Sunday, June 28, 2009

A Baker's Dozen: Interview with You Say France and I Whistle

This is the first installment of A Baker's Dozen, a new series on Write.Click.Cook.Listen, in which I interview a Write.Click.Cook.Listen certified artist asking them thirteen questions. Recently I interviewed (via email) a hilarious Swedish band called You Say France & I Whistle (their song When Lovers Die kicked off our June mix).

TB: To start off, could you introduce the members of You Say France & I Whistle?
YSF&IW: Claes: Guitar, vocals, keyboard and percussion. He loves vegetarian food and people who reads a lot of literature.
Christian: Bass and laughter. He loves pizza, hamburgers and people who refer to Will Ferrell quotes.
Ida: Keyboard, vocals and percussion. She loves children size pizza and sexy people with dancing skills.
Patrik: Guitar, vocals, keyboard and percussion. He loves cheese and people who like postmodern cheese... "is that a cheese"?
Petter: Drums, vocals. He loves food when he's pleased and in the mood for it. He likes people who are in the mood and pleased with the surroundings.
TB: Where did the inspiration for your band name come from?
YSF&IW: The name is just plain fun and reflects our music.
TB: How did You Say France and I Whistle get its start?

YSF&IW: We came together by the urge of playing music. One knew the other, and two of us bumped in to each other on a Tiger Lou concert in Stockholm, and so on.
TB: How would you describe your bands sound? Are there any bands that have influenced you?
YSF&IW: The keyword to the sound of the band is "playful". We are influenced by a lot of band and artists. To name a few: Arcade Fire, The Cure, Daft Punk, MGMT, Paul Simon. But if we reflect their music, we don't know.
TB: How often does You say France and I whistle perform live? What is the crowd's reaction?
YSF&IW: We play as often as we get the chance. If you don't have seen us live, then you don't really know us. The crowd reaction is instantly dancing.
TB: Do you have a favorite venue to perform at?
YSF&IW: We love the roof of the Culture House in Stockholm. We played there once, and it was good as grandma's chicken salad.
TB: How would you describe the Swedish indie rock scene? Any up and coming bands that we should look out for (other than yourselves)?
YSF&IW: The swedish indie rock scene is pretty lame. Everything that's not considered as mainstream is "indie". And everything that is considered "indie" is often "playing for the galleries", as we say in Sweden. But we would like to name We Got Company and The Dora Steins as two up and coming acts.
TB: What is You Say France & I whistle working on?
YSF&IW: At this time we are making new music. We have about 7 new songs, and they have a Caribbean feeling and more keyboards this time.
TB: What is the songwriting process like for the band?
YSF&IW: We are making it all together. Tossing and turning every detail of the song. It's like the instant democracy in Switzerland (not Sweden).
TB: What has been the most memorable or oddest thing that has occurred at one of your live shows?
YSF&IW: One memorable thing happend when we played in Hultsfred (a small town in southern Sweden). We brought along three big bags of stuffed animals. We decorated the stage with them. Half of them got stolen during the show and a big stuffed animal-fight started. We think it was a lot of inhibited feelings in that town.
TB: What has been the most difficult part of being an independent band?
YSF&IW: The club scene in Stockholm stinks.
TB: Does You Say France and I Whistle get a chance to do any cooking?
YSF&IW: We love to cook! We love the art of speed baking. Our coming music video has some scenes including speed baking. We also love to make ginger bread in the shape of squirrels.
TB: Any unique recipes that you would like to share with the readers?
YSF&IW: Svergiekaka (Swedencookie) is nice. Petters mom use to make it. (A Swedish version of the recipe can be found here. For a roughly translated English one press here.)
TB: Anything else you would like to say?
YSF&IW: A tip: Talk to strangers! In the worst case they will keep on being strangers.
To further investigate You Say France & I Whistle visit their Myspace page here. To purchase their 2008 EP go here. To see their playfulness in action, watch the video.