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The Sounds will be heard

photo courtesty of THE SOUNDS
Swede nu-wave rockers The Sounds recently toured with The Strokes, who have one more letter in their name. That fact shouldn't stop you from supporting The Sounds, who obviously are in desperate need of that extra letter. Come and help them afford a vowel or consonant tonight at City Limits.
By Sofee Beer
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, April 29, 2004
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The Sounds have a lot in common with fellow Swedish countrymen ABBA. They have that trademark blond hair (well, mostly just their lead singer). And they're also a band that makes dance music (although they count disco's antithesis - new wave - as their primary influence). OK, so The Sounds have nothing in common with ABBA. But that's a good thing.

And seeing The Sounds will be about a million times easier - and more enjoyable - than trying to catch an ABBA show. After finishing up a tour with The Strokes, The Sounds are bringing their own tour to City Limits tonight at 7.

High school friends Felix Rodriguez (guitar), Johan Bengtsson (bass) and Fredrik Nilsson (drums) started the band with female lead singer, Maja Ivarsson, in 1998. Jesper Anderberg, Ivarsson's friend from art class, joined the group in 1999 when the foursome realized that its music, which stemmed from influences such as Kraftwerk, Ultravox, Blondie and Duran Duran, was missing a key element - a synthesizer. Though those are the band's better influences, Nilsson said anything could provide inspiration.

"One of the strengths of The Sounds is that we can listen to anything, and then we can take that into our songs," Nilsson said. "It doesn't have to be a cool band or anything; it can be a real crap band. You can get inspired by the bad stuff as well. You just got to separate it and know what you want. That's one thing with The Sounds. ... Everything is allowed."

They may be inspired by a lot of different sources, but The Sounds always come out with something full of energy and delight. They don't play for a specific type of audience but, rather, for anyone who wants to have a good time.

"We are fun to see live. Most bands today aren't that fun to see live. ... Nothing exciting happens, nothing out of the usual happens on stage," Nilsson said. "It's just like these four guys staring at their shoes and playing their songs. That's very boring to us; we try to do something different."

Although their hometown is all the way in Helsingborg, Sweden, The Sounds love to play in America. It's definitely a nice change. Nilsson admits that playing in the States has its advantages and disadvantages. But overall, he prefers to play here rather than in Sweden, at least at this point in his career.

"It's so much harder over here; there's so much more competition. But that's the way we like it. It's different, both good and bad I guess. But that's what we like about it. When the people are into it, they do like anything. If you play in front of a room that for some reason is half-filled, usually they are all in the front of the stage here in the S," he said. "In Sweden, they're more laid-back, more cool, hangin' at the bar. It's like, 'Yeah, I'm checking out the band from the bar.' I don't know what's up with that. If it's a sold-out show, it's basically the same. If it's half-full, it's usually better over here."

Check out The Sounds tonight in a concert Nilsson promises will be "a show you won't forget in a long time. It's going to be great." Oh and not to worry, their songs are exclusively in English.

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