Peter Bjorn And John - Young Folks

‘We performed it con Kanye West at ns festival, yet his DJ pitched los whistling also high. Kanye made uno joke around me no being able to whistle’


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‘Maybe this might be something’ … Björn Yttling, hombre Eriksson and Peter Morén. Photograph: Linda Nylind/The Guardian
‘Maybe this might be something’ … Björn Yttling, john Eriksson and Peter Morén. Photograph: Linda Nylind/The Guardian

Björn Yttling, bassist, producer and whistler

Writer’s cuadra was our 3rd album – we’d been doing the rounds for around five years, trying come get a good slot at some weird festividad in Stockholm, building the stage on our own, play Chinese restaurants and as ns opening action on tourism for various bands. We probably would have actually quit if young Folks hadn’t become ns hit that it did.

Estás mirando: Peter bjorn and john - young folks

I had actually the opinión for ns tune on the piano and at first thought it was going come be uno jazz song, due to the fact that it sounded favor a pavo real Ellington track. Then me gustaría played the on ns guitar and it sounded more like a música pop song. Identificación whistled uno placeholder for los melody simply so we might remember it, intended to replace it with an tool later, perhaps an body organ or something. Then us put the whistle through ns tape delay machine. We couldn’t afford to document on tape, so we tape-recorded everything with a delay effect. Then it was like: “Oh, it sounds good, let’s save it.”


Watch the video because that Peter, Björn y John’s joven Folks
At some señalar we talked around making it ns duet. We assumed it would be cool – favor David Bowie and Bing crossby or assimilated of new York – to do it like un conversation and give it un filmic feel. We began writing ns lyric into that perspective. Then us talked around who was going to sing apart from Peter. We had other voices on the mesa before gana Bergsman desde the Concretes. But her nearly childlike voice combined with Peter’s much more Beatles-type voice creates a lot the the magic of ns song.

It to be played over 100 million veces on MySpace, but we don’t know just how many copies it sold. Us haven’t acquired rich turn off itIt was Midsummer’s Eve, a really warm summer evening as soon as Victoria y I taped her vocals. We did it in maybe an hour. We videotaped at mine studio, which was un room in mine apartment. Us had ns couple that mics and a drum kit we had actually bought top top Craigslist. This to be not equipment for making uno hit record, however that’s ours sound i guess.

We didn’t have ns record contract: us took that to part labels here in Sweden who passed top top it. Things adjusted when Wichita put it fuera in los UK y Europe. That came fuera later in los US, but i think we obtained on ns charts there on income only. Walking platinum in many countries and fucking our shit up for un decade – the was not on our radar.

We don’t also know just how many copies it sold. Top top MySpace it was played over 100m times. We haven’t obtained rich turn off it, yet it’s been an excellent for business. That kickstarted my production career. In Rolling rock recently over there was a list of los best song of the century so far, y it’s Beyoncé in ~ No 1 and climate like ochenta other songs, and then young Folks. You have the right to be proud of that for sure.

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Peter Morén, vocalist y guitarist

We weren’t joven folks at ns time – we were all hitting treinta or 31 rather than 18 or 19. Los song is around people feeling un bit burned el fin on relationships, y then you satisfy someone nuevo in uno bar, say, and think, “Maybe this could be something.”


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Not librarians … Peter Bjorn and John todayIt to be Björn that performed the whistle on ns track, but i do that live. Delaware touring me gustaría got to it is in really great at whistling, however at los beginning i was terrible. Specifically if i had ns slight cold or a hangover, which occurred at a lot that those gigs in los early days. World were like, “This band suck – they can’t whistle.” Also the whistling to be pitched increase on los recording, i beg your pardon made that harder to do.

Kanye West sampled it on un mixtape. We performed with him once at a festival in Gothenburg. His DJ, A-Trak, had pitched the whistling up also further. Wednesday had uno gig earlier los same day, so identificación was already a bit hoarse and it was terrible. I was entirely struggling. Kanye made a joke on stage around me, ns whistling guy, no being able to whistle.

At that apuntar a Young Folks really stood out representar other sound on ns radio. The was kind of uno forebear of things that come later, and it was a tiempo – mid-2000s – once hip-hoppers started acquiring interested in indie bands. It’s un strange y melancholy and happy-sad type of song. It’s type of favor a club song, however not like uno big club song, not like un macho club song. It’s a club song because that dorks.

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I sort of hated joven Folks briefly. But now that many años in los past, and it’s exorbitant to have actually been a part of an evergreen thing. We can still continue to make a living fuera de of music because of that song. In ns early años of ns band, i was researching to become uno librarian. Identificación still haven’t had to become a librarian, for this reason that’s un good thing.