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interviewer: How is touring with Kelly Clarkson and the fray? How was that experience?
Chad: Absolutely amazing!
Rickard: It’s the best thing ever.
Chad: I think it’s one of those things that will honestly influence most of probably what we’ll do touring wise in live shows for the rest of our lives. No matter what sort of things we’re up to, this has been such an influential tour. I mean, we learned so much from Rob Thomas when we were out with him, cause he kind of operated on a similar scale, like The Fray and Kelly, and the people that they had with their crew is such a different world. Like I mean, everybody would do anything to make sure the show works no matter what. Like we’ve had equipment failure on stage, we’ve had personality changes, not in the band, but in some of our crew guys that we had to let go. But you know, down to the truck drivers, to the people that were running gear everyday, they are the absolute coolest nicest people and it’s been one of the coolest summer’s that I’ve had in years.
Rickard: Yeah, it’s been amazing.
Chad: It’s like being a kid again. They had a two-story waterslide one day in Florida, or Alabama. She [Kelly Clarkson] bought a blow up waterslide for all of us to go out on.
Interviewer: That sounds awesome!
Chad: It was amazing! And they had a snow cone machine back stage with you know, alcohol, and then canon-balling. Doing everything that you shouldn’t be doing on a blow up waterslide.
Rickard: Yeah it’s one of those ones where they rent it out to kids parties, and then all of a sudden it’s a whole crew on it.
Chad: Yeah like 20 something’s to 40 somthings—
Rickard: yeah trying to break it. No but, it was fun.
Interviewer: Now on your off dates of this tour, you’re playing smaller venues, which do you prefer?
Rickard: Yeah.. we’ve been doing some ‘shit shows’. No I’m kidding! No yeah, we’ve been doing some small ones, which is very interesting, because it’s been a while since we did those kinds of clubs-
Chad: Really small ones
Rickard: it’s been interesting to see who shows up. We’ve been having a pretty good following.
Chad: yeah it’s been steady. It’s one of those things were you go in, and you have to go back to your root every now and then, were all the stuff started. And we simplified the set down so much. We didn’t know what we were getting into time wise and sound checks. We brought everything down to its rawest form. There’s no computers, there’s no tracks, there’s nothing other than what the instruments are and then our voices. That way it worked on both sides. The show we did here tonight, is the same show that we’ll do in a 250 seated bar. And so you take back and forth what works there and bring it in here. And what’s in here and bring it in there. Kinda balances everything out in a really good way.
Interviewer: Do you notice an energy difference in the crowds from the smaller venues to the big amphitheaters?
Chad: I mean there is no way that you can beat that immediate response when you have a couple thousand people.
Rickard: I think it’s just different
Chad: Yeah it’s different.
Rickard: It could be the same energy but sometimes playing bigger venues are so hard cause they’re [the crowd] so far away that you can’t touch anybody. Where you reach out and be like “Yay!” but then you play a little bar and people are like “GAHHHHH” trying to touch the guitar. It’s kinda fun actually.
Chad: it can be a lot of fun. Just take a couple drinks and let everybody open up and play their asses off.
Peter: I love playing small places like that.
Chad: When everything works, when the gear works in those places [amphitheatres]; That’s the problem with some of the small ones though, they don’t have good gear. They will have bad sound systems or something like that, and that’s just a budget thing and people not necessarily. They will have a big dream about having a nice little club, they just don’t go the distance of putting something that can actually work in the club. They shortchange everything at that point when they have a mediocre sound system. Cause if you’ve got a good system, you can really make people move, even if it’s only 5 people in the room, at least everybody’s dancing then you’re making something happen.
Rickard: At that place we rehearsed at in Sweden.
Chad: God that place sounded amazing.
Rickard: it’s like a little rock club with like the best sound system and the best sound guy in the world actually that I’ve ever met.
Chad: Yeah, that guy was a beast.
Interviewer: For anyone that has not listened to your music before, how would you describe it? How is it different from any other rock band out there?
