Interview: Karin Dreijer Andersson on ‘Silent Shout’

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Apparently, constantly wearing a mask isn't adequate protection against the cold. Though certainly sniffly, The Knife's Karin Dreijer Anderson was equally demure and sincere in discussing the brother-sister electronica duo's upcoming release, which hits shelves next Tuesday.

Silent Shout debuted at number one on the Swedish charts. Do you think it's possible for an album like yours to meet a comparable amount of commercial success in America?

I don't know. That doesn't really concern me. I mean, we've been playing in Sweden for a while now, and the music community is so much smaller here, it's just easier to get to the point that we've gotten to than it would be in America. So no, I'm not expecting to get any sort of a similar reaction in America.

What's the ideal listening environment for Silent Shout?

A car. Driving fast, away from the city. Definitely at night.

Do you have an American tour planned?

Nothing specifically at the moment, but we're looking into playing some shows out there. We've only played about five shows ever, and it took us years to figure out how to do the live show, so this sort of thing takes some time.

What's taken so long?

We've just always been more focused on making music in the studio. And we've been talking to Andreas Nillson, who directed the "Silent Shout" video for us, about how to do this. There are screens with his images. Just a lot of stuff going on. We have robots, big videos. It's all in surround sound as well.

Yeah, sounds like that would take a while. You mentioned that you're not really expecting huge sales in America, but it seems like so much of what gets sold depends on how Internet critics react. Do you pay any attention to that stuff?

Not so much. Early on we did, but now, I mean, all that is is what one person thinks about what you're doing, and I just think its so much more important for you to understand yourself than to worry about whether journalists understand you. That's what you do, you talk about things. I more value what other bands, bands that we like, think of what we're doing.

What band's opinions do you value?

I really like The Bear Quartet. They're probably my favorite band from Sweden.

I've read a couple reviews that call Silent Shout intelligent dance music. Are you comfortable with that? How do you characterize what you're doing?

Well, I wouldn't call us that at all. We don't make music you can dance to at a club or anything. I don't know how intelligent we are, either. I think we're more about feeling and emotion.

Is Silent Shout a reference to anything? As a phrase, I mean.

No. We just felt it fit the feeling we were going for on the album. Deep Cuts was more about reacting against things going on around us in society, and it was all done with a very poppy sound. Silent Shout is more internal, more personal.

What's up with the masks?

We just really want to emphasize the music. Media is a lifestyle visualized, so whenever we do those press photos we want to appear as similar to the sound of the music as we can. And sometimes it's good to hide your face. It makes you more connected with the music.

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