When “Animal,” the first breakthrough single for the trio Miike Snow, became a hit in 2009, the combination of Swedish electronic production and songwriting duo Bloodshy & Avant and New York singer-songwriter Andrew Wyatt seemed to be one of a handful of bands at the forefront of a new movement, bringing emotion and humanity back to four-on-the-floor dance music.
Seven years later, and with a third album (titled “iii”) ready for release on March 4, Miike Snow has gained a large number of peers in that genre, acts also combining human and machine. But even as the synth-pop revival has become a major focus of pop music, the trio still has established its own “lane,” its own sound, thanks to the influences of the individual members’ numerous outside projects ranging from bands to, in one case, pocket-sized synthesizers.
amNewYork caught up with Pontus Winnberg, also known as Avant to dance music fans, in advance of the band’s two upcoming NYC dates.
Miike Snow’s sound has this tension between the organic and the synthetic, between the Bloodshy & Avant side and Wyatt’s more acoustic leanings. How thin a tightrope is it to walk between those two aesthetics?
It’s about finding the balance. It’s tricky sometimes; you don’t want those two elements to cancel out each other. You want them to build on each other and elevate each other. It takes a lot of experimenting and workshopping. You have to take it on a really good test spin before you know it works.
In between albums, everyone in the band has kept busy with other projects. How has that other work affected Miike Snow?
I think we’re always learning more and more. Through all of the experience you get, you get better, and you can bring something of more quality to the audience. I’ve been doing my other band, I’ve got this company I’m involved in that does all kinds of electronics with inventors. Every day I wake up, I try to learn something new or improve my skills.
That company [Teenage Engineering] works on all sorts of music projects, including pocket-sized synthesizers. How has collaborating with tech creators influenced you as a musician?
I’ve learned a lot from hanging out with those types of people. And the people who are saving our industry are tech people. That’s the future. The traditional “label,” at some point, is just a middle-man service. We can get so much closer to the listener. We have so much more in common with the tech world, the coding world — those types of nerds, nerds like us! We’re the same type of people.
How do you pronounce the name of your album, “iii”?
It’s up to you, really. It could be “3,” it could be “Third Eye,” it could be “3 i.” The more names, the merrier.
If you go
Miike Snow performs on March 3 at 9 p.m. at (le) Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleecker St., 212-505-3474, sold out. The band also performs March 4 at 8 p.m. at Warsaw, 261 Driggs Ave., Greenpoint, 718-387-0505.