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- Posted on Nov 21st 2010 12:00PM by Kenneth Partridge
This isn't the first time the Radio Dept. have flirted with fame. In 2006, the group landed three songs on the soundtrack to Sofia Coppola's 'Marie Antoinette,' spurring hopes of a stateside breakthrough. If 'Clinging to a Scheme' succeeds where the band's previous two albums failed, multi-instrumentalist Martin Carlberg says, timing may be a factor.
"You're always surprised when something you do makes a big impression," Carlberg tells Spinner. "But in a way, I can understand. The sound that we chose to have on this record, I think America had a better understanding of that sound."
Reflecting on the indie trend that has given rise to such groups as the Drums and the Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Carlberg says he's glad US audiences are hot for pop, even if it's "maybe five or six years too late" for his own band.
"I don't know why America is so into pop right now," he says. "Maybe it started with the indie trend in America. It started to soften up. It was quite a lot of rock music [before that]. My sense is that America is very rock, and maybe it's just softened up a bit. I actually don't know why. It's a strange phenomenon. There are so many good bands in America right now. A band like Wild Nothing being big is kind of interesting."
Carlberg and partner Johan Duncansson, the Radio Dept.'s founder and lead singer, have always been fiercely independent, and even though the US market seems primed for takeover, the group isn't thinking much about mainstream crossover success.
"Of course, you have hopes," Carlberg says. "We don't make a lot of money. We're still struggling, and I have a family and two kids, and the only thing I hope is getting enough money to just pay the rent. We don't have a dream of making it big somewhere. We just want to do what we do and be able to do that. You quickly understand you have to sell records to do that. I'm fine with the idea of being bigger. We've been afraid of being too big all our career. I think we had a dream of being quite a small band and being exactly what we wanted to be, and we've done that. We can do that now -- we're not afraid of selling more albums. That's not how you compromise."
"I think we don't want to be a big band," he adds. "It's not interesting to us. We have a dream of being a band that has a certain way of being, even in context of, like, selling albums. We just want to sell 10,000 copies. That's perfect for us. That's the kind of band we want to be. We have those dreams. It's kind of weird. It's fun that way. That's why we do it. We have this crazy idea of being a pop band."