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YRB Interview: Korallreven

By Stephanie Amy Collazo

Korallreven is a Swedish electro-pop duo known for their remix of Britney Spears’ VMA-winning single, “Til the World Ends.”  Marcus Joons and Daniel Tjäder, the latter whom also plays in the acclaimed indie rock band The Radio Dept, met in the south of Sweden eight years ago before forming Korallreven.  Their music showcases a combination of tropical percussion and wind instruments with a sense of melancholy.  They are set to release their first LP, An Album, on November 15, on which they have collaborated with Victoria Bergsman and Julianna Barwick.  In preparation for their debut, Marcus took time out to tell us a bit about the group and what fans can expect from the album.

YRB: Why did you decide to name yourselves Korallreven? Does it have any special meaning to you?

Marcus: It’s the word for coral reef. I named it like this because I was in Samoa, in the South Pacific, and was very inspired by my time there.  It’s a bit hard to pronounce.  I like that it’s something that is beautiful [and] sharp.

YRB: How and when did you two meet?

Marcus: It was eight years ago in the south of Sweden.  I was there studying.  Daniel was much older and from there.  We met there in clubs.

YRB: How has your music changed over the years?

Marcus: I don’t think it has changed that much.

YRB: What are some of your musical influences? 

Marcus: I don’t really know.  Dance.  We like communicating; it’s not like [we say] let’s do a song like this, let’s be like this band or this artist or this country. [Laughs] It’s more, let’s try to reach this feeling.  That’s what it’s mostly about, to get a really high feeling.

 YRB: What is your vision for your music, what do you want fans to get from it?

Marcus: We want them to feel ecstatic to forget about real life, daily life.  Try to get the feeling of when you are without any problems.

YRB: You mixed Britney Spears’ “Til The World Ends,” what made you decide to mix that particular song? 

Marcus: Mostly because we liked the repetition [of the] “uh uh uh uh uh uh oh.”  We like that stuff, it really fucks up your head a bit.  I think it’s really interesting in that way.  It’s a really clever hit song, but we felt that it was too happy.  In a way, we wanted to try to produce it as we would produce Britney Spears.  I don’t really know her, but it seems like she has a lot of darkness in her from those past years, so that’s what we were trying to show.

YRB: What do you think of all these electronic artists mixing with artists in different genres?

Marcus: I think it’s very important to have an open mind to that kind of stuff.  That’s what we try to do; we try to combine stuff that maybe hasn’t been combined, and a lot of the time it doesn’t work, but when it does I think it’s kind of magic.

YRB: Is it hard to break into the U.S. market? Have you had to change your style in any way?

Marcus: I don’t know, really. Let’s see what happens. It’s early, I think.   We just very recently decided that we are going to play live and have a manager and stuff like that. We did the album before everything happened.  We haven’t [had to think] of what everyone would think of it. Maybe with the next album that will happen.

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