“It all makes sense for that hour you’re on stage.” Little Dragon talk intensive touring, vibing with Big Boi
Little Dragon are knackered. They’ve spent the best part of the last two years on tour.
The Swedish electro-pop four-piece have been doing their R&B-tinged, melancholic dancefloor thing since 2006 and have gained a creeping international recognition for their efforts. With three albums (most recently 2011′s Ritual Union) already under their belt, it is arguably unjust that Little Dragon are probably best known for their epic and varied collaborations: Gorillaz, Raphael Saadiq, DJ Shadow, Dave Sitek and SBTRKT have all benefited from mining a little of their Scando charm.
FACT’s Clare Considine spoke to lead singer Yukimi Nagono to find out about their forthcoming album, vibing with Big Boi, and how they feel about being pop’s most prolific collaborators.
“Right now we’re working on music for the new album. I don’t really know myself yet what to expect. I think that it’s just about trying stuff and trying to take ourselves into a new space. The aim is to try not to repeat ourselves but still be who we are. It’s quite hard to do as we have such a distinct sound. It was always going to be challenging, but that’s all part of the process and it wouldn’t feel special otherwise. We’re just trying to write songs every day.”
How do you feel about what you’ve come up with so far?
“I try to just write stuff and almost not even think twice about it until later. Once I’ve written it I’ll give it some space, then come back to it later and kind of put my brain on and listen to it then. At this stage I like to be in a flow and not be too critical, because otherwise we’ll be afraid to do anything. You just wanna try stuff and not have your critical mind on at the moment – just kind of enjoy it. Even if you write songs that may not end up on the album, I think it’s just part of eking the good ones out.”
Any ideas when the new album might be finished?
“It’s pretty up in the air, which I think is nice, because the last couple of years have been so much about dates and schedules and touring and it’s almost to the point where you feel like you’re constantly talking about things that are happening in the future. I think it’s really nice to finally have a chance to not have any shows and just get into the routine of being home, which is really different.
“Since the first album we’ve been touring pretty intensely. It’s always been something that we’ve kind of had to do to not have to get dayjobs. So this is actually the first time that we can actually afford to be home as well. So we’re definitely not taking it for granted.”
And what was it like on tour?
“I love the feeling of being on stage and being there with the crowd. All of that is really, really special to everyone in the band. But I think that there also comes a point when you over-tour. I’m sure a lot of bands can relate to that feeling. It can drain you a bit. The travelling schedule these days means that you can play in places all over the world. Because of the internet people know your music, so you can play anywhere if you want. So the travelling schedule can be pretty inhuman sometimes. But then there is also a high from touring that you crave. It all makes sense for that hour that you’re on stage.”
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