Related BBC sites

Page last updated at 11:49 GMT, Thursday, 5 March 2009
Peter, Bjorn & John: 'Three geniuses'

By Greg Cochrane
Newsbeat music reporter

There's more to the Swedes than their 2007 single Young Folks. Kayne West's leaks, Jay-Z, selling pigs and cursing Jonathon Ross for starters.

Peter, Bjorn and John
Peter, Bjorn and John are renowned for their whistling heavy hit Young Folks

A classic one hit wonder. That's what most people thought when Peter, Bjorn and John broke through in 2007 with their magnetic whistle-anthem Young Folks.

But Peter Moren [guitar], Bjorn Yttling [bass] and John Eriksson [drums], school friends from just outside Stockholm, have been making music for many years.

"It was important to break away because people always form a pre-conception about our band from 'the hit'," says Peter slurping a pint in an east London courtyard.

"So partly that's why we made an instrumental record last year [Seaside Rock] - so they'd be like, 'What are they really about? What is this band?'.

"It's not like we're the conventional rock 'n' roll band. We're more like three geniuses - we are a weird band but we happen to write pop songs."

Kanye leak

Yes, pop songs that have long been catching the ears of some notable people. Namely Kanye West who leaked their new single Nothing To Worry About via his blog earlier this year.

Approximately four million people ripped the track for free.

"There was a plan behind it actually - it wasn't like just happening," laughs Peter lifting the lid. "We met him once in Gothenburg - he seemed nice I guess. Very cool, very like, sunglasses!"

Kanye West
Rapper kanye West leaked new single Nothing To Worry About

"A lot of people downloaded it but that's the way it works these days," adds John. "It has to be free - soon the mobile phones will be free too."

The track in question is every inch as catchy as Young Folks.

"We had recorded Nothing To Worry About and we felt like the chorus lacked something," recalls Peter. "It sounded a bit not-that-special, it needed a bit of edge so we listened to Jay-Z's Hard Knock Life and that was the inspiration."

In order to capture the sound they wanted they borrowed two children from a local community Rock School scheme organised by a friend to sing.

Ross run-in

The trio have also had their fair share of run-ins throughout their 10-year career. Not least when they appeared on a well known UK chat show.

"It was in 2007, we were on the Jonathan Ross show," offers Peter reluctantly. "And I thought he was boring, so I said he should shut up.

"But I said it in Swedish so he didn't understand but someone in Sweden picked it up and now he's going to hear this."

"No more Jonathan Ross for us."

It is that cheeky, jovial, experimental energy which lies at the heart of the band. A special creative passion.

"It's almost like the three of us start in the middle of the studio room and run towards each other like this rugby match," describes John. "And what comes out? That's the music."

Peter: "It's a very strong combination of persons and it becomes this monster - this living thing."

Indeed, Living Thing happens to be their new album [their fifth] released at the end of the month [30 March].

Peter: "It's the way we create music in the studio we bang on everything like this *bangs pint glasses together* then put reverb on it and it sounds amazing."

It's almost like the three of us start in the middle of the studio room and run towards each other like this rugby match
John Eriksson, Peter Bjorn and John

Indeed, all manner of bodily noises ["my stomach" giggles John] appeared on 2007 breakthrough LP Writer's Block.

"On this new one we're banging film cans. And knives, like ssh ssh ssh and popping a balloon. I play some guitar on there too," says Peter.

"It's definitely our best album - we've always done great pop songs on all our albums."

However, by their own admission, after spending two years working on it they're already looking to the future.

"It's like, 'Now, we throw away this frisbee of the record - catch it all of you people, we're going to build a new frisbee'," says John.

"For us it starts to feel old," adds Peter. "We're already thinking about the next two records - we're eager to do more. We want to do some punk rock now."

Typical of their itchy feet there's little chance of the threesome will be standing still anytime soon.

"I'm almost longing for the day I don't think about all the projects I want to do because it's hard to sleep," concludes Peter. "There might come a day when the least obvious thing to do is the obvious."

And when the music finishes?

"[We'll] sell pigs," roars Peter.

"Not cloned pigs," ponders John. "Real pigs are going to cost like one million pounds."

SEE ALSO
Neil Young added to Isle Of Wight
Thursday, 5 March 2009, 10:56 GMT |  Newsbeat
Underage Festival confirms acts
Wednesday, 4 March 2009, 10:36 GMT |  Music
Eels announce brand new album
Wednesday, 4 March 2009, 09:27 GMT |  Music
Introducing...Chew Lips
Thursday, 26 February 2009, 09:24 GMT |  Music
Introducing...Little Comets
Monday, 16 February 2009, 15:13 GMT |  Music
Introducing...The Temper Trap
Monday, 9 February 2009, 11:47 GMT |  Music

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific