In a delightfully candid and freewheeling interview published at Pitchfork today, Karin Dreijer (also of the Knife) discusses the multimedia artifacts that influenced the music and visual presentation of her very good new Fever Ray album Plunge. Rather than namechecking explicitly musical reference points, Dreijer and her creative director Martin Falck hold forth on things like Twitter memes and vintage UK kink magazines, which contributed to Plunge’s atmosphere of proud hedonism and sexual exploration as much as any particular synth patch or vocal effect.
Dreijer and Falck also took inspiration from two resolutely lowbrow action flicks: Terminator 2: Judgement Day and 1997’s Batman & Robin. In the latter film, it wasn’t George Clooney’s infamously nippled batsuit that attracted them (though it does look plenty kinky in retrospect) but the campy theatricality that Arnold Schwarzenegger brought to his role as the villain Mr. Freeze:
Pitchfork: This is one of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s most notorious roles. Why did his take on Mr. Freeze from 1997’s Batman & Robin make it to your moodboard?
Martin Falck: It was funny to see how queer Mr. Freeze was. He was so scary! But here he has this silk bow tie! He sort of looks like Uncle Fester. And then also he’s not super evil. He just likes diamonds. But the world doesn’t wanna give him diamonds, so he needs to freeze everyone.
Karin Dreijer: I really loved all the Batman films.
There you have it: 2017’s most unlikely claim of influence. Next time you listen to “To The Moon and Back” or “Mustn’t Hurry,” try to imagine Arnold singing along with Dreijer. Read the full interview here, and watch a highlight reel of Schwarzenegger’s Mr. Freeze performance below.