Als Bonus zum Hüttenkonzert und vielleicht auch aus Dank, dass wir den Dreh in der Kälte bei einem Take belassen haben, beantworteten uns die Shout Out Louds im Anschluss noch ein paar Fragen, die wir hiermit nachreichen wollen. Ihr Album ‚Work‘ steht inzwischen in den Läden und ist schon jetzt eines der besten des Jahres. Warum die Produktion so lange dauerte, wieso das Album relaxter aber auch melancholischer als die Vorgänger wurde, wie sie das Touren auf Aligatorensafaris und leere Truckstops brachte und was ihre aktuellen Lieblingsbands sind — im Interview.
It took you more than three years to produce the whole album. What happened?
Carl: We’ve always been kind of slow.
Adam: It takes a lot more time than people think: Preparing for an album that came out in 2007, then touring the album for a year and a half, and then taking a break before going back to the studio for a year. I guess we could have been more productive but this time we needed a break because of all the travelling. So it was our decision to…
Bebban: … to take that six month break before we started with this album. So, yeah, it has been three years. But it doesn“™t feel like three years to us. If you“™re on the road time travels sort of differently. (laughs)
Most of the songs on your new album are quite mesmerizing. They are all working with the same principle: You“™re introducing a theme and then extending it towards the end. That“™s a bit unusual for a radio song or for a hit song. The whole album is more like a grower. You keep getting more and more into it. Did you do that on purpose?
Adam: Yeah. This time we kept spaces open to make the songs more long-lived. And we thought it would be interesting to build up on these gaps. Each of the songs starts, and is kind of building up towards the end. That receipe was something that just came naturally. The whole record is more relaxed in a way. And I“™m really happy that it turned out to be sort of a growing album.
It definitely sounds more relaxed than the other albums, but also melancholic – should we be worried?
Carl: We have to make a melancholic kind of art. We always had that. It“™s in our blood. I think it“™s the Swedish mentality to look at things in a way.
I“™m not too familiar with Swedish people but it sounds like a cliché, doesn“™t it?
Carl: Well a cliché is only true because it“™s so common, you know? And it doesn“™t have to be bad.
Adam: I think we“™re drawn to that theme. With this album there“™s melancholy in all of the songs. On the other hand it’s also less dramatic than the second one. What I like about it is that there are older memories and new ones. There are parts in the songs where we“™re trying to fix past things in the present. So there“™s always hope, something to hold on to.
Songs like ‚1999‘ and ‚Fall hard‘ are very based on this looking back. Why is this such a big matter on the album?
Adam: When I started writing the lyrics, when we started the band, it was sort of a therapy for me. Also you get to know yourself by putting down words, in fact I never wrote a diary. So I started thinking about when I was younger how that all changed, how I changed, how we changed, the band and all that. I“™d go back and pick up things from then. I think the theme in almost all the songs is about growing up, how we changed personally.
It feels personal but you never really know if it“™s autobiographical or made up.
Adam: You never know. (laughs)
‚Fall hard‘ has the big theme of what you might call the Old Europe, also the video with its French studio atmosphere. Do you like that vintage Europe thing, like 60s Belgium and France?
Adam: Yeah, that and the wealthy Old Europe, especially Luxemburg with all the old people and their mentality and that whole…
Adam: Yeah, aesthetic! Also I traveled those countries with my parents when I was a kid, and we’ll go back there on tour now and there“™s something strange about these countries. Another reason why we did that video was to show that playing in a band can be a bit of a struggle. Like being on a TV show and being in a country where you don“™t really understand the language. It“™s strange places we“™re put into sometimes.
So you don“™t speak French?
Adam: Un petit peu.
[VIDEO] Shout Out Louds — ‚Fall Hard‘
You produced one of the older albums with Björn of Peter, Björn and John. Are you familiar with the other Swedish bands, is there a common scene and do you know the other bands?
Bebban: Not all of them, but it“™s a small and involved music scene, so yeah.
Adam: We used to hang out when we’re outside of Sweden. Especially when we have something in common with bands like, let“™s say Peter, Björn and John who are also travelling down here in Europe and in the US. We learn a lot from each other and we also try to bring Swedish friends on tour. It“™s a very diverse scene, you have a lot of electronic acts for example. This scene is really good and you can get inspired by them or even start collaborations.
At least in Germany the Swedish government is known for supporting bands or artists in general — did you experience any kind of support like that?
Carl: It’s a lot of paper work. (laughs) We were given a tour support in 2003. The smaller Swedish cities don“™t have enough people who are interested in our kind of music. So the government funded our tour, they paid part of it for us and also for the club that was arranging the show, although not many people showed up. They did that to present a diverse music scene to the people growing up in those cities. And I know that the government also supports the recording of songs. But that“™s more in the smaller genres, like instrumental stuff. But there are like five bands a year that get this kind of support.
