Arts & Entertainment

Press Pass: Peter Bjorn and John

PETER BJORN AND JOHN. (Photo: Marcus Palmqvist)
PETER BJORN AND JOHN. (Photo: Marcus Palmqvist)

Peter Bjorn and John released Breakin’ Point, their first album in five years, in June and Peter Morén, a guitarist and vocalist in the group, said that the group can feel that they’ve been away for a long time. “You know, you don’t think about it when you’re a grown up person, but if you’re like picturing an 18-year-old who starts listening to a band and five years go by, there’s a lot of music out there,” he said. “And you can feel that a little bit, but as soon as people come to shows and actually remember that we exist, they really connect with the songs.

“Personally, you always say that your new record is the strongest, but I feel the songwriting is really solid on this record. I like every song. It took too long to make it. It doesn’t have to take four years to make a record, but regardless it’s a good record, and it’s really coming alive in the live shows….I think as a live band we’ve never been this good.”

The indie rock trio is currently touring North America and will perform at the Lincoln Theatre on Saturday, Sept. 24. Morén said that the group is playing a mix of old and new songs in its live show and have added two other players to their performance outfit.

Morén said that there were a couple of different reasons that it took them so long to put out a new album. Before this five-year gap in between albums, the group was releasing about an album every other year. The first reason is that the group took a year off after the tour for its sixth album Gimme Some partly because there were some injuries in the band.

“John [Erikkson] had broken his shoulder, so he couldn’t play for a year. So that was one thing,” Morén said. “And then I think when we started recording we didn’t really know what we wanted to do. In the past we usually had some sort of dogma or idea behind what sort of record we wanted to do.

“And this time we really were searching in the blind a little bit for what direction the record should take and then we decided that we should focus on the songs and let the songs dictate the production rather than having a production dogma define what sort of songs we should write.”

The group became meticulous about the album before they even started recording, but when they eventually got into the studio, they ended making a record that features six different producers.

Patrick Berger, who has worked with Icona Pop and Robyn, Paul Epworth, who has worked with Florence and the Machine, U2 and Paul McCartney, and Emilie Haynie, who has worked with FKA Twigs, Lana Del Rey and Kanye West, were among the ensemble of producers on the record.

It was Epworth who produced the song “Dominos,” which became the first music video released from this album. Both the song and the video are fun and simple. The video features an elaborate domino line of humans going in reverse, so that all of the “dominos” stand up, and then goes forward so that they all fall down again. Morén said that it was tricky to execute the video logistically.

“There were a lot of hurt knees, that’s for sure. We did ourselves. We were a part of that whole falling strategy….It was just great because it’s filmed in Stockholm, in our neighborhood,” Morén said. “And it was a very simple idea, that sort of reflects the lyrics in an obvious way, but I think that’s the best way to make a music video.”

• For more information about Peter Bjorn and John, visit peterbjornandjohn.com.