Shout Out Louds talk strange tours and being fifteen-year underdogs

Touring in support of their fifth studio album Erase My Mind, Swedish indie-pop band Shout Out Louds are making their long-awaited return to the states. In their fifteen years as a group, they’ve achieved varying degrees of commercial success, opening shows for the likes of The Strokes and The Essex Green in their early years. But the band has also played a show in the Brazilian rainforest with a freezer box as a dressing room, as well as a Yokohama, Japan show that only two Austrians showed-up for and one done in the middle of a Sicilian rainstorm that left them soaked. Like the lush mixtures of synths and guitars, they employ to texturize the blissfully melancholic-nostalgia in their songs, Shout Out Louds split the difference between the glam and the reality. Lead-singer Adam Olenius spoke with us about the band’s longstanding run together and their upcoming tour, but we just had to follow-up on the story of their unique experience in Brazil.

“We did one show at a festival in Brazil a few years ago and our stage time got postponed hour after hour,” Olenius said of the experience. “I had a fever and was just waiting in my hotel room (very Apocalypse Now vibe) and once we got there it was pitch dark and people went crazy because we were the only international band there. They even tried to grab our clothes, closest we have ever been to something like Beatles-mania.”
Stange things just appeared to stick to Shout Out Louds when they were on tour, but for Olenius one of the most surreal of moments was when they first played the Troubadour after releasing a few demos and their first EP. Describing it as like “being in a movie,” Olenius said that the experience of kids coming up to them saying they loved their music and the presence of iconic people in the music industry made the night a dreamy memory. Fifteen years later and Shout Out Louds have become purveyors of a niche of sounds that fit under the umbrella of their indie-pop label but refuses to be burgeoned by it. Their most recent release Erase My Mind is as vocal a proponent of that fact as any, dipping in and out of endless pools of tastes, sonics, and genre influences.

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“We were aiming for a warmer sound on this album. It´s more chilled, a bit more laid back. We had been talking about our worries and about the state of the world, some of us had been very involved in what people refer to as ‘the refugee crisis,’ so much bad stuff had happened since we were last in the rehearsal space,” Olenius said of the inspirations behind the album.” And then our producer Fredrik Swahn showed up and sort of became our main outside inspiration. He was jumping around the studio singing along to the songs and is just a super energetic and lovable person in general. Being around him was contagious. Not healing really, but soothing to the mind somehow.”


All of Erase My Mind burns with this warm glow of tenderly raw emotion, pooled together by the shared interests and passions of the band’s five members–many of whom have outside projects besides Shout Out Louds. Spread across the globe and no longer based solely in Sweden, logistics aside it wasn’t hard to find the desire to bring everyone back in for the creation of another album said Olenius, not when they have such a strong relationship as a group.

“We´ve been in this band for almost half our lives so we try to treat it with extra caution. We try to be less self-involved when we plan our touring and stuff. But musically it hasn’t affected us all that much, we still feel like these green, unsophisticated underdogs most of the time,” Olenius said. “Except, if I had to boil down the theme for this album to one word I think it would be ‘worry’ and that probably comes at least a little bit from having people to take care of besides ourselves these days.”

Promising no less than one-hundred percent excitement on their part for their return to Los Angeles, Olenius said fans could expect a great mix of old and new songs. But we’d argue that one of the real pros of attending a Shout Out Louds concert is the chance to end up being part of one of their many, many strange tour experiences.

Words: Steven Ward

Shout Out Louds will be performing at the El Rey Theater on November 17 as part of their upcoming U.S. tour. Visit the band’s website and Facebook to stay updated on future releases and dates.

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