Interview: The Amplifetes
Published on April 16th, 2013 | Jonny Abrams
Swedish electropopsmiths The Amplifetes recently turned in their delightful second album Where is the Light?, so we fired some questions over to singer Peter Ågren in the hope of finding out more…
Do you know yet when the new album will be released in the UK?
We are working on it, but nothing has been decided at the moment. Hopefully sooner rather than later, though.
Would you say you have a philosophy when it comes to making music – for example, to mix a bit of this style with a bit of that style – or do you just see what comes out naturally? Maybe it’s a bit of both?
It is indeed a bit of both, but yes – we do kind of have a philosophy which is to try and bake everything that we love influence-wise into the mix, and then see what comes out. A lot of people think too much worrying about referencing all the right influences, we’re more concerned about making sure we have the wrong ones in there as well. And to us, mixing styles is a good thing. Some might say it throws the end result all over the place but that’s exactly the way we want it, and somewhere in there we have our own nerve to keep things together. Hopefully!
You’ve said that the guy in the lyrics of “You/Me/Evolution” uses biological theory to try and get a woman into bed. How does he go about doing this?
He stresses that in the big picture, we all share the responsibility to provide the links necessary for the evolutionary chain to keep. And since making love is the means we have for accomplishing that, in order to fulfill their main duty as human beings – that is what they need to do.
What was the idea behind the Where Is The Light video game?
The idea was to have something different accompanying the first single of album 2, Where Is The Light. Videos are all great, but we felt that it would be more interesting to try a different approach. Also, the space theme was something we thought would connect well with the title and sound of the song. If you look at our videos, they too are all a bit “special” so the game was only another way of making things not quite according to the norm.
Will you be playing any festivals this summer? Any plans to come to the UK in the near future?
Festivals – yes, we are booking right now and have a few cool ones lined up. As far as UK is concerned, yes it is definitely there on the horizon.
How did you come to own a mixing console once owned by Pink Floyd? Do you know when they used it and what for?
Well, first of all we don´t actually own the console. It is located in a studio in Stockholm called Fashion Police, where we recorded a good chunk of the album. Apparently it was used on Animals and parts of The Wall. Later on Joy Division and Kate Bush recorded albums on it so it’s been around for some really classic stuff. It sounds great!
What is Storm Thorgerson like in person? We’ve heard he’s quite a character.
He has a very strong intuition about how he wants things and cares deeply about the main vision of the project. He has to feel it or he won’t do it, simple as that. I guess he felt it because he and the studio did a truly fantastic job.
What would you say have been the highlights so far of being in the band?
Working with Storm is definitely one of them, and a personal milestone for all of us given that we used to sit around as kids listening to music and staring at his LP art. Playing live is a big driving force for all of us in the band, so that’s also one of tops. Difficult to pick any gig in particular but doing the festivals last summer was really good fun. Lastly, the high of having created an album that you feel really good about is of course hard to beat, so we have another two main highs right there.
You’ve cited David Bowie as a strong influence. What do you think of his new album?
Haha, we are actually a bit split about the new album within the band. In the light of his best work in the seventies, it of course falls short. Compared to the last couple of albums he made before faking his retirement, it feels like a truly inspired piece of work and his best album in a long time (not taking the ten years of pause into account). It’s also a cool thing that he revisits his old sound, I don´t think anyone saw that coming. Not that anyone saw anything coming, but still…
What new music have you been enjoying and/or looking forward to in 2013?
The new Phoenix song is amazing, really looking forward to hearing the full album. The just-released Metronomy album should be great and I’m sure checking out the new Daft Punk stuff will be fun.
Finally, if you had to spend the rest of your days with the entire works of just five different artists, musical or otherwise, whose would you choose?
To cover all grounds, here are our picks: Ridley Scott, David Lynch, Jean-Michel Jarre, Iggy Pop and The Beach Boys.
Peter Ågren, thank you.
For more information, please click here to visit The Amplifetes’ official website.