Arts & Entertainment, The Muse

Chilling with Miike Snow

In the midst of Miike Snow’s set last Sunday at TT The Bears, an erroneous cheer erupted from the audience.

‘Yeah, Mike!’ someone shouted.

Thoughtful, yes, but considering there is no one named Mike in the band, it was slightly inapropos. So the question remains, who is Miike Snow?

‘I’m going to have to say, type it in and do a Google search,’ frontman Andrew Wyatt said in a telephone interview. ‘We’ve answered this question about 40 times.’

Turns out, the name is based on two real-life characters ‘- a friend of the band whose real name is Mike Snow and Japanese director Takashi Miike.

The lack of any physical Mike on stage at last week’s show definitely wasn’t an issue for the crowd ‘- most of which seemed to be there for the Snow boys rather than headliner Jack Penate.

The band emerged on stage in some creepy, see-through V For Vendetta-inspired masks for the opening number, ‘Burial,’ before making their way through most of their self-titled debut during their hour long set.

‘There is a big technical dimension that is still getting worked out,’ Wyatt said of the transition from record to stage. ‘We had this idea to produce everything live, meaning that we were going to be taking electrical currents and turn them into the sound that you hear — there are bursts, no prerecorded elements. There are lots of different sounds on the album, so it took a lot of gear and planning schematics.’

The album, released last May, is a ten-track affair that sounds like the members of ABBA got ridiculously high in a quaint cabin in the middle of the Alaskan wilderness and recorded an album by candlelight and discoball. Every song is lush and whimsical and boasts hooks to spare.

Considering it is Swedes Pontus Winnberg and Christian Karlsson ‘- collectively known as Bloodshy & Avant — who round out the Miike Snow trifecta, this really should be anything but surprising.

The two have produced records for the likes of Madonna (‘How High’) and Britney (‘Toxic,’ ‘Piece of Me’), establishing themselves as it-producers for pop perfection in the music industry.

‘The stuff I had heard from them was always very not normal stuff that you hear from any of those artists,’ Wyatt said of his bandmates previous collaborators. ‘Everything that they had done struck me.’

The guys met a few years ago in New York when they were all working in the same studio.’

‘We stayed in touch over iChat. I happened to be in Sweden touring with my old band, the AM, and felt like getting into the studio, so I called them,’ Wyatt said.’ ‘We didn’t really do anything — hung out played each others music and stuff — ideas germinated from there.’

The rest of the year sees the band taking their experimental show to the likes of London, Paris and Oslo before settling down to work on a follow-up.

But what if Miike Snow is interrupted by Bloodshy & Avant chum Britney, demanding a hit song and collaboration with the band?

‘I think my response would be, ‘Yes, as soon as we’re done with the next Miike Snow record, we’ll see if we can fit you in,” Wyatt said. ‘It has to be the right time and now is definitely not the time.’

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