Proving that Ikea and meatballs aren’t the only good thing to come out of Sweden. Electro indie/pop duo Lo-Fi-FNK have been causing a stir on the dance scene since 2006. We caught up with Lo-Fi-FNK creators, August Hellsing and Leo Drougge to find out what’s been going on.
Q) So where does the name Lo-Fi-FNK come from?
August: It’s almost 10 years now since we came up with that name and to be honest I’m not totally sure! But as I remember it we needed a name on the band we’ve created and we wanted it to represent the style we were doing at the time. The “Lo-Fi” part represented our wish for making other styles of dance music than everyone else at the time, we felt like everyone was taking part in an orgy of overphat sounds without finesse. The “-FNK” part of the name says that we do music that moves your body! I really love the name and don’t think it’s that complicated to spell but to this day I think you are the only one from the UK that has spelled it right! Congratulations.
Q) If you could sum up your sound in a couple of words how would you describe it?
August: Our heads tell us to do Hi-Fi music at the same time our hearts makes us do Lo-Fi music. I think the sum of that becomes Indie-House.
Q) Can you give us a little background, how did Lo-Fi-FNK come into existence? Was it a two friends tinkering with keyboards in your bedrooms kind of thing?
August: Yes, quite like that actually. Leo was the one that introduced me to music programs, trackers as they were called, and taught me the basics in programming a beat. He had been playing drums and all kinds of instruments in other bands for many years but one day he got a synthesizer and yes, he had it in his bedroom… where LFF was born!
Leo: I had also been doing music on my Commodore Amiga computer before that…
Q) Your first album, ‘Boylife’ was released in 2006, what have you guys been doing with yourselves since?
August: We toured for two years or something, almost non stop, which is kind of torture to your body and mind so we needed some time to do other stuff. And we did that until we felt the urge to do more music.
Q) And what are you working on at the moment?
August: At the moment we’re working on the last mixes for our 2nd album and I must say that it’s hard to let the songs go. We are doing some remixes and producing other artists as well, it’s good to have several things going on at the same time.
Q) We’ve heard a rumbling that a 2nd album is imminent, what’s the deal with this?
August: I love the word “imminent”, never heard it before and had to look it up in a dictionary. I really must agree that the next album is as imminent as imminent can ever be! It’s also imminent that we have a release date but not yet, just thinking of releasing a new album gives me butterflies below my heart. OMG
Q) How have you progressed in the last 4 years? Have you gone from Boy life to Man life? Or are we to expect something completely different?
August: We have learnt so much during the last 4 years, but it would be a lie to say that I’m a man. Luckily you don’t need to be a man to refine your taste in music and how you do music. For me personally I hear more body and soul in our music and I think Leo has gotten much better at singing!
Q) What is your upcoming tour schedule and where can we see you?
August: As I write this we don’t have any, since we don’t have a release date yet. The easiest way to stay updated to what’s up with LFF is to follow our twitter @ ( https://twitter.com/lofifnkofficial )
Q) What do you miss the most from home when touring?
August: Nothing, I love moving from places to places everyday, meeting new people and leaving them behind in the morning. It does something to your head that is hard to explain without trying to compare it with drugs and stuff like that. The only thing that can be irritating is that you never decide what to do next, your future is already written on a piece of paper called schedule and you have a tour manager that work 24h a day to guard its holiness and prediction.
Q) Where is your favorite place you have played?
August: Don’t really have a single place but a favorite continent, it’s North America. I love Americans and how they are and live their life. For example when a person from the states gets serious he or she gets a special voice, it gets kind of rugged and low, it doesn’t matter where you are, they all have it! And they are one of the best audiences as well.
Leo: I love going to the States.
Q) Who are you guys listening to at the moment? Is there anyone you’re finding particularly influential? Or just simply making you smile?
August: For the moment I listen to Cécile, Delorian, Diplo, Big Boi, Beyoncé, Feist, LCD Soundsystem, Lykke Li, M83 and Ratatat. I don’t know if they are influences but at the moment they make my life better.
Leo: I love Bryan Ferry.
Q) Who would you most like to collaborate with?
August: I don’t write our music, I’m more the producing kind of guy… So my little dream would be to collaborate with an old sound engineer that knows all the tricks there is to know about music! Maybe that’s a boring answer so lets just say that I would love to collaborate with a piano.
Q) We all have an ipod shame, what is yours?
August: The only music I have on my Ipod is my own music, if someone had the chance to look it through I would blush a million times. I have one guilty pleasure song though, it’s called “Ederlezi” which is an old folk song, it’s cheesy but I can’t stop listening to it.
Q) Have you ever pulled the “do you know who I am”?
August: On tour yes! When the guards outside clubs don’t let you in even though you are about to enter the stage in a minute!
Q) What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever requested on your rider?
August: We’re bad at requesting strange things, but one time in Germany they told us that the Jagermeister contained real deer blood (if the cross on the bottle is red then it contains real blood) and in Mexico we got 10 packs of cigarettes each, kind of lame! Have to work on the strange things for sure!
Q) How do you feel about being GAY icons?
August: I don’t know but I love it. The gay thing has made that we can play at gay clubs and that’s always the best and most fun shows.
Q) So you’ve been in the studio for a while do you have any plans to go abroad? Will Australia get to see you guys any time soon?
August: Yes we have! As soon as we have our next record out we will do the world, even though the spiders and alligators scares me to death I would love to come to Australia ASAP!
Leo: Our manager is from Australia.
Q) What’s next for Lo-Fi-FNK?
August: Getting the difficult second album done, if it just wasn’t that difficult!
Q) And lastly, what the best bit of gossip you have heard lately?
August: That my mom is in love again, hope it’s true!
By Vanessa Higgins