This is #12 of Rob Trucks’s Possibly 4th Street expositions, a regular column in which he invites musicians he likes to perform live and impromptu somewhere in New York City. Inevitably with such a series, we end up underground: Kaki King just took us to the F-Train platform by 14th and Sixth Avenue; now, a date with the Shout Out Louds bring us to the Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall subway stop, underneath Centre Street.
photo by Rob Trucks
Episode 12, Part One
Shout Out Louds
Text and photos by Rob Trucks
It’s cold and rainy. And in lower Manhattan five Swedes—whose second and latest album, Our Ill Wills, sounds a whole lot like The Cure—tumble out of a white Ford-panel van like luggage from an overhead during a turbulent flight.
We’ve got our own issues. There’s the weather, of course, plus unexpected traffic and dead batteries that appeared full of life just an hour before.
But these Shout Out Louds are patient. They look a little bored (rock-and-roll being a “hurry up and wait” game like you wouldn’t believe), but they’re patient. And nice and polite. Each member walks over to introduce themselves. And not in that you better get my name right for your article kind of way. More like, Hey, we know it’s raining on your head too.
The plan—for the SOLs to perform at the Manhattan foot of the Brooklyn Bridge—is called on account of weather. So we all pile down the stairs next to City Hall and the band sets up shop in the bend of a long underground hallway. Then they play. And it sounds good. And a whole lot like The Cure.
SHOUT OUT LOUDS DO “NORMANDIE”
Possibly 4th Street
Episode 12, Part 2
Shout Out Louds
by Rob Trucks
Vocalist Adam Olenius—with bassist Ted Malmros, guitarist Carl von Aring, keyboardist Bebban Stenborg and drummer Eric Edman, collectively known as Shout Out Louds.
Thursday afternoon, October 25, 2007
At the Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall subway stop, underneath Centre Street, where you can catch the J, M, Z, 4, 5 or 6 trains.
Adam Olenius’ favorite Cure album:
“Disintegration, I think.”
Something Olenius has done once and one time only:
Really? Just once?
Didn’t you like it?
“I liked it. That was the first time, this summer.”
The original name of the group was Luca Brasi. Who’s the Godfather fan?
“I think it was me and Ted. When we started talking about starting a band we sat on my balcony at my apartment, and I think we had just seen the movie or something. Really, we are big Godfather fans and I like the sound of that name. And he is kind of a sad character. You know, he’s got a really sudden death. He thought he was really cool but he got stabbed in his hand and strangled from the back, and that’s very dramatic.”
Does that show a bleak outlook on life? Many reviewers have mentioned how much more melancholy Ill Wills sounds compared to your first album.
“No, there’s still hope. Luca Brasi has got hope, and he’s brave.”
What should every American know about Stockholm?
“That there are ghosts in Old Town.”
Ghosts in Old Town?
“Yeah, there was a bloodbath like in the 17th century, the 16th century. There was blood shed all over the square, right, because, well, I can’t remember exactly why. Ted is a better historian. Anyway, so at midnight, like once a year, if it rains a lot, there’s blood in the sewers.”
Now is this like armies fighting each other or is this like Luca Brasi?
“No, it’s more of like the king and the peasants. It was a class thing. We have a lot of stuff like that.”
You’ve got a song on Ill Wills called “Meat Is Murder,” which of course is best known as the Smiths’ second album. Did you think of the title and then write the song, or did you write the song and that’s got to be the title?
“That’s got to be the title. I mean, that was the working title for a very long time. It was in my computer as a sound file I recorded at home right after the first album. That was just the name of the song. And we talked about, Should we change this? But then, that’s the way it should be. We try to take natural steps all the time, and we knew that we would get a lot of questions about that and everything, but that was the album that was in the background when I wrote the song. I don’t know. It was supposed to be like that.”
So what’s your favorite Smiths album?
“That would be The Queen is Dead.”
And what album have you listened to more than any other in your life?
“When I was 15 I listened to Metallica’s black album every day before I went to school, but the answer’s probably Pet Sounds by the Beach Boys.”
And nobody ever, ever, ever would guess Metallica from listening to your band.
“No, that why it’s so beautiful.”
SHOUT OUT LOUDS DO “TONIGHT I HAVE TO LEAVE IT”