Years ago two flannel-clad Swedish girls made a home video of themselves in the forest covering a Fleet Foxes song. Their harmonies were immediately an abyss to fall into. The very next day Fleet Foxes heard it and responded. But that's the Internet for you. They then recorded their first highly acclaimed album, The Big Black and the Blue, and that — along with seeing them perform live — was enough to get the attention of Mike Mogis, the Saddlecreek label musical handyman of sorts who can engineer and produce with the best of them. They then proceeded to make "The Lion's Roar," still very much a First Aid Kit record, but a more streamlined, powerful one. Klara, the younger sister, talked to CL about the power of the almighty Internet, double standards with pirating, disregarding Father John Misty's advice to stay in school, and how listening to Joanna Newsom makes her feel like there are no boundaries.
First Aid Kit. $21-$26. 8p.m. Thurs., October 4. The Buckhead Theatre, 3110 Roswell Road. 404-843-2825. http://www.thebuckheadtheatre.com/
I have always kind of looked at you guys as almost the poster children for what can happen via the Internet nowadays. So when you guys released that Fleet Foxes cover song, and then got a reply from them directly the next day, and eventually worked with Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes, all of that would’ve been impossible without help from the Internet. How much of a role would you say the Internet’s played in your career?
Well I think for us it meant everything. It was through these men that we found music. In Sweden it’s not like you can walk into a record store and find these folk and country records. But through the Internet we could find and listen to them. So that in and of itself played a big part in wanting to make records. And then there was the Fleet Foxes cover, and without YouTube no one would’ve ever seen it. Just the fact that we could send it directly to Fleet Foxes and have them reply to us like that. It couldn’t have happened any other way. But like now if you’re in a band, there’s a very big chance that the Internet’s going to play a very big part in you reaching out to people because it’s so simple nowadays.
Weren’t you sixteen when you guys recorded your first album Big Black and the Blue?
Yeah, I think I was sixteen. For most people two years isn’t that much but since we’re still so young we’re, you know, becoming who we are. We’re still evolving or something, or I hope at least! [Laughs]
Am I correct in thinking that you’re 19?
I am 19, yes. And Johanna is 21.
And so you both are very young. Not only that, you’re women in an industry jam packed with men. How do you respond to that? You guys are very big for your age. It usually takes people until at least their twenties to do what you all have managed to do.
It’s crazy. Sometimes when you’re a woman they can look down upon it or they can also be like, "Oh, they’re young women, so this is amazing because of that." So you don’t want that to be that case, either. You just want them to appreciate what you’re doing, not because you are who you are doing it, you know?
How do you feel about people pirating?
It’s very double because of course we want to do this, we want to make a living. But at the same time, if I hadn’t been able to download a lot of those albums that I listened to then I would’ve never been inspired. So it’s very hard to say. I just want people to hear it, that’s what matters — that people hear it. It’s not that important how they heard it, but if they like it then go out and buy the record or try to come to the show, then that’s great. But it would be weird if we were expecting to sell a lot of records. We’re surprised by how many records we have sold.
Have you heard J. Tillman akaFather John Misty's record?
I have. I love that record, it’s fantastic. It’s been on repeat ever since it came out. One of my favorites.
It’s one of the best records of the year, if not the best. I interviewed him a couple of months ago and he was such a character.
Oh yeah! [Laughs]
Have you met him?
We have. We played with him like three years ago. I remember that he told me that I shouldn’t quit school, because I was 16. I couple months later I was going to quit school and go on tour. He was like, “You know, I don’t know if you should quit school. You’ll get other chances. You don’t have to take ’em all. You’ll still get another chance.” And I just disagreed with him I think [laughs].
Well in another interview you brought up Joanna Newsom. And anytime Joanna Newsom’s name gets brought up, my ears perk up. What about her inspires you?
There’s so many things. When you find a song by her you listen to it over and over again, and then all of a sudden, it’s like something clicks, and you’re just like, wow, this is the most amazing thing I have ever heard.
I totally feel you. It took me forever to get through Have One On Me but “Go Long” was the first song I ever listened to from that album and that’s what really captivated me. What are the first songs you listened to?
My first ones were “’81”, and “Good Intentions Paving Company”. And then I think “In California” was the next. I love them. They’re like a little book or something, or little short stories. It’s so nice to listen to them and know that there are no boundaries; you can write whatever you want. She definitely inspires me to sort of go out of my box.
Have you ever met her?
No. And I’ve never seen her live either.
Yeah, she doesn’t tour a lot. I think she’s pretty private. But you know people. You should contact her and be like, “We need to collaborate, girl!”
Oh man, I want to!
*Christ, Lord sorry
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