the insiders: the sounds

maja fills us in on the group’s brand-new album.

by liza darwin

It's been two years since the Swedish rockers The Sounds released their last album, and trust us, their latest record is worth the wait. Something to Die For, which dropped yesterday, is filled with electro beats, thumping dance numbers, and highpowered melodies, all meshed into one totally awesome package. It's different, it's fun, and it's undeniably cool. After all, what else would you expect? We talked with singer Maja Ivarsson about the new album, being #1 in Finland, and why she always wears heels onstage.

Congrats on the new album. How do you think it compares to your previous ones?

Thanks so much, the whole band is so proud of this one; we did everything ourselves. We produced it ourselves, We recorded it ourselves in our own studio, it was totally us.

How would you describe Something to Die For? Compared to the third record, which has a lot more piano and bass guitar, this one is faster. It has more uptempo songs with more electronic elements. I'm super psyched about this album.

Having performed all over the world, can you tell a difference between fans in one location versus another?

People are people; we're not that different. We might live in a different part of the world, but many people are the same. Finland is actually really crazy. We played a festival last summer with Slash and Ozzy Osbourne and 38 thousand people came out! We recently heard that on the Finland music charts, Britney Spears is #2 and we are #1.

You definitely have a cool style onstage. Do you feel pressure to dress a certain way?

No, I don't feel pressured. I'm flatted everytime someone brings it up because it's flattering that people know what you're wearing. I've never had hair stylists, makeup people, or clothing stylists on stage- it's all just me.

Whoa, really? How do you decide what to wear?

I just put on what I feel more comfortable in and what will work out. I never go onstage without high heels. I feel like every girl- if you can walk in them- feels better in heels because they make you have better posture, walk taller, you just feel more proud. I want to look feminine but fierce at the same time.

You're the new face of the Sebastian Color Ignite hair color. What does your hair look like now? My hair isn't pink and blue anymore like it was in the ads [laughing]. I did bleach my eyebrows a while ago, but they grew out funny so they're not bleached anymore.

Last question: what bands are you listening to right now?

I really love Robyn's new album, Body Talk. I also love Fleetwood Mac. On my iPod I have so many types of music, from Neil Young to The Knife to Grace Jones to Marianne Faithfull. I'm a fan of good songs.

Buy Something to Die For and listen to more of The Sounds here.