Carolina Liar gets a taste of big crowds on tour
The American/Swedish pop band gets to play for large crowds. The Swedish guys in the band get to talk hockey with knowing journalists. But most of all, the tour helped singer Chad Wolf accomplish one of his dreams.
"Playing at the [Hollywood] Bowl the other night was not such a bad thing," Wolf said with a laugh backstage at the tour's recent Phoenix show. "It was one of those lifelong feather-in-the-cap-type things. So it was pretty amazing to get up there. Pretty much you're looking at a skyscraper of people. At one point it looks like a normal theater, but then it goes straight up with 18,000 people or so.
On the current trek, Carolina Liar playing tracks from its 2011 album "Wild Blessed Freedom." Wolf and the rest of the band -- guitarist Rickard Goransson, keyboardist Johan Carlsson and drummer-percussionist Peter Carlsson -- enjoy studio sessions whenever they can get them -- especially because they are under the tutelage of producer/songwriter Max Martin, a longtime friend who is renowned in the pop world.
"Those are always good times," said Wolf, whose band is best known for the song "Show Me What I'm Looking For."
"Any time we can spend in the studio with Martin and [Johan Karl] Schuster or Shellback. Oh yeah, they're crazy. The other thing is we discovered chartreuse, which is a magic little elixir, this green drink. If you're listening to a song called 'Me and You,' I'm actually really drunk. I'm actually recording all the background vocals We had taken shots of chartreuse and everybody's in the booth trying to sing the 'whoa, whoa, whoa.' Everybody's just lit. It's 3 in the morning; it's a perfect drunken hockey choir."
Besides introducing the band to the French liqueur made by the Carthusian Monks, Wolf said that Martin and Shellback boosted the performance level of the quartet.
"He's [Martin] always pushing for better lyrics and better stories, but really as far as the performance goes, singing wise, he's the absolute best producer in the world for that," Wolf said.
"He can get you to do things that you didn't know you had in you. I don't know what it is about him. There's something about him that makes you want to perform better. He just knows how to talk the right way."
Wolf said the partnership with Martin started off as a "friendship thing" and then evolved into a musical relationship.
"He flew me over to Sweden to watch World Cup with everybody and I got lucky and fell into the whole Swedish crowd," Wolf said. "It turned into that. He heard 'Coming to Terms.' My friend Tobias [Karlsson] and I had written the song 'Coming to Terms' and we sent it back to him. He said, 'This come came out [good].' He's like, 'If you can write some more songs like that, I might be able to help you out with something. Maybe even find a publishing deal or something for you. Let's see what you can do.'"
Wolf then wrote "Show Me What I'm Looking For," and Martin was over the moon.
"After that, he said, 'Fuck that. Come over to Sweden and we'll see how we can finish these demos off and, if we all get along, we'll keep working,'" Wolf recalled.
"Sometimes you don't want to go into business with friends because the relationship gets screwed up. That was one of the things, 'Are we going to be able to work together in the studio, stay cool and get something done? Or is it going to turn into a calamity?' It worked out."