Interview: Andrew Wyatt (of Miike Snow)

on April 11, 2010, 11:31am

Last month, Consequence of Sound had the interesting opportunity to speak with the discernibly preoccupied Andrew Wyatt, lead singer of one of the hottest up and coming acts within the realm of electronic music, Miike Snow. Can’t blame the man for being preoccupied, though. He did happen to be on the fortnight of his band’s first headlining tour, beginning with five appearances at SXSW, the bulk of North America, and dates at still forthcoming festivals Coachella, Sasquatch, and Bonnaroo. So, judging from our brief interlude, I deduced that Wyatt was in the back of a cab somewhere, and on his way to no particular destination. Thus, our conversation was brief, but informative all the same.

So, from what research I’ve done, I’ve deduced that you are an American citizen while your fellow bandmates, Christian Karlsson and Pontus Winberg are native Swedes. Is this correct?

[Laughs] Yeah, that about sums it up.

Can you tell me a little more about how you guys hooked up?

You know what, man? I’m sorry to do this to you, but I’m in a bit of a rush, and that’s sort of a long answer that I know I’ve answered in previous interviews, I give you full permission to just borrow and paraphrase for an answer to that question.

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So here’s what I would have asked, had we had the time, and how he most likely would have answered (answers taken from Lucy Madison’s interview with Andrew from her article entitled “Putting the I’s in Miike Snow” done for Interview Magazine):

You and your cohorts are obviously from very different parts of the world. How did this collaboration come to be?

We met through a friend, a music business guy. I was in Sweden visiting, and someone told me that I should hook up with these two guys. Actually, it turns out I’d met Christian in the studio maybe a year before, but we only actually recently remembered that. He was super skinny when I met him, so I didn’t really recognize him the second time around. [Laughs] But when we first got together for the first time several years ago, we did some writing for an album. It never really came out, but we stayed in touch. We had a fantastic time; we have a very similar sense of humor. It’s very Dadaist.

So you became fast friends with Christian and Pontus and it turned into a musical effort?

Yeah, we really clicked as people immediately. Musically, not much came out of that period, but when I came back to Sweden for something else we hung out. They said, you know, we’d love to start a band with you. I have a high level of respect for them as artists, so I decided it would be a fun thing to do. An experiment.

Resume actual interview…

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It must be crazy working with such experienced producers/writers. They’ve written stuff for Kylie Minogue, Madonna, and they won a Grammy for Britney Spears’ “Toxic”. What’s it like working with people as experienced as Christian and Pontus?

It’s really fun. We always have a good time and a lot of good music comes out of our friendship.

Who writes that music? I mean, are they producing beats and samples while you write lyrics, or how do you guys go about that?

It’s all very collaborative. I’ll write some music, they’ll dig it. They’ll write some music, I’ll dig it. We all kind of do everything, Music, beats, samples, lyrics. It comes from all of us together.

So for your debut album, which dropped in October, what were some influences going in?

From a musical background standpoint, we really kind of just rolled off of instinct. Used prior knowledge and creativity. I can’t really speak for the others, but for me, I didn’t have anything in particular. I just used musical inspiration that I’d always had: Flipper’s early stuff, Scott Walker, that kind of stuff.

It seems to me like there’s a lot of Electronic music coming out of Sweden. Little Dragon, Fever Ray, jj, further back to The Knife, even as far back as Ace of Base. It’s got to be a competitive scene. Are there any sort of rivalries between bands, or like attempts to out-do one another?

[Laughs] No, no. Nothing like that. And there’s kind of a lot of Electronic music coming out of everywhere right now, which I like. But I do agree with you. There are quite a few bands doing it out of Sweden. But there’s certainly no rivalry. We just try and give support to the bands with whom we’re acquainted.

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