When offered the chance to interview the band that in a roundabout way brought me to Sweden (and a band that I love) I jumped at the chance. So it was that I caught up with Bassist and video maker extraordinaire Ted Malmros before their gig in Oslo for a quick chinwag. Here is what we talked about:
Ryan: After nearly 2 years in the studio and touring Our Ill Will together how was the mood in the band when you ‘came home’ after it ended?
Ted: It was good, well we just needed some space and a bit of time apart so we decided to take 1 year off and we all agreed to meet up again in Stockholm after a year and see what we wanted to do with regards to the next album.
R: After said near 2 years together touring My Ill Wills, were there any guidelines set out for the writing/recording of the new album?
T: At first, no, and then when we all started playing together in the rehearsal space we decided that we wanted to go back and just focus on a more stripped down sound, no adding layers, not exactly record the album live, just use live takes instead of edited takes.
R: Do you find it hard making all of the videos for your singles? Does it add another thing that maybe you guys can argue about?
T: Its really good fun, it can be a bit hard if someone else from the band comes along and suggests: “hey, let’s do something with elephants!?” as then I have to go off and find somewhere that we can maybe use elephants (laughs). Everyone can have input if they have time, it’s just we all look after different areas within the band so they don’t always have time so they let me get on with it. I don’t get paid any extra for making them though, maybe I should (laughs).
R: What music did you grow up listening to and how has it affected the sound of Shout out Louds?
T: I listened to a lot of Simon & Garfunkel, Beach Boys and mostly American and English bands, that really affected our choice to sing in English, oh and Adam has a liking for heavy metal.
R: What bands/artists are exciting you at the minute and what Swedish bands do you see/hope to see breaking out this year?
T: The band that is supporting us, a Swedish band called Happiness, I have heard their record and really liked it, so I’m looking forward to seeing them live, they started out as 6 people and now they are down to 3 but I’m told they’re better with 3! I really like [Ingenting] and I have been listening to a lot of African Highlife and Afrobeat recently.
R: Being a native Brit I found that some Swedish bands seem to have a much bigger following on my side of the North Sea than here, why do you think that is?
T: Sweden is a really good place for bands, as there is a really good music community. It’s not the best when you are starting out as no one really goes to shows just to hear live music unless there is a bit of hype around the band. Whereas in the rest of Europe people are more likely just to go out and take a beer and go and check out a band.
R: How was it working with Phil Ek on this record? And what do you think he brought to the table that was different from your past producers?
T: It was great, but very different from Björn (from Peter, Björn & John who produced Our Ill Wills), he was more cautious and more of a band producer in that he was trying to create a vibe during recording. With Björn there was a lot of recording on your own, you would get a call “I need you in the studio tomorrow”, but this time we were all in the studio together and after 3 takes it was like: “yep, that sounded good, let’s move on” (laughs). But it’s good to try something different, we have no idea where we’re going to go for our next album.
R: With all of your extensive touring where/which has been your favourite place to play? And who is your favourite band that you have played with?
T: I really liked Japan, it’s just so completely different to playing anywhere else. And anywhere exotic is always good. We once played a festival in Northern Brazil, we were the first international band to play there so there was a real buzz. The back line and the sound wasn’t up to much but because of the vibe it was just an amazing gig, a real experience! We played with an American band called Essex Green and they were great people and a really good band. When we played with them we had such a good time, so I will have to go for them.
R: What’s your opinion on downloading and sites like LastFM and Spotify? Do you think they are good for the music industry or more importantly the bands?
T: I think Spotify is a positive thing, it’s one of the only legal sites where you can listen to so much music for free. Not as many people are buying CD’s and albums anymore as things like that are constantly moving on so I think thats where the music industry is heading. You definitely notice it as an artist as you don’t sell as many singles/albums as before it was around, but I still think it’s positive, you can’t stop change!
R: Who do you think will win the World Cup this year?
T: Well I’m not really much of a football fan, I’m more into hockey, but as were not in it I would maybe say Denmark, but itll probably be the usual like Brazil right!? Or I’d like to see maybe England, it would be good to see them win it, or an African team, Ivory Coast are quite good right!?
And that was that, I wish them well for tonight’s gig and tell them I’m looking forward to seeing them in town tomorrow night.