Interview: Andreas Werliin (Wildbirds & Peacedrums)
Many a moon ago (like, a year and a half ago), I did a little interview with Mariam, one half of the Swedish duo Wildbirds & Peacedrums. It’s quite long and fun, you can read it here. Here is an interview I recently did with Andreas for (and originally published on) The Line of Best Fit.
(Andreas) Hello Anika- Great to see you last time!
Hello! How are you?
I’m all good – preparing for the upcoming Japan tour.
What have you been up to since we last saw you here, back in May?
We have finally moved from Gothenburg and we ended up in Stockholm. A safe choice.
I love the way Wildbirds & Peacedrums’ live show is constantly evolving. Last year you had a drum circle, this year a choir. What next?!
Well, the combination would be amazing. 20 drummers and a 20 piece choir.
What inspired you to call in the use of the choir?
Since we have toured constantly the last years just the two of us decided we really needed to bring in some other people. We like to double our sound instead of adding sounds, so voices it was.
I saw that the wonderfully talented Hildur Guðnadóttir did the choir arrangements for the new songs, how did you end up working with her?
We are huge fans of her work and when we heard that she’s also an arranger the choice was easy.
You’ve released ‘Retina’ and ‘Iris’, two separate EPs which form ‘Rivers’. What made you release the album in two halves?
We didn’t want this release to be “our 3rd album”, we feel it’s more of a conceptual side project. And the ideas of two sides that differ and still complete each other was inspiring.
For me, the energy of Wildbirds & Peacedrums really comes across live. It’s clear both you and Mariam love performing live. What is it that you love so much? How does it make you feel?
It’s definitely the physical side of playing live that we like. The direct contact to the audience and the way a room vibrates. We are improvisors and can’t play a song the same way twice unfortunaly.
What’s your favourite show you’ve played?
I still think it’s at the Goldmund festival 2008. The audince made that show very memoriable.
Do you have a favourite song to play live?
No, and I hope we’ll never get a hit song!
How did the US tour with St.Vincent go?
It was like a family vacation – squeezed in to a SUV we saw the Redwoods and the Grand Canyon. St Vincent was great to tour with as well, really nice people.
You’ve played all around the world, is the reaction to your show the same globally or is there a noticeable difference between the US and Europe?
The best countries to play is where they actually have a need for live music. Both in US and in Europe everyone is so spoiled with great live bands – play for hard studying Chinese students and you’ll feel that your music actually matters.
How long have you been playing the drums? Can you play any other instruments?
I was banging cans in the kitchen before I could walk – it’s like I haven’t had a choice. No other instrument has caught me actually…
Who are your favourite drummers?
Paal Nilssen-Love, Jim White and Nana Vasconselos. Oh and Little Dragons drummer Erik Bodin, he’s fantastic!
What are some of your hobbies outside of music?
I actually just picked up skateboarding again after a 12 years brake – the rush that comes from falling in high speed is uncomparable.
What music have you been listening to lately?
45rpm instrumental remix vinyls played at 33rpm is like listening to music the way it was supposed to sound.
5 hopes for the coming year?
That our right wing gouverment doens’t win the election. That my Grandmother stay healthy. That we get a cat. That people finally understands that fashion blogs is dangerous. And that the upcoming Dr Dre album is as amazing as The Chronic and 2001. That would make my year
Wildbirds & Peacedrums are a phenomenal band. Their music is unique. They have a show with the Voices choir at Union Chapel this coming November. Be there!