Between playing festivals in Thailand, being nominated for Grammy’s and squeezing in no less than two Australian tours in the last 6 months. It’s hard to believe Little Dragon have had a chance to sleep, let alone speak with us at acid stag. Luckily we were able to wake up keyboardist/bassist Fredrik Wallin for a chat about music, touring Australia and Googling foxes. Can’t stop, won’t stop Little Dragon!
So first things first, where are you and what are you wearing?
I’m in home in Gothenburg Sweden and it’s early morning so I’m still in my morning gown [laughs]
Haha, how early is it over there actually?
It’s quarter to ten in the morning.
Haha, well that’s not early from my point of view!
Well it’s early for a musician [laughs]
So last time you spoke to Acid Stag, you confirmed you’d be here in January, which is now obviously for Laneway, being on the bill with acts such as Banks and FKA Twigs must be pretty exciting. Is there anyone that you’re personally keen to check out?
Yeah, I’m curious to see the FKA Twigs sideshow, I like her music a lot, and then I’m a big fan of Jon Hopkins and Future Islands and I’m also curious to hear a lot of the odd stuff and experience music live.
Have you seen anyone from the lineup before or is this your first time being around them?
No, I’ve seen Caribou live and I’ve seen Future Islands live – their both great and Flying Lotus is amazing live.
You’re also playing at the Opera House I see, that’s pretty exciting. Have you guys ever been to the Opera House before or did you ever imagine you’d be able to play there?
No, I mean, we walked around it previously when we’ve been there but I never imagined that actually, no, super exciting stuff! It’s an epic building, been aware of it since I was a kid.
Off the back of your last tour to Australia, which was really only a few months ago. What can we expect from your live shows this time round?
Hmm, good question! I think it’s always best not to expect too much, because if you expect stuff, it kind of locks you in. I think it’s better to come with an open mind and expect to have fun and enjoy the music. We might have some surprises and tricks up our sleeves.
I was actually at your gig last time you were in Sydney at Oxford Arts Factory, and I can confirm it was an incredible show, you guys really do put on a good performance.
I’m not sure if you remember, cast your mind back, but there was a couple who proposed during your set.
Yeah, i definitely remember that.
What’s the weirdest thing that’s ever happened during your one of your sets – was that it?
That is definitely one of the weirdest things. I had a hunch that the person who got proposed too, was not really into it, not sure if it was embarrassment, but she seemed pretty uncomfortable with the situation so to speak, not sure if you could tell that from the audience, hopefully things turned out good. People also come up on stage in various outfits and sometimes taking off their outfits, that’s pretty weird.
That actually sort of leads into my next question. You guys are pretty well known for your eccentric fashion sense and stage presence, what inspires you for that?
I think we just want to be playful and we all have different styles but we all like the colourful and eccentric looks. Lately we’ve been working with a really great stylist called Jean Paul who’s been super fun in helping us find stuff. We are inspired by good energy and we appreciate each other. Sometimes we find it’s not about that, but I think it can add a little extra life.
Little Dragon has been nominated for best dance/electronic album at the Grammy’s, which must be really gratifying for you guys, whilst also being the only actual ‘band’ nominated. How do you feel your odds are against other Scandinavian acts such as Royksopp & Robyn with their release Do it Again?
We’re super excited and thrilled whilst also a bit surprised. It’s amazing just to be nominated, it’s a big appreciation. It feels really great to get recognition by the people, because I think the Grammy’s are made by the people in the industry, so yeah, we’re super stoked. It’s always fun to see some other Swedish and Scandinavians have been nominated too.
You released your first album ‘Little Dragon’ almost 8 years ago now, and don’t appear to have suffered the 7 year itch at all. What’s your secret of staying together and keeping things fresh as a band?
I guess our secret is to let each other breathe, form music and uh…surprise each other I guess.
So there’s no real magic trick?
No no no….or maybe I’m not telling you because it’s a secret.
What’s the first gig you ever went to?
I wish I was Erik getting this question asked, because his first gig was Prince playing live in Gothenburg. Mine was, I don’t know, probably some punk band which i can’t remember. The energy you get from seeing live shows as a kid is really inspiring.
Were you heavily into the punk scene. Do you still consider yourself into it as much?
Yeah definitely, I’m still really into the approach and the mentality of it. If you consider The Clash punk, then yeah, I’m still into it.
What was the last thing you googled?
The last thing I googled? It was actually a picture of a jumping fox, I’m into foxes haha.
Was there any context behind it?
Yeah there is, but it’s personal ha. Other than that it seems to be some kind of nerdy technical stuff about music.
So I guess you’re interested in upcoming technologies around music?
Yeah that’s what i do, you want to stay on top of your game. I think it’s good to learn new stuff all the time.
What would you prefer; to have a Little Dragon, or to be a Little Dragon?
To have one I think. To be one would be difficult in this world and if I had one I could take care of it and nurture it and protect it from the evil.
We’ve obviously had the pleasure of seeing you twice in a matter of months, will we be this lucky in future. What’s next on the cards for Little Dragon?
This week we’ve actually been nominated for best band on the biggest radio station in Sweden, which was very surprising.
Thank-you! So we’ll be going to a little gala. It’s actually on TV, so that’s exciting haha, and then we’ll prep for the Australia tour and then we’ll try and be in the studio and write some stuff and you know, come up with smart answers for upcoming interviews haha.
You can still catch Little Dragon at their Laneway appearances and also at the Sydney Opera House. For someone who has seen them live before, I definitely recommend you get in quick before this one sells out!
WHAT: St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival 2015
WHERE: Brisbane, Sydney, Adelaide, Melbourne & Fremantle
WHEN: Saturday, January 31 – Sunday, February 8