Rickard: I think it’s… I always say it’s like… the mix of the songs is probably our strength. If you listen to our album you can probably find song that can lean towards Coldplay’s sound, then you’ll also find like super poppy songs. Like it feels like we don’t really have a genre, which I think is our strength.
Chad: Yeah, it’s kinda to our advantage.
Rickard: Specially the first album being like two singles. Of that album, one single went alternative, one went AC pop [Adult contemporary]. Which is like two completely different worlds. Our new album didn’t go either way. It kinda stayed on the middle line.
I guess that would be like if somebody wanted to listen to us… that there is a lot of… cool stuff going on.
Chad: Yeah, it’s definitely one of those bands that doesn’t exist in any genre. If you have satellite radio it’s still played on Pulse, and Old Nation.
Rickard: Still on Pandora it comes up with like Maroon 5 and that kind of thing that should be a match… I guess it is in one way.
Chad: yeah I don’t know.
Rickard: I don’t know either.
Chad: It is a different set up. There’s not many bands that have practically what we got, which is a Swedish band with an American song writer.
Interviewer: Yeah because you’re [Chad] from South Carolina right?
Chad: Yeah, this kind of weird southern thing that just kind of happened. So that’s honestly what I think makes us a little more different and it’s a really honest band. Everything about it is very honest in the lyrics and where we come from and stand by and what we’re doing. We’re not necessarily writing songs about going to the club or buying a Ferrari or something like that, you know what I mean? These are just real emotional things that have happened in all of our lives that we wrote about.
Rickard: That would be emotional for me though, buying a Ferrari. If I do that I’m writing a song about it.
Chad: I guess we’re not writing about butt rock. We’re not talking about hoochie moms.
Rickard: Black and Yellow, Black and Yellow…
Interviewer: So for your guys last album Wild Blessed Freedom, that you released about a year ago. You said it was “the middle line”, like the songs were more of the same sound. What inspired that?
Chad: You know, ultimately, it was one of those things where we were trying to please the record label. We thought we needed to follow up “Show Me What I’m Looking For” with another radio song. So we thought the best thing to do was to go full blast and try and create a record that was extremely radio friendly; that’s what our label kind of wanted us to do. The funny thing was, was that we did exactly what they asked us, you know. At one point they were like “nah this is not what we want. Let’s do the last record again” and I said.. “Wait a second you guys”. We had a chance to go on tour with Rob Thomas in Australia and then take up a tour with Maroon 5 and Train, and they told us not to, cause they wanted us to work on the record. So in that, and they knew what the record sounded like, they knew what was coming along. And we were like “no you guys can’t do that to us know, we gotta let this thing go, this is it, we already pushed this thing far back enough”. That’s really what kind of inspired the sound, or the production.
But, lyrically, and kind of where we were all coming from in our hearts, we were still writing the kind of story teller songs that were there. We just kind of had to boost the production level to make it work you know in pop stations, that was our idea. Then we learned quickly that the label wasn’t into it. But they did give us our record back, and we did all of this on our own up to now. So we had distribution through our company through Sony called RED and Megaforce helped us get the record to Target and that kind of stuff, cause we did not know how to do that. But everything else was just up to us. We did the last, and literally all the videos, everything we did we directed it. Whatever it was we did it. We actually took it this far, we got on the tour on our own. We went and played the show that got us on this thing. And it’s funny, we went back to Atlantic to meet some of our old kind of working buddies and they had just assumed that Martin, our producer, paid for us to be on the tour. He thought that we paid our way onto this thing…. No… they are actually paying us nightly to be out here. They actually wanted us to be here. So it’s been a big “Coo” for us, it’s been really really good. And it gave that record a voice. If it had not been for this tour, or the one we had with David Cook, we managed to build strength in the band and us that wasn’t there before, that a major label could of never given us.
Interviewer: So, I guess you guys tend to tour with American Idol contestants?
Rickard and Chad: Haha! It does!
Chad: except for the time we were with Rob… but even that time we were taking ‘one-offs” [playing on their off dates] with uh..
