Peter Bjorn and John were on my flight from Austin to Chicago connecting to Stockholm. For a band that played seven or eight shows, filmed a TV spot and did a bunch of interviews over the last few days, they look surprisingly refreshed. I chatted with Peter for a bit, who told me they're coming back to the US for a tour in May, which will include a stop at Coachella and also at Chicago's Empty Bottle. He also confirmed they're playing Lollapalooza.
Peter said they were really happy to play the amount of shows they did because it helps keep the buzz going and helps prime them for the forthcoming full tour. They're definitely riding a wave, now that Writer's Block – their third release – is finally getting noticed. He complained that they had trouble with their old label, which really only distributed their albums in Sweden and didn't give them enough attention, because when I asked about why he thought this one was finally hitting he said "better distribution – and a hit single doesn't hurt either!"
The guys are excited to get back home to see their girlfriends but that this trip was a huge success. Peter was a little disappointed he didn't get to see any bands but then again, he said, "we're here to work." I encouraged him to try and book a couple of days for Lollapalooza so they can enjoy Chicago and see a bunch of music since they missed it all in Austin. Of all the shows they played, he said his favorites were the Rhapsody party at Mohawk (the set I caught) and also the show at La Zona Rosa, because it was "more of a proper show" – longer, great energy.
I actually walked onto the plane with Peter who was really looking forward to a little sleep after the whirlwind three days in Austin. We talked about more music and he again said he was disappointed that he didn't get to really see much music – but he did get to see Pete Townshend who played a song with his girlfriend, Rachel Fuller, during the DirecTV taping when PB&J did their set. He also said it was a thrill to see Robyn Hitchcock (who was joined by REM's Peter Buck) at the Mohawk show before PB&J's set and excited that Brazilian legend Gilberto Gil was around town, too. Running into them was a nice way to cap off my sxsw experience and hopefully I'll be doing a proper interview with Peter (or one of the other guys) before they return to the US in May.
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