By LA Weekly
By Henry Rollins
By Weekly Photographers
By Shea Serrano
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Dan Weiss
By Erica E. Phillips
By Kai Flanders
ADAM: When you do something creative or to create something, if it’s music or art or if it’s anything, it’s good not to have too much self-confidence. I have a struggle sometimes to deal with this, especially people I really like. I don’t know if this makes any sense, but it’s just like – I dunno, maybe I wasn’t really happy when I wrote that song. [laughs] I have more self-confidence now, but you meet people who are not very honest in this business.
I’m not really pessimistic at all, it’s just those moments…L.A. WEEKLY: You have this very resonant line in “Tonight I Have To Leave It”: "I just want to be bothered with real love." I like that. You crave complexity in your human relations.
At any rate, Björn Yttling produced many of the songs on Howl Howl. How did you happen to work with him? Was he an old friend?
ADAM: When we started in Stockholm, it’s not too big a city, so you meet people at concerts and you go to the same places and same bars and…
We met at a festival, and he was playing keyboards in another band. We met very late at the bar and he just came up to me and really yelled at me and told me that he hated the production on our first EP, but that he really liked the songs. And I said, “So, if you can produce us for free, I’ll let you do it.” And he said yes. [laughs] Well, we gave him a few hundred bucks. But he produced an EP that came out in Sweden in 2004 called Oh, Sweetheart, and those songs were later put on the international version of Howl Howl. That collaboration worked so well, we kind of canceled the first idea for this record. We share the same ideas of arranging and also the focus on the rhythm. I mean, the record that came out last year, there’s a lot of rhythm and stuff, but we also were very interested in focusing more on drums and the rhythm.
L.A. WEEKLY: The sound he got for you is big and beautiful, it really jumps out of the speakers in a very widescreen kind of way.ADAM: Yeah, I think so, too. It’s more cinematic. We wanted to create more of an album this time, more like a scene. We took away the guitars a little bit and focused more on the pianos and drums and violins.
Shout Out Louds "Very Loud" L.A. WEEKLY: Your band presents a manifesto, almost, about pure, driving energy. When you formed the band, was that something you felt was maybe lacking in the rock scene?ADAM: There was a wave in Sweden five-six years ago when we started, there came up a lot of bands -- I was kind of influenced by a few others back home that were being very honest and having a lot of energy, that weren’t really thinking about doing the right things, didn’t think about major labels and all that.
When we came up, it was a good time for indie labels, lots of indies popping up. The local scene helped a lot, I think. But there was something when we toured, we noticed that there were a lot of bands that didn’t have that much unity and energy. The only band I came across that really had that kind of collective feeling at all was Arcade Fire.
L.A. WEEKLY: In Sweden, though, you’ve got to admit that you had the Hives.ADAM: I really like that band. I wish sometimes I had that kind of… I guess I’m just too shy, but Pelle is a really good frontman. But they’re more like a rock & roll circus, like Gypsies, you know? [laughs]
L.A. WEEKLY: In the pure energy stakes, your band too is definitely a contender. But how do you keep it up night after night?ADAM: It’s all about coming to a new place. We’re doing southern Sweden right now, doing a big show tomorrow in our home town, Stockholm, so it’s going to be good to see our friends, and we’ll do a kind of double show, an early show and late show tomorrow.
So those are things to look forward to, but of course it’s tough, because we were home eight months, but still we worked very hard during that time and we do other things as well, in film and other things. So it’s like stimulation, it’s about trying to do something new all the time. That’s kind of a struggle, especially if you’re, like, curious people, and want to do different things.
It is kind of a weird situation you’re in. It’s very much up and down, and this can be quite . . . black sometimes… I think most of it is still okay. [laughs] No, it feels really good, and we’re starting a European tour on Monday, then we’ll be back for one day, then fly off to Los Angeles for the Detour Festival.