First Aid Kit Interview

Clash talks with the Swedish sisters
First Aid Kit by Phil Sharp
There are two delighted smiles on the faces of Klara and Johanna Söderberg, the two sisters who comprise Swedish duo First Aid Kit. It’s not, as might be expected, because of their successful London showcase gig the night before, but something much more natural, humble and immediate than that - they’ve just found, in the bar down the road from their record label offices, a Simpsons version of Cluedo.

“I love this game!” exclaims Johanna as they start unpacking it from its box.

“Yeah,” agrees Klara. “We used to play this when we were kids. I remember I was really scared of this game because it was about murder and stuff. And I was always scared that it was me who was the murderer and I’d feel guilty! But now I’ve got over it.”

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This is an excerpt from an article that appears in the February issue of Clash Magazine. Pick it up in stores from January 11th.

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Given that Johanna is now just nineteen and Klara sixteen, it can’t have been all that long ago. But then, that’s precisely what makes their music stand out so much - because despite their youth, these two girls are responsible for making one of the most hauntingly world-weary albums of 2010. Entitled ‘The Big Black And The Blue’, it’s an album that seems to stem from a lifetime of sadness and decades of disillusion, something totally at odds with their sweet and - surprisingly - spritely demeanour. For while the album and their previous EP, ‘Drunken Trees’, suggest that the personalities of these siblings could well border, at best, on the manically depressed, that couldn’t be further from the truth. They are, in fact, just two very normal, giggly, wide-eyed teenagers who also happen to make exceptionally melancholy music.

“We’re definitely happy people,” beams Klara as she fiddles with a small metal donut that, at some point, has presumably been used as a murder weapon. “Totally,” adds Johanna. “I mean, the songs are definitely a reflection of our personalities, but part of our personalities. I mean, a teenager doesn’t just have one mode. We’re more complicated than that, but I think people have a very simplified, generic idea of who we are because of our music.”

“I really understand it,” chimes in Klara. “If I heard people who were sixteen and nineteen making the kind of music that we make, I think I’d be a little bit surprised! But from our point of view it’s not weird.”

“It feels natural,” interjects Johanna. “And our friends who’ve heard our music aren’t asking us, ‘Why are you so weird and mature?!’ But I think a lot of it is because we’re inspired by a lot of old folk and country music, so for us to write about whatever people think we should write about - teenagey stuff or whatever - would just be weird.”

Words by Mischa Pearlman
Photos by Phil Sharp


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Watch an exclusive acoustic performance of 'Met Up With The King' by First Aid Kit HERE.

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