The Emotions Issue: Suburban Kids With Biblical Names

We all know about love at first sight, but what about love at first listen? It’s rare, but it happens. And it definitely happened to us the first time we heard Swedish pop duo, Johan Hedberg (left) and Peter Gunnarsson (right) aka: Suburban Kids With Biblical Names.

You may recall we celebrated our burgeoning aural relationship when we posted their video for “Loop Duplicate My Heart”. Well, now we’ve gone to the next level with a little interview with the musically-inclined chums.

Read what they have to say about nostalgia, their first loves and the correlation between sex and desperation, after the jump.

As if that’s not enough, we’ve included the video for their track, “Rent A Wreak” from their most recent release, #3. Now that’s love.

Queerty: Your music has been described as pop. While certainly it’s danceable, it’s more than just sugar coated saccharine with sprinkles. There’s loads of depth to your tracks: tons of emotion. One emotion you guys deal with, obviously, is love. Why love songs? There’s no shortage of them, so why add to the pile? What’s the appeal?

Peter Gunnarsson: Many of my favorite songs are very emotional love songs. Music is a good way of transmitting feelings. And songs about love are often the most beautiful.

Johan Hedberg: I don’t think we choose to write love songs. It just comes and not that many songs are about love actually. Maybe heartbroken love. Most of the songs you’re referring to are about love gone bad, such as “Funeral Face”, “Marry Me” and “Love Will”.

QT: Well, another emotion I find in your songs is nostalgia – a longing and eventual return. For example, on “Parakit”, you sing about going back to the place you were born. Are you nostalgic in real life?
PG: I am very seldom nostalgic. I find that a bit boring. [But] I really like Johan’s nostalgic lyrics.

JH: Most of the nostalgia in the lyrics is about youth. I think most of the people are nostalgic about something. In “Parakit”, I was nostalgic about moving back to the place were I was raised for a while, but I noticed that nothing had changed in the period of the last fifteen years which is very sad.

QT: Does growing older frighten you?

JH: I’m not frightened about growing old. I work with older people every day. And I know I have a lot of things left to do.

PG: What scares me is all the routines in adult life. Work, money, lack of free time. Doing the same thing every single day without any spontaneity. That’s not how I want to spend most of my days. But still, I find myself in the middle of it: a little working ant.

QT: It wouldn’t be a music interview without a question on your influences. So, boys, to whom do you compare you sound?

JH: In most of the reviews we’ve heard comparisons with the likes of Magnetic Fields and Jens Lekman. [But] I have more in common with artist as Don Lennon, Silver Jews.

PG: I hope we continue in the tradition of Gilberto Gil and Os Mutantes – a colorful rhythmic and warm music. At least that’s what I would like to achieve.

QT: On a related note – whom did you listen to growing up? Do you remember your first album?

JH: My first tape was LL Cool J – I think it was called Cool As A Panther. I think it was with that tape that I really started listening to music that I liked, not to music because everyone else liked it. [There weren’t] that many eight-year old kids listening to that type of music back then, so I had it all on my own.

PG: I think it was Erasure. At least I remember liking Erasure and really bad eighties “hard rock” like Twisted Sister and Europe.
QT: Now, into your personal lives. Do you remember the first time you fell in love? Are you currently in love?

JH: I’m currently in love. I remember the first time it was a big cliché, actually. My punk rock band was playing and there she was in the audience. I was too shy but a friend of mine asked her out on [my] behalf. We went out for a date on midsummer, hoping to catch a movie, but everything was closed. Instead we ended up in my room and listened to The Beatles. That was it. Nothing happened. Pretty boring story, actually.

PG: Yes, I am in love with Lina. The first time I fell in love was when a girl I secretly admired in school came up to me and kissed me on the mouth. My heart went on a rollercoaster ride [but] my head was in the clouds for months.

QT: Tell me, what the fuck is “Noodles” all about?

JH: People often wonder that. I think it’s quite clear if you read the lyrics. It’s about being a poor student in Sweden living on noodles going to sick after parties where people start singing PS2 karaoke and falling asleep on sofas.

QT: “Seems To Be On My Mind” – by far one of the best love songs I’ve heard recently – where did it come from?

JH: You’ll have to ask Peter.

PG: It comes from happy confusion – a good feeling. Johan had the “love seems to be on my mind”-part and I wrote some lyrics about international love.

QT: Have you ever been heartbroken? Please do tell…

JH: I’ve been heartbroken many times. The lyrics of “Love Will” is a perfect answer to this question.

PG: I have, when I was a kid – in an innocent, dreamy way.

QT: Do desperation and sex always go hand-in-hand?

JH: Back when I wrote the lyrics I thought sex and relationships tend to end in desperation.

PG: No. Not for me.

QT: What’s next for you suburban kids? Coming to America anytime soon?

JH: Yes, we are coming over in the beginning of May. We’ve got a good show that actually pays the flight tickets. We are looking for nice shows over there that are well organized and paid. So if you want us around NY, Boston, please don’t hesitate.