The Sounds

The Sounds Biography

A warning to passive concert goers everywhere. “We are all about the 100% attack. We never want to give the audience room to think. That can happen afterwards,” says bassist Johan Bengtsson. “This is all about dancing and having a good time. We are a major chord band!” he proclaims unapologetically.

The Sounds are quite literally made of mud - mud being a common nuisance of their environment in Southern Sweden. Combined with darkness that can last for nearly 20 hours a day it’s the sort of thing that will drive a person indoors to pick up an instrument rather than brave the Swedish elements. Formed nearly five years ago by childhood friends Felix Rodriguez and Johan Bengtsson, the two set about building a group amongst their high school friends by bringing drummer Fredrik Nilsson on board. Maja Ivarsson, a former classical horn player, had been drawn to the excitement of rock music and her striking presence led to an invitation to join as the voice of the unnamed group.

For a group rooted on influences such as Blondie, Duran Duran, Kraftwerk and Ultravox, there was a conspicuous absence of a synthesizer. A chance encounter with Jesper Anderberg at the famous Hultsfred Festival made the quartet into a quintet. It was months later during a trip to London that the group thought to raise the question of a name for their traveling party. A few lime vodkas, Screwdrivers and Long Island Iced Teas later the group settled on the obviousness of “The Sounds.” None of the members are able to recall much else of the occasion… From their hometown of Helsingborg, the group traveled to Stockholm to begin work on their debut album Living in America. “It’s clearly been a learning process, we basically had no studio experience at all” Felix admits lightheartedly. That lack of experience also allowed for experimentation with parts of the record being recorded in Felix’s apartment bedroom. “For ‘Hit Me’ we propped a mattress up to create an isolation booth. With all of the equipment that bedroom became more of a sauna than studio. Especially since the noise prevented us from opening any of the windows.”

The result is a genre bending experience that the band bills as “the future of rock history.” The album contains 11 tracks that deftly straddle the wide chasm of early 80’s Punk, mid 80’s dance and contemporary European songwriting. One thing is for certain. Aside from the occasional autobahn while on tour, the group shares little resemblance with the current group of Swedish acts that have breached the American shores.

Living in America debuted at # 4 on the Swedish album charts after “Hit Me” gained national radio play on Radio P3 and MTV North. Before the album was even in stores, the group set out on the road for months of touring to prepare them for their American debut. Prepare to experience the future of rock history as presented by The Sounds.


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