THE SOUNDTRACK OF OUR LIVES with LINDY and MEMORY BANK at the Horseshoe (370 Queen West), Saturday (August 17), 10 pm. $10 advance, $15 door or $10 with Oasis ticket stub. 416-598-4753.
Also opening for OASIS with Mercury Rev, SLOAN and Sam Roberts at the Molson Amphitheatre (909 Lakeshore West), Saturday (August 17). $10.21-$45. 416-870-8000.
Rock artists recycling their record collections is nothing particularly new. Oasis have made a lucrative career out of doing just that. Who, then, could better appreciate the crafty re-workmanship of the Soundtrack of Our Lives, the riff-ripping kings of Gothenburg, Sweden, currently enjoying favoured status on the Oasis tour as the Gallagher brothers' band of the moment? Whereas Oasis aren't yet through with the Beatles, the Soundtrack of Our Lives have moved on to scoop what they can from the Stooges, MC5, the Byrds, Neil Young and Love on their latest disc, Behind The Music.
That broad-minded approach to riff-lifting is likely what impressed their Manchester fan club members, but whatever the reason, the Soundtrack's charismatic frontman, Ebbot Lundberg, sounds chuffed by the celebrity patronage.
"They're more interested in our band than their own, which is kinda funny," laughs Lundberg from Stockholm.
"They said, "You have to come on tour with us -- you're the greatest band ever!' Heh heh heh... They're fun guys, and we get along really well with them."
No doubt Oasis could learn something from the Gothenburg gang about jacking entire tunes -- namely, that it's wiser to swipe an obscure number by a lesser-known act than to try to get away with copping a familiar lick that everyone knows.
Of course, the guys in Soundtrack of Our Lives have been doing it for a lot longer. Before they played their first official gig as Soundtrack of Our Lives at Gothenburg's Nefertiti Club back in 95, Lundberg and guitarist Björn Olsson had been diligently rewriting their favourite songs in Union Carbide Productions for much of the previous decade.
Most notorious of all was their note-for-note steal of overlooked Sonic Rendezvous Band classic City Slang, for which they wrote their own lyrics. They called it Cartoon Animal on 87's In The Air Tonight disc.
"Yeah, well, umm... I didn't know at the time where it came from. That was Björn ripping off the riffs.
"It wasn't until about six months later that I heard City Slang and thought, "Oh, fuck! This is Cartoon Animal!' But, you know, heh heh, it was a good theft."
Good, perhaps, in the sense that Union Carbide Productions were inadvertently introducing a whole generation of Swedish punks to the many splendours of the Detroit rock crunch. Without Union Carbide, it's doubtful that groups like the Hellacopters, Backyard Babies and even the Hives would sound like they do.
"That's probably true, because many of those guys used to go to our shows," chortles Lundberg. "The Hellacopters said that when they formed, they all loved Union Carbide. You can ask them yourself, heh heh -- they're sitting right here with me.
"I can't think of any other underground bands from Sweden into that kind of music at the time. The Nomads were a straight-up garage band, whereas we were listening to stuff like the Residents, Captain Beefheart and Throbbing Gristle and trying to be more experimental.
"So I guess you could say we were responsible for a lot of current Scandinavian rock, and fortunately, we've survived."