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The Sound Of Arrows: "Don't shoot a video 300 metres underground"
Meet The Sound Of Arrows. Consisting of Stefan Storm and Oskar Gullstrand, these two are the most exciting new Swedish pop band of 2011. Currently stirring up mp3 playlists with the release of their blissful slice of synth pop 'Nova', we caught up with singer Stefan to to discuss comparisons, caves and a 'genius' Britney album...
Hello Stefan! The Sound of Arrows are newcomers to the UK scene and rapidly gaining popularity, what are the key facts that we need to know about the band?
As a band we're very much about both the sonical and the visual identity. It's nothing new, a lot of bands do it, but we're very hands on. We have a strict vision and that's what we're trying to bring. When we started The Sound of Arrows it started as just a hobby. We both wanted to work within film and it was just a way for us to see how far we could take it both visually and sonically.
Do you think its hard to strike a balance between the visual and the music, or do you find one takes over the other?
No I don't really, it just comes quite naturally. The way I write music is that I always see it in pictures. When I write, if I don't get a sense of imagery, the song is sort of dead to me. It sounds kind of pretentious! I really like when it's something more than just the melody, when you can envisage it, with this world around it.
Do you think that more bands could do with focusing on their style and image more?
Both yes and no. I really appreciate the fact that some people might not have an idea of what they want to be, how they want to look when they focus on writing actual songs. Take Coldplay, you don't really know what their official 'look' is and that's great. If your band doesn't really have a visual identity, you should embrace it as, 'that's what we are'. It doesn't work when it shows that the image is forced. Even though we're now on a major label, we're still very DIY and we do the stuff ourselves.
With The Sound Of Arrows being a male pop duo, how do you feel about being comparisons to the likes of the Pet Shop Boys and Hurts?
Yeah, we've been compared to both. Obviously Hurts have just come in the last year, and that's when those comparisons started. That's fine, I really like them both. I've never really been a big fan of Pet Shop Boys. I really appreciate their song writing and I think they're great but the band has never really spoken to me. But Hurts, they're friends of ours and I think what they do is great. I perceive our band to be a little bit more playful when it comes to the aesthetics and the sound but Hurts are two of the best songwriters in the UK if not the world. Really good serious songwriting, I'd gladly be compared to them.
What is new single 'Nova' about?
It's quite a common theme for us - it's about escapism, kind of what the theme of the whole album is about. It all comes from me as a person, I'm very restless and that's sort of what the song is about. Wanting something better when you're stuck in a rut and just driving toward an ideal. Sometimes it can be great because it can get you places, but it's sometimes like you're diluting yourself into thinking that there is always something better out there. It goes both ways. Its kind of like hope but still there is a part of hopelessness.
The cave in your video, was it even a real cave?
Yeah, yeah that's a real cave. Its like 200 - 300 meters below ground which was insane! We had to travel by elevator for such a long time. It was down in a shaft or mine or something like that. We were there for 48 hours. We filmed in summer so outside was super, super warm but down in the cave it was so damn cold! So when the shoot finished I was overjoyed. It was worth it in the end but it was a terrible experience. We came up with the idea, so we only have ourselves to blame. I wouldn't recommend it though. Don't shoot a video in an actual cave!
What are excites and irks you about the pop world right now?
I think there is some really good stuff brewing in Sweden. Two of them happen to be my friends. I don't really know when they're going to release their stuff, I think they could go far. There's an act called Wild At Heart that does mind-blowingly great slow Pop, it's just such a fresh sound and I think they could go really far. Lady Gaga - it sort of feels like she's going into overload at the moment. The louder you scream, everyone screams louder to be heard.
Do you think Lady Gaga's taken things a bit too far?
Maybe but its not really her, it's the time we live in and everything. I'm a big production buff; I really appreciate really well produced pop songs. I was listening to the Britney album, that was just a huge surprise to me. It was brilliant. The sound and the production it's amazing how much work has been put into it. Not everyone appreciates the actual small details, so they [the producers] could have dumbed it down, but maybe they realised that people actually, maybe subconsciously, hear these things. That album is just brilliant. Phonically, I put it on in my studio with my big monitors and my sub-base and it just sounded amazing. This Doctor Luke guy who apparently executively produced this album, what a genius!
With the name The Sound of Arrows, it begs the question - have you ever fired a bow?
That's a brilliant question. Not since I was like 9. I probably think Oscar did it late into his teens. I think he was into the role-playing reenactment thing. You know what I mean, the kind of geeky stuff where they run about in the forest. He might hate me for telling you this. I was sort of trying to be the cool kid and therefore I didn't really do those things. But I wish I did now. I think deep down I also wanted to run around in the woods.
Don't we all? Thank you very much, Stefan of Sound of Arrows.
Sound Of Arrows fantastic new single:
Hopeful synth pop which is just as laid back as it is lively
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