The Sounds are a band that doesn’t need an after party. The catchy guitar riffs and the sultry lyrics of foxy lead vocalist Maja Ivarsson bring more fun to their live shows than even the most scandalous downtown dance parties. They have a history of touring hard and getting their legions of fans moving to the music quicker than many of the more genre-constrained rock acts of today. A few months ago, the Swedish quintet embarked on a massive tour with pop-rock icons No Doubt, and with a new album out and a stop at the Santa Barbara Bowl fast approaching (they’ll open the ND’s August 5 show), it seems like a good time to catch up with these European dance-rockers.
I recently spoke to The Sounds’ Jesper Anderberg about the tour via phone. It was obvious from the noisy background that Anderberg’s privacy had been forfeited for the long tour-bus haul, but the keyboardist didn’t seem too fazed. “It’s a little bit like having two lives,” he explained. “You have one life at home and you have one life when you are touring, and sometimes they’re hard to combine. I definitely have been adjusting to tour life a lot lately.” It makes sense, considering that The Sounds have already spent most of 2009 playing shows throughout Europe and the U.S., with no end to their touring schedule in sight. “We actually start our own headlining tour for two months in the U.S. in late September,” Anderberg said. “Everything around you, like your family, your friends, your girlfriends, and stuff, it gets a little bit weird [on the road].”
Anderberg and his bandmates are currently playing opening act for SoCal rock icons No Doubt, who are coming off a lengthy music-making hiatus. In fact, Wednesday night’s show will be the band’s first in S.B. since 2004. Its hard to ignore the impact that No Doubt has had on the music world, and The Sounds couldn’t be happier to be touring with one of the biggest names in the industry. “The cool thing with No Doubt is that you know all their songs, even when you don’t know it’s their song,” laughed Anderberg. “When you hear it, and when they play it live, you’re like ‘Oh, I didn’t know it was their song.’ They have so many pop hits it’s incredible.”
The Sounds are riding the wave of success from their most recent album, Crossing the Rubicon, which is a significant musical departure from their previous releases. Even with the change in sound, Anderberg is confident that the fans will still feel right at home with their new tunes. “When we talk to fans, they are always optimistic about us changing a little bit, but still trying to keep what is us,” Anderberg explained. “As a band you also have to realize that it’s hard to write the same song twice.” No matter how the crowd at the Santa Barbara Bowl receives their latest offerings, The Sounds are looking forward to spending time in our seaside community, especially on State Street. “It’s a beautiful city,” Anderberg said. “There are really good bars and good parties there, so we would really look forward to staying [for] a little bit. But we never know; it’s up to the tour. I don’t know how long the drive is afterward. It’s all about that.”