It’s kind of strange because we feel younger now than we did ten years ago…We’ve gained some strange energy.
story by Chris Castaneda
photo by Adam Joseph
The Soundtrack of Our Lives is quite an over-the-top name for a rock band but, in this case, fitting. For the past ten years, this Swedish outfit has tapped into the many soundtracks of rock music to add their own fresh touch. With their fourth album due to hit U.S. shores early this year, the Soundtrack of Our Lives looks to shine as one of Sweden’s best bands.
Between 2000 and 2001, an explosion of bands out of Sweden grabbed major attention in America, very similarly to the mid-’90s boom of British acts like Oasis, Blur, and Pulp. Leading the Scandinavian charge were The Hives who commanded the radio and music video forums with their single “Hate To Say I Told You So.” Following their lead were bands such as Division of Laura Lee and Sahara Hotnights. Not too far behind were the Soundtrack of Our Lives, whose third album Behind the Music (2001) and Stones-esque single “Sister Surround” garnered critical attention as one of the best albums of that year.
The band’s frontman, Ebbot Lundberg, is enjoying the success and the new life the band has provided after the break-up of his previous band, Union Carbide Productions, in 1993. Union Carbide Productions came together in 1986 and during their existence were considered to be the Swedish incarnation of the Stooges and the MC5; unpredictable and uninhibited. The band never achieved more than an underground following in their homeland and in America, but appeasing to trends or looking to make commercial hits wasn’t what Lundberg saw as important.
Now 38-years-old, Lundberg, a massive man with an equally massive voice, isn’t feeling his age; an age that the handbook of rock says is when you are supposed to have lost the fire. “I hope I’ll end up like Sun Ra, in a wheelchair at 82-years-old,” he says. Speaking to Chicago Innerview from a final tour stop in Finland before going on holiday, Lundberg is very upbeat about where his current band stands. “It’s kind of strange because we feel younger now than we did ten years ago; we feel more energetic,” says Lundberg. “We’ve gained some strange energy. I don’t know what it is. It should be the opposite; it should be totally fucked up now, but it’s actually the other way around.”
Their latest album, Origins Vol. 1, does not disappoint. In many ways, it is another creative step forward from their previous effort, Behind the Music. Lundberg’s voice is perhaps one of the best rock voices around; offering up raspy vocals that can be both fiendish and soothing. “Transcendental Suicide” is an epic tune that echoes The Who, circa Who’s Next. “Bigtime” and “Mother One Track Mind” are all-out scorching numbers. “This is a very straight-forward, primal way of how we exactly feel right now,” says Lundberg. “It’s the most straight-forward album we’ve done. There’s some kind of – at least how I feel – simplicity to it.”
Origins Vol. 1 certainly captures a tightened focus of what this band is capable of doing on a record. It’s been a very solid run since 1996’s Welcome to the Infant Freebase and 1998’s Extended Revelation. Somehow, the band continues to find a way to maintain their creative swagger, and Origins Vol. 1 breathes of new life. “It’s like bringing back the energy you thought had run out of after three years of touring,” says Lundberg.
Here comes the soundtrack of the new year.
The Soundtrack of Our Lives :: with Inouk :: Double Door :: January 21.