Stephanie, a visitor to this here website, ensured I wasn’t to miss out on this following quote – and it’s a good one:
“In the future, Bodin and the rest of Little Dragon are excited that a former keyboardist will rejoin the group “to expand sound when we play live. It’s part of the ritual union,” says Bodin cleverly off-the-cuff. We hope Little Dragon continues to mate for as long as its virility makes it breathe musical fire.” Source.
You’ve probably witnessed a tall, handsome gentleman (Arild Werling) replace someone just as tall and someone just as handsome (Hakan Wirenstrand) during Little Dragon interviews, shows, and related events lately. Arild is a friend, a producer, a musician, and a damn fine keyboardist, and it would seem that his fleeting moments on stage may be expanded to a permanent deal, if Bodin is to be believed above. Follow Arild Werling on Twitter here. The prospect of Little Dragon’s live vibe becoming even more potent will tingle the spines of many.
Let’s look at Werling at work …
This is very exciting. I get to update you all regarding a televised performance. The lowdown? Little Dragon – the band we all love so very much – will feature on Later with Jools Holland on BBC this coming Tuesday, September 20. They’ll play alongside show headliners Snow Patrol, and Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, The Duke Spirit, Roy Harper, and Emeli Sande. Little Dragon look to be second on the bill, so it’s conceivable that we may even see three full songs performed on the extended version of the show later in the week. Expect at least two songs, however. What two would you like most to see?
Hard work pays off for a former high-school band now on the world stage.
Yukimi Nagano’s interest is piqued. The singer for rising Swedish outfit Little Dragon has been handling interviews all day, talking about the band’s new album, Ritual Union, to the point where she is approaching autopilot. But when asked whether she identifies with being “hard-working”, it is impossible not to notice her joy.
“Absolutely!” beams Nagano, 29. “That’s just how we are as a band and that’s certainly how I am. Even if we’re back at home, we’re still working. There’s always tons and tons of things to do. Something like a vacation has never existed for us; it’s always been full-on, all the time.”
Home is Gothenburg, where Nagano grew up the daughter of a Japanese father and a Swedish-American mother. If she struggled for a “national” identity, she certainly had a personal one: schooled in R&B records both old and nu-skool, she fixated on music from an early age.
“Our band is full of people who all decided early,” Nagano says. “That’s what always made me feel close to the guys, because it was something I didn’t have with my other friends. So many teenagers have no idea what they want to do but I’ve always felt very driven to make music.”
Nagano met drummer Erik Bodin when she was just 14 and Little Dragon formed as a high-school band in 1996. “In the beginning – like, really ages ago, back when we were teenagers! – we wanted it to be more R&B-based,” Nagano says. “But we were never really locked into anything specific.”
They took their time finding their own sound, with the band -Nagano, Bodin, keyboardist Hakan Wirenstrand and bassist Fredrik Kallgren Wallin – only releasing their debut, self-titled set in 2007. At the time, their foreign reputation was largely limited to the fact that Nagano was the girlfriend of crazy-popular Swedish crooner Jose Gonzalez but soon Little Dragon were earning fans through their music.
On their debut, they set Nagano’s soulful voice to vaguely loungey grooves but by Ritual Union, their third album, they are working largely with precisely programmed synths. The set is a work of brilliant production: strikingly minimal and with a sense of sly sonic experimentation. It is also their darkest, most difficult record, a strange proposition to reconcile with the fact that it is serving as their breakout album.
“I can’t understand the appeal of trying to make something that’s a replica of what you’ve already done,” Nagano says. “As a person, you’re always changing, always moving, and you should be that way as an artist. We never talk about wanting to do things differently, that’s just a very natural desire to have to anything in life.”
Little Dragon are about to bring Ritual Union to Parklife audiences, marking a return trip to Australia after they opened here for Gorillaz last year. “That was the very end of the Gorillaz tour,” Nagano says, “so they feel like special memories. We had been travelling around, on this crazy ride, playing in stadiums, and then we’re in Australia in summer and it just felt like the end of something, in a really beautiful way.”
Nagano calls a year spent opening for Gorillaz in stadiums around the world “an exciting opportunity” where “the reality of playing for people who aren’t there to see you at all” is not as exciting.
Though the shows exposed Little Dragon to a huge number of new listeners, Nagano did not feel like the tour was some definitive step forward. Though it is a long way from high-school rehearsal rooms to stadiums in the southern hemisphere, it has all been “gradual and slow”.
“I feel grateful … that we haven’t had that one big breakout moment that we’ll always be defined by,” Nagano says. “Now, more than ever, it seems as if people are just discovering us and that’s so gratifying to me because it hasn’t come through anything but hard work.” – Source.
As featured on their official webpage, “Can you spot the difference between the digital and physical versions of our album? If you spotted “Seconds,” you were right. Download the original, instrumental version, and remix by Syd The Kyd of OFWGKTA below!”
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