Interview: Wildbirds & Peacedrums

Wildbirds & Peacedrums

Photo by Jonathan Leijonhufvud

It’s no secret that I absolutely adore Wildbirds & Peacedrums. I think they are really very special. They play with so much passion and intensity, they literally had my heart racing when I witnessed their brilliant set at The Social earlier this month. The Snake is released on the Leaf Label in Europe on April 13th. You can hear some of their songs on Myspace. I particularly recommend My Heart, because it fills me with glee every time I hear it, and I would like it to fill you with glee too. Mariam kindly answered some questions for us, here they are…

Photo by Jonathan Leijonhufvud.

A ‘challenge’! Can you think of two sentences that rhyme to describe your band?

Peace and fire

Love and desire

How do you feel before and after each performance? It looks pretty tiring to play with so much energy and passion throughout a whole set…

Music wouldn´t be meaningfull to play if it didn´t have energy in it, that’s what carries the notes out in space. Its the energy that makes it come to live,vibrate, so its not so tiring really, I think I would feel more empty and tired with not trying my best to give what I have in me every time Im on stage.

The thing that can make it tiring from time to time is when there’s some kind of wall in between us and the audience and we can´t reach out, then the energy can be built of too much frustration and that makes it negative and that makes us a bit tired, when we cant explain what we want to say.

Have you ever managed to break anything or injure yourselves while playing?

Andreas bleeds almost every show, you should have a look at his fingers, hitting them just as much as the skins : ).
I brake at least a couple of drumsticks every night.

But no bigger injuries, mostly bruises from tambourine hitting and sores from sticks and strings. Once I hit my tooth on the microphone so I got a little crack.

How long have you been playing steel drum? What got you interested in it?

I´ve been playing it for a little bit more that a year, from just when we started recording The Snake. I love the sound and the shape and the material! I looked for something to hit that made a more melodic sound than a normal drum, so I called my aunt who plays steel drum and borrowed hers for a while and fell in love and just bought myself one.

You recently recorded a few songs for Bandstand Busking, what was that like for you? Do you enjoy doing intimate recordings like that or do they make you nervous?

It depends so much on the crowd and the energy and our own nerves, what shape were in (tired, sad, happy, shy, brave). But if we feel safe and the energy on set is good and warm, then we just love those kind of stripped down shows. Music IS intimate and close and the more you can create that feeling, the better. We loved the bandstand busking, felt like being at a tivoli at the countryside.

Your performance at The Social was quite possibly the best thing I have ever seen in my entire life. Out of all the shows you’ve done so far, which do you feel was the most memorable?

Thank you!

- Oh so many because of different things!

- Our very first one in a barn where Andreas forgot his drumsticks and had to carve some out from a branch.

- The one in China when we played in this old communist meeting room where hundreds of chinese student where lined up at first listnening without a face sooo polite, and in the end was dancing and crying and headbanging like crazy.

- The one in Italy when the police did a razzia to the venue

- The one just recently in Madrid when I by misstake called Madrid Milan, and twice! (that was so embarissing)

And many more…

Were either of you in bands before Wildbirds & Peacedrums?

Both of us have been jumping around a bit in different things, Andreas played in a lot of free stuff before (and still does, like with Mats Gustafsson from The Thing and Johan Bertling from Tape in a band called FIRE, and with pop stuff like Loney Dear sometimes, and other nice stuff when he finds the time).

I worked with a noise solo thing under the name of Variam a lot before, still does but I cant seem to find the time at the moment. And a solo pop thing that you will hear more from someday…

What’s your favourite place to play? Is there anywhere you haven’t played yet that you would particularly like to play?

I really like to play in very high buildings, a rooftop or on a big hill where you have a magnificant view or natural scenery around you, that’s very inspiring.

Our dream gig is to play at the Festival Au Desert (the festival in the dessert) in Mali.

You’ve been touring a lot lately, and you have a lot more shows lined up… do you get homesick? Is there anything in particular you miss about home?

We have really learned to live on the road this year (and I’m a goddamn expert on suitcases, flight companies and tax free now, ha ha) and almost love it more and more for every day. Its like a craving, you get the need of moving all the time, can be both good or bad.

We dont have the need right now to “find home”, “settle down” or anything like that. We want to live restless. But the things you do miss sometimes is to make homemade food, wash your clothes (and all the clothes you couldn´t bring!), your dearest friends, having rutines like going to yoga classes every tuesday and thursday, being by yourself sometimes, sitting in a sofa reading a good book. Running.

Have you ever thought of doing any covers? If you were to cover a song what would it be?

We have actually played one cover two times, a Neil Young song called Birds, a perfect fit for us ; ). But oh, there is so many wonderful songs that we would love to play one day! its just so hard to pick the first ones, where to start you know.

5 things you’re excited about for the future:

- The Snake to be released worldwide

- the summer

- the autum

- the winter

- going to Japan

Thanks to Mariam, Andreas and the Leaf Label. Get your tickets for the Luminaire show to witness the true brilliance of this band. And here is the video for There Is No Light:

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4 Responses to Interview: Wildbirds & Peacedrums

  1. gregofmontreal April 4, 2009 at 2:47 am #

    really great questions!

  2. anikainlondon April 4, 2009 at 3:07 pm #

    thanks, Greg!


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