The basic premise behind the name, “The Dumbing of America” is the continual devolution of intelligent choices in music. The Justin Beiber’s of the world accelerate that slide and we hope that by bringing you great bands, we will slow the process and help to bring good music to the public consciousness. When we hear bands like the Swedish group Television Keeps Us Apart, we wonder: why isn’t this THE buzz band that all the blogs are writing about? Why isn’t Spin Magazine and NME putting them on the cover and having them headline fall tours around the world? Your mission? Listen. Love. Tell a friend.
TDOA: You list yourselves as being from Sweden, but we see lots of references to France. Please explain.
Carl: Yes, both of us are from Sweden and the band has always been based here. Last summer we toured France and I assume the references you’ve seen are a result of that tour. We had a great time in France, went all over the country by train just the two of us. Oh, and also, Axel has an uncle in Toulouse who’s working at Airbus.
TDOA: Are we correct in our assumption that there are only two people in the band? If so, can you tell us who plays what instruments and how you play live?
Carl: That is correct, it’s just the two of us. We have a drum machine, synthesizers and guitars live, we alternate the instruments between the two of us, but Axel is always singing. If it’s possible we also bring friends to join us on stage. The ultimate situation for us would be to have a full band and to leave the drum machine at home. At the moment we can’t afford to bring a full band though.
TDOA: We absolutely love the new album. Please tell us who produced it and about the writing process for the new record? Do you generally start with vocal melodies, guitars…..?
Carl: The writing process for us is very close to the recording process, and it’s all a confusing ride based on intuition. Most of our songs are built on harmonies and melody. Lyrics always come second. But not said that lyrics aren’t important. We just do it that way around.
Since we are only two people and don’t have anywhere to rehearse we always make serious demo- recordings of everything we write and try on different sounds and instruments. When we finally know how we want the song to sound we make a real recording of it. For this album, the songs needed more guitars than before so we decided to ask our friend Johan Callin if he wanted to help us recording them. So we recorded the basic stuff (beats and organs) ourselves and then he helped us with guitar sounds and the recording of the vocals. We felt that we were a perfect match so we decided to let him help us with the mixing and mastering as well.
TDOA: How did you become associated with Lit De Parade and how have they helped you get your music out there?
Alex: TDLit De Parade was started by Carl and a couple of friends. We wanted to offer our music and other art without having ads all over the place. I guess it is the same thing as with the music and the recordings, we are always working with friends. And we are very happy with that situation. All the music at Lit De Parade is available for free download, including our album, ‘A SLIGHT CHANGE OF LIGHT’.
TDOA: Any plans to come to the U.S. now that you’ve signed with Series Two Records?
Alex: We would love to go to the U.S and we have been trying to work something out with Series Two, but it’s an expensive trip and so far we haven’t managed to make it work. We have no agency so we book our shows our selves, and so far we haven’t succeeded in making it happen. I guess the biggest reason for this is we have no money. If someone can help us book a tour it would be greatly appriciated though, just email us at televisionkeepsusapart[at]gmail.com.
TDOA: What music are you listening to these days and what influence does it have on your music?
Carl: I’m listening to the music my friends are doing, most of it you can find at litdeparade.org. I also like some old stuff like The VU, Suicide & Iggy Pop
Axel: I love Handsome furs and Cold Cave. I’ve always been a sucker for dark and melancholic music. I don’t actually know how what we listen to affects us in our songwriting; we just write what feels natural to us. But I definitely think it affects how we choose to produce the songs. You develop a taste for a certain soundscape probably created by a mixture of things you are listening to and things that are already in your head.