Published Mar 01, 2005The Soundtrack of Our Lives has never pretended to be anything but a revivalist act, unashamedly borrowing sounds and ideas from the classic rock cannon. But what puts the Swedish sextet ahead of the retro-rock pack is their superior musicianship and impeccable ensemble playing that brings unique character and freshness to their 60s/70s sonic collages. Origin Vol.1, their fourth album, was originally conceived as a singular project but the band wisely decided to split the more than 50 songs they recorded into several volumes. The first of these drops most of the psych-rock and prog elements of the bands earlier works in favour of fist-pumping, stadium-sized rocknroll. Drummer Fredrik Sandsten is given free reign to indulge his Keith Moon tendencies, while guitarists Mattias Bärjed and Ian Person windmill and wail with reckless abandon. Bassist Kalle Gustafsson and keyboardist Martin Hedero provide colourful melodic counterpoint and Ebbot Lundberg gives a dynamic, powerhouse vocal performance. The songwriting is unfocused at points, but the performances have great energy, capturing the clap-and-stomp feel of the bands live shows. Sure its all derivative but TSOOL are far too busy making us sing and clap along to concern themselves with petty things like originality.
Behind the Music was your breakthrough album. Did you feel a lot of pressure to follow it up? Lundberg: There was a lot of pressure, I think, but we were not really worried about that. We trust our own instincts. This album is really an indication of where we are right now. The decision to make a more upbeat, simple, energetic album was essentially what we wanted to do. I think the follow-up, Origin Vol. 2, will be have a more laid-back feel.
The lyrics definitely have an anthemic quality to them. Tell me about your writing process. When I write the lyrics I just feel a lot of it. For instance, the lyric "were all partners in crimes was something the guitar player was singing and at the time it sounded really stupid because its such a simple line. But from that I just got the idea to write something really futuristic and that line actually became the chorus of the song. Theyre just words. It feels good more than it makes sense logically.
The biggest criticism levelled against the band is that your sound is unoriginal. How do you respond to that? We try to find the sounds we love. People will compare us to the Beatles, the Stones, the Who, Zeppelin, and Love, which is fine. I think weve tried to find our own personal sound, but it always relates to everything in your record collection. All you can do is try and write great songs. (Warner)