Interview with tada tátà !

tada tátà is a special musical project from Sweden, more exactly from Umeå/Falun. They represent a set of electro pop and folk, with songs mostly played on guitars and Ukulele. Listen to it and you’ll notice that it’s like music for toys. I know, it sounds a bit childish and blurry – it’s probably just their toy piano and glockenspiel toying with my mind. They sound, in fact, just great and their lyrics and use of instruments make a very infectious and melodious indie pop sound.

tada-tata1Take a look over on their MySpace page for a couple of tracks, more pictures of the members of the band, news and other important information about them. You will also be able to download a couple of their tracks, on the same MySpace. As you read through the interview, make sure you listen to the following song – it’s probably the most playful and up-beat song –  [display_podcast]

So let’s meet these very nice harmony voices:

ZME: Let’s meet you guys first. You’ve mentioned that T&T means „a lot of people but mostly just tátà & the Friend” and following that, you stated that when you perform live, the band adds Richard, who plays the Bass, Ellinor for the Cello & Toy Piano, Maximiliam at the drums and Folder Rule, Nathaly takes care of the vocals, Fredrik plays the mandolin, the Glockenspiel and also the toy piano. So the question is quite obvious: who is „tátà” and who’s the „friend”?

Tátà is me; Tanja Andersson and the Friend is my partner in crime who sometimes feels like being anonymous, but just sometimes. The others are a lovely group of people that I’ve met through university and such.

ZME: Please have a little description ready of each of the ones who are a part of the band. Well, those who are available and want to do it. Just a little description, a couple of words that best describe your characters, musical preferences, way of life etc.

There are not really any permanent members in this project, except from me and the Friend, I sort of claim that this is the side-project that became a duo. It still is, in a way, but I met all these fantastic people and on some of the shows they play with us. All of them have got their own music-projects. They are a group of lovely charachters who all enjoy those obligatory coffee breaks. There’s a lot of coffee and baking around this „band”.

tada tátà is my first own project, I played in a band and all the songs I made didn’t fit but I was too shy to do this by myself so the Friend promised to stand by my side and hold my hand if she could wear a cake-costume. The Friend and I have been playing together for about 5 years. She’s a very creative person who enjoys beer & baking.

Nathaly comes around sometimes and sing, she’s the most absent-minded person I know, always laughing, doodling or sewing bags, she sings like noone I know and makes beautiful songs with her guitar.

Maximiliam is an educated great rock drummer who always tells dreadfully bad jokes that we all kind of of learned to love by now..

Richard plays the bass, he’s quite into funk and DCFC and he loves cakes & sweets. He can eat anything at any time. Noone understands, cause he’s the most fit person of us all.

Fredrik has got this thing for Bob Dylan but he mostly just collects old intruments, like really old toy-pianos. His apartment is fully decorated with all kinds of instruments. And a long time ago he was a heavy-guitarist but I don’t think he wants me to mention that.

Ellinor is a classical cellist, but she can play whatever, she also sings very nice and play the guitar. I believe she lives in the wrong decade, she’s like one of those very beautiful French women during the 60’s. Her dad is an avantgarde vegetarian who builds her instrument-cases, fix cables and such, he could almost be considered a band member.

ZME: How would you compare yourselves, as pop representatives, to other Scandinavian pop bands such as The Concretes, Hari and Aino, Liechtenstein, Juni Jarvi, Little Big Adventure etc. Do you listen to these bands? Are there any Swedish indie pop bands you like very much? Could you see your band performing alongside of the ones mentioned above?

There are loads of brilliant bands from Sweden and the rest of Scandinavia, it’s like scientifically proved already. Best band in Sweden, I think, is Kids of the Ranch. Detektivbyrån & The Tiny are probably the best I’ve seen in live performances. I do like Little Big Adventure (from the ones mentioned above), he seems to be some kind of genius. I own a Concretes-record, it was nice when Maria sang, the others I’ve heard of but never listened to. I’m quite bad at listening to Swedish music, unfortunately. And yiayks, comparing is such a hard thing to do, could I leave that assignment to someone else?

ZME: You mentioned you have been influenced by „a release technique, goosebumps, cupcakes & coffee breaks, postcards, naïveté and snapshots” and that your music sounds like „when you had too many cakes and you feel like you have to barf but..the moment just before that when everything’s still tasty, delicious and really really sweet”. Could you also evidentiate the musical influences. What bands have marked your musical tastes? What records have guided your teen years? Which artist has influenced you the most ?

I guess that somewhere in my subconscious I’m very influenced by other musicians but I never think of music when I make music. John Cage and Merce Cunningham might be two names that have influenced me.

Release Technique for example is a technique in contemporary dancing, I used to dance a lot before. It’s about working together with gravity, ergonomically, instead of against; like in ballet that’s pretty much about deforming your body. I keep making parallels between music & dancing and I feel that I want to make „ergonomical” music. Oh, it’s hard to explain I guess, but when I explain for the drummer how I’d like the drums to be I always do it with some kind of movement….

