Les Big Byrd was formed in Stockholm, Sweden a few years ago by Joakim Ahlund and Frans Johansson. Ahlund was raised by an immigrant mother in Bagarmossen, a rough and tumble suburb of Stockholm, while Johansson was raised in a very small village in northern Sweden – the sort of village where they experiences 9 months of winter and darkness.
Both Ahlund and Johansson were in a number of bands. including a couple of bands that were recognized internationally – Johansson was a member of Fireside, a band that had been signed on Rick Rubin’s American Recordings label and Ahlund was a member of the garage-pop band Caesars and he had an electronic-based project Teddybears. All of these various outfits had broken up thanks to drugs, infighting, bad management or lack of management and road burn out.
Ahlund and Johansson eventually met up again and recognized that despite several incredibly embittering experiences that they still had a desire to create music. So they recruited one of Ahlund’s former bandmates Nino Keller and Konie, and they began writing material and rehearsing.
Interestingly, Les Big Byrd met Anton Newcombe and the Brian Jonestown Massacre when BJM was on a tour stop in Stockholm. As the story goes they ran into each other at a local record shop and after having a lengthy conversation about music, Newcombe interview Les Big Byrd to his studio in Berlin. After jamming for a few days, the band recorded their debut effort They Worshipped Cats with Newcombe’s assistance.
And as you’ll hear on “Back to Bagarmossen,” one of the first singles from the forthcoming album, the band specializes in a melancholy and very dreamy psych rock that evokes the sense of a languid and seemingly unending boredom.