Interview :: First Aid Kit’s Klara Söderberg
December 17th 2012
Swedish folk sweeties First Aid Kit are swinging our way in the New Year for a string of headline dates around Oz. The best part? The tour includes a stop at the Sydney Opera House on January 3rd that’s presented by FBi. Before the gals boarded the plane, The Flog’s Rachel Sibley pinned singer and songwriter Klara Söderberg down for a chat. Now we just want to be her sister, too!
Hey! So where are you right now?
In Hamburg, Germany. Just woke up, that’s all.
You’re going to be playing an almost-sold out show at the Sydney Opera House next year, how does it feel now you’re that popular with fans all across the world?
We always have a really great time when we tour Australia. There’s always a lot of warmth and love all around; it’s just incredibly nice, especially coming from so far away and not really knowing what to expect. The first time was really incredible and it has continued to be like that. So yeah, we’re just super happy.
Will you get to see much of Sydney while you’re here?
Not as much as we’d like. It’s always like that when we’re on tour, we don’t really get to see everything we want to see. When we were in Brisbane, we went to a zoo where you can hold a koala and feed the kangaroos, which was very nice and very Australian. I’d like to do that [again] and I think we’re going to this time. We’re gonna stick around a little bit, because it’s my 20th birthday and I figured I didn’t want to spend it on an airplane for 30 hours going back to Sweden. So we’re gonna stay in Perth for a while and just hang out. I’m really excited about that; getting to see more of your beautiful country.
What’s a main source of inspiration for your music?
There’s definitely a lot of inspiration from other music. That’s sort of what happens to you. It’s like, you find another artist or musician you start listening to and like or get obsessed with – it’s what usually happens to me – and then after a while you feel inspired to write something that’s inspired by them. That happens a lot. There’s not really one thing that does it; it can just be like feeling a certain way one day and [then] you just start writing something. There’s not like a method or a process or anything like that, it’s more like in the moment and you just start writing something. It can be inspired by other music, or by a book that I’ve read, or our own lives, of course, or a movie, or a mood that we want to convey in some way.
And how does a song actually come together, after that initial inspiration?
It’s just me and my sister. Sometimes I will finish songs by myself, but a lot of the time I usually start writing all the songs, then at times I get stuck. That happens a lot. Joanna is very good at finishing things and she’s a lot more organised than me. She’s sort of like, “Okay Klara, now we’re going to finish this song,” and then we sit down and we finish it together, which is pretty incredible. I think you have to know someone very well to be able to write songs with them, cause those songs are very personal a lot of the time, you know? Very honest, and we don’t shy away from things that are sad or things we are going through, cause we want to tell those things so we can deal with them through song. I think it comes through if you’re honest in your own lyrics. People will hear it. You can’t really make things up that you don’t feel yourself, if you know what I mean.
What is the toughest part about working with your sister so much?
I’ve only ever worked with Joanna and we started when I was 14 and she was 16. I can’t really compare it to anything else, it’s all I know, sort of. It works great. Sometimes we argue, like all sisters do, but I think it’s good that we sort of get our own feelings out there instead of just, you know, keeping them in the dark and being disappointed with something. If we’re working on a song we can both be very honest with each other and Joanna can be like, ‘I don’t like that’. Sometimes we’ll hate each other because of that but it’s worth it. In the end we want to make records that we are both completely proud of and that we can stand by.
You’ve worked and performed with so many well-known artists in the music industry now, can you name one that was most interesting or the best experience for you as an artist?
Oh gosh, I don’t know if I want to choose like that! I mean we’ve had, there’s been sort of crazy things happening for us, but I think the main thing really has been getting to work with Mike Mogis from Bright Eyes and having Conor Oberst from Bright Eyes sing on our record because they were the band that got us into this kind of music in the first place. When we heard their music, we wanted to make music ourselves really, so to get to make our second album with them was just incredible. They are just the most talented and sweetest and warmest guys on the planet, so it’s been just a really wonderful experience to get to creatively sit down with someone that you admire so much. We really understood each other musically.There were no questions about what we were going to do, which I don’t think happens to everyone when you try to sit down and work on something, but it really did work so well. I don’t really know how else to describe it.
Apart from music, do you have any main hobbies or interests?
It’s hard to do that when you’re on tour. We watch a lot of movies and TV shows, and that’s sort of our biggest passion besides music. Our mum is a film teacher, so we’ve always grown up watching a lot of movies, but also discussing and talking about you know what they’re about and you know what kind of symbolism there is in the movies we’re watching. So I think that’s always in the way we watch things now and when you’re on tour. You have a lot of time to do that, but apart from that I’m not sure. I like crossword puzzles.
What does the rest of this year and the New Year bring for First Aid Kit?
We’re actually going to go to New Zealand. We have family there; an aunt and cousins, so we’re just going to go and spend Christmas and take our whole family with us, and just hang out in New Zealand. Then we’re gonna go play on New Years at Falls Festival.
WHO :: First Aid Kit (Presented by FBi)
WHERE :: Sydney Opera House
WHEN :: Thursday 3rd January
HOW MUCH :: $39 – $69 here
FBI SUPPORTERS :: Email firstname.lastname@example.org with First Aid Kit in the subject line for your chance to win a double pass. Must include your supporter number!