1883 Magazine

With roots that span continents, Karin Park’s sound is a worldly mix all its own.  Part electronic, part industrial and entirely powerful; the growling, bass-heavy beats pull your body, the tortured vocals twist your mind, and the screaming synths cut straight to the soul. 


It’s a lot of sound for two people on stage, and they like it that way.  Just off a European tour supporting SBTRKT and the recent release of the dubstep-loaded Fryngies EP, Karin Park plans to take over the world.  With High Wire Poetry dropping this spring on State of the Eye Recordings and remixes by Ladytron in the works, Karin Park is well on her way.  1883 sat down with Karin Park before the headlining gig at Madame JoJo’s White Heat Club to talk about sibling rivalry, homemade instruments and living in a haunted church.

Where are you from?

David and I are from Djura, a small village in the middle of the woods in Sweden but we also grew up in Japan; the Swedish-Japanese mix has affected us a lot.  In Japan, we live in the jungle, basically. Literally out in the wilderness, hunting snakes and mice and everything.

Now I live in an old church.  Our parents used to take us there when we were kids, but there’s no community there anymore so I’ve made it my studio and my home. We have a strong background there and it’s a spiritual place, a really good environment to be in. You get the ghosts on tape as well. 

It must take a lot of patience to collaborate with your sibling. Where you close growing up?

We had lots of fights as brothers and sisters do and didn’t really know each other that well until I asked David to join the band in 2004.  After the first rehearsal, we thought, “Wow, that went well.” So we did another. And then we played our first gig and that worked out, so we did it again. And it built up to the point where we realized that we were more similar to each other, wanted the same things and that this could really work.


So do you come from different musical backgrounds?

David was a metal head from the beginning and I was more pop with my first album [Superworldunknown].  But we’re definitely comfortable with what we do now… I think this is a good mix for both of us.

How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard it before?

Industrial, electronic pop music— a bit experimental I would say. But they are proper songs, not just based on a beat.

I saw some photos on your Tumblr of some homemade instruments. Who’s the inventor behind them?

We have a special live set-up and David is always coming up with new ways to do things.  We had to invent some of the instrument and controllers ourselves since there’s nowhere to buy them. 

David plays bass –pedals with one foot, drums with the other. He also controls filters, different loops and triggers sounds at the same time. We don’t use back tracks so it’s pretty tricky but gives us much more freedom. 


What inspires you?

Passion. When I see people doing what they do best, it’s inspiring to watch them get that glow of doing what they do.  When you see people who are passionate about things— it could be fashion or music or art— it’s that drive that I relate to the most.

I think I get inspired from things I see, where David is definitely more inspired by sounds in everything that surrounds him.

How do you collaborate on tracks?

I work a lot alone in studio with my synthesizers; I experiment and record different sounds and vocals.  If David comes to me with an idea of rhythms and interesting sounds, I chop them up and turn it in to a song.  Sometimes it turns out to be completely different than what he sent me.  But that is a great way to work.

Are you working on any other projects?

I’m also in a band with my boyfriend and lead singer in Årabrot.  But this has been my main project since I started writing songs ten years ago. David has his own things going as well but we don’t really have time to focus on much else.

Are you playing any festivals?

What I know from the top of my head is Live at Leeds and Melt! in Germany. We’re in the middle of the booking process right now.

Is there a kitchen in the church? How do you make food?

We don’t really eat food… only red wine and [communion] bread.  That’s why we’re always getting Indian food in London!

For more on Karin Park, check out: www.karinpark.com.

Words and Photography by Natalee Ranii-Dropcho

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