Any day that involves last-minute, spontaneous chats with Swedish indie-popsters is a good day by all accounts. So the fact that my afternoon included a brief hang out with the boys affectionately known as Peter, Bjorn & John made waking up this morning a great decision.
PB&J are in Toronto tonight playing a soldout show at the Phoenix, their second in less than a calendar year. After this tour, it's back to the studio to begin recording on the follow-up to 2006's gigantic hit (critically and commercially) Writer's Block.
We talked a bit about the new album, the success of the Swedish music scene, and why the band seems to enjoy coming to Canada.
BTA: 2007 was a successful year for many Swedish artists internationally Jens Lekman, Jose Gonzalez, the Sounds, etc.) and 2006 was pretty solid, too. What exactly is happening over there that's causing the international eyes to turn toward Sweden?
PBJ: The music scene in
BTA: What about the Swedish artists who aren't getting enough recognition outside of their homeland? Any bands you think deserve more attention?
PBJ: There’s a band called the Bear Quartet that have been around forever that we've always liked. They've released fourteen albums now, over like fifteen years. Also, there’s a bunch of side projects from them as well.
BTA: So you're doing a few shows here and then down to Mexico and LA for a couple more. What's next for PB&J? Any details on album plans?
PBJ: We're going to head back home and start working on a new album. We're going to take our time on it, though. We definitely won't be working every day. But we hope to have it finished by the end of summer.
BTA: Writer's Block was officially released in 2006 to a lot of critical success, and then still managed to find its way on a bunch of "best of" lists for 2007. Has the longevity of the album surprised you?
PBJ: It’s great that it just keeps growing. But it wasn’t released in proper physical form in a lot of countries, like
What’s funny is that we won a Swedish Grammy for it in 2006, and then were nominated for more in 2007 with the same album. We asked the girl at the record label in
BTA: Your website mentions Canada as one of your favourite countries to play. What is it about Canada that has left such a favourable impression?
PBJ: We haven’t been here a lot, but when we have played, the crowds have always been big and really great. We’ve only been to
Peter Bjorn & John - Lets Call it Off (Single Mix)