Infectious beats, a redefinition of dance music and melodies that swiftly traverse any borders. That is how Galantis entered the music scene, taking over international dancefloors one smash hit at a time. With a sound engineered through the extensive experience of both halves (Christian Karlsson (Miike Snow) and Linus Eklöw (Style of Eye) the duo have crafted an unmistakable style, a playful soundtrack to nightlife all over the world. Ahead of tonight’s London show, we met with the Swedish powerhouse to dissect the ball of energy that is Galantis. Karlsson and Eklöw joined us to look at the industry from both sides now, talking inspiration, success, the legacy of dance music as a safe space and why they’re the best Swedish thing since IKEA.
How easy is it to separate that ‘Miike Snow’ and ‘Style of Eye’ headspace from the ‘Galantis’ headspace?
It is natural for us to have more than one vehicle to work on music. For me, for so many years I’ve been writing and producing for other people. It’s actually easier to only have – right now, I’m only doing Galantis and Miike Snow – and it’s definitely easier, more freedom than it was to work with other people.
In an interview with VICE, Christian, you said that “I didn’t know Galantis was going to do what it did,” what was the ‘we’re a band now’ moment for you both as Galantis?
Probably Coachella. First Coachella we did was only a few weeks after we released our first EP. And it was a huge crowd, a full tent, showing up for the show – when we didn’t even know if anyone would show up at all. That’s when we kind of knew that something was real with this project.
As a duo, can you pinpoint your strengths and weaknesses when working together?
We have no weak spots, we’re Swedish.
Alright, that’s how that’s gonna go down.
You know Sweden, IKEA, the best furniture, the best cars, ABBA. I can keep on going.
200 live shows last year – what’s the biggest downfall of extensive touring and how have you overcome that?
It’s basically losing out your life. We have family and of course we want to do more time in the studio – that much studio kind of eliminates that option. You need to have a second at home with the family and stuff. Being on planes every day, going through immigration and security, that can really get to you when it happens that often. Right now we’re on a bus tour which is actually much easier and you get to have more of a regular daily life.
Credit: Henrik Korpi
The diversity in artists you work with individually is pretty incredible (Charli XCX, Madonna, Kylie) – where do your own personal tastes in music lie?
I think it’s all over the place actually. We both tend to go a lot back to listen to late 60s, early 70s, Motown stuff and all that. We’re so into dance music everyday, 24/7, so when we do get a shot to relax away from that world, that nightlife world that we live in, then we’d probably take the opportunity and go down Ella Fitzgerald street.
What has been the biggest shift you’ve witnessed in music since the start of your careers to now?
The internet, that changed a lot. And then part two of that was torrent and streaming of course. That’s like two different worlds, but of course it’s all affecting the industry all the way down to the artist and the songwriter. There’s flipsides to everything, amazing sides and bad sides of everything. We’re focusing of the positives that are happening with technology.
Your album ‘The Aviary’ has been streamed over 1 Billion times though. In light of that, and as industry experts, do you consider the impact of streaming on music the past 5 years a positive or a negative?
It’s been absolutely amazing. It’s such an amazing thing that you can get to know who actually is streaming your music. You can see where, when, who, age, gender, everything. I don’t know how much it actually matters, but it’s incredibly cool to be able to look at it. You can find places you probably wouldn’t have even gone to if you hadn’t realized how much support you have there. And that’s all thanks to streaming!
You’ve been incredibly supportive of marriage equality in the past. Dance music has always been a safe space for the LGBT community in some shape or form – do you feel a responsibility as a dance music act to be as inclusive as possible?
Absolutely. I think every human being should be. It shouldn’t only be for dance music, but I hope dance music does hold that flag really high cause that’s where dance music came from. And it’s a fight that I hope that everyone joins, screaming loud and throwing the flag around. That’s what we are doing.
To catch Galantis tonight at the Roundhouse, or on their subsequent tour dates, visit their website.