The all-star four-piece from Sweden return with catchy pop tunes and psychedelic beats
Having been active as musicians and writers for other artists (Madonna, Kelis and Grandmaster Flash), the all-star Swedish producers formed a band by pure accident; the outcome is a four-piece outfit The Amplifetes with a debut album under the same name, with plenty of catchy tunes, psychedelic beats, danceable pop structures and lasers... lots of lasers. Roberto Cavalli used their first single 'It's My Life' for his promo campaign with Milla Jovovich. Henrik Jonback, Henrik Korpi, Tommy Spaanheden and Peter Ågren's creative process is centred around surprising each other every time a file is bounced between them. In barely a year the band got together in the mixing studio, got the album out and secured tour dates around Europe.
Dazed Digital: So... Madonna, Grandmaster Flash… What did you guys work on for them?
Korpi: Sometimes songwriting, sometimes production and sometimes all of it. Perhaps in the songs you can tell they come from a producer-orientated perspective, instead of actual songwriting.
Henrik: We do both, with main parts of the instrumental scoops you can kind of see things and shape in advance. But then again... the only formula is: there is no formula. Thank god.
Peter: That differs a bit from song to song. 'It's My Life' is a pretty good example, it's a beat that hooks itself. Then later on we wrote melodies. The production is kind of a swap itself. We need each both in order to work.
DD: Where do you rehearse?
All:Sometimes we rent an old house in the snow filled countryside outside Stockholm. Log fires at night and not leaving the house at all except to collect wood to warm up the house is new formula for all of us, city species..
DD: Tell us about the Roberto Cavalli experience?
Korpi: We felt quite happy with that, that was rather a cool commercial. It gave us some exposure and cash.
Peter: What ever money we made, we put it back in the band, to buy more lasers, or pay for mixing.
Korpi: Sales in music, hardly exists anywhere. It is a different world when is time to realise music commercially. We are in our own label, a lot of hard work but freedom. Musically that is the best if you are a music lover, and it happened we are a music lovers.
Peter: We did the whole package, album and three videos. For us it is really important to develop our music without outside interferences. We are all about enthusiasm. Of course, you want to succeed with the things you do but we really started this with this aim: play and get all the fun of it.
DD: Latest collaborations?
Peter: Quite a few. We have done a swap-remix with Little Majorette. They are Swedish too. Also we just did a remix with Jenie Abrahamson who did came sixth in the charts here last year.
DD: What's on your iPods?
All: V2 Schneider - Bowie, Congratulations - MGMT, I Follow Rivers- Lykke Li, Music for airports - Brian Eno, Edit and Y, Ikon- As Times goes by...
DD: Any tips for Stockholm?
Peter: Stockholm in winter downhill slaying to Hammarbybacken and hit the sloop. I do it actually myself. It's in the city, so it is great to see people going there in the tube with the skies and stuff.
DD: Any highlights from the tour so far?
Peter: In every gig something happen. What is good about touring is to get to know all those cities. Reykjavik was fantastic, a very special place, raining a lot but very special people. In Le Mans, we were expecting to play in a club and eventually we were playing in a festival for 3000 people.
Henrik: Amsterdam was great too, we played in a venue called Throw, an old printing factory, really cool. Moscow was great too, and pretty hectic, intense. In 25 hours we did two photo-shootings, two gigs, and I was back home already.
DD: Do you have songs ready for the second album?
Korpi: Slowly but surely, thank you for asking, We are still in a zone with our just released album and touring heavily around Europe playing altered version from this album, so for us right now our big focus is to constantly improve and rework our live set from a musical and visual aspect. We are reworking our visual show as we speak in order to deliver something pretty spectacular for our French tour in April.