by Zolton in New Music on Monday 14 April 2008

Peter Morén, one third of the Swedish group — Peter, Bjorn and John — that gave us some of 2006’s catchiest moments with their collection of eminently whistlable tunes, has a wonderful debut solo album out called The Last Tycoon.We asked him about his knack for writing music that plays on constant rotation in the inner-ear iPod’s of every indie-rock fan: Where does a song usually start for you: the words, the melody or the chord progression? ‘It used to always be a riff, chords or a melody. But now, just as often, it can be the words. So it’s really different from time to time. It might start with something I read or see, and then your mind start to wander in different directions’. You’ve always had a close association with art and illustration. Who are some of your favourite artists and do you draw or paint yourself? ‘I don’t really draw, but I like making small cartoon drawings. I used to do that a lot as a kid, but my style hasn’t really changed at all since that. My girlfriend is a great amateur painter and made the artwork for my album. I do like going to art museums, especially on tours, it makes you feel normal and it’s also very inspirational. As a kid I loved the French impressionists and related artists like Tolouse-Lautrec and Van Gogh. After that, I went in to more and more modern stuff, as you usually do I guess. But the funny thing is that recently I’ve been enjoying older and older stuff, like the old Flemish masters and the romantic painters. I see metaphors and codes I didn’t get as a kid and it’s also funny to see how the idealistic view of beauty has changed radically between different eras. They all wanted to paint realistically, but it all ended up looking very different’.
peter moren