They Worshipped Cats


Les Big Byrd unleash their debut full-length release, They Worshipped Cats, on Anton Newcombe's A Recordings. When Anton recently visited Stockholm with his band The Brian Jonestown Massacre, he ran into the guys from Les Big Byrd at a local record shop, and they started talking about music. Anton invited the band down to his studio in Berlin to record and jam for a few days and it was there that a big part of They Worshipped Cats was conceived and recorded. The album is filled with beautifully melancholic melodies, poems of time-space continuum read through vocoders, cosmic clouds of filtered string machines, motorik Krautrock drums, and 12-string. Les Big Byrd was formed in Stockholm by Joakim Åhlund and Frans Johansson a couple of years ago. Joakim was brought up in the late '70s by an immigrant mom in Bagarmossen, a Stockholm suburb where kids sniffed glue in the concrete basements, and the local smalltime gangsters did drive-by's long before Sweden even knew what the phrase meant. At the same time, Frans grew up in the very north of Sweden in a small town with 9 months of winter and darkness every year. They each eventually joined different rock bands that brought them out of Sweden and into a different world, which took them across Japan, England, Europe and America. Frans' band Fireside got signed by Rick Rubin to his label Def American and Jocke had a taste of international success with '60s-influenced garage-pop outfit Caesars, as well as his other, more electronically-flavored project, Teddybears. Years later, Frans and Jocke met up again after both Caesars and Fireside had crashed and burned due to drug-fueled intrigues, road-weariness, bad management or complete lack thereof. They decided that they still -- in spite of everything -- had their love for music intact, and the dream in common to get the perfect band together and give it one more shot. They recruited Jocke's former bandmate, drummer Nino Keller and keyboardist Konie and started jamming and rehearsing. Joakim had been running a recording studio in Stockholm, writing and producing for Swedish and international artists, including Robyn and Håkan Hellström, and had also directed music videos for prominent Swedish exports such as Bob Hund, Refused, Broder Daniel and The International Noise Conspiracy. Keyboardist Konie also runs a studio in Stockholm, where he's been recording a number of film scores as well as many of Sweden's most interesting black metal acts.