the insiders: peter bjorn and john

from “young folks” to rock stars.

by liza darwin

Since the band's beginnings back in 1999, Swedish rockers Peter Bjorn and John haven't exactly been ones for taking things slow. Whether it's the whistling, sing-along diddy "Young Folks" or their most recent single, the high-powered "Breaker Breaker," this trio likes to keep their music racing at 100 mph. Luckily, Bjorn took a rare break to fill us in on the group's upcoming album, Gimme Some.

How has your music changed over the years?

I don't think there's been a huge shift, but I guess what did change is that we took out stuff. For our new album, we took out all the ballads and kept only the interesting songs [laughing].

In your own words, how would you describe Gimme Some?

We wanted to explore the guitar rock n' roll ages like rockabily and punk rock. We actually realized you could call our sound "pop rock," influenced by early '70s stuff.

What's your pre-show routine?

Before every show, Peter has to brush his sideburns with a toothbrush. It comes in a special case [laughing]. I don't want to overthink things so I come in late. I only want to be there when it's crowded. And then John always does the Power Crunch ab workout routine before we go on.

After the shows, where can we find you?

It's always a little messy in the towns where we know a lot of people. If we're somewhere where we dont know many people, we go to a random, interesting bar and it's usually more fun.

How did you feel when "Young Folks" became a huge mainstream hit? It's a great song, but we were a bit surprised that it resonated with so many different groups of people, like older Texans or fashion people, or even kids- people we didn't really have a relationship to before.

If you could put your songs as the soundtrack to any movie or TV show, what would it be? If Larry David made a new series with music, we would want our songs to be in it!

Hear more from PB&J here!