This is probably the best interview I have ever conducted. It’s with Andrew Wyatt of Miike Snow, and I don’t even want to ruin it by putting an introduction. Basically just start reading. It’s ridiculous. Also, if you want to have a successful concert-going experience tonight, take some green bean casserole and a Segway or two to 930 Club, and maybe be willing to have your teeth experimented on a bit. Just do it, okay? You’ll (probably) thank me later.
BYT: So we’ve actually got a pet rabbit at my apartment, and I strapped on a pair of dog-sized antlers to her head so she can fit in while she listens to this interview.
Andrew: Amazing, perfect.
BYT: I know, right? She’s listening intently. So how’d you guys meet?
Andrew: We met in a studio in New York in the penthouse of the Studio 54 building called Axis Studio. So I was playing my last song of my session, Christian was playing the first song of his, so our two sessions overlapped. We stayed in touch for a couple of years over i-chats, and then when I was in Stockholm with my other band The A.M., I reached out and we got together and started talking about doing a band together. And we did that within the next year.
BYT: Cool. So you guys get along really well obviously…do you guys ever do Miike Snow family game night?
Andrew: Family game night? Every night is family game night, except we have family bitterness and morose and resentment night. That only happens once every two years, though. And so we haven’t even had our first one yet. I’m inviting you to the first one.
BYT: Oh, cool! I’ll be there!
Andrew: But it’s a potluck, so you have to be able to bring something.
BYT: Oh, definitely. I’ll bring the green bean casserole or whatever people eat at things like that.
Andrew: Perfect. Remember to put onions on top. Those toasted onions.
BYT: Oh yeah, it wouldn’t be a green bean casserole without those. You can’t have that.
Andrew: Yeah, you can’t. You know what’s the secret? You know what the secret is? The secret is to put a can of cream of mushroom soup in, right? So don’t tell me you never learned something from doing a rock and roll interview, okay?
BYT: Exactly! Man, everyone’s going to learn so much new stuff today…it’s going to blow their minds.
BYT: So how about your live performances? What’s the experience going to be like in DC? Because you guys don’t use laptops or anything, right?
Andrew: Yeah, I mean, the truth is we don’t know what it’s going to be like for you. I mean, that’s part of the fun is that we just actually don’t know what’s going to happen. There’s so many signals that, like the electrical current, that for every synthesizer goes through so many phases at which point something could go quite wrong. And usually does. We don’t really have any idea, except that we know how we’d like to…you know, we know that we have a bunch of songs and that we’re supposed to play them for people, and that’s pretty much all we do. You know? I mean, it could come out in a million different ways, and we can play songs that will sometimes be eight or nine minutes long, or sometimes they’ll be the same length that they are on the album.
BYT: So was there ever a performance in particular that just went totally wrong and the audience sucked, or the venue sucked, or…it all just sucked?
Andrew: Yeah, kind of. It was in Ghent, wasn’t it? No, it wasn’t in Ghent, it was in some other town in…maybe it was in Ghent. I don’t know, it was in Belgium. And it was like, you know, there weren’t many people, and it there were a lot of things that went wrong with the sound, and blah blah blah. So I mean, it happens, you know?
BYT: Yeah, I don’t think it will happen for DC though. You have the power of Obama on your side. Now, did I hear somewhere that you had or have a frozen yogurt business? Or were you making that up? Was that a lie? Because that would be cool if you had/have it.
Andrew: Well, we did but we sold it because we got too busy with this.
BYT: Oh, bummer. Was there any one awesome flavor? Like a jackalope flavor?
Andrew: We did have a jackalope flavor. Guess what it was.
BYT: Uh, I don’t know. Tell me.
Andrew: You have to guess.
BYT: Alright, I think that it would be…like…cantaloupe. Because that sounds like jackalope kind of.
Andrew: Sounds like it, yeah. But you’re wrong. It was orange sherbet with marshmallow antlers.
BYT: That sounds fantastic.
Andrew: Inside, you know, we called it antlers but they were really just veins of marshmallows. Pretty nice.
BYT: Yeah, I wish I was eating that right now…
BYT: So for your interviews do you ever, like, lie in them? Because if I was being interviewed I would just, like, make up awesome stuff all the time. Because people believe you, you know?
Andrew: Yeah, I know. Sometimes. But the thing about the orange sherbet is 100% true, I promise you.
BYT: Okay, awesome. So where’d you guys get those masks that you used in the “Animal” music video? Because those could be pretty popular. If all else goes wrong, just sell those to college campuses for the swine flu, you know?
Andrew: Which masks are you talking about? Are you talking about the fully-protective giraffe mask? Or are you talking about the partially-protective surgical masks?
BYT: I guess largely I’m talking about the partially-protective, but I think that the fully-protective would be the best seller.
Andrew: You know what I mean? You know, you could hook up on college campuses, and if you used protection you would never even really have any interaction with that person. And yet, you could probably have a very enjoyable evening.
BYT: Yeah, that’d be fantastic. We should look into that…go into business.
Andrew: Yeah, the total loss of intimacy. The Blackberries took us half the way there, why not go all the way?
