Interview with La Fleur Fatale

So this is La Fleur Fatale’s first time in New York?

Alexander Vibeck: Yes, as a band, but not the first as a tourist.

How’s it treating you?

AV: Ups and downs.

How have the shows been so far?

AV: The first show was quite hard. We blame it on the jet lag.

Joachim Kärling: And the new gear and guitars and everything.

It must be difficult not playing with all of your own equipment.

JK: Yeah, it is.

AV: The first gig was like a shock, playing other [people’s] instruments. But yesterday was really great.

Good. Well, maybe it was better that you got that gig out of the way first, to get the bad vibes off.

JK: [laughs] Yes, get the bad vibes off!

I understand LFF grew out of another band called Planet Superfly. How did that happen, and how did you guys know each other originally?

AV: We were old high school pals that came from a little town in Sweden. We’ve known each other for twenty years. It’s quite cool. We’ve played together for almost ten years. We almost stopped playing a couple of years ago, but then we met [our manager] Papa Bear, who told us not to stop. We started this band, and he released our debut album a couple of years ago. We owe him a lot.

He seems like a very good manager.

JK: Yeah, he is.

AV: He’s got a little ADD going on, but that’s cool [laughs].

[laughs] That’s probably better for that job, actually. I didn’t get to hear Planet Superfly — was the music similar to LFF?

AV: It was similar. The music is better now — better songs, better lyrics. But it was the same genre.

Were you guys influenced a lot by American psych, UK psych — any bands in particular that were big influences?

David Drejstam: Mainly European or UK psychedelic acts.

Zombies, Pretty Things, all that good stuff?

DD: Yeah.

What about Swedish bands, even contemporary ones? Are you fans of Dungen, The Soundtrack of Our Lives, Hellacopters, bands like that?

JK: Yeah, of course.

AV: Soundtrack have cleared the way in Sweden for this type of music. They are friends of ours, and a very big inspiration as well.

I would imagine so! Is there a good psychedelic scene in Sweden these days?

AV: Not really.

So it’s pretty much just you and them?

[all laugh]

AV: There are a lot of bands in Sweden, but too few venues. We go to Germany, Holland, England, and now we’re here in the States. We stopped playing in Sweden actually.

Are you appreciated more in the other parts of Europe?

AV: Yeah! Mostly Germany.

How do you guys feel about black metal? Are you indifferent to it? Is it annoying? Do you like it?

JK: [laughs]

AV: I think there are good songs in every genre, but that isn’t my favorite. I can listen to it for a couple of minutes.

DD: I used to listen to a lot of black metal.

JK: Friends of ours are also in the black metal scene.

I read that you guys were supposed to support The Electric Prunes on a tour. Did that happen?

AV: No! There was an issue with the management company in the States. They went bankrupt and the whole tour was cancelled.

You guys have a West Coast tour planned?

AV: Yeah, we’re planning on it. Maybe [it will be in] 2012.

Excellent. I was noticing a lot of lyrical references to other bands in your music. For example, the lyric “trip inside this house” seems to be a reference to either 13th Floor Elevators and/or Primal Scream. There’s the obvious Velvet Underground reference in “Dare to Lick,” and you have another song called “Hung Up On A Dream.” Is that purposeful or is it just the way your writing comes out?

DD: It’s on purpose. The song which has that lyric, “Hotel Of Your Mind,” was written for a tribute album, but we needed to quote [the 13th Floor Elevators song]. We had to sing [the lyric] somewhere in the song. So on that tribute, the song “Hotel Of Your Mind” was called “Trip Inside This House.”

DD: That Velvet [Underground] song was my first favorite psychedelic song. I’ve loved that song for 25 years.

It’s a great song.

DD: I was just waiting for the opportunity to use some part of that. I thought it was kind of a cool thing to match with the rest of the lyrics in that song. And of course, The Zombies are a favorite band of all of ours. We’re kind of paying tribute [to those artists].

I think it works, and I’m sure people appreciate the nods. You guys were also on the Sky Saxon tribute album. I listened to your version of “Travel With Your Mind,” and I almost like it better than the original!

[all laugh]

JK: Woohoo!

It’s produced very well. How did it come about?

AV: I think it was Papa Bear.

Papa Bear: I got the contact from a guy in Greece that had been playing La Fleur Fatale a lot. He said we should really contact Sky’s wife, because she’s doing this amazing compilation. I contacted her, then got in touch with Frank who runs the label that’s releasing it, told him that I really wanted the band to be a part of it, and now they are!

But it hasn’t been released yet, right?

PB: No. It was scheduled to be released this past summer, but they had so many new artists come along — I think there are like 30 or 40 bands now. So they’re waiting for the “big guns” to deliver their songs.

It must be turning into multiple discs, then. I thought some of them were out already.

PB: The singles are. We got permission to release the single. They figured it would be positive to get it out there [sooner] and use that to promote the album.

What was the experience like recording that tune?

DD: Really fast.

JK: One or two days, I think.

It turned out well! I also really enjoyed the cover of “How You Satisfy Me” that you played the other night at [Brooklyn psychedelic party] Perfect Prescription. Is that a staple of your set?

AV: We usually play that song.

JK: It’s an old favorite.

AV: Often, if we’re doing an encore, we’ll play that. We don’t actually like to play covers, but sometimes we do it. In Sweden, hardly anyone has heard that song, so they think that it’s ours [laughs].

[laughs] Nice trick! So I guess you are fans of the Spacemen 3 family of bands: Spectrum, Spiritualized, etc.?

JK: Especially Spiritualized.

Aside from the West Coast tour, what’s next for LFF?

AV: This year, we’re going to record some more EPs, release them digitally, and then do a small tour in the fall, maybe in Germany or England.

JK: Also, the documentary will be coming out. We don’t know when it will be released, but just check our Facebook and website.

Is there a title for the documentary yet?

Filmmaker Gustav Johansson: No, it’s a work in progress.

You got a lot of good footage in New York?

GJ: Definitely.

Filmmaker David Einar: It’s a really easy town to shoot.

AV: Very photogenic. The weather’s been awesome as well.

Yeah, you lucked out. It could have really gone either way at this time of year. Is there anything else you want to let people know?

AV: No! [laughs]

JK: Check us out, of course! Buy the record!

[laughs] Thanks, guys!

Download La Fleur Fatale’s latest EP Share the Love for free.

  • Entarage

    Good one! Trevliga jobbpojkar!