For starters, tell me a little bit about how you came together as a band and when it was. Both of you two played/play in other groups, right? How was Pacific! Formed?
We had an organic growth as a band. It took several years actually. Eleven years had passed since we had been in school together when we met at a gig I had with a psychedelic West Coast band, the Sun. Then I started the Whyteseeds—that grew into a big thing really quick. We were everywhere and nowhere playing rock for retards and other people. When I was home I use to meet up with Daniel to have a comforting chat about old electronic music like White Noise and similar bands. Daniel moved to London to start up New Skin and eventually came back. We fixed up a studio to put our stuff in and started to write songs for our bands and also fooling around with sounds and tape loops. Some years went by and we had a lot of songs that our bands didn't want. So we started a duo. And then we found a name reminding of Japan, California, deep secrets and sunsets. Pacific!
I think you stand out in the Swedish pop scene. You don't sound like literally thousands of other Swedish indie-pop bands, and that's really refreshing. What's your take on the hype surrounding Swedish music and the scene? Is it a positive force or a negative one? And how does it specifically affect you?
The Swedish hype is very 2006. Bands like Jose Gonzales, Jens Lekman and El Perro Del Mar went around the world. I played in El Perro Del Mar so I really like these artists, though! Also because they are from my hometown of Gothenburg. These artists are all some kind of reaction against the garage rock mainstream influences our town forced on the rest of Sweden and the world. I was a part of that too with my garage rock band. Anyway, I like the laid-back output these bands have because it describes something of the Swedish soul. Hungry for the beauty of summer, sincere and… low key. We have chosen to be a band from Europe more than a band from Sweden because we really just listen to non-Swedish music except the brilliant island romantic Björn Ohlson who I taught to play the D chord on the guitar when I was a kid.
You've released three singles on Dolores Records, all of which did very well; some sold out. You released a Japanese version of the 12″ “Sunset Blvd” (which sold out), too. How are you being received in Sweden and, for that matter, internationally?
I think we are very blessed with good friends abroad that works well for us. People in France and Japan really like us. We have tried to not give the audience to much. We have until now released very small series of extremely beautiful vinyl records to keep the audience wanting more. We will of course give them more, maybe not in the way they expect, though. Our illustrator, Stephane Manel, who usually works for French Elle magazine and French Playboy magazine has done almost all of our visuals including our two animated videos. He loves to draw girls. We are being quiet well received at home as well though we are not like other Swedish bands at all.
Why didn't you come out with your LP sooner? You've clearly got the following and the remixes and hype to support a full-length. Why the wait?
We never waited. We tried to make another hit single and succeeded at last with Number One. We are not sorry for keeping you waiting, though. We only had fun in our studio.
Tell me a little about the LP. Who's releasing it, what's it like, and all that good stuff.
Our LP is a special thing for us. From the start, we wanted to release a trilogy of 12″s—which we accomplished with Stephane Manel's beautiful designs—and then collect them into a simple singles collection instead of an album. But our record company in Sweden, Dolores Recordings, managed to convince us to make an album and we called it Reveries. The LP has a sequence that differs a bit from the CD sister, but both are really worth listening to the whole way through!
I'm curious to know about your relationship with Every Conversation Records [the Escalator Records imprint label that released the “Sunset Blvd.” 12″]. Could you tell me a little about how you met them and agreed to release a record with them?
I (Björn Synneby) made some singles and a solo album on their label. So it came quiet natural for them to look into what I was involved in at the time. They asked us if we wanted to make a 7″ single and we agreed under the condition we could have some singles shipped to Sweden as payment. These singles made us quiet famous amongst the taste makers in Sweden and everything started commercially for us at that point. Daniel and I later managed to visit their café in Tokyo for a gig and then I realized that the people I mailed with for all these years were my spiritual family. We became true friends over some major dinners on town with all their friends and us eating all their food.
You seem to be fostering a good relationship with Japanese audience and musicians in general. How did the Avalon remix come about? And, for that matter, the Breakbot, the Touch, and Radio LXMRG remixes? Why all the remixing, anyway?
Yes we love our Japanese record label Every Conversation. They released our first, now very rare, 7″ vinyl single. If you ever go to Tokyo be sure to wear some fl… no be sure to go to Café Escalator and have a sip of their ginger ale and buy some sweet indie records. Maru, who makes the ginger ale and coffee for you, plays in Avalon. He the coolest guy on their side of the planet.
We make straight pop with a twist of club in it. We love clubs and dancing so it's quiet natural for us to try to cross these areas in music. That's why prefer to play in a club environment and use remixers for our songs. We also do remixes (Sebastien Tellier, Au Revoir Simone, the Concretes), but we always make straight pop out of the songs we get. And by straight pop I don't necessarily mean non-gay, it's a form of craftsmanship we use for songs that is a bit forgotten in modern music. This kind of craftsmanship has it's emphasis on melodies, rhythm, and arrangements. This form of songwriting lends itself very well to remixers, given the songs are recorded to ClickTrack.
Your music reminds me a lot of good stuff, none of which I've really heard shine through in recent bands and musicians' stuff. Some stuff is super funky but made with a more modern, electronic palette that I'm hooked on. Some sounds summery and light … like a Beach Boys single from the 60s or 70s. Some sounds like 70s Parisian disco jams. You're all over the place! What do you cite as your influences? How does they affect your craft?
Our influences mainly comes from abroad, overseas, and yesterday. Bands we heard when we were small dudes instead of grown up ones. I remember biking around with my standard cowboy gear singing the logical song on my way home to dinner. I remember listening to Jean Michel Jarre turning the vinyl disc by hand! Parisian disco jams were hot back then and Paris is hot now. We also find our influences in sounds and memories of sunsets and magic places. Debussy, Ravel, the Beach Boys, Al Green, and Badfinger. Like all good songwriters, we steal with style from our influences!
What're your plans for the future? More music videos? Singles? Touring?
Our plans are to release our album, Reveries, both in the CD and vinyl format in Europe, India, and Japan. Then we have some vinyl singles coming out… like a Moshi Moshi 7″ single, a Japanese remix 7″ single on Every Conversation, and a “Sunset Blvd.” remix 12″ on XL Recordings. We also have a brand new animated video for our “Number One” song coming as well as an upcoming tour in Europe proceeded by high class release parties in Stockholm, Paris and London.
A few joke questions:
How do you describe your music, personally?
As surf electro
Favorite artists at the moment?
El Perro Del Mar
Favorite European beer?
Heineken is alright but London Ale really is supreme. You can feel the essence of god in it's taste.
Reading any good books? Comics? Magazines?
Right now I'm reading my old comic collection of Gaston. It's quiet amazing how he uses his elephantophone.
Favorite fashion label?
Richard Lindquist. His sausage trousers are one of a kind.
Favorite record label?
That must be Lucky Number.
Alright … I think that about wraps it up! If you've any parting words, speak now or forever hold your peace! It was an absolute pleasure. Good luck, guys.
Pacific! – Runaway to Elsewhere (Breakbot Remix)
Pacific! – Sunset Blvd. (Avalon Remix)