Best known for their collab with Gorillaz, Yukimi Nagano (vocals), Erik Bodin (drums), Fredrik Källgren (bass), and Wallin Håkan Wirenstrand (keys) of Little Dragon are out of their cages once again after 2 years, ready to warm us up with the electro-soul, richly textured music in their new album, Ritual Union. Here are some more quotes from a really fun interview with Yukimi and Erik. I highly suggest you get a copy of the July issue for the rest of ‘em.
There’s certainly a whole spectrum of emotions—from celebratory to calm—in your music. How do you express the following emotions—jealous, manic, curious, annoyed, proud—in your daily lives?
Yukimi Nagano: We all have our typically non-charming human emotions and, since we are pretty different from each other, everyone has there individual way of expressing those kinds of things.
Aside from the literal origami, kimono in your music videos and, of course, some melodic flourishes, what do you think makes your music Japanese to some extent?
YN: Well, I think it’s been been influenced mostly in the visual parts from working with Japanese artists like my father Yusuke Nagano, Hideyuki Katsumata and Emiko from Mojjovision—they all helped us with album covers, backdrop, merch, and stuff. I think we have been drawn to a lot of Japanese artists and continue to be as we hooked up with people like Kumiko Watari who we might collaborate with on merch one day, and even some Japanese dancers in Gothenburg from the ballet who are wicked. Don’t know why it’s been happening; it’s not conscious… The only other thing that makes our music Japanese is my face. (laughs)
If you’d be forced to do the best song you can perform while using a guitar, what would you play?
YN: I’m not really that skilled on the guitar. The guys might be able to play something interesting… I think I know how to play “House of the Rising Sun.”
Erik Bodin: I would love to see that!
You have your influences from soul to trip-hop, electronic, and dance. If I raid your iPod right now, what genre would it be mostly comprised of? Why?
YN: I don’t feel like we have been influenced by that much trip-hop, to be honest. I’m not sure what genre my iPod would have the most… maybe eighties soul funk, kind of stuff a lot of Rick James lately. (laughs)
EB: Mine is filled with house and most of it is bad… Some of it is really good, though.
Your music videos are visual feasts too. Who’s in charge of what when you make these things?
YN: It’s been different people every time. Johannes Nyholm a directer did our “Twice” video. Fredrik Egerstrand, another close swedish friend of ours, did “Constant Surprises.” Hideyuki Kastumata, who we met through Myspace, made animations to “Fortune.” My father made a video for”Swimming.” It’s been artist/ friends around us who supported our music, and could make something beautiful out of no budget.
Introduction by HitGirl
Interview by Nante Santamaria
Photos courtesy of Studio Seek
For the full story, grab a copy of STATUS July 2011 issue.