Shout Out Louds
Silent Uproar: Howl Howl Gaff Gaff came out in the U.S. first, right?
Adam: Yeah. Well, it came out in Sweden one and a half years ago.
SU: Right, right, but was it the exact same songs? I thought you threw some different songs on this latest release?
Adam: The international version is different, yes. We recorded an EP last year and we were really happy with those songs. We worked with new producers. We wanted to add them to the other one.
SU: Well, I know the songs on the record came out a year and a half ago, so some of them are quite old now. Do you ever get tired of playing these old songs and wish you could move on to newer stuff?
Adam: Sometimes. It’s still fun to play them for a new audience and we play them live so many times that I’m starting to sing differently and we start to play them differently too. It’s more of a live version of the songs, which I’m happier about than some of the recordings. You know, you always get new ideas and especially, a couple of songs were written three years ago so of course it’s more fun to show a more updated version of this band. It’s a thing I guess you have to do, but we have so many new ideas that we want to show as well, so we’ll see.
SU: When you signed with Capitol Records what made you decide to repack those songs and throw the new stuff on there and not just do a totally new release of songs?
Adam: Oh, you mean like doing a new record?
SU: Yeah. What made you decide to use some of those older songs instead of doing something completely new?
Adam: Actually, they wanted to put out that album and we didn’t have any new songs recorded at that time. We had just finished touring and releasing it here in Sweden and Canada, and we had some shows in London as well. It was just… we weren’t ready to release those because we wanted to try release everything all over the world. I think it can be really fun to find a different version of the album, but the other thing is we didn’t have anything recorded at that time. We couldn’t have.
SU: Does that mean that you’ll be working on a new album sooner maybe than a band typically would go through releases?
Adam: We’ll see. I want to. It depends if we want some time off after touring…but yes, I think we’ll start recording this Fall with a producer back home. We’ll see. But we have many songs that we want to record.
SU: When you’re writing and recording song does everyone in the band come together with ideas or are there one or two main idea people?
Adam: It’s basically me. I write most of the lyrics and most of the music, but we always put things together in the band, where everyone adds something. Especially now. In the beginning I was the one who really knew more about song-writing I guess. Now, everybody helps. Because we were quite beginners when we started we really wanted to experiment and have fun and we didn’t have any goals to be a big rock band. So I think now more people in the band are really starting to get ideas, but at this point it’s really my ideas that we all put together.
SU: Modern music seems to be a lot about rehashing the past. When writing music, how do you keep coming up with ideas for fresh things without feeling like you’re just ripping off other bands?
Adam: Well, by the changing of my environment…my friends and family and the city I was born in and how it changes and how friends come and go and it’s always inspiring. There’s always something new all the time. And music-wise, I try to listen to a lot of different stuff. I listen to indie, pop, vibe and alternative music but the main point is to have your eyes and ears open for jazz and other world music, new music from other countries. I try to read. I try to study. I think it’s…you have to reinvent things. I’m really excited now. I’ve got some new, really great ideas and I’m happy with them.
SU: Has success in the U.S. always been something the band wanted to achieve or is to more of something that just happened?
Adam: It just happened really. I mean, when we started we just wanted to record a demo. That was the first goal. And then we just wanted an album. We always made very short goals all the time, and I think at times we just needed to find some small labels in the U.K. and start out in the U.K., maybe do a little touring and that stuff and then we really met some nice people in New York and L.A. that really helped us book a lot of great venues over there. You know, people working at clubs really liked our songs and invited us over again to come back and play. We just found that the U.S. audience really liked us, especially people working at clubs and magazines. I don’t know… it just happened really.
SU: Do you feel that the success of bands like Franz Ferdinand and other bands from that area of the world have made it easier for bands like the Shout Out Louds since people seem to be paying more attention to music coming from over there?
Adam: I don’t know about that…
SU: I think we kind of went through a New York thing here, where a lot of people were looking to find the hot new music coming out of New York. And there’s still some of that, but now it seems that we’re looking at music coming out of Sweden and the U.K and recently there’s been an influx of good music coming from that area. And I didn’t know if you felt that this has helped to direct people’s attention over there?
Adam: Maybe. We have a great music scene here so…I don’t know, maybe. I don’t think that the British rock scene really has affected things. It’s hard to answer really. I think it’s always been very important and big and sometimes it can be really important. I don’t know really. It’s a hard question.
SU: We don’t hear a lot of bands coming out of that area- especially Sweden- that come over here and are successful. It’s cool to see this influx of music coming from that way.
Adam: Yeah, and I really enjoy a lot of bands from the U.S. right now. Well, I’ve always enjoyed them. I don’t think that the British rock scene is that interesting at the moment.
SU: You performed on Letterman recently. How was that?