‚Walls‘ was supposed to be the first single or the first song… ?
Adam: I don“™t even know what to call it, but it was the first song we wanted people to hear and it also was the first song we started working on.
You released the song for free on the internet. Is that something you’re aware of? How things are changing with the internet these days? How do you react as a band to this?
Carl: We got to embrace it. Sometimes it feels like it“™s easier nowadays. Maybe three years ago it was really hard to push big labels to do things like that because they were used to doing it one way. But there“™s no point in releasing something half a year later in the UK. If you want to release it you should do it straight away or not at all. And this is the first time we tried to release it everywhere at the same time. It“™s also a lot more work because we got to be in so many places.
I read an interview with a couple of minor indie label bosses and they all shared the experience that if they’re giving something away for free, this particular song is even better selling than the other ones.
Carl: I think these are interesting times. It doesn“™t mean it“™s going to be a hit because we gave it away. But it“™s nice with these twists and turns, no rules apply anymore.
Are you into that whole Web2.0 thing like blogging, twittering… ?
Carl: No, we try to keep just a little bit to ourselves but we“™re all friends with the internet. We“™re not afraid of technology.
Adam: For a band you get your feedback straight away and that can be good and bad sometimes. I just found out that the album is out for download and things like that…
Bebban: Did you find that on twitter? (laughs)
Adam: No. (laughs) Of course we want people to buy our records so we can do another one, they come to our shows, they buy different versions — that“™s why we use so much time to do artwork and all these things.
I love the new artwork of the album by the way. Who“™s the photographer?
Carl: It“™s Christian Coinbergh.
Adam: It“™s a Swedish one. He does a lot of fashion and has his own studio.
Carl: He“™s a really cool guy, he“™s been around for a while.
Adam: He has this huge beard, you know, like Rick Rubin.
[VIDEO] Shout Out Louds — ‚Walls‘
You mentioned that you did a lot of touring and I was wondering what“™s the best thing about it for each one of you? What“™s special?
Carl: Except for the obvious reasons… I would say it gives you perspective and… oh no that“™s got to be all of it then! My favourite part of touring is probably when we all sit down and have dinner. Just share, just hanging out together with my best friends.
Adam: I also like it when you“™ve actually done a show and you feel really good, ending up at some random person“™s apartment. When you explore new things, when you end up at an after show party somewhere in Berlin and you don“™t even know where you are. I sort of like that: the whole adventure of going abroad, travelling and playing. I“™m much happier after a show than before a show. So I like the last two hours before you“™re going to sleep… then you wake up miserable, but that“™s okay. (laughs)
Bebban: I think my favourite part are the small places that we never would have visitied if we weren“™t on tour. In Europe it would be summer festivals like here in Germany, coming to a place that“™s kind of remote and we wouldn“™t have gone there otherwise. Like the… what“™s it called with the iron?
Bebban: The Melt!, yeah. To see all those skeletons and machines, or coming to a small town in Louisiana going on an alligator safari with two old people who live there… It“™s just all these strange things. I feel priviliged and lucky to see those things, you know.
Adam: Especially when you have time to see those things. Sometimes friends can call you up and say: „Look, I’m going to Salt Like City next week. What should I do?“ Because they know we“™ve been there, but sometimes we just come in, and play, and leave. We“™ve been to many places but we haven“™t actually seen all those places. That“™s a negative side.
Bebban: Yeah, that“™s a negative one. But when you actually get to see some pretty cool things… I remember once waking up at a truck stop in America. And I don“™t know where we were but I walked outside in my pajamas and it was just empty, it looked like a big elephant graveyard for trucks. Just a huge lot of silent trucks and I just thought: with what other job would I get to see this?
Adam: Truck driver. (laughs)
Bebban: Yeah, that“™s a good one.
Since you mentioned that you also bring your Swedish musician friends on tour I wondered if there“™s some kind of newcomer for 2010 that you would like to recommend?
Carl: There are a few old bands that will bring out new records, like Radio Dept. and Ingenting. But like „talk of the town“ or „new hype“ that would be jj.
Bebban: First Aid Kit.
Carl: Dag för Dag.
Adam: Concretes are also working on a new album.
And do you have any current favourites beside the Swedish artists? For me it would be the new Spoon record, for example.
Adam: Oh I haven“™t listened to it. But we were actually offered a tour with them around this time because we“™re label mates. But I didn“™t have the time to listen to the album, yet. Also, I like Girls… (the others laugh) the Girls. The band Girls. And I bought an old Todd Rundgren album this week, and the new Jay-Z. Yeah.
Ich hab das Interview gemeinsam mit Anne von Ohwhataworld geführt und Anne hat auch das Transkribieren des Textes übernommen, was ich ihr nicht genug danken kann, denn die Tonqualität war alles andere als optimal.