... News: The Brit Awards Launch At Camden Roundhouse. For me to see her disappointment, it caused so much anxiety. Interview. "It will," he deadpans, "feature at least 10 helicopters. I think these new characters are a good inspiration for what will happen next after this run.”. We’ve been playing it live for a while now and I wanted to put it out. Will there be dancers? So this year we did one show in April, and these six shows in September… But none after that.”. You get really fed up with yourself. KDA: “It was pretty much at the same time. [laughs] That is just working with one other person. © LOUD AND QUIET 2020. For me, it’s facts, it’s like reading a map, which I like. L&Q: Will these be Berlin sessions or Stockholm? KDA: “Oh yes! L&Q: So if it’s just a six-show tour, why have these new costumes and characters been introduced? L&Q: So you’ll get to spend some time with your kids. Still I was very human, I think. "I would like to quote [gender theorist] Judith Butler, who says, 'We are always in drag'. "Bands are getting even more commercial because they are selling their music to advertisements and going on tours with big alcohol brands," she says. KDA: “Yes, why would you want to do that? It’s where Swedes get that dark sense of humour. KDA: “I knew I wanted a change. KDA: “It was only Olof and me who started it, having meetings and workshops with Hotel Pro Forma, and many discussions about what angles to explore and where to dig into it, but for the first six months it was mostly reading and research work. It’s really good to work with other people, and if that’s not in a band, it can be in a collaboration.”. L&Q: The last time I saw Fever Ray it was in a pitch black airport hangar just outside Rennes. Don't like their new tune-free tracks? Lasers? We were thinking of closing down Fever Ray touring last year, but then we had a lot of energy left and there were things that were still interesting to continue working with on the stage. Olof refuses to take the bait. I have many friends who play around with these issues in their music – Planningtorock, for example, is doing that in really exciting ways – but the kind of vocabulary used around these artists is that it's pretentious or the production is not good enough. Karin Elisabeth Dreijer (born 7 April 1975) is a Swedish singer-songwriter and record producer. This is Karin: the artist behind the complex character of Fever Ray, the haunting vocals, the naked lyrics, and the thrillingly complex electronic compositions. L&Q: Somewhere between then and now, you and your brother wrote an opera as The Knife, ‘Tomorrow, In A Year’, based on Darwin’s ‘The Origin of Species’. Sat 23 Mar 2013 02.00 EDT It’s very old-fashioned gender construction.”. “When I wrote the lyrics for the Fever Ray album… It was six months in my life when I had been at home with a screaming baby – it’s a lot about that time of course. L&Q: When you first started Fever Ray, you seemed pretty adamant that there was no character, that you were just seeing where the music took you. L&Q: Have you had any collaborations as Fever Ray? L&Q: Do you still play in almost total darkness? L&Q: So about these new Fever Ray characters, the new concept, was that your idea? "It's important to show that it is possible to work feminist in the way you organise yourself," says Karin. This time around, they're not doing face-to-face interviews at all (this one's being conducted via Skype). Unquestionably, it's a challenging listen at times, but the band won't lose any sleep worrying about what people who came to the band through Heartbeats might make of a 10-minute industrial noise track called Fracking Fluid Injection. It’s still a hard thing, with the live performance, what it’s really about. I’ve been working very closely with Andreas Nilsson, he is an artist who has been doing many videos for Fever Ray and The Knife, and also working on the live shows and we just wanted to continue, to find out where it ended on the last tour and make it progress. So these characters on stage, they capture that kind of anxiety, the terrible people. Electronic; March 30 2009. There is inherent warmth about her and a good-natured impulsiveness. "Well, we are constructed to like certain things," he continues. In fact, I’m not entirely sure what Karin looks or sounds like. Yes, Karin Dreijer Andersson is a real person. How involved were you in that? [laughs] The kids staying in the same bunk as their parents. Then, after six or seven months I went to my studio, and when I look back on it, it’s about that paranoia you get from being at home all of a sudden – you’ve had all the people around you, your friends, just disappear. The name Fever Ray is, in fact, Karin’s own description of her searing, icy sound. As a feminist, everything is about gender construction, and then you meet people from these mothers healthcare institutions, and they deeply believe that all female humans are born just to raise and breastfeed children! L&Q: We’ll be hearing more from The Knife, then? There’s a bald rubber mask resting limply on a nearby table. And the female character, in the kilt… I have family who are more upper class, who wore kilts and white blouses at Christmas and things like that, and my mother wanted us to fit in when we met with these people, so she made us wear kilts [laughs] and white blouses, and black, shiny shoes. L&Q: Oh, yeah, the cold weather gives you lots of time to think, sometimes very existential thoughts. KDA: “Yes, me too! It's never didactic, always poetic. I also read a lot of letters between Charles Darwin and his wife, and his ideas about society and how people worked made him seem really… human. KDA: “We do three covers live, and one was released now, ‘Mercy Street’, a Peter Gabriel track. Isn't that what burnt-out old rockers do when contractual obligations force them back into the studio and they realise that they don't have any songs? I think that speaks a bit for itself.". The accompanying video, by queer feminist porn director Marit Ostberg, featured cross-dressing cleaners, lesbian bikers and a woman urinating in the street. Her other guise is as one half of The Knife, a slightly more aggressive electronic project shared with her brother Olof, also a project prone to masks and vocal effects. She caught up with Gigwise recently to talk about going solo, professional priorities and making a stand…. As one sibling half of The Knife, the thirty-three year old Swede has released three internationally acclaimed albums, won a string of Grammis (the Swedish equivalent of the Grammys), and been awarded Pitchfork’s album of the year for 2006’s ‘Silent Shout’. "We've tried to find ways to implement what we have learned in queer theory," explains Olof. After all, why get the press involved in what is more than likely just a final victory lap? KDA: “I like the 7-inch format, and I thought it would be nice to have something for this last run.”. L&Q: A slipknot, putting a noose around your neck before going to work. The COVID-19 crisis has cut off our advertising revenue stream, which is how we’ve always funded how we promoted new independent artists. We have improvisation sessions, [laughs] hours and hours of recordings, so we’ll see what, if anything, comes out of that.”. "Onstage, of course we will be masked," assures Karin. And that was a huge shock the first time, I had lived a very free life before then, I had been playing music, but you’re not expected to go back to work, and most women don’t. We’ll have to deal with that on the next album.”. Share on Facebook; Share on Twitter; Open share drawer; Photo by Johan Renck. Also I don’t think you should have this predetermined role, just because you are a woman. You know that music history is written by privileged white men, so we can ask ourselves how important it is to repeat their ideas." And that makes me think more about who is writing those things, as Karin said. But in a world where irony has superseded outrage and Carly Rae Jepsen tops critics' polls, you worry that such an explicitly political record – the inside sleeve features a satirical cartoon about extreme wealth – risks coming across as a little gauche. "It's always fun to try out different roles," she replies. dEUS - Slow (live with Karin Dreijer Andersson) Pukkelpop … KDA: “Yes, I think so. I really want to create something, to capture the whole room, to make the music more intense, and that goes for us on stage as well. To see my work for the UK's biggest independent music website, click, Karin Dreijer is no stranger to success. A lot of people in the band and crew have kids, and last year we took a few weekends where we brought all the kids, and mothers, fathers, girlfriends, boyfriends, all looking after everybody, it was lots of fun.”, L&Q: Not all staying on the same bus, I assume… (Fever Ray are living out of a bus on this tour, not liking the fuss and bother of hotels), KDA: “Um… Yes!

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