INTERVIEW: Galantis talk Pharmacy, song writing, and reveal their latest collab with Kaskade

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In their artist trailer at Nocturnal Wonderland, I made myself a stiff CV and chatted with Christian and Linus aka Galantis. The Swedish duo have been touring around the world performing the incredible records they’ve produced over the years. Newsflash, this isn’t their first rodeo. Christian is apart of the group Miike Snow, I know you remember that hit track back in 2009 titled “Animal”… Linus has had a separate project going on dubbed Style Of Eye- he has heaps of amazing records coming from that alter ego. Each project of theirs is independent of each other but when these two lads come together as Galantis– it’s straight up wizardry. They have an exceptional supply of energy- jumping off stages and playing multiple festivals in one single weekend, it’s a solid fact that these #seafox commanders know how to put on a damn good show.

Where were you guys before this?

El Paso, Texas.

How was that?

It was really good and then we had Ezoo this past Friday. Our show in Tokyo was pretty epic. But we really have to give it to the Scandinavian countries- they took us by surprise. Finland, Norway, and Sweden were unbelievable.

Sweden, back to the homeland.

Yeah but it’s kinda hard, we always think they’re not gonna like it. We did our first show in Sweden a couple of weeks ago. It was good!

What was the dance scene like growing up in Sweden?

L: There was barely any actually.

C: We never really had a good club scene.

L: So we had to be in the studio and visualize our songs being played in Ibiza so we could go there and hang out. That’s the type of vibe I grew up with. You had to go to London, it’s only a 2.5 hour flight. Swedish dance music is very song and melody driven- it’s melodic, a lot of it but not all of it.

So i’ve heard the European crowd is a bit harder to please than the American crowd- they don’t just go wild for you right away- is that true?

Some countries- definitely, but you can’t say all of Europe. It’s very different from country to country.

How do you know how to play in each country?

L: I think the years from touring, you collect a lot of info.

C: We have so much music now, we don’t really have an option- we play 5% that isn’t our songs.

For sure, we want to hear your music! Your new album, Pharmacy, has been doing really well. What’s your favorite track on the album?

L: It changes all the time.

C: Right now it’s cool to play “Peanut Butter Jelly” because people know it and we played it when people didn’t know it- there’s a huge difference.

Where did this track come from? I need some background info.

C: It started in my head, I wrote it like ten years ago. It was a lyrical idea I had for a long time but I never was able to put it into a song until of course it was our own band. Then you can do whatever you want.

L: The missing piece of the puzzle was the Bettye Swann sample that came later in the process. The whole drop is a Bettye Swann sample that we cut up, pasted, and messed around with. We are huge fans of her. The meeting of the vocal and that sample created that whole vibe.

It’s a great track, it has like 7 million plays on Soundcloud…

L: And Pharmacy has 300 million streams since it was released.

What about the track Firebird? What went into creating that one?

C: That song was written kinda late in the process of Pharmacy. It’s kinda a wild card when people are into that song but it’s cool! I didn’t think it was going to be one of the favorites.

You guys did a Q & A on your Instagram not too long along, a common question asked if you have the same vocalist on your tracks?

L: Oh no, there’s many. We spend a lot of time to really modify. “Runaway” is three different people on one song.

How do you find vocalists?

C: We don’t really look for them- we’ll make a song and then see if we need to add anything. You can create a vocal today from whatever- like we put in our own vocals. I sing on PBJ. We like to be really creative with the vocals. The production of it, mixing female and male. Cathy Dennis is a really good writer, she’s singing the verses on “Runaway” and she’s singing on “Louder, Harder, Better” i’ve worked with her for 15 years.

What’s the meaning behind “Louder, Harder, Better”?

C: I think that’s up for interpretation- like all our songs. People are doing a great job of finding their own messages in our music. I don’t want to tell them what they should hear. Like if you buy a painting, do you want the artist to tell you what it is or do you want to see it as you see it?

L: I think that’s how you get to relate to songs.

Okay last question. Actually, how about you guys ask me a question.

L: Would you rather…. Do you like our tour manager?

James, yeah he’s a cool guy!

He’s our favorite. We’ve been through so many TM’s in a short time and we finally found someone who feels like part of the family.

Amazing. Okay that wasn’t really my last question. What’s up next for you guys- touring, new album?

C: Both, we work on music every single day. If we’re on tour and we have two days off, we’re in the studio.

L: Next up is “Mercy” our collab with Kaskade!

OHH. YASS.

Interview by Ashley Zucker for EDMNYC. 

Photo by Henrik Korpi.

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Ashley Zucker

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