First Aid Kit 2014

Swedish sibling two-piece First Aid Kit are known for their beautiful interpretation of rootsy American folk, so it only makes sense that they would choose Friends as their favorite TV show: a beautiful interpretation of the rootsy American sitcom. I spoke to Klara, one half of the Kit, about Chandler, Monica, Ross — heck, the whole gang!

KELLY: Did you watch a lot of American TV growing up?
KLARA: Yes, a lot! Both Johanna and I grew up watching The Simpsons, Sabrina The Teenage Witch, and Charmed, and of course Friends. We were obsessed with all these shows.
KELLY: When did you guys start watching Friends?
KLARA: I’m not sure, I just remember it always being on growing up. Which is why I think I love it so much, it’s just a really comforting thing.
KELLY: Yeah, it’s the same for me, really. There are few things more comforting than a Friends marathon.
KLARA: Yeah, totally! That’s kind of what I’m doing right now, I’m re-watching the whole show for the third time, which is quite a big effort … It started with me just putting an episode on about two months ago because I was bored, and now I can’t stop. I’m at season nine now, haha.
KELLY: That sounds perfect. In your re-watching, has there been a season that’s stood out to you as your favorite? It’s hard to think about, really, because when you’re growing up you don’t — or at least I didn’t — think of episodes as being a part of “seasons.” It was just something that was sort of always on.
KLARA: I really love Chandler and Monica and their relationship, and I think that starts to happen around season five … But that season also has Emily who I never really liked, although I do feel bad for her … The writers really don’t want you to like her!
KELLY: Haha, yeah, unfortunately it is definitely not our fault for not liking her. You had to WANT Ross to not say her name and humiliate her in front of her family and friends when she thought she was committing her life to a man who loved her. She did have a beautiful almost-wedding, though!

KLARA: She did. I get it though, that must have been so rough. It’s not really unreasonable to not want Ross to see Rachel again, I guess. So she had to go, because Ross and Rachel belong together, DUH!
KELLY: Yeah, DOY! How did you feel about the Rachel and Joey relationship? That was a weird one. It makes me a little uncomfortable to even remember.
KLARA: That was a weird one! It is pretty sweet when Joey has his crush on Rachel though, earlier on, but when they do get together it’s just weird, haha.
KELLY: It was. They did make it as sweet as they could, given the circumstances. Do you have a favorite episode, or one that you liked especially while going through it again? It’s great that you’re re-watching it, it must all be so fresh in your mind.
KLARA: You know, it’s hard to choose because they all just seem to blend together in my mind… I just watched the episode where Phoebe meets Mike for the first time (I LOVE Paul Rudd) and it’s awesome. Joey forgets to find a guy to set Phoebe up with for a double date and happens to tell her he’s bringing his friend Mike and just goes to Central Perk and finds Mike there … It’s hilarious.

KLARA: I just think those two are such a perfect couple. There’s a great part where Phoebe asks if Mike can show her that he’s a pianist and he does this really funny thing where he pretends to play the piano.
KELLY: Hahaha, yes. “That wouldn’t stand in the way of a true pianist.”
KLARA: Hah, exactly!
KLARA: Oh! And the episode where Joey wants to get the gig as the TV show host for that crazy game show “Bamboozled” and Ross and Chandler pretend to be contestants. I really want to play it too!
KELLY: That one is so good, too.

KELLY: And I love the one where they play the game together for each other’s apartments. “Ms. Chanandler Bong.”
KLARA: That’s a classic, where it turns out nobody knows what Chandler’s job is, right?
KELLY: Hahaha YES
KLARA: “It’s something do with a brief case!”
KELLY: Hahah, god, that is perfect. Is there anything you regularly quote from friends? I feel like I say, “Aww, you were going to drink the fat!” a lot, though I don’t really know how often that could possibly come up.
KLARA: Haha, oh man, I don’t know if I have any honestly. It’s not a quote, but the thing that Ross and Monica do to insult each other, when they tap their fists together, that’s a good one!
KELLY: That is a great one, I forgot about that!

KELLY: Okay, so, forgive me, but: in the cast of Friends, who are you and who is Johanna? I love doing this with friends because you find out that everyone thinks they’re Chandler.
KLARA: I was totally going to say I’d be Chandler! Haha.
KELLY: We’re all Chandler.
KLARA: I think Johanna would be Monica (except way less crazy) I think I’d probably be a mix between Joey (because I share his love for food) and Phoebe … I really love Phoebe’s character; she can be completely insane at times. She does end up with Mike as well… Did I mention I like Mike? Haha.
KELLY: Mike was perfect. Phoebe actually had a lot of good boyfriends, I think.
KLARA: Phoebe gets to have that very short, very strange fling with Ursula’s ex fiancé who is played by Sean Penn as well.
KELLY: Yes! And she dated Hank Azaria, too!
KLARA: Aw, David who has to move to Minsk! I always thought their storyline was really sweet, a part of me wishes they could have got together too…

KELLY: Yeah, they had a very sweet relationship. But I guess it had to end so she could eventually end up with her true love, Paul Rudd.
KLARA: Very, very true.
KELLY: Okay two final questions. Whose side are you on: Ross or Rachel?
KLARA: Honestly, I think Rachel was right. I think if your relationship is looking damaged and you go on a break, if the first thing you do is to sleep with someone else it’s not going to look like you actually care too much about it.
KELLY: I’m with you, man. And really, who thinks “break” means “break up” anyway.
KLARA: Had it been longer it would have been different, but one day; really, Ross?!
KELLY: And my second and final is: have you guys ever thought about doing an incredibly beautiful cover of “Smelly Cat”?
KLARA: I’ll have to talk to Johanna about covering “Smelly Cat”, it is a classic.
KELLY: Oh, I think it would be a beautiful cover.
KLARA: Hah, thanks, I’ll see if I can convince Johanna … Oh, and see if Paul Rudd wants to star in the music video.

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First Aid Kit’s Stay Gold is out now on Columbia.

Comments (6)
  1. The hardest part of rewatching Friends start to finish as a grownup is realizing what a completely unbearable character Ross is (the gay jokes are a close second). But I still love it.

  2. I thought I liked First Aid Kit, but I’m not so sure anymore. There’s enough vapidity in the world without interviews about episodes of crap TV from the ’80-’90s. Now, about those silicone implants…

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