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Peter Morén of Peter, Björn and John

Whistle While You Write

Peter, Bjorn and John have a legitimate summer anthem on their hands. "Young Folks", and its infections whistling hook, is all over the radio, the internet, and even network sitcom commercials. Kanye West thinks it’s fly, too. He made a remix of the song and joined PB&J briefly during a gig in Europe. If you haven’t heard enough of it yet the Swedish trio will be serving it up live in San Francisco again on September 18th at the Warfield. Peter Morén (vocals/guitar) spoke with SF Station during a phone interview from a recording studio in Stockholm, Sweden.

SF Station (SFS): I read that in addition to creating music you are also a writer.

Peter Morén (PM): I wouldn’t call myself a writer, but it is something that I enjoy doing in my free time.

SFS: What do you like to write about?

PM: I like to write short stories and everyday things.

SFS: Does writing help the songwriting process?

PM: I think being around words, whether it’s writing or reading, helps with writing songs. Writing is a little different than songwriting because it is more free and you don’t have to match the meter of a song.

SFS: “Young Folks” is a big hit in the United States. Are you sick of playing it yet?

PM: I wouldn’t play it at home, but I don’t mind playing it because the crowd gets so excited about it. It’s fun.

SFS: You do realize that audiences will want you to play that song for the rest of your life.

PM: Yeah, probably. But, I think in the next tour we can put it in the encore, or something. It doesn’t feel right if we don’t play it earlier now because people want to hear it.

SFS: Are you a fan of any other songs with whistling?

PM: I like the solo John Lennon does with Jealous Guy. Hmm, what else…

SFS: There is also the local favorite “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay”.

PM: Yeah, that’s a good one and the McCoy theme song. A song I don’t like with whistling is The Scorpions "Winds of Change".

SFS: Did you ever do that gig with Kanye West?

PM: Yes, we performed with him in Gothenburg. Our managers arranged it and we met before the show and discussed how we were going to do it. There wasn’t much of a structure, so it was more of a jam. It probably wasn’t the best thing that either of us have done musically, but it was fun.

SFS: Was that your first foray into rap music?

PM: I actually wrote a rap song, but it didn’t end up making it onto Writers Block. Maybe it will go onto the next album.

SFS: What do you rap about?

PM: I rap about someone I don’t like.

SFS: So it’s like gangsta rap?

PM: (laughs) Yeah, kind of, but it won’t sound like gangsta rap. The gangsta thing is hard. It will probably sound more like Johnny Cash "Talking Blues".

Peter, Björn and John perform on September 18th at the Warfield. Tickets are $25-$28.50. Doors open at 7pm and the concert begins at 8pm.