The Sounds is a band that other bands can take a lesson or two from. Formed in 1998 in Helsingborg, they have ever since been rocking the world.
Back in November, The Sounds graced New York City’s famed Webster Hall and did not disappoint the packed house. “Are you ready for this? Are you motherfucking ready for this?!?!?” The crowd sure was and they sure were ready to deliver. The Sounds put on a show that needs to be experienced. They get right to the point. They come prepared to rock and the audience is ready to party.
We were lucky enough to catch up with the multi-instrumentalist, Jesper Anderberg before the show and here’s what he had to say.
What is the big difference between touring here than other parts of the world?
Touring around the world is the same thing when it comes to venues. I would say the crowd, we have good fans all over the world. Touring in the US is a bit different, we started off about 7 years ago, we had a shitty bus, a shitty tour manager, we didn’t know anything because we were brought up in the tour. We had the luxury of a tour bus at least. The difference in US and Europe is comfort…the buses, if you look at it strictly as touring, lets say 24 hours a day, One and half hours is on stage and 3-4 hours is the bus. There’s also a lot easier way to get late night food in the US then in Europe.
Do you have Any kind of favorite food/places?
Not really, we try to eat everything so we don’t get sick. We’re very European when it comes to eating, we like to eat healthy but sometimes it hard.
(Laughs) – it’s very hard to eat healthy here, especially late nights.
(Laughs) But the beauty of a tour in Europe is at least you get to visit a new country every day and you get to go eat there and you get to see the local stuff. The other difference in touring between the US and Europe is the theater. Here you can play theaters like this (Webster Hall) whereas you have two floors. In Europe, it’s more like big rock clubs/big rooms, but US has a history of big theaters especially in the cities
You mentioned the old tour and buses, can you share any stories or problems or on this tour or in the past?
We had tons of problems with managers, not on this tour though. Nowadays it’s much more professional, a little bit more money and a better bus. The more money you have to hire a bus the better, the bus driver obviously. But we had bus drivers in the past that were calling our rooms asking for money for hookers – Ya know, you don’t do stuff like that! We had bus drivers we had to kick the door in to their hotel room because they didn’t show up for bus call…they were like smoking too much weed or stuff like that. So, we had a lot of problems with bus drivers (pause) and tour managers (laughs) But that was in the early days, like 8 years ago. But apart from that, touring gets more and more comfortable the bigger the band you are. I would also say the more experienced you are, because you make a lot of mistakes in the beginning.
Let’s talk about the music. What 3 songs do you feel define The Sounds?
I think Living in America is one of the songs that summarizes The Sounds because it’s the first song that helped us become a big band in Sweden, and it helped us a lot go outside of Sweden. I think Tony the Beat is not a big song for us but for us but it’s big for club scenes, and that opened up the UK market for us…which after that, we coast (laughs). The UK is an important country in the music business. And then it took us to Australia, so it’s an important song. I think the whole third album because it’s the first independent album we did.
Something To Die For – It has a definitive new sound. Was that a natural progression or did something trigger you to move in this direction?
I think it came naturally actually, because we don’t want to make the same album twice. I don’t know why it happened and if you don’t know how it happened, it probably came naturally. I’ll say it’s a reaction to the third album which is a little more heavy guitar-driven. We’ve always been interested more in electronic music and it’s fun to change and also I like bands who develop their sounds, and aren’t afraid to do so. But in a year we might say, like fuck, that was a mistake maybe we shouldn’t have tried that path, but for us, it’s not a mistake. Nowadays in the music industry bands aren’t really aloud to try new stuff, they’re not allowed to fail, not allowed to stay on the same level, they have to always climb. We’re not really afraid because we have our own label, we aren’t afraid to try something new and fail, even though I don’t think we are failing but I wouldn’t mind if we failed with one album because I think it’s stupid musicians aren’t allowed to make that bad album. Look at Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen, and whoever. Big artists, but they still had at least 10 shitty albums in their career out of 40, but nowadays people are blaming like MGMT for making a bad album, but they’re musicians, they’re artists, and they want to develop their sound and try something new cause it gets old for them. Maybe it’s not that fun for them to play that same song every fucking night, and then they go do something else. Everything is a reaction to something else, and people say ahh, why are they doing that? Cause it’s something they have to do in order to come back.
It spurs innovation. Sometimes you need to fail to succeed even more.
The Ultimate tour with The Sounds headlining, who are you going to put on the bill?
(Laughs) That’s tough…Well we have a lot of friends, we’re close with a band called Under the Influence of Giants – the singer from that band is actually the singer of AWOLNATION and doing quite well. They were actually to do this tour, but some things didn’t work out, but that would be fun to do right now.
If you weren’t performing music, what would you do?
That’s a tricky question (long pause). I would say a lot of things, I have a lot of interests, I’m not scared of trying something new but it’s like kinda counter-productive to try and find something other than doing thing you love doing the most.
It’s never work when you love what you do.
Exactly. If I have to choose something, it’s like trying to fall in love with someone else, other than the girl you love, it’s kinda…tough. But if I have to do it there’s a lot of things I could do. Like my dad is a judge, I wouldn’t mind doing something like that, a lawyer. I wouldn’t mind being a doctor, hell, why not a fireman, that would be cool, they sit out there, it’s kind like a tour, they sit up at night, drink coffee, and wait for something to happen…but they save lives. The paycheck should never be reason why you choose something.
New York City, are there any spots that you like to go?
When I’m at home I always do this thing called winter bathing, when you go in the freezing ocean. And I always go to the Russian Turkish Bath house on 10th street. It’s my favorite place to go here.
Are there and Fashion designers you follow or like, that you think fit in music scene?
A good friend of ours has a brand called LNA, she has a lot of cool casual shirts that we use a lot, she’s like my favorite, we dress real casual, and her stile is good for us.
What do you miss most from home when you’re on tour?
Reading the newspaper, like a REAL newspaper…not online.
Thank you Jesper!