Miike Snow

What does electronic, pop, classical, punk, hip-hop, indie rock-tinged music sound like?

Answers: A) Danceable. B) Enticing enough to bring a jackalope out of hiding. C) Miike Snow. D) All of the above.

Miike Snow, a trio comprising New York musician/composer Andrew Wyatt and dynamic Swedish production duo Christian Karlsson and Pontus Winnberg (aka Bloodshy & Avant), defies categorization and seems to like it that way.

The genre-bending band came together to collaborate in 2007 and released its self-titled debut last year before taking on a relentless touring schedule of clubs, theatres and festivals across the States, Canada and Europe.

Photo: John Davisson

But before they joined forces, Wyatt, Karlsson and Winnberg were each involved in music in various capacities.

Wyatt wrote classical pieces and staged productions of operas before joining The A.M. with Jeff Buckley’s former bandmates and embarking on a solo project. Karlsson and Winnberg had history with punk and hip-hop groups and as Bloodshy & Avant wrote and produced songs for artists including Madonna, Kylie Minogue and Britney Spears, whose “Toxic” scored them a Grammy for best dance recording in 2005.

Despite any cultural or musical differences, Wyatt told Pollstar that when the group got together to start writing, “It felt a little bit unusual, but we all had enough of a musical background that we could communicate with each other pretty easily.”

The band agreed upon two things from the very beginning. First, they wanted a relative level of anonymity so the music would speak for itself, which led to the use of their ubiquitous jackalope symbol and the donning of masks during shows. Second, they wanted to reconstruct the highly produced sounds of the album live – sans laptops.

Creating that sound involves some heavy instrumentation. Wyatt sings and plays guitar and occasional keyboard. Karlsson and Winnberg, who also sing, man an array of mixers, samplers and effects pedals. A backing band includes keys, bass and drums.

Though it sounds like a setup that could prove overwhelming at times, Wyatt said the trio wouldn’t want to perform any other way.

“I think there’s something exciting about trying to bite off a little bit more than you can chew in any situation,” he said. “I think we all have kind of workaholic personalities. First of all, that kind of equipment sounds better than laptops. Second, we wouldn’t find it very challenging just to open up some files every night and just stand there and kind of pretend that we’re playing.”

The band has also incorporated lights and fog into performances to add visual appeal even though it’s eaten into profits at times.

“They want to put on a high-quality experience even when it means losing money on smaller tours,” Kredel said. “It is important that fans leave a Miike Snow show excited to come back and see them again.”

Photo: Magnus Magnusson
Pontus Winnberg, Christian Karlsson & Andrew Wyatt

Miike Snow recently wrapped a tour of the U.S. and heads to Europe, Japan and Australia this summer for a string of festival dates including , and . The band will hit South America in the fall and come back to the States for more festivals and some of its biggest venues yet, which should be no problem for Wyatt.

“I think that our music really lends itself to large venues,” he said. “The ideas are broad enough to fill large spaces very comfortably and we’re comfortable playing for large audiences.”