Interviewer: Oh really?
Chad: Yeah! I don’t know why it seems to work that way.
Rickard: There is pretty much no artist we haven’t opened for.
Chad: Yeah, there really isn’t.
Rickard: It’s kinda crazy.
Chad: Snow Patrol, The Ting Tings,
Rickard: Death Cab For Cutie, Lifehouse, Rob Thomas obviously,
Chad: One Republic, Phantom Planet
Rickard: Maroon 5, Kelly obviously, The Fray
Chad: What’s his name… the dude from—
Rickard: Daughtry, David Cook
Chad: Kate Moss’s ex boyfriend…
Rickard: [sings] and the list goes on and on and on!!
Interviewer: Speaking of artists/bands… how did you guys get a song with UK’s X Factor contestant Cher Lloyd?
Chad: Oh Cher! It’s crazy because that was our song, it was really what we wrote for the album first. And it was something that Alexander Kronlund, really the real writer of the song, had the concept of. It was his idea. It was something that he brought to us, it was basically a story about me and an ex girlfriend that I had, that he was in love with, that you know, and we just kind of left him, cause he was going through some issues. And we just kind of had to leave the scene. And the idea of the song came from him being so mad at the two of us, that you two guys get whatever you want. And a year or two after that passed, he played me the song and explained what he was coming up for in the chorus and that was so brutal and harsh, but very real and just awesome. He was like “ I was saving this song, this idea, and I wanted you guys to do this”. Cause it was so real. So it came from there first, but being that we were an indie band, we needed every bit of exposure that we could get. One of our good friends saw who is the A&R guy for Cher and he was really working on this project and trying to get her a break in the UK. It was his project, he A&R’d it from start to finish. And he called me and we talked to Max Martin [Carolina Liar’s producer] and was like “Hey I know this is a little awkward, and I don’t know if you’re into this, but I think it’s a great idea for this girl who was on X Factor and I think she’s going to do really well, and we need a song like this, but I want to do it as a duet”. I can’t argue that I guess the video would have been a little weird with a guy my age singing a song to somebody that young.
Rickard: She’s blowing up here now.
Chad: She’s huge!
Interview: Yeah I heard her song on the radio the other day.
Chad: yeah, she’s huge. It’s a cool thing, it was an experiment. It’s another audience that we would of never been exposed to, and that kind of thing helps us stay on the road. Getting those kind of cuts on albums like that. I know a few years ago, the best lesson we learned from that was getting our album licensed for The Hills, the first time around. Cause we were real snobby, and non of us really knew what The Hills was, we had never watched it. And at first I was like “nahh..”
Interviewer: Little did you know…
Chad: Yeah, then it’s like somebody told me to just take a breath, don’t take yourself so seriously and see what happens. And we licensed the album to MTV and they used it. It ended up getting us a really great audience for us. And you know, it was smart. Why would you deny somebody the chance to hear your music.
Interviewer #2: That’s where I first heard you guys was from The Hills.
Chad: Hah, it works! Those things work. You just can’t be so snobby.
Interviewer: Yeah I heard you guys from the free single of the week on iTunes.
Chad: Oh yeah, we broke a record with that one. We bought a house with that haha. We gave 600,000 ofthose free copies away that week.
Rickard: We could of sold it for one dollar! That figure alone is just you know..
Chad: It was 650,000 by the time it ended. And everybody at the label was like “Oh my God you guys broke all of these records, this is great! Everybody’s going to buy the record from here”. And no. no they didn’t. Everyone just took the single that was free haha.
Rickard: That’s how human nature works. Why would we take something that’s free, and then pay for something?
Chad: That’s just not the way people work. I’d do that, I’d take it for free.
Rickard: You should pay for something, then get something for free. If you get the cookie first…
Chad: You’re not gonna eat it. I’m just dickin around. Eventually it did sell.
Rickard: Yeah, thanks to two years of promo.
Chad: Yeah it sold quite a bit. I think it might of gone Platinum by now.
