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In the Studio: Peter Bjorn and John

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Pbj_l

Pbj_l Swedish trio Peter Bjorn and John whistled their way to indie rock stardom when the quirky single “Young Folks,” off their 2006 album Writer’s Block, became an international hit. Last week, the band returned to the studio to start work on their next album — only this time, they chose a location as far from their native Stockholm as possible: Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley. “It’s a new year and a new environment,” says bassist Bjorn Yttling. “Plus, we don’t get calls from Sweden because of the nine-hour time difference.” The disconnect, the guys say, has altered their sound and how they work together. “We’re using more synths than [we did on] the last record,” explains drummer John Eriksson. “The feeling is a little ’80s.” Adds Bjorn: “We’re playing around with exchanging instruments, too.” In three days, during which guitarist Peter Moren also squeezed in a Hotel Café solo show (his hangover precluded participation in this interview), the guys had already arranged nine songs, tinkering with melodies that, they say, could pass for the theme to CSI: Miami. But there’s still a ways to go and plenty of time for mutation. “We don’t want it out before next year,” says Bjorn. Considering the success of their last effort, when the album is ready to street, the three Swedes have a lot of corporate backers to please. “We were on V2 until Universal bought it, now we’re on Universal and Almost Gold/Sony/Columbia and EMI Publishing,” Bjorn elaborates. “The only company we’re missing is Ikea.”