Brothers Joel and Erik Dunkels of Caotico began making music a long ago, and their sound has changed a lot throughout the years. In Stockholm club Kåken we talked about the love of music that makes you write a new song every day for 40 years, studying while waiting for the big breakthrough and becoming deaf.
Tell me about you musical background?
— We played in a punk band, or maybe power pop, that Joel started. Then I joined that band, says Erik.
— We released an album and toured a lot, I think our last show was in 2010. That band existed for about seven years. In 2009 we toured so much, we got really good at packing the backline in the truck and drinking a lot of beer, Joel continues.
And now it’s just the two of you?
— Me and Erik started Caotico in 2010 as a new thing. We we wanted to release a new song and asked our friend Alex to help and produce our songs, we wanted fresh eyes to look at it. Then he wanted to join the band, which wasn’t the plan. He had never been in a band, and me and Erik were such band people. Then he went to Canada and meanwhile our manager Magnus sent our tape around and basically all of the record labels said yes. When Alex came back we just had to sign with one. Then Alex left the band and it was just the two of us again. This happens a lot to us? Joel says laughing.
I think in comparison to our last record it’s less flamboyant and ornate
How is your new sound?
— Better, Erik says with a smile. A bit dirtier maybe, heavier. I think in comparison to our last record it’s less flamboyant and ornate. It’s not as ”narrow” as our last one.
— It’s been two years since we released our last album and in that time we’ve evolved as song writers. I think it has more spine now, Joel says. We came to a point where we felt; this is us, this is what we do. Pop is made for other people to listen to, but we decided to stop discussing small details with eachother. After doing that it became easier.
Can you compare your music to anything?
— It’s pop music; it’s all stolen, Erik says laughing. No, but of course it’s unique because it’s us.
— Even if we would try to copy somebody else, we couldn’t, we’re not good enough! Joel says. Of course we could make a list of people we’re inspired by. We haven’t been smart enough set our references though. In a way I think that’s a good thing though.
— We have pretty seperate influences. Sometimes we are compatible in that, but mostly not.
— Erik usually likes older music than me.
— With older I mean music from 2012, Joel says laughing. I think Erik’s way of listening to music is more thoughtful. I’m more of a kick seeker.
— I think that’s the only way of explaining why he’s listening to the same music a thousand times. When Erik was a kid he saw Ivanhoe thirty times. We complement each other
How did you choose the band name Caotico?
— Caotico is the name of a character in a novel by Swedish author Sture Dahlström. Band names aren’t good until you put a meaning to them. We just want to acknowledge this great author, Joel says.
— If you google ”Caotico” you get a lot of search results for Portugese traffic reports, Erik says with a laugh.
You’re releasing an EP this coming autumn. What have you done so far escept for that?
— We’ve made remixes for Foster the people and Rebecca & Fiona. Rebecca and Fiona always wants us to sing. This last one we did was for their song Holler.
What are you plans for the future?
— We just plan one semester at a time, Erik says.
Writing music and performing it in front of people who like it… I can’t imagine getting tired of that
You think one semester at a time?
— Yes, I study meanwhile, and I think: Can we live off our music now? No not yet, so I apply for one more semester. I am studying to become an architect now.
Do you think you’ll ever get tired of making music?
— The only thing I can imagine getting tired of is the industry, Joel says. But writing music and performing it in front of people who like it… I can’t imagine getting tired of that.
— Our dad plays in a band, where the singer of the band still writes a new song every day, says Erik.
— When you know you can do something good, it’s hard to not write music anymore, Joel says. Maybe if we became stone deaf!
— I think you can hide it for a long time though, being deaf. You can still feel the bass line, Erik says.