June 9, 2014


Little Dragon's Guide to Bonnaroo

Chelsea Lauren/WireImage
Chelsea Lauren/WireImage

Last month, Little Dragon dropped Nabuma Rubberband, their fourth studio album which earned the Swedish band their highest-charting U.S. album yet (No. 24 on the Billboard 200), setting up the festival staple band for their biggest season yet.

With Coachella already under their belt, Little Dragon are gearing up for another major U.S. fest with Bonnaroo 2014 this weekend, their second appearance at the Tennessee festival following their debut showing in 2012. On a day off in her hometown of Gothenburg, Sweden, LD's bewitching frontwoman Yukimi Nagano recalls her best tips, memories and stories to help you prep for the best Bonnaroo ever. 

The Three Essentials:
[Bonnaroo] was really hot. I'd definitely be hydrated. Coconut water, sunhat and sunscreen.

Bonnaroo Crowd's Vibe:
It's definitely a huge festival, huge lineups and so much going on. You want to see so many bands, but you don't have time to see everything because, at least from our perspective, we just didn't. But it's just a really good vibe—we're there for the music, you know?

Her No. 1 Tip:
Not because this happened to me, but don't get drunk and fall asleep in the sun. It seems like it could be pretty brutal.

don't get drunk and fall asleep in the sun. It seems like it could be pretty brutal.

Her Top Picks for 2014 Lineup:
Elton John may be or may not be first on my list. But Frank Ocean! I'm a huge Frank Ocean fan. I don't care if it's boring or whatever it is, I love the songs. I think he is one of my favorite artists right now. I would love to see him, maybe more than anyone else. 

Of course, [Blur frontman/Gorillaz vocalist] Damon Albarn would be nice to see because I haven't seen him with his own setup.

Bobby Womack would be fun to see. Me and [Little Dragon bassist] Fred actually shared the tour bus with him [when Little Dragon supported the 2010] Gorillaz tour. He's an old man with a lot of amazing stories. Like, 'Oh, back when I used to play football with Marvin Gaye...' or 'Oh, that was that time I was shopping with The Rolling Stones...' He's a sweet, sweet man.

See the Headliners...
I wouldn't mind seeing Kanye or Lauryn Hill. I like seeing big, famous acts because you're curious about their production and stuff like that.

...But Be SURE to Try Out New Acts
There's more bands that I've discovered from festivals than anywhere else. I love discovering new bands.

Footwear Tips:
I'm all about comfort. You want to look awesome, obviously. At the same time, you don't want to suffer. You want to have a good time. But it's individual. Some people jump around in heels like they're sandals. Other people don't—and I certainly don't. So wear whatever shoes that you feel are comfortable, that you feel awesome in and you don't mind getting a little dirty.

Have a Good Story Ready, Just in Case:
Last time, Ludacris went on after us. That was pretty fun. He had a bunch of girls on stage with nice curves. We didn't get to chat, unfortunately, but funnily enough, my mom met Ludacris when he was like 10-years-old in Sweden. Because her best friend's nephew was Ludacris. His sister came to visit and my mom met Ludacris when he was a little boy. My mom is always asking me, 'Did you meet Ludacris?' which is really funny to me. If I do meet him, I definitely do have a story to tell.

In my opinion, you can dance to any song.

What to Expect at Little Dragon's Set:
We won't have fireworks or anything like that because our budget doesn't say that we can and people have done that a million times. For us we're like a band that really loves to play live and that's our thing. When the crowd and vibe is there, it's the best feeling ever. We're not so much for crazy, fancy things. We really just want to bring the energy. We want to have a good time and hopefully people will reflect that.

Why Their New LP Isn't a Bummer Live:
Performing "Klapp Klapp" was amazing [at Coachella]. We could feel that people knew the song, they heard the song. Of course, there's some darker songs, but we're also really excited to play them. I don't know how many times we've played [beloved 2011 singles] "Ritual Union" and "Little Man," and those songs are fun, but you get to the point when you're inspired as an artist, people get inspired. I think even though [the new songs] are moodier, they're still phat live. You know? Hopefully, the bass still hits fans and they'll be able to dance.

In my opinion, you can dance to any song. I dance to the slowest music... in my room. I dance to anything, who cares! It's music, you can dance to it—whether it's fast or slow. Maybe it's easier to space out if it's moodier. Hopefully people will still dance. I think the most important thing for me is the phat-ness. You want to somehow reach that with the music and if you have that, then doesn't matter if it's up or down. If it's phat, you're kind of hit by it, either way.