Interview :: The Radio Dept. [2.14.11]

Dream pop band Radio Dept. are only now getting their due, with a singles compilation disk, Passive Aggressive following an excellent 2010 LP, Clinging To A Scheme. Always critically acclaimed in their native Sweden, the band has more recently charmed so many US critics and fans to the tune of glowing reviews and sold out tours. We traded some emails with the band's Martin Larsson about a follow up record, whether they're into telling people off and how not to become an overly politicized idiot. His answers, after the jump.

32feet: Is the release of a compilation record after the success of Clinging To A Scheme more of a "victory lap" or an "I told you so"?

Martin Larsson: Neither. We don´t look at it that way at all. We have always felt appreciated for what we do. The only big difference is that it used to be 12 people, friends and family etc, now it´s… more than that. Of course it´s a big difference but your mind has a hard time grasping the fact that more than 50 people like what you do.

32feet: You were most directly political on "The New Improved Hypocrisy." What do you view to be a band's role in political discourse and do you think American bands should be taking a more active role in our politic conversation? Or does this necessarily end up with Billy Joe fronting Green Day in the Broadway version of American Idiot?
Larsson: People should be more concerned about their future and politics in general. We don´t necessarily feel that bands should take a bigger role in politics. We just felt we had to write something about the situation in our country. It was more an in the moment thing than a agenda or a manifesto for the band. And, yes there is a risk of a band ending up screaming platitudes just for the sake of it, but that’s a risk that you have to take whatever the topic. I think people are smart enough to hear and sense if you know what you are talking about or if it´s just to sell records.
32feet: We ask everyone this: If the Radio Dept. was stranded on a sinking cruise ship and there was only one life jacket, who gets it and why?

Larsson: Aesthetically it´s much more appealing if Johan dies. So… not him. He would have to understand! Not Daniel either. He would simply have to understand! So I guess it would have to be… me who gets the life jacket.
32feet: Are there plans for a follow up to Clinging To A Scheme and if so, what can you tell us about it?

Larsson: Of course! We always have plans for new recordings. That is what we love and will continue doing even if we are not doing it under the name of the Radio Dept. We have at least 7 albums left to make before we can die in peace. I can´t tell you anything about the next album. That is classified information.

32feet: What is the one thing people don't know but should never forget about your band?

Larsson: That we are real people with real feelings! Not just geniuses with infallible taste and a perfect sense for melodies!

Listen :: Radio Dept. - "The Worst Taste In Music"
Listen :: Radio Dept. - "Freddie and the Trojan Horse"
Listen :: Radio Dept. - "Heaven's On Fire"
Listen :: Radio Dept. - "Never Follow Suit"
Listen :: Radio Dept. - "The One"

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