Talking to Röyksopp's tow-headed Torbjørn Brundtland and bearded Svein Berge is like wandering through a densely overgrown forest–comments meander off the beaten path, sometimes rejoining the trail of thought five minutes later, sometimes never at all. It's similar to listening to their music, where skeins of electro, softly woven synths, and tender vocals tiptoe through airy, pulsating backgrounds of chilled out Euro-pop–the journey as the destination. On July 12, the duo released The Understanding (Astralwerks), their follow-up to 2001's lauded Melody A.M. Though they were vague about the album–except to say that it's a more vocal affair–these surreal superheroes were happy to talk about the influence comic books have had on them.
"Comics [have] been part of us ever since we were kids. We started with [Swedish comic] Bamse (pronounced "bum-suh"), which is a nice story of a bear-like creature who has to eat special honey to become very strong. We also like Robert Crumb, Dave Cooper at Fantagraphic, and Carl Barks, who drew Donald Duck. And Jim Woodring; he's just released something in the form of a children's book about a small animal called Trosper, a cute mini-elephant. It's not splatter-type horror but I would hesitate more to show this to my potential kid than to show them a horror movie. It's like a David Lynch Eraserhead kind of dark. The nice thing about comics is that it doesn't take that much resources to make a good one. If you have an idea for the best science fiction movie in the world–say 10 times better than Star Wars–and there's no way that you can become a big Hollywood director with a huge budget, you can still make a cartoon and share these ideas. Comic books [are so appealing] because they don't have limitations."