FEEDER: What did you do before Koop? Where do you come from, musically?
We have been making music under the name of Koop for over 12 years, basically our whole grown up life. Before that we went to school.
We where not able to survive only on Koop until 5 years ago, so during the first years we had various side jobs to bring some money. I worked for example one winter shoveling snow around houses. We both played instruments as children, but in our teens we where into hip hop and pop music. When we grew older we discovered jazz music. The passion for pure jazz was what brought us together.
FEEDER: How did the two of you meet?
In a club at a students place in our hometown Uppsala. There was a group of people hanging around this club that was into music and partying, and at some afterparty at Magnus place I was the last one to leave. We started to talk and became friends.
FEEDER: Why do you only release an album every four to five years? Is it because of the heavy sampling?
Oscar: It’s very time consuming to use samples if your trying to create “classic” songs like we do, because the songs have different chord changes, verse, bridge, chorus etc that has to fit together. But it’s very easy to use samples if you just want to make a Hip Hop groove. One short Koop-song represents maybe five R’n’B tracks if you count the amount of samples and hours for programming the music.
We also very seldom come up with ideas that are good enough to be a Koop song, so we try to put as much emotion and care possible into the few songs that appear.
FEEDER: Where do you take your samples from?
From strange un-known vinyl records we find in bargain stores.
FEEDER: Why do you feel that a performance of the two of you and a vocalist would not be a proper “live concert”?
Oscar: Because then a lot of the music would have to be sequenced by the computer. Computers are very good in the studio but they are not so good at interacting with the audience. What’s special about live concerts, is that the band and the audience are interacting with each other, creating something unique and special.
FEEDER: But you don’t use a band when you make your music, do you?
Oscar: Our albums are a fantasy world where borders between musical eras, samples, live instruments, voices, electronics, and acoustics are dissolved. The beauty is that modern technology makes this possible, and that’s what makes Koop music hyper modern. But when we do a concert we do our best to make this fantasy world come alive.
FEEDER: You wrote recently on Koop’s blog that your “music is timid because [you] want to activate people’s ears and make them listen closer”; at the same time, your live performances are made to “get people on their feet”; why this difference in approach? Where is it coming from?
Oscar: Our albums are Koop. That’s the original core feeling we want to deliver to people who has never heard us before. But in a concert situation where everybody in the room has gathered because they all have Koop-songs in common, we think it’s a good moment to celebrate and have a party. But it’s not that black and white. We mostly write this because concert bookers (especially bookers who regard us as a jazz-act) sometimes think that a Koop concert is for a sitting down audience, but that’s not the case.
FEEDER: What’s the story with Universal? How did you get to be signed up by them, in the first place?
Oscar: We didn’t have any clue when we released our first album, and when our second album “Waltz for Koop” was ready they where not interested at all. We had to wait for one year while we tried to break the contract to release it on another label. It was not far away that “Waltz for Koop” was never released.
FEEDER: I take it you don’t like large labels that much, anymore?
Oscar: It’s different now. Today even the large labels are small labels.
FEEDER: Oscar wrote an incredible blog entry on Koop’s myspace page recently, where he was discussing illegal music downloading. Do you feel the people that enjoy your music should help support you more?
Oscar: No, I just tried to describe the reality for Koop. It’s difficult to be a smaller band in many countrys, which is the case for many Swedish bands. But as long as we have the possibility to take our time and focus on a new album we are very happy. We love our fans and the only thing we require from them is their love back.
FEEDER: What’s your take on copyright? Do you support The Pirate Party in Sweeden?
Oscar: Koop does not support any parties.
FEEDER: Why do you wear dresses on stage?
Oscar: Because we love to feel those sluty dresses next to our bodies.
FEEDER: Will you wear them at your Bucharest concert?
Oscar: We’ll see if we find something new. A dress is usually worn out after 10 gigs, so the last 2 years has been a constant running to different shops for “big women”.
FEEDER: Then, what shall we expect for the Bucharest gig?
Oscar: It’s our last show on the “Koop Islands”-tour, and possibly, if we don’t come up with another album, the last Koop concert ever(!). So we’ll try to put all our last drops of energy into the songs. We’ll bring 4 live musicians and 2 singers: Hilde Louise Asbjornsen and Mikael Sundin.
Thank you and see you in Bucharest! Oscar