Adam: When we found out we were going to play it was really weird and I couldn’t even believe it- and I still don’t. But it was very laid back. They were really nice people working with us over there and it was professional but it was very ‘You should go on in ten minutes. Go ahead and have your time…’. They were really nice people, so we felt…it didn’t feel like a really big thing. We really tried as a band to work on a smaller stage. I don’t know if you saw it, but it was a smaller stage and we were closer to each other than the other performances. I don’t like when bands on tv are missing that energy but… I don’t know how to explain it…You understand what I mean? When you’re trying to…
SU: Yeah. Just to kind of bring it closer together…tighter.
Adam: Bring it closer- and not have it be such a big thing. And just show ourselves and well, it’s hard to describe but you know what I mean.
SU: Obviously that’s a huge achievement for a band, and here in the U.S. it’s kind of a milestone for a band to play a show like that. Coming from that side of the world, is it just as much of an achievement?
Adam: Yeah, Letterman is on cable here in Sweden every night around eleven or twelve. So, it’s pretty big here as well and a lot of people watch it. We have some Swedish television shows and you could probably compare it, but it’s not as big as that one.
SU: When was the last time you lost something really important to you and what was it?
Adam: Lost something?
SU: Lost something that was…
Adam: Lost. Uh…my glasses. I lost them in Detroit. I got a new pair of glasses and I lost them and I’m almost blind if I don’t have my glasses. So I was really depressed about that but it’s only glasses, it doesn’t matter really.
SU: (Laughing) Alright, I know there have been some dj-ing gigs with some of the members. Who was involved with that?
Adam: Everybody likes to do that- especially in Stockholm. We knew a lot of DJs at clubs in Stockholm and we tried do that after shows and after parties as much as possible. Actually, all of us play a little bit.
SU: Do you spin indie music or kind of a mixed bag?
Adam: Yeah. Some really obscure stuff from Sweden, but I like playing everything. I do play a lot of soul music and I like to see how the audience reacts.
SU: As far as touring…Touring in and of itself can be interesting enough, but how does touring in a foreign country whether it’s the U.K or the U.S. compare to touring around the clubs in Sweden?
Adam: It’s maybe a little more professional in some places in the U.S. because when we started off here, we didn’t have any tour managers or crew or anything. We just packed ourselves in a van and drove around and just managed and we had a hotel, but basically in the beginning we just slept in the promoters’ apartments. It was more like an adventure where as when we’re in the U.K. now we have a bus and it’s more professional. It’s nice… A lot of nice venues. The people are the same, especially people going to concerts. I think people in the indie culture scene- the bands we meet and the people we meet- it’s very nice and ties in people. It’s not that different- just language, food, and hotel.
SU: Does it get as monotonous seeing random U.S. cities as it does seeing random towns in Scandinavia or Sweden?
Adam: Well, it depends where you are. I mean, some cities in Sweden all just look the same and especially in the U.S. some cities look the same. The same shit in the street, the same fast food restaurants. I really like Chicago though. I really like architecture so I try to take a look at that, in some cities like Chicago, some cities in Canada and New York, of course and…Oregon. Oregon is very pretty. We like Oregon.
Adam: It depends where you are. Europe is more…the nature is different all over the U.S. and Europe is…well, we haven’t done that much touring in Europe, but it’s different countries and cultures and cities. Maybe a little bit more different in every city. The U.S. is only one country even though it’s different everywhere it’s still that same restaurant, that same…
SU: We have commercialism to thank for that- the same restaurant no matter where you go.
Adam: Yeah. (Laughing)
SU: You hooked up with Capitol to put this record out. Were you apprehensive about working with a big, corporate record label?
Adam: Um, yes. We were. We had some interest from smaller labels. We weren’t nervous or anything. We just wanted to tell Capitol if you want to work with us, they should know what kind of band they’re working with and how we want to work. We used to do everything by ourselves- you know, record covers and video. They really understood what we wanted and to get a big company, especially if you’re from Sweden or from any other small country, to go the U.S. you need that money to do tours. It’s such a big country. And EMI as a record company- they’re very traditional for musicians and that would be the only major record company that we’d choose. The other people that we met, you know, they understood what we wanted with this band. You always have to fight. I mean, that comes with it. It’s sometimes a really dirty business. You have to remember that to you it’s all about you, it’s all about the band.
Adam: The record company is going to survive.
SU: Well, the last thing I’ll ask you is what is the coolest thing that’s happened with the band in the last couple of years?
Adam: Hmm…the coolest thing…um…um… There are so many things.
SU: It’s hard to answer.
Adam: It is. I mean, the best thing that’s happened right now is that we have our album released all over the world almost. That’s a great thing really. And I bought a new guitar a couple of months ago. That’s really nice.