2007_04_arts_pbj.jpgSwedish rockers Peter Bjorn & John have won over the world with their brand of catchy indie pop. Last time they were in town their album wasn't even released yet and they sold out three shows. This time they've got two consecutive shows at Webster Hall (May 1st and 2nd)...and hopefully you got your tickets, as they are both (suprise, surprise) sold out already. This week Peter took some time to answer some questions for us...

Last time you were in New York you played three sold out shows in very different venues (Union Hall, Mercury Lounge, Bowery Ballroom), which did you enjoy the most?
The Bowery Ballroom one, musically I think that was best.

In the song "Young Folks" the main melodic figure, which recurs in the whistling section and each verse, is identical to what's known as the "Asian riff"...based on the pentatonic scale (you know, the opening to the Vapors song "Turning Japanese"), was this done on purpose?
I think it sort of was, anyway we were aware of it. The weird thing almost no-one has picked up on it. You are one of the very few. Hats off ;)

What current bands are you listening to right now?
Most recently Beach House, Grizzly Bear, Fujiya & Miyagi, Shins, Feist, Albert Hammond Jr., Beyoncé and a lot of swedes like Laakso, The Concretes, Nicolai Dunger and Shout Out Louds who have new albums out here. But mostly I've been listening to old stuff like Bill Withers, Jaques Brel, Leo Ferre, Milton Nascimento, Leonard Cohen, Karen Dalton, Pentangle, John Cale, A-Ha, Fleetwood Mac, OMD, Fairport Convention and David Byrne's Luaaka Bop series of world psychedelic classics.

Who would be in your ultimate music supergroup, your all-star Olympic team
of rock?

David Byrne maybe... Brian Eno, John Cale, the bassist and drummer from Costello's Attractions, Elvis Presley, Smokey Robinson, John Lennon, Bob Dylan, Richard Thompson, Jari Happalainen, Yo La Tengo....ah no wait. This is stupid. Too white, male and old. Makes me look boring. Which I might be. Bjorn and John and me. That'll do!

What came first, the music or the misery?
Music. Then misery came shortly afterwards and the lyrics got better.

Some New York questions...

What's your favorite restaurant here? What's the best dish?
Haven't been there and eaten it yet I'm afraid. I'm looking forward to it. But I did like the Katz's sandwiches.

Where's your favorite place in the city? Why?
Other Music. It's small enough and have a great selection of different stuff. And I still like Greenwich Village 'cause I'm a nostalgic for things I haven't lived and like to imagine I'm an old folkie.

What New Yorker do you most admire? Why?
Paul Auster is a great writer who makes you feel a part of the city. Also Lou Reed, Paul Simon and Woody Allen 'cause they in different ways represents and presented the dream of the city for me.

What do you love most about the city? Why?
Selling out shows without an album out!

What do you hate most about the city? Why?
You can't hate NY, come on! I'm sure I would have plenty to complain about if I lived there, but as a sometime-visitor and tourist..well, hotels are too expensive.

If you had one day left to live, and you were in NYC, what would you do?
I would walk and walk and walk. I like to walk.