Miike Snow may have fooled you the way they fooled me when I first laid my ears on that catchy electro-pop number “Animal” back in 2009. I was hooked that very first time. The song’s choruses trance my brain the way their mysterious identity seemed to appeal to me and perhaps others too. It was only after non-stop rotation of their eponymous debut album and a chance to see the band live for the first time in 2010 that made me realize this one fact about Miike Snow has been quite misleading on a first impression basis: Miike Snow… is not a person.
Instead, they are three super-talented gentlemen (who are at times) hidden behind the masks; the jackalope identity (read: Miike Snow’s signature logo for both albums is the deer antlers); and of course… the name − Miike Snow – the sole reason why many (including myself) have mistaken Miike Snow for being a Miike Snow. In a 2009 interview with frontman Andrew Wyatt, he explained how a video engineer friend by the name of Mike Snow inspired the band’s name,.“We thought he was a nice guy,” he said, “We wanted to avoid the whole process of coming out with a name.” And so they did, giving the first name homage to Japanese filmmaker Takashi Miike and voila… you got yourself a band’s name (and perhaps avoiding yourself a lawsuit).
Mysterious identity aside, Miike Snow is made up of people whose previous works might not be as mysterious as their name appears to be. Two-thirds of the band are Stockholm-based Chris Karlsson and Pontus Winnberg, whose side project Bloodshy & Avant, is the duo responsible for radio-friendly dance-pop numbers from the likes of Madonna, Britney Spears and Kylie Minogue, just to name a few. Their most notable work is Britney Spears’ intoxicating electro-infused dance number “Toxic." Wyatt on the other hand, is an American songwriter and producer who has worked closely with Mark Ronson and was in New York’s The A.M and Fires of Rome. He also co-wrote Bruno Mars’ #1 Billboard hit single “Grenade.”
Though founded in 2007, it was only after the release of their debut LP, Miike Snow, released on Downtown Records two years later that brought the trio into the limelight. Thanks to their disco-tinged numbers (“Animal,” and “Burial”), piano ballad-infused (“Silvia”) and easy-listening-yet-sensual piano-heavy tracks that made the band’s music highly accessible. The album was released to a mixed-but-mostly acclaimed reviews that led the band on their U.S. and Europe tour; performing at 2010’s edition of Coachella and a number of TV appearances from Jimmy Kimmel Live! to the UK’s Later… with Jools Holland.
The band recently released their sophomore record entitled Happy to You on their own newly-formed label Ingrid (together with Lykke Li and Peter Bjorn and John). A similarly catchy record with added character, the band’s first single “Paddling Out” is a Euro-dance inspired number fit for radio airplay. Happy to You also features fellow Swedes and singer-songwriter Lykke Li on the track “Black Tin Box.”
Miike Snow will begin their U.S. tour this April 10th which will also include two dates at Coachella before making their way to the Europe for a three-month tour. If you’re heading to the festival on either weekend, Miike Snow will be performing on 14th and 21st of April (that is on a Saturday) alongside Radiohead, Bon Iver, St. Vincent, just to name a few. Expect an intricate stage set up, a dance party where you’ll be singing along to their catchy numbers (and do cross your fingers for them to play a number or two from the debut) and oh yes… expect the infamous jackalope fooling you in love with them too.