Interview: The Soundtrack of Our Lives
It’s easy to group The Soundtrack of Our Lives alongside the glut of Swedish pop and rock music that has been successfully exported to foreign shores for the past 30 or 40 years. And why not? With a legacy that begins with ABBA and spans the decades and genres leading all the way to chart-topping songwriter Max Martin, the Swedes have a track record that is difficult to argue with.
But for Ebbot Lundberg, singer of Soundtrack, the answer is easy.
“[People are drawn to] the simplicity and naivety of it,” he said.
Which is one way of looking at it. Whatever the reason, Soundtrack isn’t doing so bad for itself either. Take “Golden Greats No. 1,” which comes out on Tuesday, as an example. The album is the first greatest hits collection from the band, which has been in existence for more than 15 years.
“It’s a very simple compilation of remastered Tsool songs for beginners,” Lundberg said, adding that only three songs – Karmageddon, Earthmover and Demophon – are new, the latter of which will only be available via digital or vinyl release.
The album comes as a bit of a surprise for longtime fans, who have been waiting for the follow up to “Origin Vol. 1”. This album, aptly titled “Origin Vol. 2” will, with any luck, come out later this year, although the release date hasn’t yet been announced.
In addition to its trademark indie psychedelic rock sound, Soundtrack is also known for its lengthy releases, which always have a run-time of an hour or longer, and some of which are released as double albums, or albums with a bonus EP.
Lundberg commented on this, noting that not all the songs contained on one release are from the same period of time
“Some of it is an instant reflection of the session-period and some of it is meant to be like a predestination,” he said. “Which means that certain tracks have to wait a couple of years to be released.”
This explains why some of the songs that were meant for “Origin Vol. 2” were actually previously released on 2005’s “A Present from the Past” and 2008’s “Communion”.
With a steady stream of releases and song-heavy tracklistings, Lundberg admitted that the band never seem to run out of inspiration, rather it’s the lack of motivation that can sometimes affect the members.
As for the songwriting process itself, Lundberg views it as exactly that: something that begins with an idea and evolves into something bigger than that early idea.
“The point is to make a song better than the initial experience,” he explained.
Of course, the music industry has been changing quite a bit in recent years, and Soundtrack is not at all hesitant to adjust to those shifts. In fact, “Golden Greats No. 1” will be released with five purchase options available. The basic package, which is $8.99, comes with a digital download on the day of release, as well as an instant download of one of the tracks. Purchasers can pay extra for additional add-ons, all the way to the $59.99 deluxe package, which includes a download, the CD and vinyl versions, a live DVD and a limited edition shirt.
“It’s a big pond of streaming,” Lundberg said about the state of the music industry and the need for artists to adapt. “The industry is dissolving like the rest of the world. And we are the soundtrack to that specific transformation into something else. And we don’t mind it at all! It’s an interesting event.”