Miike Snow’s Pontus Winnberg is attempting to park his car in Stockholm when we grab him for a pre-tour interview. The super producer/composer is one third of the synth pop super group who has their third studio album (cheekily titled “iii”) dropping March 4 from Atlantic Records.
Winnberg and his bandmates — Christian Karlsson (the Bloodshy to Winneberg’s Avant) and Andrew Wyatt — will tour cities and the festival circuit (hitting both Boston Calling and Governor’s Ball) through the summer. But for now, Winnberg is parking and enjoying his last day in Sweden before the band reconvenes in Los Angeles to reverse for their live shows.
What’s it like rehearsing for a live electronic show?
It’s just a lot of prep work. [The shows] require a lot of work beforehand where you need to invent ways of doing things and workshop them in a traditional rehearsal space. But even once you’ve sort of figured everything out so they don’t fail, they usually fail miserably the first few dates. It can go really well, but also really bad.
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The three of you are in different areas of the world — Karlsson is also in Sweden and Wyatt is in New York. Plus, you all have your hands in a million side projects. How did you find time to collaborate for a new album?
I used to be half and half between here and L.A., but now my oldest daughter is in a good school and I want to stay close [to Sweden]. When we get together, it’s two key things. We’re fast, and then sometimes there will be just two of us working in combination, and we just trust each other. We know someone can just grab [a song] and run with it and you don’t feel the need to double check the details. There’s a collective trust that makes it possible. Without those components it would be like 15 years between albums.
You’re all also super accomplished. Do you ever feel like there are any ego-driven or alpha moments when working on your sound?
We see each other on an even level, and that’s the trick. Maybe some people see us as super divas, but we’re old enough to know that music is supposed to be a fun thing. We’re not saving the world or finding a cure for AIDS. We’re playing music for people.
You had a hand in a lot of pivotal moments for a lot of female pop stars — like Kylie Minogue ("X") and Britney Spears ("Toxic," "Piece of Me") — but do you think the way the music industry produces and perceives music by women has changed since then?
There are so many things that have changed. The perception of being an artist and gender have changed. It feel like, back in the day, there was more of a “product” vibe, but now it’s a portal for female pop stars to be strong and have opinions about their music and the industry. I think it’s moved so far in a really good direction. It’s way more smart.
And you have Charli XCX on “iii.”
She dares to have an opinion about things. Some artists, back in the day, couldn’t talk back about things. Now it’s rather the opposite.
So when you name your album “iii,” are you saying “triple I’s” or “three” or what?
It’s kind of not decided that it’s three, it’s more whatever you can make out of those three letters. People can get creative and we want them to be. Maybe it’s “the third i.” Maybe we’ll give some hints at our live show.
If you go:
March 3 at 9 p.m.
(Le) Poisson Rouge
158 Bleecker St., New York
sold out, 212-505-3474
March 4 at 8 p.m.
261 Driggs Ave., Brooklyn
sold out, 718-387-0505
March 5 at 9 p.m.
Theatre of Living Arts
334 South St., Philadelphia
sold out, 215-922-1011
May 28, time TBA
Boston Calling Music Festival
City Hall Plaza, Boston