I grew up with progg/folk & 60’s music. I’ve listened a lot to The Doors and Velvet Underground. During my sentimental teen years I overdosed Bright Eyes and Belle & Sebastian and I also had an extreme hip-hop period, so it’s a bit of everything.

ZME: Please mention 10 other indie pop/rock bands you like listening to when you’re at home, relaxing, working, doing chores, etc. Also, please mention a couple of other genres you enjoy hearing, because I’m sure there are quite a few.

Thee More Shallows
Michael Wookey
Tom Waits
Kids of the Ranch
The Knife

The Friend:
Håkan Hellström
The Motifs
Michael Wookey
Arcade Fire
Kids of the Ranch
The Cure

Genres: Sometimes I can enjoy hip hop and um.. grindcore, it’s all about mood. But I guess that pop in all kind of forms take over alongside electronic/instrumental/lo-fi/accordion-based music/klezmer & cheesy 80’s ballads.

ZME: Let’s imagine the perfect party: mention 10 tracks you always want to hear, in order for the party to be a successful one.

The Friend:
Micachu – Golden Phone
Beirut – Nantes
Håkan Hellström – En Midsommarnattsdröm
Michael Wookey – Songs about Snow
The Cure – Close to Me
Leila K – Electric
Kids of the Ranch – I got into
CSS – Let’s Make Love and Listen to Death From Above
Vampire Weekend – A Punk
Creepy Crawlie – Chicken LegTanja:
The Kingsmen – Louie, Louie
Familjen – Det snurrar i min skalle
X-Ray Spex – Oh Bondage, up yours!
Micachu – Vulture
Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Pin
Deerhof – Kidz are so small
Tom Waits – Singapore
Billy Idol – Dancing with myself
Midlake – Balloon Maker
And anything with The Knife

ZME: You’ve released an EP of 7 tracks. They are all available for listen on your MySpace page or on LastFM. Tell us a bit about how it went with the recording of this EP. Mention the songs that took the longest to get to where they are now. For which one have you worked the longest? Also, how long did it take to write it, to record it?

The songs are recorded in different places around Sweden during a 2 years period, mostly bedroom recordings.
The Brigade took the longest I guess, in the beginning it was about 7 minutes long with cowbells and double bass. I shortened it cause we were supposed to release a 7’, and Maximiliam came up with a new bass line.
I wrote both Sticky Dumb Gum and The Brigade when I studied songwriting at the university in Umeå. I think that’s where tada tátà overalll started.
The EP is a potpourri of songs, they were not meant for an EP until Cosy Recordings wanted to release it, so I just picked the songs that I wanted to use and made the intro & outro to tie it together.

ZME: How are your live performances? I mean, considering that this is your first EP, you were probably a little nervous and excited to see the people’s reaction to your music. How did this go through? What was your first live performance like?

Every live performance is different, both considering instrumentation and with the people who are playing. I like to re-make the songs and do something new for every live performance.
Our first live-performance was at a place called Scharinska in Umeå., it was quite awkward. Me, the Friend and a girl called Amanda. We had electro-backtracks, the Friend had toilet paper tied around her head to cover her face and Amanda played on this crazy arpeggio-syntheziser. It was mostly just fun, our friends were there and people got pretty drunk.

ZME: My favourite two songs from this EP are „Sticky Dumb Gum” and „Hit the Wall”. Could you tell the gist of the stories behind these two songs? How did they come together, what do the lyrics reffer to exactly, what instruments were used the most etc. Any information will be most appreciated.

Sticky Dumb Gum is quite autobiographical, la-la-love trouble. Hit the Wall is about all those people who are so stressed out that they feel they need to run in escalators.
Sticky Dumb Gum was based on synthezisers and midi-instruments in the beginning, I had just learned to manage Cubase, then I realised that I was surrounded by excellent musicians such as a cellist. So it became something completely different. Hit the wall started with only me and a ukulele in Canterbury, most of the songs does, not all of them in Canterbury though.

ZME: Have you also planned on releasing an album? Or are you going to release singles, one by one? Tell us a bit about your future plans. What can we expect to see next from T&T?

We’ll see. It would be fun to release an album sometime, but I guess it’ll have to wait. I’m studying and the Friend lives far away from me..
Nearest plan is to release a couple of songs on audio cassettes and maybe just sell it via myspace. We have some songs that aren’t recorded yet, that’s pretty much what’s going on now.

ZME: You’re quite young as a band, well, that I know of. I took a look at your „upcoming shows” list and only saw two dates: the first one in Stockholm – August 1st and the second one in Madrid, in November. Why just these two dates? Even if i understand why you picked Sweden as your first performance this summer, this being your home country… why was Spain your second and only choice? Are there any more dates set? When and where will we be able to catch a live T&T performance somewhere alse around Europe?

There are no more dates set. We never ask for shows and we don’t have a booking agency. All shows we get are through people who by accident find our myspace or through Cosy Recordings that released the EP. So, maybe someone will ask again, you never know.

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