Little Dragon on UK tour
- Malcolm Jack
- 16 November 2011
Swedish electro-pop quartet and Gorillaz collaborators take third album Ritual Union on tour
You’d expect a band to delight in having artists from Gorillaz to DJ Shadow and Big Boi beating their door down to work with them – especially if they’ve hitherto existed in relative obscurity. But while Little Dragon find it ‘super exciting’ to have become the go-to guys for such established names, the Gothenburg electro-pop quartet say they don’t want to develop a reputation ‘just as the collaboration band,’ to the extent that they’ve started turning down many requests.
‘When it’s artists we’ve been inspired by and then they’ve been inspired by us, that’s the ultimate high,’ says singer Yukimi Nagano. ‘But I think we’re really keen to keep doing our own music first.’
She and her bandmates Fredrik Wallin, Håkan Wirenstrand and Erik Bodin have every reason to give Little Dragon material primacy – their third album Ritual Union is their best yet, fusing minimal, repetitive grooves with squelching synth and Swedish-Japanese-American frontman Nagano’s ultra laidback vocals. It’s helped the four friends – who started music making together at high school, 10 years before they became a band proper – capitalise on the international exposure of touring the world with Gorillaz (on whose album Plastic Beach they guested on two tracks).
For all their fear of becoming known as ‘the collaboration band,’ there’s surely one dream name whom Little Dragon could never say no to? ‘As much as I love, for example, Prince, I wasn’t super-excited about his last album,’ Nagano replies, coolly. ‘Who knows, maybe our combination isn’t a good match? But maybe that kid down the street who makes some beats on the other hand …’
The Arches, Glasgow, Wed 30 Nov