Hailing from Helsingborg, Sweden, which sounds like it would be hard for an American to find, The Sounds are thankfully, very easy to love, listen and relate to. Fronted by the lovely but hard-core Maja Ivarsson, The Sounds are one of those semi-rare bands in such a male-dominated arena of musical aggression. Maja however, is the most powerful force onstage.
Though already a sensation in Sweden, it’s more of a slow, steady climb to fame and fortune in the U.S. The band has two albums out and a fan base that includes legit celebrities such as Britney Spears and Dave Grohl, not to mention teens around the world. Their latest album, Dying to Say This To You is a great listen, an unapologetic power hour of pop rock and electronica.
Nighttimes.com finally scored an interview with a member of the fab five, Jesper Anderberg, 25-year-old synthesizer player. In any other band, playing keys is more of a back-up position, but for The Sounds, those chords are just as important as those of lead guitar. Even though The Sounds have put their stamp on American music charts and have songs featured in video games, movies and TV shows, Jesper still had a few minutes in the chaos of Warped Tour 2006 for an interview. Sporting an adorable accent, he covered everything from the bands he loves to watch, the group’s biggest inspiration and how his mom’s push to play piano lead him to where he is now.
NT: How’s the new CD going for you?
“Actually really good, we went up on the alternative charts.”
NT: And do you think your performance on Warped is contributing to that success?
“Yeah, since we always have to go home, as soon as we enter the country (U.S.) again there is a chance we will get more recognition.”
NT: So America is your bread and butter?
“Yeah definitely, we sold a decent amount of records already but you know, it’s a career we’re building, I’d rather have it going up than start uphill and go down.”
NT: How long have you guys been together now?
“Since 1999, seven years”
NT: What’s after Warped?
“We’re going to headline a show in L.A. because so many people asked for it, in the
Wiltern Theater. We already sold half the tickets, for the first day. We are gonna try and make it a different performance because we’ve already played there four times, so we are going to try and do something massive.”
NT: You told me that the crowd is what keeps every live show from being the same. So we have a huge responsibility standing there?
“Of course! [laughing a little] We change it a bit. Especially on Warped Tour, you only play like eight songs, we definitely change all the songs almost all the time.”
NT: How do you know if it’s going be a good crowd?
“You kinda know what markets you are popular in.”
NT: How do you keep you’re spirits up if you go to a show that you know is not really you’re market?
“Well you have to…we actually have a quote that we say before a show, ‘Tonight we are Action Action’, and Action Action is a band that opened up for us. They were the first band out of three bands that opened for us on our last headline and sometimes they played when there were just four people in the crowd, and they gave everything and they rocked the house [a lot of respect in his voice]. And we always watched them, and we always say that. Today, there weren’t that many people because we were the first band out and everybody has to be the first band out but… you have do it anyways and so we say ‘Tonight we are Action Action’ and we do what we can. When you’re up there you might as well give it…give it all you can.”
NT: Who do you like to see here?
“NOFX is always fun to watch, I want to see You Plus Hero and Academy Is. The Bled is great, a great friend of ours, a really great band.”
NT: What would you like Nighttimes.com to know about The Sounds? Can you tell us a dirty secret about your band?
“A dirty secret about The Sounds…hmmm, everybody thinks we all have sex with Maja.” (lead singer)
NT: Just most of you, right?
“Yes, we share…[laughs] Wednesday is my day and Thursdays…. Maybe.
Tomorrow’s Wednesday! [more laughing] And that’s um…what do you call it? [he struggles a bit, searching for the English word]… a misconception? Everyone thinks we have group sex with Maja.”
NT: That’s probably true for any female fronted band don’t you think?
“Yeah maybe, but I don’t know, there’s just a lot a funny rumors about us…”
NT: What does you’re mom think about your rock star career?
“Real proud, she made me start playing piano when I was six years old and she made me continue doing it even though I hated it. And you know, to be classically trained is the best thing. Playing piano is the best thing I could ever do…I still play it a lot.”
The Sounds haven’t let up; they are still working the national music scene. With their powerful combo of rocking vocals and experimental pop, the decision to check them out live will always be an easy one. The review of Dying to Say This To You can also be found on Nighttimes.com for a more intimate exploration of their style. Find out how this band propelled themselves out of nowhere, well Helsingborg…
Pictured: Jesper, from their website photos