Q: When did you first get into popmusic? Your first musical experience in childhood?
Todd: I am the youngest of four. My older sisters and brother were all very into pop music, so I was always exposed to it. When I was very small, my brother played drums in a rock band that rehearsed in my family's garage. I think that implanted in my brain the idea that being in a rock group was a normal thing to do.
David: It was probably when I bought "The White Album". I think that was the second record I ever bought, after "It's a Small World". That was when I decided to play the guitar. My parents dutifully bought me a guitar and set me up with lessons. I think they heard something wrong, though, because they kept trying to teach me "Kumbaya".
Q: It seems that you are much inspired by British pop. Did you grow up with Costello and bands like Roxy Music in your teenage years?
Todd: Yes. From 60's "British Invasion" stuff to Glam, English Punk and Europop, we have always listened to British and European pop music more than American. It's probably not very cool to admit it, but I think, even though we are Americans, our musical "roots" are more in that music than in that from our own country.
Q: Please tell me more about your hometown and the life around?
Todd: We currently live in Los Angeles, but we both lived and played music in San Francisco for a long time before coming here. I still consider SF my home town. Unfortunately, since we moved away from SF, it has become too expensive for us to live there (because of the boom in internet related businesses there), so I can't see us going back in the near future. Regarding L.A, all I can say is that whatever you may have heard about it is probably true.
Q: We can watch The David Letterman show over here in Sweden (one week later) and I am amazed how much the US audience STILL are into this grunge-thing, country-stuff and commercial crap like Britney Spears. What is your opinion about this?
Todd: Britney Spears appeals mostly to people under 14 (and some dirty old men). I think that people should be allowed to have terrible taste in music up until they turn 16 - so I don't really have a problem with her. Country music is enjoyed mostly by people who live in the middle part of the United States. Those people do not get the benefits of breathing fresh sea air that we people on the coasts do - so I think they can be excused for making bad musical choices. Personally, I would rather listen to Britney Spears or Shania Twain than most of what U.S. radio labels "Alternative" rock these days. (By the way, is it really fair that the United States should bear all the blame for Britney Spears? It is my understanding that her mentor, the mastermind behind her success, is a SWEDISH gentleman - and that she also records all of her albums in SWEDEN. Hmmmmm? (;-))
David: I think there's a difference between what U.S. audiences are listening to and what is on Letterman and MTV and such. People get on Letterman because that's business, not music.
Q: What music have you always listened to and will do?
Todd: Classic American pop music - like that sung by my favorites such as Sinatra, Chet Baker, Billie Holliday, etc. Though such songwriting is a dying art, those songs remain timeless. I will also always listen to the early Punk and post-punk bands - such as the Pistols, Buzzcocks, Wire, Gang of Four. That music meant a lot to me at a time when I was first really trying to define myself.
David: Silence, Mahler, Beatles, Britney Spears.
Q: What ever happened to fine American pop bands like Miracle Legion, The Connells (early stuff), Sneetches and Ultra Vivid Scene, for example?
Todd: We can't say what happened to the others, but the Sneetches are friends of ours from our San Francisco days. David saw Mike from the Sneetches recently, and he's still very much involved in making music.
Q: Which kind of music is the most inspiring sort of music to you?
David: Probably Teen-pop. Of course, what it inspires in me is not pretty.
Todd: I agree with David. There's nothing like some real crap music to inspire you to get your own stuff out into the world.
Q: Anything else you can´t live without?
David: My head.
Todd: Shops and restaurants that deliver (no car, you see), Buffy the Vampire Slayer... and, yes, probably my head.
Q: Finally what happens next and what are your plans for the future?
Todd: As mentioned before, we are putting a live band together to play shows in support of the CD - so there will be shows around California, as well as touring. We are also working on an EP that will hopefully be out in the next few months. One new track, "I Lose the Tiny Man", will be available as a free MP3 from our website (www.zikzak.org) within the next couple of weeks. Oh, and, of course, we have the obligatory video in the works.
The following is an English translation of an interview with zikzak that appeared in the Fall 2000 issue of the venerable Swedish 'zine Ettnollett (the band was also featured as the issue's cover subjects). The interview was conducted in English by Nicke Bostrom via email and was translated into Swedish for publication.