Need To Know: Marching Band


By Gregory Miller

Jacob Lind chats about why his Swedish band is so popular on soundtracks, ABBA, and accidentally (but happily) marching in a No on 8 protest.

Hailing from Sweden, Jacob Lind and Erik Sunbring made magic happen with the formation of indie-pop group Marching Band. Now releasing their second full-length album, the band has already headed down the road to soundtrack fame, having been featured on everything from 90210 to How I Met Your Mother. We caught up with Lind to get the scoop on why TV loves Marching Band, gay-friendly Sweden, and getting out of ABBA's shadow.

Out: I heard you spent six months working on the new album. Do you always move so glacially?
Jacob Lind: We kind of started in May last year, starting to write new songs. We were pretty focused actually. We didn't have a date set for when we were going to start recording but we knew that we were going to do it sometime in the autumn, so we were pretty focused.

You guys are from Sweden, but you assembled over here in L.A. How'd that happen?
We met our label at like three years ago in South Africa, actually. We were traveling with a friend of mine's band called Dear Reader. And we were supporting them, and our label guy was touring with another band at that time and he saw us at a festival and he got really excited. So we signed with him.

Then he brought you to L.A.?
Yeah, exactly, like a year after. We signed a record deal with them, two years ago, to do our first record. The next one is done in Sweden, but it's the same label. We just recorded this one back home, just a little more convenient. But L.A. was great two years ago, it was a great time as well.

What do you think it is that's allowed you to break in over in the U.S. and in Sweden?
I think our sound -- I don't know how -- in some way I understand that Americans are drawn to our sound. We want to write pop songs, and we like to make them a bit complex, but at the same time very accessible. We're very honest, we're not looking for 'Oh this is the sound we want,' and then go for that. We more do whatever we feel like. We just go more for what we like than a plan for a special sound or something.

So when you're recording in different places, does it affect the music? Or is your sound always sunny and happy?
No, I definitely think it could. Our songwriting has always been done mostly at home in Sweden in our everyday lives in our apartments or wherever we are writing songs. But then when you go into the studio, there's always elements that you add or take away -- maybe more with sounds and attitude you have when you record the song than with the songwriting in itself because that's usually a bit more finished when you get into the studio. But definitely the sound, I think.

Why is indie pop rock consistently your sound?
The short answer is that's the kind of music we listen to ourselves. We've never really been into, like, heavy metal.

What's on your iPod right now then?
Right now? Hmm. We're pretty bad at getting into new music. We listen mostly to older stuff. What should I say? That's always a hard question for some reason -- I don't know why! I'm like, what did I listen to today? Give me one second. We were listening to the Lemonheads, both me and Erik. They're great, a pretty straightforward band. Let's say that. Do I need to say more than that?

Tags: Music