Rickard: We were banging that song into people’s head in radio stations. “PLAY THIS”…. And they did eventually.
Interviewer: Yeah how did it feel hearing your song “Show Me What I’m Looking For” all over the T.V. for the first time?
Chad: Crazy. It’s still crazy.
Rickard: Yeah it’s weird.
Chad: I mean even on that preview for that new Disney movie The Odd Life of Timothy Green. It’s in the movie and it’s in the trailer. That came as a big surprise. And it’s still one of those things like, just sitting at home at night about to go to bed, watching some T.V. and there it is. It’s a really odd thing to hear yourself coming back; to hear yourself unexpectedly. It’s a gift, that’s for sure.
Interviewer: Ok, now I have to ask because we are in North Carolina. How was playing Packapoolza at NC State a month ago?
Chad: That was awesome! That was insane. Those kids were nuts. Were you there?
Interviewer: No, I go to Charlotte.
Chad: Oh, they had a party right there in a the middle of the street. They shut down that whole block.
Interviewer: Yeah Charlotte doesn’t do anything like that..
Chad: It was in Raleigh right?
Chad: Those kids were nuts.
Interviewer #2: They are crazy there at NC State.
Chad: Yeah you guys got three schools, you got UNC, Duke and State
Interviewer #2: Yeah right in the Triangle.
Chad: Those are huge schools! Like massive populations with those schools.
[Johan interrupts to get some things from the press trailer then leaves]
Rickard: It’s not going to help if you walk silent, we still no you’re here!
Johan: I’m sorry!!
Rickard: Next question!
Interviewer: After tour, what are you guys planning on doing? Coming out with a new album?
Rickard: We were all looking at kind of the same idea of doing an EP. More of an acoustic, a little bit back to basics, instead of leaping out there like we did on the second album. Maybe take it a step back and see. We all have projects, we all work and we all like staying busy doing like.. writing for other artists or going home to Los Angeles, which is the perfect place to work. Like, taking time off for us means basically work with other stuff. Then we can reunite again and do our acoustic. That’s my personal opinion.
Rickard: I think that can be the biggest strength of this band. Is that if everybody’s got their thing going and then we do this thing together. That’s just going to make us stronger. Then walking the thin line of “No you can only think Carolina Liar”. You have to open yourself up more.
Chad: Yeah that gets you nowhere thinking that way.
Rickard: Remember that band that were made of crazy good producers? Uh…. I can’t remember. Ah, I’ll think of it. It was that baseball cap guy that thinks he’s a singer but he’s not a singer. Ah this is like a quiz!
Everyone: Ah I don’t know..
Rickard: I can’t even think of one song. That’s so embarrassing cause I was like “THEY’RE SO GOOD!” Ah whatever. That’s what I want to do. Keep on working.
Chad: We just keep working. To give something out for free, give something back. You get some sort of movement that way. Like some of these songs “Best Friends Girl” we never really released it, but we play it live at our own shows. There’s a couple songs that we do live, that have never been released. We got studio recordings of them, so we could give those out. “Battlefields” was never released in the United States. There are just a bunch of things like that that are available. We should just open the vault up and let everything go.
Rickard: I would love to work with Cher Lloyd again.
Chad: Yeah. Probably will.
Interviewer: Alright for the last question, is there anything that you would like to add?
Chad: Just thank you guys for following us and sticking around for all of these years. It’s pretty crazy to think this band has been together for 5 years now. It’s wild.
Rickard: This tour has really brought us to where we wanna be, and kind of brought us back together in a good way.
Chad: It is the truth.
Rickard: So we’ll see what happens next. I’m excited… you guys should be too!
Chad: I’d say if there is anything I’d like to say is, eat your vegetables, drink 3 glasses of water a day
Rickard: Stay in school… unless you’re too old.
Interviewer #2: You can never be too old for school.
Chad: Don’t do drugs until after you turn 25.
Rickard: eh, I redid the 9th grade three times, so that wasn’t fun… that’s the lie of the day.
Chad: That’s pretty much it. And make sure you’re having fun.