The new thing is the old thing or the same thing that swept through America 30 years ago: European bands with wavy hair!
Shout Out Louds are four dudes and one girl â€“ Adam, Carl, Ted, Eric and Bebban â€“ from Sweden who make pop music about relationships and sad, deep things like being alone on the beaches of Normandy. â€œThat song is about a dramatic and romantic place, at least from what Iâ€™ve read about it or saw on television,â€ says Adam, adding that heâ€™s never visited Normandy.
In summer 2007, Shout Out Louds made a label change from Capitol to Merge â€“ major to indie â€“, for better label communication. â€œWe own our own master tapes now and have more control,â€ says Adam, admitting that a weird feeling still exists as Merge is in America and Shout Out Louds are in Stockholm. Either way, Shout Out Louds do not have to worry about cats: â€œHalf the band was allergic to cats and there was cat poop and cat food all over the apartment,â€ says Adam of the ten or 11 cats Shout Out Louds slept with in their infant stage of being a band.
“…people think they can just come to Sweden and have sex â€“ you can if you want to, but I think itâ€™s easier to get that in the U.S..”
Format: Popular misconceptions of Sweden: everyone is blond haired and everyone can play hockey. What are some popular misconceptions youâ€™ve encountered concerning your native country?
Adam: People always think Sweden is sexually open, especially when a person sees old movies from the `70s and `80s, people think they can just come to Sweden and have sex â€“ you can if you want to, but I think itâ€™s easier to get that in the U.S.. Some people think that we have polar bears walking on the street or that is it super cold, but not really.
Format: Shout Out Louds are touring in Europe and North America. How do you keep your momentum while on the road?
Adam: When I look at the schedule itâ€™s quite frightening, but once you get on that bus or that plane you take it in the moment, otherwise it would be stressful to tour. Itâ€™s always nice to get to new cities, especially in North American, because we have a lot of friends to see. There is always a goal that we look forward to. We travel with friends, too, and we look forward to spending time with them.
Format: Shout Out Louds have toured in America, Canada and Europe. Are the reactions from your audience different, based on geography?
Adam: In the biggest cities, theyâ€™re used to the bands all the time. If you play a smaller French, German or North American city, the people are crazy and not standing there. Itâ€™s a different thing in North America than Sweden; Swedes are quite lazy and shy. Itâ€™s better in Southern Europe and North America, Swedes just want to get drunk or get laid, I guess.
Format: In the song â€œNormandie,â€ you sing â€œLetâ€™s sail away to the beaches of Normandy.â€ Historically, the beaches of Normandy have served as a battleground. Why did you choose to sing about the beaches of Normandy?
Adam: First of all, itâ€™s `cause I havenâ€™t been there. That song is about a dramatic and romantic place, at least from what Iâ€™ve read about it or saw on television. Itâ€™s about trying to get away to find peace and calm, even though horrible things happened on that beach. After the storm, that big beach is now calm.
Format: A lot of bands face boarder problems when they tour. Have Shout Out Louds experienced any disgruntled boarder patrol workers?
Adam: Yeah, from Seattle to Vancouver. It was a friend that came and helped out, and he didnâ€™t have a work permit so he couldnâ€™t work for us, but he came anyway. Into Canada it was fine, but back into the U.S. it was a whole different story. They were so mean to him and said he had to pack his bags and stand by the bus, yelling at him, saying theyâ€™d send him back home. Itâ€™s funny they couldnâ€™t work on more important things. We waited for hours. Itâ€™s silly how they acted.
Format: The song â€œTonight I Have To Leave Itâ€ was remixed by Kleerup. The popularity of rock songs being remixed into nu rave-type singles is increasing. What is your impression of hearing your original creations interpreted and reworked by a person that is not in the band?
Adam: I like that. Thatâ€™s why we did that to hear the results. Weâ€™re very involved with who we work with and Iâ€™ve always been a fan of remixes. I just think itâ€™s really interesting, especially when you just e-mail files. Some of the people we worked with weâ€™ve never met.
Format: Several of Shout Out Loud songs are about relationships. What challenges are there while holding down a relationship while in a band?
Adam: Do you want a percentage? Itâ€™s really hard. Itâ€™s a strange profession and life. People youâ€™re together with really have to understand what it is. Half the bandâ€™s relationships havenâ€™t worked. If youâ€™re honest and send letters, maybe bring them on tour. Itâ€™s also really good, because you get the best of each other and you donâ€™t get bored of your partner. It gives a lot of ideas for songwriting.
Format: The videos for â€œImpossibleâ€ and â€œTonight I Have To Leave Itâ€ are unexpectedly different when contrasted with its lyrics. How did the concept for these videos materialize?
Adam: Ted, the bass player made the videos. He has ideas and talks to us. We work it out. The video for ‘Tonight I Have To Leave It,’ which is a song about getting away from a feeling, is an idea of touring on a boat instead of a bus. We had that idea and it fitted well with the video. For ‘Impossible’ it was influenced by an old Swedish movie from the `70s called A Love Story.
Format: A lot of bands come from meager beginnings. What are some odd experiences that youâ€™ve had with travel, lodging or food while touring?
Adam: In the beginning we toured Sweden and didnâ€™t get paid, we only got food and slept at the promoterâ€™s apartment. Once we slept at promoterâ€™s girlfriendâ€™s home and they had ten or 11 cats all over the apartment. Half the band was allergic to cats and there was cat poop and cat food all over the apartment. We think about that when we sleep in hotels. When we toured Germany for the first time it was really strange â€“ lots of strange rooms and apartments used by people with bad habits.
Format: If Shout Out Louds could allow any companyâ€™s product use a Shout Out Louds song in a commercial, what companyâ€™s product would Shout Out Louds choose?
Adam: That is sensitive, we struggle to do that or not. Itâ€™s more common in the U.S. than in Sweden. Itâ€™s a weird way to promote your music, but itâ€™s also a survival thing.
Format: Style and fashion presence are parallel to being in a band. Where do you shop and what designers do you enjoy?
Adam: I shop at a lot of second hand stores. But I do like some brands. There is a Swedish brand called Whyred, I really like that fashion. Old shirts like my grandfather used to wear.
Format: You do a lot of interviews and are the singer, how does it feel to be in the front, do you feel pressure?
Adam: Not live, not when weâ€™re performing. There is more pressure when I have to get the band together. Everyone has very strong opinions and I donâ€™t feel like a front person at all. There is more pressure in the recording process, like organizing it and steering the ship, like the captain. Weâ€™re a strong group of friends and very united.
Format: What were the benefits from switching from Capitol to Merge?
Adam: We own our own master tapes now and have more control. What I really like is talking and meeting the people at Merge, because theyâ€™re more like me. Itâ€™s a better family for us to be with. Itâ€™s weird though, because theyâ€™re over in the U.S. and weâ€™re in Stockholm. The people we met are really nice and itâ€™s a great start. Itâ€™s so important to be in the indie scene, but itâ€™s always up to band to control things. Thatâ€™s something to think of when youâ€™re talking indie or major.
More info: http://www.myspace.com/shoutoutlouds