BYT: Yeah, totally. Okay, question. Are there any remixes of your songs in particular that you’ve heard and have really liked? Are there any that you’ve hated?
Andrew: I love a couple…no, I don’t hate any. I really love the Style of Eye remix that’s like a minimal techno remix. You have to dig to find it because I don’t think it got as much attention as something like the Fake Blood or Crookers remixes. But I think that Style of Eye remix is really fantastic.
BYT: Yeah, I like the Treasure Fingers one. That’s one of my favorites.
Andrew: Yeah, people loved…Treasure Fingers, Fake Blood, and Crookers were the most popular ones.
BYT: Yeah, for sure. And so tell me about you. Like, what were you like as a child? What…just tell me everything.
Andrew: I had a bike as a child. I liked to ride my bike. I had a mom and a dad, and my dad taught me how to throw a baseball. The first thing that I ever cooked was baloney. It was good. And that was the first meal I ever really prepared for myself. Just going into the refrigerator, simply taking the package of baloney out, I opened it, I consumed it, and I succeeded. And I’ve been succeeding ever since.
BYT: And what did you want to be when you grew up?
Andrew: When I grew up? What did I want to be?
BYT: Yeah. Have you grown up yet? I don’t even know.
Andrew: No, I have. Of course. I’m much more mature than you!
BYT: Well, yeah, obviously.
Andrew: I wanted to be a dentist.
Andrew: Yeah, I wanted to be a dentist and a policeman. I wanted to be both. Because my grandfather was a dentist, and my father was taken by a couple of policemen and I never saw him again. So I figured that if I became a policeman, I could find my dad. It was really actually sadder than it sounds.
BYT: Well, that’s a pretty ambitious dream to be both.
Andrew: Yeah, it’s inspiring.
Andrew: How are the choppers? How are your choppers?
BYT: My choppers? My choppers are terrible.
Andrew: They are?
Andrew: Are you coming to our show? I’d like to get a look at those choppers. I don’t actually have a dental degree, but I can do a few things. Just get me some pliers and I can get jiggy.
BYT: Yeah, I mean, I’ll let you experiment on my teeth for sure. They can’t get much worse, anyway. I’ll let you drill some cavities, stuff like that.
BYT: So what are you going to be for Halloween? Are you going to be anything for that? It’s coming up, so you’ve got to think about that…
Andrew: Halloween I am not going to be anything except attending the…I have a restaurant in New York that’s opening on Halloween night. It’s called the East Side Social Club, it’s on 50th Street between 1st and 2nd. I’d like to put a plug in there for that.
BYT: Well that’s super exciting. I’ll have to come there for that.
Andrew: Yeah, it should be fun. Come up to the opening. It’s going to be a lot of fun.
BYT: By the way, what are you listening to right now? What’s currently on your listening device?
Andrew: Let me just look…I happen to have my listening device with me, and it’s good because I am always asked that and I never can remember. Right now I have a lot of names you wouldn’t know because I just uploaded some Polish experimental into my thing. Okay right now I have Taking Tiger Mountain – By Strategy which you should know, right?
BYT: Right, yeah.
Andrew: By Eno. Buzzcocks, Singles Going Steady by the Buzzcocks. I got Captain Beefheart, Cass McCombs, Deerhoof, Death In June, The Field, which is a great band from Kompakt Records out of Germany, Lau Nau which is another singer from Finland who’s great, a bunch of unpronounceable Polish names as I said before, and Fleetwood Mac.
BYT: Very nice, very nice.
Andrew: Yup, yup.
BYT: What’s a question you wish someone would ask you, but they just never do?
Andrew: Can I give you this $10,000 check?
BYT: Yeah, that’s a pretty great question. Nobody ever asks me that. They usually ask me, like, do you want $15,000, but I would probably take $10,000 too.
Andrew: Well, that’s good. Maybe someday someone will ask you. You gotta dream.
BYT: Yeah, definitely. So when was the last time you got hammered drunk? Do you do that? Do you ever get drunk?
Andrew: The last time I got super drunk was…a long time ago.
BYT: Yeah? What happened? Did it make you never want to get hammered drunk again?
Andrew: What happened? Yeahhh, it wasn’t good.
BYT: Yeah, understandable. I try to avoid those situations usually.
Andrew: Yeah. Yeah yeah yeah.
BYT: And what are you looking forward to doing in DC? I don’t know how long you guys are in town for, but…
Andrew: What is there to do? I’ve only been like, to places where there are monuments or like, restaurants with a lot of senators eating in them I’ve never…I went there with my mom in like, 1992.
BYT: Well, I think that you should do a Segway tour. I always see people doing those and I make fun of them, but it’s only because I’m jealous.
Andrew: Okay, well let’s do one. You and me.
BYT: Okay, cool. We totally can.
Andrew: Alright, I’ll see you tomorrow. Come to the show. Afterwards, bring another Segway, and then we’ll go and do it at nighttime, okay?
BYT: Awesome, it’s going to be great.
Andrew: So bring a second Segway. Bring two Segways.
BYT: Oh I will.
Andrew: I’m serious.
BYT: Oh, I totally will. I’ll see you tomorrow.
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