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Swedish super rock group The Sounds talk movie trilogies and the cultural relevance of a certain muppet with R Hunter.

Maja Ivarsson, vocals
Felix Rodriguez, guitars
Johan Bengtsson, bass
Jesper Anderberg, syntheseizers
Fredrik Nilsson, drums

click When American kids think of Sweden we think of this [see pic on right]. Is that an inaccurate depiction of a Swede?

Fredrik: Either [people mention the Swedish Chef] or they say "Oh I've been to Switzerland"?!

Jesper: People are always confusing Sweden for Switzerland.

Johan: Or how bout Vikings? What do you think of America?

Fredrick: Eh, we like some parts of it. Other parts are not that fun. In general, I think we are Pro-[America].

click hereMPb: For Maja: What is the difference between Swedish men and American men?

Maja: Swedish men are definitely more drunk. American men are bigger "in every way" and they are a bit more in your face. Like, Do you need a groupie tonight?

MPb: Your web site says We are all about the 100% attack, yet Sweden has not participated in any war in almost two centuries. Care to explain?

Maja: Swedes are not very violent people. That is why we have gotten so much shit from Swedish journalists, because we are pretty cocky and self confident, and not very Swedish.

Fredrick: "Attack" means playing live. We give 100% every show.

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MPb: Was Hit Me Now based on Blue Velvet? The first time I heard of you guys was right after seeing that movie and it seems an eerie coincidence.

Maja: No.

Fredrick: No. Never thought about it.

Maja: Me neither. That's cool though. Let's pretend that it is.

MPb: No, I won't print that part. We'll change it later. What is your beer of choice? Pripps?

All: NO!

Maja: Danish!

Fredrick: Carlsberg

click hereJesper: Pripps is not that good.

Maja: You should have beer from Prague.

MPb: Are you friends with our Swedish Bands? The Hives , The Soundtrack of Our Lives? The Shanes?

Fredrick: TSOOL we know. The Hives, I've seen them at awards shows but...

Maja: They don't even talk to each other. That's what it looks like.

MPb: Robots maybe?

Fredrick: They are from the northern part of Sweden, which is like the southern parts of the US.

click hereMPb: Like Rednecks?

Fredrick: Except that it is cold up there.

Maja: We are from the more European [area].

MPb: Have you had a smorgasbord of American groupies over here?


Jesper:: We will say yes!

MPb: Which American celebrity would you like to beat up? Britney Spears or maybe Debbie Harris?

Johan: Anna Nicole Smith.

click hereMPb: She looks like she could take a punch.

Fredrick: I don't know...[reflective pause]. So many!

Maja: Why not go for Bush?

MPb: Words to live by! What is your favorite part of American culture?

click hereMaja: You guys invented Rock and Roll!

Fredrick: The music culture. Maybe movies.

Maja: The Entertainment business.

MPb: Is the Hip Hop popular in Sweden or is it a rock friendly music atmosphere?

All: Yes.

click hereFredrick: A few years ago they actually had a big boost of Swedish hip hop. They were very popular but [it has died down]. Swedish people very much look up to American hip hop.

MPb: What music are you listening to?

Maja: I've been listening to a lot of Depeche Mode.

Fredrick: I'm listening to New Order right now.

Maja: Otis Redding.

Fredrick: Mostly old music. We don't ever buy new music.

click hereMaja: There is one Swedish band you should check out, they are called The Knife. Check that out.

MPb: Maja, Lyrically, the narrative of your songs almost has a submissive and vulnerable women perspective to them. Do you catch flak from feminists about that?

Maja: Thank you. I am not too found of that rider girl shit [Ed Note: I am not sure what a rider girl is. Rooney's sound check was drowning out our interview]. I guess that vulnerable part [of the songs] is just the way I am. But people like that in big stars, like Marilyn Monroe, she was very vulnerable. And an alcoholic pill popper!

MPb: How bout Return of the King, are you guys getting ready for that?

Fredrick: I think, all in all, the trilogy is going to be the best trilogy ever. Way better then The Matrix.

Felix: Back the to Future was [a good trilogy].

click hereFredrick: Star Wars 4, 5, 6 were pretty good. 1, 2, are ehhhh. And don't forget Crocodile Dundee.And Beverly Hills Cop.

Johan: What do you call that movie "Trem"? I don't know the title in English.

Fredrick: With Kevin Bacon. It is like this monsters underground. They are in a really small small village.

Maja: In the south.

MPb: Oh Tremors!

Felix: The first one is really good, the third one is horrible!

MPb: Okay last question: Can you teach me a good phrase in Swedish? The dirtier the better!

click hereJohan: Sil Lu Kak [Ed note: Not sure of the spelling, just the sound]

Maja: S-u-g, Mu, Kuk "..suck my dick."

MPb: Perfect, incase I meet any Swedish grandparents.

The rest of the night consisted of one Care Bear orgy, a trip to Publix for sushi, a bout of naked night swimming, a few rounds of Mega Touch, and some four part harmonizing to Coldplay. Everyone was totally cool and down to earth. My only complaint is Jesper stripping bare ass naked to frolic in the night sea (I had specifically requested to see Maja naked, obviously management bungled it up).

click hereAnd as for the concert The Sounds sounded 100% better live! And this is coming from a huge fan of their CD. Maja drives the audience with panache and hand claps while Felix mugs away like a Scandinavian Sid Vicious. Johan, Fredrik, and Jesper all jam out in unison in a tiny rock-bubble of sorts (a scientific bubble where rocking occurs). It was really one of the best and most lively shows I've ever seen. Special thanks to Samantha and Daniel to helping set this up and a nice hello to Oscar.

"En öl snälla"
R Hunter

You can check out The Sounds official web site at or pick up their CD from

All images and this article are © 2003 and may not be reprinted without permission.

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