Those unfamiliar with the entire oeuvre of Peter Bjorn and John may recognize the pervasive earworm “Young Folks,” known for its lighthearted whistling and devil-may-care approach to love.
Featured on the Swedish indie rock band’s third album, “Writers Block,” the pop song took 2006 by storm and went on to be featured in hit shows like “The O.C.” and “Grey’s Anatomy” (and eventually landed on Pitchfork’s top half of the 200 best songs of the 2000s). The band is now on tour with their latest album, “Darker Days,” put out on their record label, INGRID.
This Saturday, ALL ARTS will air the band’s 2016 concert at the SchwulenZentrum (SchwuZ) club in Berlin as part of the performance series “Berlin Live.” In advance of the episode’s debut on broadcast and the ALL ARTS streaming app, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite sound bites from the episode.
On the making of the band:
Peter Morén: Me and Bjorn have known each other since we were 15, 16 years old and had some other bands in high school. And then we moved to Stockholm and we met John there. We actually had split up our old band and auditioned drummers. And he was fantastic, the best drummer. So from there on it went.
On making music:
Morén: It is more like breathing. It’s not like if I couldn’t make a living out of it, I wouldn’t still do it. It’s like this Swedish, old Rockabilly hero. He’s got a show up now called, “You Have to Play.” I’m going to play in a pub when I’m 80, even if no one wants to hear me.
On their album “Breakin’ Point”:
Morén: We worked a long time on this record — for four years in full. And somewhere during that first year, we almost reached a breaking point. We almost dissolved. ‘Cuz we had some trouble getting started with the record and doing the right thing. But then of course, after that, we rose again, to the stars.
John Eriksson: It’s a very grown-up album. It’s like, if you listen to it, it’s like a time machine. Everyone can hear echoes from the past charts of ’80s, ’90s and ’70s. It’s a lot of references. It feels like… the best of music pop history.
Sign up for our newsletter
On their song “Dominos”:
Morén: It’s also like a work song, but maybe less obvious, it’s more like “working for the man” thing. Everyday grind.
Maybe if you look at it in a bigger, social political way. If something happens, it affects everyone. Like if someone falls, everyone falls. And it’s like that could be like politics and economy and everything. Like everyone can be affected by something that some stupid asshole started.
On what they hope people get from their music:
Eriksson: What you do when you make music, you want to make people’s hearts beat faster. And when you listen to this record, you want that to happen. Either you want to dance or you feel emotions that you start crying or get a kick out of it. That’s what you want to achieve. Because if people don’t feel anything when you listen to it, then it’s not good.