Tuesday 11 October 2016

KBPS Interview: Avakhan

Avakhan are a female-fronted Swedish electro indie band with, according to their Facebook page, the melodrama of Florence And The Machine and the tight-indie sentiment of Sky Ferreira and Marina And The Diamonds. Ava, Kristoffer and Joakim make up the band, having met in Stockholm, and we got to speak to Ava and Joakim about their great new single ‘Just Let Go’.

“It’s a song that was written one and a half years ago and I have been involved in doing the production and the finishing touches on it,” Joakim told us. “It’s a fast, happy, beaty single combined guitars and synths, and it has a pretty simple but straight-up, good melody!”

Ava also revealed the song came about during their time at a party. “We had a really bad hungover and we ended up on the rooftop. It was the morning, and the sun was rising, and we wrote the song in about twenty minutes, and then went down to the studio to work with Joakim!

“[The song is about] how some people affect you, and do some bad, and crazy stuff!”

The reaction and feedback to the single has been positive. “People love the production and the melody, and think it’s very addictive and easy to sing along to!”

Avakhan released their debut album in 2008 and we were keen to know if their sound has change since then. “In the beginning we were pop influenced by jazz and soul but now we’re more influenced by Florence and the Machine. I have a background as a jazz singer so it was quite natural for me to have that kind of approach to put some jazz into the music!”

“At the beginning we were listening to a lot of jazz,” Joakim confirmed. “We started around that, building up a band, with eight people in a band, with brass and percussion and rappers, so it was a completely different act back in that period. We made the first album more in that style and we did some touring in those kind of clubs, around Stockholm and Sweden. From that time it’s a huge difference!”

Joakim was involved a lot in the production, and we wanted to know if that made shaping the sound of the record easier. “When we did the hangover demo I wasn’t quite as involved then, on the roof, but as a producer you want something that lacks any influence or colours, so I just got the guitar and vocals and then we started to make the single with the beat.

“I recorded the drums, bass and guitar live and added some synths. The vocals were two or three takes so it was a very fast production, so we had no clue where we were going to end up, but we had the idea that we wanted a fast, up-tempo single with a simple song line.”

Avakhan are now looking ahead to a new album in early 2017. “I think we are going to follow the same pattern. We’re not going back to the jazzy style! We are writing and record songs, and moving forward pretty face. I hope the record will be out in the spring.”

The recording and rehearsing has been fun so far for them. “We don’t have a concept or an idea from the beginning, it’s more like a feeling!”

“It’s more about what works live in the rehearsal room,” added Joakim. “What songs we pick for the actual album depends on what feels best playing with the four of us.”

Avakhan have live dates coming up in Stockholm including one in Mid-October. “We hope to book some gigs in the UK as well after being in the studio.”

Joakim confirmed that the band’s live sound is similar to their studio work. “When we do the production we base it around the four of us and then we might add some synths and keyboards on the backing track, but the goal is to be make the live sets quite record like!”

Looking ahead to the future Avakhan have big plans for more touring. “We want to go and play live a lot, as that’s what we love to do. The process in the studio is very exciting but to be on stage is the best!”

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