The Cardigans in the latest Musikexpress issue.

Nina and Peter talk about some of their favourite records on the March 2006 issue of German magazine Musikexpress.

And for those of us that don't speak German, our own forum-member Jannphil supplied some translations:

Pretenders - Pretenders
Nina: I was born in 1974 so I wasn't able to track their career from the beginning. The first song I heard from them was "Donīt Get Me Wrong" in the 80s. I liked it, but it didn't drive me to find out more about them. As we started with The Cardigans everyone said that we were like Blondie, because of the boys with the blonde singer and so on, so I started listening to Blondie and from Blondie there isn't a big leap to The Pretenders.
Peter: But the Pretenders are much cooler than Blondie!
Would you be offended if I would tell you that your song "Little Black Cloud" really sounds like the Pretenders?
Nina: No, not at all. To me Chrissie Hynde is very inspiring and one of the best singers of all time.

Maria McKee - High Dive
Nina: I've never been a fan of Maria's former band Lone Justice and as a solo artist she has done a few things that are too folky in my opinion. But this album is interesting because it's been influenced by theater music. Many things remind me of David Bowie's glam era. The instrumentation is really interesting, particulary the use of the strings. I also like her singing; it sounds a bit wacky, sometimes even a bit scary. This album helped me during the recording of our last album. You could say that Maria taught me how to sing louder and to let myself go.

The Replacements - Donīt Tell A Soul
Nina: It was Niclas Frisk, my A Camp partner, who told me about The Replacements. He's a really huge fan of them and suggested that I record the song "RockīnīRoll Ghost". The song is worth recording just because of the title. I canīt really say much about the album, but this song is great. Sometimes you get a bit jealous when you hear a song from another artist that you wish you would have recorded yourself.

Sparklehorse - Vivadixiesubmarinetransmissionplot
Nina: Because we just talked about my band A Camp I would like to mention Mark Linkous, who produced the A Camp album. I first noticed his band Sparklehorse when a friend of mine recommended them to me. I trust her when she tells me that I should listen to this or that record and to me this one here was like an enlightenment because she showed me the way to a completely new scene, to alternative country music. This album proves that you can produce music easily and don't have to struggle for perfection. Interestingly enough Mark can't stand his own voice, thatīs why he records everything with two microphones. Sometimes you wonder why he releases records at all, because he dislikes he does. He's an antistar.

Bruce Springsteen - Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J.
Peter: Actually Iīm not a big Bruce Springsteen fan, probably because there are too many of them. [laughs] All my friends in school liked him and that made me sceptical for a long time. But today I have to admit that he's a fantastic songwriter. "Mary Queen Of Arkansas" is an incredibly good song. "Lost In The Flood" makes me crazy everytime I listen to it. There's piano and song for about three minutes so that you think itīs a pianoballad but then the drums start and everything gets stunning.

The Band - The Band
From the both of you it seems that you, Peter, have the bigger partiality for north-american songwriting.
Nina: I'm also quite partial to it, but I try to hide it!
Peter: I discovered this album two or three years ago because I watched a documentary about the recording. It was really fascinating to see that the musicians took turns at the instruments but also at the microphone. I really like the song "The Unfaithful Servant" which is sung by the bassist, Rick Danko. By the way: I named my son after Levon Helm, the drummer of the band.

The Sundays - Reading, Writing And Arithmetic
Peter: This record was released in 1990, around the time we started The Cardigans. Magnus and I wanted to do something together and after we had heard The Sundays we knew that we needed a female singer. Before this we always listened to music with a male singer, but this one changed that. We were in love with Harriet Wheeler and her voice. This album was on my record player for about a year and I listened to it night and day. I wasnīt ever in the mood for anything else. The guitar playing had a huge influence on our early albums. Of course I also had a weakness for Johnny Marr, but here I liked the guitars better. For me this album is a classic!
Nina: I had never heard about The Sundays before joining the band. I liked Stina Nordenstam and her unconventional singing style and this album is very similar. I wasn't a trained singer so it was important to me to find and listen to people that were known to be good female singers. Harriet Wheeler also had something strange in her voice and that's always good. It's a shame that we didn't listen to The Sundays very much after this one. They made another album a bit later but by then the magic was gone. Thatīs why we realised we couldn't use an idea too often if we wanted to survive as a band.


The complete list of Nina and Peter's favourite records is:

- Pretenders - Pretenders
- Maria McKee - High Dive
- The Replacements - Donīt Tell A Soul
- Sparklehorse - Vivadixiesubmarinetransmissionplot
- Martha Wainwright - Martha Wainwright
- Bruce Springsteen - Greetings From Alsbury Park, N.J.
- The Band - The Band
- Crowded House - Woodface
- The Sundays - Reading, Writing And Arithmetic

If you have the opportunity, do pick up the March issue of Musikexpress for the complete article (in German of course) and a lovely photo-spread.
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