Coachella 2016: Icona Pop On Their Louis The Child Collab & New Album
2016 was the year of the surprise special guest at Coachella. Guns N’ Roses brought out Angus Young, Calvin Harris shared the stage with Rihanna and Kanye West crashed two sets on Weekend 1. The trend also spread to the dance tents with Icona Pop making a surprise cameo during Louis The Child’s ferocious set. They joined the rising Chicago duo to perform their new collaboration, which is schedule to arrive before summer.
I caught up with the Swedish duo after their performance and asked about their favorite Coachella memories. (This is their third time at the festival). Aino and Caroline also revealed that they are hard at work on their new LP, which may or may not contain current single “Someone Who Can Dance.” Icona Pop is experimenting with their sound, so expected the unexpected. Find out more in our Q&A below.
How did you end up at Coachella this year?
Aino: We’ve been writing on our album, it’s coming out early next year, and we met the guys in the studio. They showed us a track that we fell in love with. We started to write over the track and we felt directly like, “We need to get this song out because it’s a summer song.” Now Louis the Child, the guys, are really good friends of ours and we’re doing more stuff with them as well. It’s a fun combo because we are so different, but so alike.
Caroline: It’s fun that we’re two best friends and they’re two best friends.
Aino: For us, we were like, “Yeah, let’s do Coachella.” First it was Ultra, then Coachella.
How does Coachella compare to the other festivals you’ve performed at?
Aino: Coachella is, of course sunny, sandstorms, palm trees. We’re used to rain.
Caroline: Everything is picture perfect. It’s beautiful.
Aino: We’re used to Swedish festivals. They are amazing, but it’s a little bit more rainy and colder but still the vibe is always the same at festivals, which keeps us always laughing.
Do you have a preferred festival?
Caroline: We have a few back home where it represents youth for us, just us being with our friends listening to the music that we love but I must say Coachella is… we love being here. We also have a few good ones in Germany.
How many times have you been to Coachella?
Caroline: We’ve been here three times I think. Three times. The first was in 2012. We’ve been here a few times.
What’s your favorite Coachella memory?
Caroline: It must have been the first year that we were here. We didn’t play at the festival but we were at the festival.
Aino: Yeah, together with Milk Studios.
Caroline: They brought us here and we played with them. They took us under their wings. We had an amazing time. We watched Radiohead. It was great. And the Tupac hologram.
Aino: It’s so trippy when you come here and you go into the desert and you go to festival. For a Swedish person you’re like, “Where am I? Am I on Mars?” Then it just opens up and you have this beautiful experience.
Who are you excited to see at the festival?
Caroline: Definitely LCD Soundsystem. M83. Grimes. Ice Cube. Flume. So many good ones.
Aino: And Miike Snow, of course. They are friends of ours as well.
Is “Someone Who Can Dance” from the new album?
Caroline: That was a song that just happened. All of the songs just happen. Now we’re much longer into the process of writing our album. It might end up on the album, it might not. It’s a song that we just felt like, “We want to do something fun right now.”
Aino: The album is going to be more raw, in a sense, you hear that on “Someone Who Can Dance.” More industrial, but still very poppy because we love pop and that’s what we are. For the first time we’ve had time to spend some time in the studio because otherwise we’re always on the road. Now we’re like, “What is Icona Pop in 2016?”, which is an amazing feeling.
I liked the performance you did with Zara Larsson.
Caroline: Oh thank you, we love her. Our little Zara.
Is there a Swedish pop community in America?
Caroline: We’re very fortunate to be good friends so we can support each other as well. Tove Lo, Zara, Elliphant.
Aino: Also Alicia Vikander, we used to live with her. She’s a really close friend.
Caroline: We were like, “Sweden is taking over!”
Aino: She won an Oscar and we were like proud mamas back home.
She lived with you back in Sweden?
Aino: She lived with us back in London.
Why has it taken so long for the new album to come?
Caroline: We’ve been touring so much. It’s hard to say “no” to stuff that is fun. We’ve been working, working, working and now we actually said, “We’re going to say ‘no’ to everything and just go into the studio,” because it’s impossible to make an album like we want to make an album and do all those things at the same time. That’s what we’re doing right now.
Aino: Yeah, definitely. I think it is very important as well because we were touring constantly. You have to stop and feel like, “What do we want to do?” Not what do the people, of course what do the people want, but we have think about what we want.
Caroline: We’ve been through a lot. Good, amazing stuff and tougher stuff and now we want to dig into it and express ourselves. It’s important. It’s very important.
There have been a couple of songs here and there.
Caroline: Some songs we released for our fans as well. It’s not a big plan behind it. It’s just a song that we think it’s a good song and we think our fans deserve a new song.
Aino: We have the best fans in the world. They are always supporting us even though we haven’t released anything.
Is the Emergency EP representative of your new sound?
Caroline: It’s a little hard to say when you’re in the middle of the album.
Aino: There are some really great songs but I would say no. Like that’s not a typical Icona Pop song that we did together with Erik Hassle and Wallpaper. I think that was a really fun time.
You mentioned Louis The Child, who else have you been in the studio with?
Aino: Well, Mr. Rogers.
Caroline: We love Mr. Rogers. We’ve been in the studio with Tove Lo.
Aino: And Charli XCX as well. An “I Love It” reunion. Noonie Bao as well.
Speaking of Charli, do you ever get sick of performing “I Love It”?
Caroline: We’ve been talking about that, we don’t. I think it’s because when we play it, people go bananas. We don’t’ get tired of it. I think it’s because we share that feeling with the audience. If the audience would be tired of it we would be tired of it.
Aino: It’s so short as well. I feel like we never listen to it except when we play live so for us like, “Oh, hell yeah.”
You’ve been on tour with One Direction, Miley Cyrus and Katy Perry. What was your favorite?
Caroline: It’s so hard to say because they’re all very different. You learn different stuff on different tours. The Miley tour was amazing.
Aino: The Miley tour was crazy.
Caroline: That was such a fun thing to be a part of.
Aino: She’s such a nice girl as well.
Caroline: The boys were great. The Katy Perry tour was fun but it was very short, so it feels like we were not on the road unlike the Miley tour.