LITTLE DRAGON know each other since high school. Starting as some friends jamming together, Yukimi Nagan, Erik Bodin, Fredrik Källgren Wallin and Håkan Wirenstrand have slowly built up an international fan base. Their breakthrough came in 2006 with the hit single Twice. Since then the Gothenburg quartet has released three albums and number four follows on May 12. It bears the title Nabuma Rubberband.
NOTHING BUT HOPE AND PASSION met the four for an interview and of course we wanted to know what the name means.
What is ‘Nabuma Rubberband’?
Yukimi: Nabuma is a Ugandan girl’s name. Rubberband is a kind of different last name. She is a fictional person and a strong spirited woman. She’s our hero and our muse.
I heard the album is inspired by PRINCE and JANET JACKSON.
Fredrik: Certain parts of the album are inspired by them. They are two artists we really admire.
Erik: I didn’t realize how special JANET JACKSON is until I started listening to her music. She has a lot of personality although she is a pop icon. She has a simple, direct way of singing and she has been doing some slow songs that are really freaky with explicit lyrics and a lot of dirty things.
Yukimi, you write the songs. What are they about?
Y: Each song has its own story and its own mood. It varies a lot. I wanted to write about more than just personal experiences. Something broader and more interesting.
What comes first – the lyrics or the instrumentation?
Y: music first and then lyrics.
The singles you released, ‘Paris’ and ‘Klapp Klapp’, are faster and more dancy than the other tracks. Is that a concession to your fans who might prefer your faster tracks?
E: I could see all of our songs going to the radio. But when you have a label they think ‘this one is really catchy, we want to have this as a single’.
No one of you has a special favorite?
E: I really like Mirror. It has this Broadway musical touch but it is also super dark and kind of scary.
Looking back to the past, was there a moment when you thought ‘now we’ve made it’?
Y: There was no certain point, it is an ongoing journey. Fortunately we are not like a one-hit wonder that comes and goes fast. We want to build something special.