After a taste of indie pop stardom in Those Dancing Days, Cissi Efraimsson and Lisa Pyk Wirström have started something completely new and totally wild with their duo Vulkano. This week will see the release of their debut album Live Wild, Die Free, and we’ve met them to talk about music and madness.

The sound of Vulkano is pretty far from your old band. What were you aiming for when you wrote the new record?
– The album was made with the intention of capturing a live feeling, says Cissi. We feel like that’s when the primal forces inside you can be free, it’s a very direct way of recording and we made it in just three days so we could catch that energy.

That sounds like an intense process, did you enjoy making it?
– Yes!

– It felt like we went into a bubble, says Lisa. We even built a little altar in the middle of the room with bones and shells and candles from Mexico on it.

– We danced like trolls to get into the vibe, says Cissi. We have this madness inside us that only comes out when we play together, and I think that madness came to life.

– And it was full moon as well, says Lisa. And since we’re into nature and the supernatural we hope it adds something magical to the record.

We have this madness inside us that only comes out when we play together

Your sound is quite dark, and your recent single Vision Tricks even has a hint of Joy Division in the bass line. Is it your interest in the supernatural that has made your sound more menacing?
– We’re definitely going in a darker direction, but it feels like that was natural, Lisa says. We wrote a lot of the songs in the winter which somehow got into the music. Then our friend and former band member Rebecka Rolfart put the bass line on later, which changed the sound again.

– Lyrically we’re trying to put our finger on what’s going on inside the mind, says Cissi. So some of the songs are darker, but some are really fun. We jam for hours, so a song can start one way and then change over time. I can write about my fantasies, but then sing in a strange style just to amuse Lisa and Rebecka, she laughs. That’s how the song Jungle came about.

– It’s very serious, but also a little bit fun, just like everything we do, says Lisa.

Vulkano. Photo by Mathilda Österlund.
Vulkano. Photo by Mathilda Österlund.

Will we get to see that kind of thing on stage?
– Our live shows are filled with very pure energy. We have a united inner force, says Cissi with a smile.

– The space between us and the audience should be as close as possible, the energy flow should connect us like a unit, says Lisa.

Cissi calls their style spiritual punk ‘n’ art.

– Lisa is a really good painter and we’re constantly trying to find new ways to express ourselves, she says.

– We’re very interested in art and film so we’re looking for new ways to present our music, for example we’re working on a film together with the director Alexandra Dahlström. It’s a story about us as a band, but it’s us in another dimension, like a volcano world. We’re making it out in the forest. It’s quite psychedelic, crazy and colourful. We want to give our music a face.

You’ve talked about your music being a reaction to commercial pop. Do you feel like Swedish pop is very commercial?
– I feel like there’s a depth to Swedish music, so even when it’s catchy and popular, there’s still a lot of soul, says Cissi.

– I think when we started Vulkano we really wanted to take a step away from all the rules. It’s more about saying no to rules than saying no to the commercial scene. We just wanted to be totally free in our writing. We want it to be a free expression.

– Otherwise you’ll never evolve, says Lisa with a smile.

Vulkano. Photo by Mathilda Österlund.
Vulkano. Photo by Mathilda Österlund.

So what’s the next step in the evolution of Vulkano?
– Our album Live Wild, Die Free comes out on September 18, we’re playing a few live shows, and later on we’ll be collaborating with our friends The Haggish Moue on some music and a tour. We hope people will want to join in with what we do.

Vulkano’s debut album Live Wild, Die Free will be out on September 18. Until then you can listen to their single Vision Tricks here.

Photos by Mathilda Österlund