Shout Out Louds’ Ted Malmros On Optica and Keeping Things Fresh

Despite having been together for more than a decade, Ted Malmros, bassist for Stockholm’s Shout Out Louds, says the band has only recently begun to feel content. In preview of the band’s performance at Sasquatch! later today, we chatted with Malmros about the band’s new album and looking back, but not before he had to switch phones after the first ran out of credit.

That must be frustrating. Very difficult to settle the credit. We have to fax a picture of the credit card, and I think, “We don’t own a fax; we’re on tour!” That’s what’s also fun. You see the different ways of doing things.

Is there a big difference between America and Sweden? Things are more manual here. Internet banking, we’ve had for 10 years. People here still go to the bank and have checks. We don’t have checks anymore.

We seem so behind! It’s easier to change when there’s only 8 million people. The banks decided you can’t pay with checks anymore and then it’s gone [laughs].

What was it like recording Optica ? We didn’t want to leave Sweden for a long time, and we were tired of going to a rehearsal space, so we were like “Let’s just go to the studio, and everyone can get in whenever they’re there.” Our co-producer, Johannes [Berglund], was there all the time, and we worked a little bit on that song and this song. Everyone feels more involved. It felt really fun.

I read that Optica was built on the ideas of time and light. Would you say those are themes of the album? If you have no boundaries, it’s difficult to create so … we were talking like time and light is the foundation of everything, so we worked on that. The studio had no windows so days started passing, but it didn’t matter because what we created down there was our own light. We wanted to make a bright and colorful record.

It was ironic because we did the last record [2010’s Work] in Woodinville [near Seattle], and it was such a bright studio. That one’s more black and white, and this one’s more colorful so sometimes if you put your mind into it, you can channel it into the music.

So location influences the music? A little bit. If we’re anywhere but Stockholm, we’re out of our comfort zones … It was a big, bright studio but maybe [Work] was more of a dark album, so sometimes it affects in the opposite way.

Shout Out Louds has been together for 12 years. What’s it like seeing how far you’ve come? We haven’t thought of it so much. When you’re with the same crew all the time, you don’t really notice the changes. Sometimes we look at old pictures, and we’re like “Who’s that? Oh yeah, that’s me,” [laughs]. It’s maybe even more fun now than in the beginning because everything’s so new and you’re nervous, and now we feel more content.

It seems like you’re in your groove now. Obviously you want to keep fresh everything. We’re not a new band anymore [laughs]. We try to reinvent and have fun and be creative, but that’s part of getting old. If you accept it and do it with style, it’s all good. You don’t want to be the old man dressed like a teenager either.

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