In Talks With : Little Gang.
Jacob Snavely is the American born, Stockholm based master mind behind the fantastic musical collective that is Little Gang. A collective featuring members from other bands such as The Shout Out Louds, Ane Brun and Dag för Dag. With the fast approaching release of their new record titled ‘Half Of Everything’ set for early June, we took the chance to have a chat with Jacob to find out about the intriguing minds that are Little Gang.
Hey how’s it going today? What are your plans?
Just fine. Saw the Easter bunny this year, so that was pretty exciting.
Can you tell us a little bit about the members that make up the Little Gang collective?
Well, the core is comprised of myself (Jacob Snavely), Erik Nilsson, and Elias Krantz. Rebekka Karijord plays with us when it works out, and Simon Stålhamre from Hhappiness and Small Feet now looks to be a more permanent member. Carl (from Shout Out Louds) was a big part of the recordings and early jam sessions. Then a lot of friends, like Ane Brun, Tobias Fröberg, and Johannes Berglund love the idea of the collective and want to hop in when they can. Let’s see how things develop.
Tell us about the music scene in Stockholm?
Well, the Stockholm scene can seem to be a bit of a Pop workshop. At least a lot of the bands people hear about are the export pop bands that make it abroad, and they are not really my cup of tea. But recently there seem to be some more interesting things coming about, a small Swedish Prog revival, and some bands doing non traditional stuff in non traditional venues. We have a little label called Control Freak Kitten Records, and have 4 or 5 bands with members playing with each other now, and it feels really nice. We are all feeding off the different energy one another brings to the table, and creating a collective momentum.
We heard your song ‘By The Way’ used on a beautifully shot skate video on English TV recently, the song worked so well alongside the black and white skating, how did that originally come about?
A friend of mine at Vice Magazine in the UK heard our recordings and sent them along to a colleague who was creating the video. He fell in love with ‘By The Way’ and asked if he could use it in the segment. The two work together really well. We are super pleased to be a part of it.
What do the different members of Little Gang bring to the project in terms of various musical preferences, interests and inspirations?
It is a pretty eclectic group of characters, and took some driving to keep it all together. Especially as ideas could differ, and there is an uncompromising nature to many musicians in the project that I really like and admire. I brought in words and song ideas. Rebekka came with a wonderful sense of melody and an old song idea (Ah haa ha), as well as urging us to hold back a bit. I really like the concept of almost reaching a crescendo and then tailing away. She also did a lot of the production on the record. Erik (the drummer) has so much damn energy and is classically trained with punk sensibilities. We sort of wanted him to drive as much as he could. Carl brought melody, and Elias brings percussive counter melody, pushing and highlighting a mood once it rears it’s head.
When it comes to writing new music where do you begin, and how do you then develop on to a finished song?
Well, for now, the song writing has started with me. I have a melody or lyrical idea I start out and then present it to someone else in the group. For the record, Rebekka and I wrote a couple of songs together. Carl and I had a couple of ideas together, and the rest were things I had done on my own. So, essentially, we took in some really rough ideas into the studio.
How did Little Gang form?
I had been writing some songs on my own for a while, in between touring with my other band Dag för Dag. I am very impatient and have a huge desire to make music. So I said that I was going to record an album in 2011, and we did.
What have been some of the most memorable moments of your journey so far?
Making the crab video with Erik Nilsson out at our little farm south of Stockholm. Erik did the entire video with a broken rib.
What’s 2012 got in store for you guys?
Releasing our record ‘Half of Everything’ on June 4th in the UK and Europe. Hopefully some touring around it, in the early autumn. I would like things to grow organically, it seems to be the best way. A lot of playing with a couple of different bands, and hopefully a good chunk with Little Gang. Elias and I have been writing new songs together, and have 6 so far. So more writing and recording end of the year.