Peter Bjorn and John are an indie pop / rock, one of the most successful trios in Sweden, starting their career in 1999 and up to now on their album 8 albums and EPs … and 9 Singles ,at the moment!
They are Peter Morén (vocals, guitar, harmony), Björn Yttling (bass, keyboards vocals) and John Eriksson, known in his solo work as Hortlax Cobra (drums, percussion and vocals).
In 2006 they became known all over the world with the single ” Young Folks ” from their third album ” Writer’s Block ”, which has more than 36,600,000 views on You Tube, a video clip with animation in style Archie Comics!
PLISSKEN FESTIVAL 2019 gave us the opportunity to meet them online and have an interesting Interview with one of trios … Peter Morén, before 27 June 2019.
ATHENS CALLING: Peter, Bjorn and John…welcome in AthensCalling G.R. I must say to you that we are very happy chatting with your amazing band! … Hello Peter ?
PETER: And we are happy to chat with you and VERY excited to play Athens for the first time ever.
ATHENS CALLING: My opinion is that you have an amazing sound! In fact, how we can characterize your music. I mean about the music genre?
PETER: Thank you!!! We are quite eclectic..We love melodies and we love a good swinging beat but also the rootsy power-trio-thing. Live we are more “rock” and maybe on record we are more “pop”. So I guess pop-rock or indie-pop. Other genres that we border on are psychedelic pop, folk-rock, powerpop and almost groovy soul/disco-pop sometimes. People also call us electronic but we actually very rarely use synths and drum-machines..but disco and synthpop is still an influence on our music though.
ATHENS CALLING: How do you create your music and the lyrics of your songs?
PETER: We all write music and lyrics but sometimes we write the lyrics or music together or sometimes one person writes the lyric to another person’s music. So it’s a mix. Sometimes the song start with a riff or a melody, sometimes a lyrical idea, we have tried everything!
ATHENS CALLING: And about your eighth album ”Darker Days” why did you choose this title? I mean how did you come up with the title of this album?
PETER: We had a song called “Darker days” that didn’t make the album but it really inspired the direction for the sound and the lyrics of the record. So that became our way of framing or putting an umbrella over the songs…After we finished the album we finally recorded the song and it’s out now on an ep, “EPBJ”.
ATHENS CALLING: Which one of the 11 songs is your favorite and why?
PETER: It changes from day to day…Because it’s a GREAT album. But the one I keep returning to most is “Heaven and Hell” because it has this very special melancholic vibe, with the poetic lyric and this mellow loooong ending and it’s also very live and improvised which I like. But also ‘’ Living a dream’’. I love the production melody and folk-pop-style of that. It’s very personal and sincere.
ATHENS CALLING: Albums and Festivals, Festivals and albums…what do you love most, than the two, to play at the studio or at the stage of the clubs and festivals?
PETER: We love both!! It’s completely different artforms…But we need both to create energy for the other!
ATHENS CALLING: What are your fondest musical memories?
PETER: When I was really young I lived in a small village in the middle of nowhere in Sweden and there was no record-store around and obviously no streaming or internet. But that made it all the more exciting to save up for your holidaytrip with your parents to buy records. But there WAS shows in my area and 50’s rock’n’roll was really big there which meant I got to see Chuck Berry and Buddy Hollys old backing band The Crickets when I was really young not far from my house which is crazy since it’s not a big city or anything. I think that made a big impression on me and early rock’n’roll and rockabilly is still one of my big influences, not least on guitar.
ATHENS CALLING: … And your musical preferences Today we have many names in the music scene. Please give us the name of your favorite musicians- Groups or CD’s.
PETER: Oh yikes…The worst question. After all theres just too much music, new and old that is amazing. And theres constantly new and old stuff to discover. You can never get enough. But some really great new stuff I like is for instance Little Simz, Soak and Tiny Ruins. But at the moment I obsess over old soul and R’n’B, like really old stuff, bordering on 50’s jump-blues and doo-woop. It’s what I constantly listen to right now. Also I sincerely recommend the new album from my friend and idol Robert Forster; “Inferno” which is amazing! And also the latest great lp from Papercuts which I just got.
ATHENS CALLING: And about the future? Have something to tell us about your future plans?
PETER: We are recording all the time. So new music. And shows all the time too. We just keep on keeping on!
ATHENS CALLING: Now something before say good bye to your really amazing band something about your ATHENS PLISSKEN FESTIVAL 2019 show. What do you have to show us?
PETER: More energy and craziness and rock’n’roll than you ever would think would be possible in the summer in Greece. And songs from all our career. Get ready!!
ATHENS CALLING: Thanks for the interview, all the best for your amazing Band
PETER: Thank you!!