Friday, February 11, 2005

Mando Diao vs. The Beatles

So the French Kick's interview got moved to Thursday, right before they take the stage at Bowery Ballroom. Fine with me! I get to watch their sound check and then go out to dinner with them. Dinner with The French Kicks? I have to pinch myself because this is just ridiculous. I started this little thing with seriously no goal in mind. By the second interview I went to coffee with Ryan Miller of Guster. That was my dream. Since then I've chatted it up with Nellie McKay, stood backstage at this year's Warped Tour, and asked Jimmy Tamberello of The Postal Service whether he likes to lick envelopes. And now dinner with the French Kicks. Wow.

So this morning I had the day off from my "day job" (Boss is looking at wedding dresses; I needed rest). I woke up at 8 am. So much for sleeping in. Oh well, gave me time to prepare for my interview with Samuel of the Swedish band, Mando Diao pronounced "moooono deeow" (i swear, i asked).

So I was sent Mando Diao's second album, Hurricane Bar in December and instantly was a fan. I popped the CD in and begin reading their press packet. I got to a point in their bio where the lead singer, Gustaf claims they are better than The Beatles. What? Are these guys kidding. I almost wanted to press stop, but as I reached my hand over the mouse, I stopped and listened. Don't worry, I honestly don't think they are better than the Beatles, that's not where I'm going with this. But they had something, and I just couldn't put it away. For weeks I couldn't stop listening. I was invited to a VIP acoustic performance of two of the guys at Snitch in January. Now I am a sucker for acoustic performances, especially live. If they could do it well, they could do it acoustic, I always say. And behind the perfection of Swedish boys with guitars, they played flawlessly. They had passion, and energy and although Liz kept chatting away in my ear, I was hooked.

This morning I chatted with Samuel, Mando Diao's drummer. Although there was a lot of "sorry, can you say that again" (we had a hard time understanding each other) I put him to the test. I asked him straight out if he thought they were better than the Beatles. This is what he said:
Well I know that's what Gustaf has said and yeah I do think so as well. On their albums they always have one or two crappy songs, ours our good from start to finish. No weak point. We are a young band and we're available now. You can’t see The Beatles play anymore. A 16 year old kid today doesn’t know about them, they can discover Mando Diao.

He also mentioned that they were all huge fans of The Beatles growing up and that's what brought the band together. Okay, Samuel, I will have to agree to disagree, but who knows. These guys are 25 years old, they've got a lot of time to do what they want to do. I felt at first a little turned off that these guys were so cocky, but I guess that's what they have to do. If they believe in their music, they'll get far.

I asked him what he wanted out of all of this, and to no surprise, Mando Diao has big goals:
Our goal is to be the biggest band in the world, that’s always our goal. We’re going to continue working towards that as long as it's probable and we have the same energy and fire. And when we feel we can’t give anymore, we’ll quit and say we gave it a good try.

Fair enough. Check out the full interview with Samuel of Mando Diao in the next issue of Underrated Magazine, out March 10.

Listen: Got Knows - Mando Diao. (right click and save as) You be the judge.

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