Interview: Little Dragon

Little Dragon are the Swedish electronic act that consists of Yukimi Nagano (vocalist), Fredrik Källgren Wallin (bassist), Håkan Wirenstrand (keyboards) and Erik Bodin (drummer).

The quartet formed in Gothenburg back in 1996, but after years of development, touring and vinyl releases; Little Dragon signed to Peacefrog Records. It has been with Peacefrog that the band have begun to flourish within the industry.

Their début, self-titled, album release led to some fantastic media coverage and their follow-up, ‘Machine Dreams’, elevated the Swedish quartet to new heights following on from coverage in SPIN, Pitchfork, BBC Music, Drowned In Sound and many more. However, it has been their most recent release, ‘Ritual Union’, that has captivated the UK audiences, as it achieved a chart position in the Official Album Charts and placed #78 within the US Billboard 200.

Tipped by Clash and Rolling Stone, with a position in their ‘Album of the Year’ collections, Little Dragon continued with their commercial success with appearances on the internationally recognised, Gossip Girl and Fifa 12.

Fortitude Magazine caught up with the quartet at Absolut Blank’s Experience Hut at Bestival this year, this is what they had to say:

We’re backstage at Bestival, how is everybody today?

We’re good; we’re excited for the forthcoming performance.

Do you mind explaining to our readers, how Little Dragon came to form?

It was a long time ago, when we were in high school. We went to a music school and kind of shared the same passion for music, then later on we decided it was time to start a band. Now, we’re here!

Your debut release, which was released by Peace Frog, how did that deal come around?

It was a friend of ours that released the 7”, his was called Off The Wall, and then Peace Frog picked up that one and liked it. They wanted to release three albums with us, so we did.

Co-incidentally, we were about to talk about your long term collaboration with Peace Frog, what is it about the label that appeals to you so much?

Well, the logo is pretty nice. The name is quite nice too. But, they’re dedicated music lovers, especially the techno part of it. We got a chance to get some of their catalogue, with their older stuff, and that was really good.

Your latest release, …, was well received by both critics and the public alike, but what do you feel about this record that made it so accepted?

I don’t know. Maybe, people were more ready to just listen to our music at that point. I guess that we had a little more push from some of the press people, more than we got from the first and second album, and we got some radio play and did touring for years and years.

You were talking there about your exposure to the public and you featured on Fifa 2012, do you feel that helped bring international recognition?3

I hope so, yeah. I’ve still not seen it! However, my brother plays it quite a lot.

Rolling Stone Magazine mentioned that you are continuing to develop your sound as well as continuing to improve, why do you feel this has occurred?

This is why we make music. We want to make music that we like listening too. We don’t want to get stuck in an old pattern; so if it’s fun for us, then it’s fun for the listeners.

You opened the main stage at Bestival, what is it like knowing that you kick started the day for the likes of Sigur Ros and Stevie Wonder?

Yeah, it should have been the other way round. [Laughs] It definitely should have been the other way around.

You, also, completed a DJ set at the Wagamama Tent, what type of style do you like playing at a DJ set? Is it similar material to your own or something completely different?

It’s just going to be music that we really like, plus we like to dance. So, it’s definitely going to be some House-sounding material and other stuff that we like to hear. We just like to mix it up.

On your website, you have no more dates listed for shows, does that mean we should anticipate Little Dragon back in the studio soon?

That is exactly what it means. We’re currently in the writing process, but we don’t want to set ourselves dates and deadlines to work too.

Check out Little Dragon’s ‘Sunshine’ below:


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