Are your most personal songs usually real or imagined?
That’s gonna remain as secret. (laughter) Definitely some have a basis in real life. Some just happened to fit the song. You can’t just make it a journal entry. You have to craft it somehow. There’s a lot of personal experiences exposed on the album.
‘Song For No One’ may be your most emotionally compelling piece.
The lyrics I wrote were stream of consciousness, letting the words figure out what the song was supposed to be about.
Another moving track is ‘A Horse Is Not A Home,’ which I first heard on Matt Pinfield’s radio show.
It’s tucked away on the album and we don’t play it live. It didn’t feel like it worked live and it’s extremely hard to sing. It’s very high and intense. To do it night after night might ruin my voice.
Its rainy day dramatics neatly define Miike Snow’s sound.
Yeah. It’s about a fight I had with somebody I was close to—a male friend. It was an intense way to deal with that person I still love. It came from a painful episode.
‘Sans Soleil’ reminded me of the Velvet Underground’s ‘Sunday Morning’ with its subtle eloquence and melodic xylophone.
Uh-huh. First of all, I wanna say, we write every song together. We all have different contributions. It’s an over-simplification to say who wrote anything more than the lyrics, which I did mostly, since English is my first language. We all decided whether they’re good or not. That one’s just about a lot of failures I was having, then mixing something new, something hemorrhaged.
‘Cult Logic’ and ‘Plastic Jungle’ lean heavily towards the techno-lounge electro-rock inventions your Swedish partners are known for divvying out to pop artists.
I should mention that Depeche Mode was an influence for all of us. Sometimes we approach songs from more of a mathematical point of view with regards to programming and sequencing. Maybe that’s an example of those, but all the songs come from a similar place.
Contemporary bands such as MGMT and MSTRKRFT luxuriate in similarly detailed electro-rock. Do you feel as one with those rising trendsetters?
We really like MGMT. We’re more songwriter-related than MSTRKRFT and less songwriter-y than MGMT. We think we’re somewhere between those bands. We like both and have played a bunch of festivals with them. We’ve had breakfast sitting next to most of those bands.
Another choice cut, ‘Silvia,’ is a sensitive balladic love requiem. It reminded me of John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band’s stark piano-droned compositions.
That was probably the most autobiographical song. That’s a scenario that really happened. The girl stopped what she’d done for a couple days, stripping. But I thought she’d end up doing porn. She straightened out. That was more of a fantasy of what I thought would happen. Also, we liked that song because the Queen of Sweden is named Silvia as well. It was kind of an inside joke, too.
What unexplored avenues would Miike Snow like to travel down for its second album?
I think one thing we haven’t tried to do is purely instrumental songs. We’ll probably do some of that. I can see the live experience changing the way we play and think about the music. It’ll be more like a band process where we rehearse songs first rather than writing then recording them right away. We’ll play them a bunch first.
You also concurrently front lesser-known band, Fires Of Rome.
That band was a collaboration with drummer Gunner Olson, who’s an amazing hard-hitting technically proficient drummer. We did a kind of prog band thing with a lot of different musical sections and different time signatures and chords and change of modes.
For more, myspace.com/miikesnow.