Members of the Swedish group the Cardigans recently chatted on sonicnet.com about their new album, Gran Turismo. Here are a few excerpts:
Q: A lot of commentary has been made about how much darker this album is than your previous one. Do you agree with that assessment?
A: I can definitely see what people mean by it. Yes, it is obviously, definitely more serious.
Q: You got a lot of attention for Love Fool last year. How did that change things for you?
A: Not much at all, except that we had to work much more. We consider what happened to Love Fool a separate career. We had to work a bit more, and then we took a long break to make this album, but that seems separate to us. We got a good paycheck!
Q: Were you surprised by how well that song did, and can you explain what you mean by "a separate career"?
A: We weren't surprised because it was released long before it was included in Romeo and Juliet, and in that level it took off and went to a bizarre level then. A lot of people got to know us for only one song, when we were working for the ones that bought all our albums. That's what I mean by a separate career.
Q: Why do you think the music and lyrics took such a dark turn this time? Coming off the biggest success of your career, you'd think things would be coming up roses.
A: Weird fact is that success of this kind and publicity don't always make you a happier person. The music we make -- we're not unhappy people, but I think most artists are focusing on things in life that are not satisfactory and are irking you. I think we would rather consider this album more serious. We did an album that we didn't consider what people want to hear. Art will always go on about the dark things that are going on around people. It feels more now like we are doing what we set out to do.
Q: What do you hope people get from listening to your records, and in particular, from this record?
A: We never really tried to come across with any certain message. I hope people are really touched by it and enjoy it. And whoever they are can understand what we're talking about.
Q: Do you think that hearing a song can change someone's life?
A: I think that if you can help someone change their own, that's a better thing to do. Yes, I think so, music has a very big potential to change people's outlooks. That's one of its magic features.
Q: What was being part of Lilith Fair like?
A: It was kind of a Sunday feeling to it. There were always picnics and families in the grass. We were there playing, and it was all kind of lazy feeling. It was nice.
Q: Do you believe in having smaller, unknown bands open for you, or do you want more established names?
A: We are absolutely for small bands because it's important if we can make a crowd listen to someone and discover something new.
Q: How do you see your music continuing to evolve?
A: I know we haven't planned for the next record. We are focusing on promotion and touring. I think we are wise to do this thing now. And when the time comes for the next record ... we do know that it will be good and we'll figure it out in the future. It could be totally acoustic, or even more electronic, who knows? We have always developed a lot, so it won't sound like this one.