It’s a cold winters day in Uppsala, Sweden and our HTF reporter Daniel LÃƒ¶vgren met up with Johan Tilli of Swedish electronica duo Lissi Dancefloor Disaster for a talk about music, their background and the future of one of Sweden’s most promising and electrifying bands!
You can check out more from the band at – http://www.lissidancefloordisaster.com/
They Do It Themselves
We start talking about the fact that LDD is a highly DIY-project and why that is. LDD have actively rejected record deals, but are not giving it a definite no – it is just not the right moment for them. Today they manage their own record label lissilissilissi, which gives them creative freedom and control of what they produce and when they release it.
Johan: A record contract is kind of an ego-thing. We have gotten several suggestions from companies, but turned them down. We are waiting for “the right moment”. We have fun and can make our own choices, which is important to us.
Though, they are not totally on their own. For promotion they cooperate with Skiva and Lateral Management helps with connections and strategies.
J: Cooperation with these companies has opened a lot of doors for us. We get to know people in the business and we create a valuable network.
Since the band has a Do It Yourself attitude, they don’t have the big money of corporations behind them. They therefore sell their songs on their homepage, but the songs can be also be streamed through Spotify and their videos are available on Youtube.
J: We have expenses, and we pay for a lot ourselves, therefore we have the songs for sale and not free to download. The thing we sell the most of, though, are the cat heads that sprung from a street-art project.
Music and the Idea Behind
When I ask Johan to describe LDD’s music and lyrics in a few words he calls it “a bit flipped out electro pop music with exciting details”.
J: Our texts are reflexive – they convey our thoughts on culture and society, which are critical. But we do not want to tell people how to behave. We are not political in that sense, this is more personal. The texts are a bit poetic, where the listener interprets the content and meaning. Our fans are smart people and we trust their interpretations of the music.
Climate change is one concern for the band, and the future does not look too bright. The people in power can do something, but they choose not to. The earth is dying, but it’s hard to tell when the worst will come. This is something that inspires our creativity.
A live performance with LDD is a swirling mix of futurism, video projections, intense activity and maybe even dancers in cat masks.
J: The cat masks have become something of a symbol for LDD. From the beginning it was meant as a street-art project, something beside the band. Over time it grew and became synonymous with band and now it is integrated in the music. The cat face is actually my old cat, who also gave name to the band. Lissi was the only of my cats that stayed in the room when we produced and played music, so it was very suiting for the band.
LDD has played both at student clubs, major festivals and a multitude of other venues and thinks that they all have both good and bad sides. Sometimes an intimate student club can be awesome, as well as it can be a bad gig, Johan says. Over time they have gained a lot of live experience and today they are much more confident on stage.
J: The interaction with the fans is always important. Our fan base has really grown and it is they who make all this possible.
Before a concert they have a few peculiarities going on. On their rider, one important thing is the ecological juices. It gives a lot of energy, says Johan.
J: Personally, when I start the intro on my computer, I know it is about 30 seconds long, so I take a short walk. Like to a lamp-post outside or something else around. Then I calculate the time more or less and hurry back. Every time I get back a little different, and it somehow makes everything a little more interesting.
Johan and Josefin met in Uppsala on a university course, both coming from different backgrounds. Josefin has worked with pop music and Johan created electro music at home in his apartment. Johan believes that it is the mix of the two, the meeting and compromise that makes LDD.
J: We have conflicts over sounds, music and lyrics, but it is in the compromise that we meet and create our own style. Sometimes we have heated debates on how to sound.
They just released the new single Glowing Hearts and the video for the song is their first they produce themselves. The video is pointing the direction for the future artistic and creative work during the coming year.
J: I also have the dj-collective, Random Cute Animals, with around ten to fifteen members. Josefin is a singer/songwriter and we are both interested in arts in general. Random Cute Animals rides on the success-wave of LDD and have actually been released by Warner.
Johan believes that new media, blogs and social networks have been important for the band’s success. But maybe it is more fun than necessary he tells me. They have fantastic fans and stay connected with them through Twitter and Facebook, which they manage by themselves as much as possible.
J: The fans are really engaged. They order one of our cat masks, put them up as street art, and send photos back to us. It’s amazing. We have pictures from Turkey and Russia. In South Africa the cat head-sticker has even been seen on the local taxis.
In the World Outside
LDD has a global aims and get offers from many countries to come and play. They hesitate a little and say they want to build a more solid base – they don’t feel a need to rush things. In Germany they have offers to release their music as well as inquiries from Russia to do gigs. I tell them that our co-workers has done a little research into Russian social media and found that many people like them there – Oh My God being a very popular song. Happy news for Johan.
I ask Johan to give some tips on local (Uppsala area) artists and other music that he listens to and the first that comes to mind is Henry Bowers.
J: The best rapper in Sweden. He deserves a lot more credit!
Other artists he recommends are Frantic Sunday, all the bands in which Tove Brandt plays bass and the Mankind from Stockholm.
J: The Mankind is like an electro Glasvegas. They are gonna be huge.
For Lissi Dancefloor Disaster, the future looks rather bright. They have just released a new single, they have a secret “mega-gig” coming up, a booking at surviving synth and electronic festival at Arvika, Sweden and Johan is even occupied with songwriting for Japanese artists. In other words – there are still a lot to expect in the future from this interesting and highly active band.
Interviewer: Daniel LÃƒ¶vgren