Interview with Mixtapes & Cellmates

With their second album ‘ROX’ coming out in the UK on the 22nd March Cat On The Wall caught up with Mixtapes & Cellmates and discussed the arrival of a new live drummer, touring and SXSW…

Cat On The Wall: For your latest album you’ve been described as a totally new band. Why did you decide to move away from your previous work and basically start again?

Mixtapes and Cellmates: We were really fed up with playing shows with just an iPod as a drummer. So our friend Viktor joined in on the drums and just like that we had a totally new sound! We’ve had a few members coming and going before, but this time it seemed to work very well from day one. So we felt just like a new band, even though the four of us already had played together for four years.

COTW: What’s your creative process when composing songs? Do you write together or are there more separate roles?

M&C: Most of the song ideas are made by just one person (often Robert or Matilda) but we always arrange and work with the song ideas all five of us until we’re all satisfied. However, on our latest album ROX we have a few songs that we all wrote together.

COTW: Has the dynamics of the band changed since the introduction of a live drummer?

M&C: Definitely yes! We can now also change the tempo of the songs and do ritardandos or accelerandos that were totally impossible with a drum machine. I think that gives the live experience more life and it gets more interesting to watch and hear.

COTW: You’ve put out an appeal for pledges to help you reach SXSW this year. The deadline is fast approaching and there’s still some way to go. What are your views on the idea of pledging to help artists? Would you use a pledging service again in the future?

M&C: I personally think it’s great! And i think I can safely say that if pledging services wasn’t around we’d have a much more difficult time to play shows further away from Sweden (if we’re not on a tour or something like that) because we’re all very poor at the moment.

COTW: Will you be touring the new record? Is live performance something that you enjoy? Any memorable experiences whilst on tour?

M&C: Yes we will. First we will do a few festivals in Sweden this summer but later in September we’ll be doing a little tour in Europe (mostly Germany I think). We love playing live! I personally think that the best part about being in a band is to do shows and to meet new people. Well, since we’re swedes we sometimes tend to drink a bit too much. Of course we’re very serious about our live shows but afterwards it’s always a great party if you know what I mean, haha. I got a few stories to tell but I’m not sure if this is the best way to tell them. Come to a live show with us and I’ll tell you all about it!

COTW: What are you listening to at the moment?

M&C: Recently I’ve been really into this Japanese artist called 戸川純 (Jun Togawa). She’s messed up, and the music is just genious! Check her
out, I recommend the album “Togawa Fiction”. We all listen to very different kinds of music and we all enjoy very different kinds of genres. I guess we collect inspiration from just about everything we like.

COTW: Finally, what are your plans for the near future?

M&C: We’re gonna focus on rehearsing our set so we can give our best at the upcoming shows this spring and summer.

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