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Carolina half-truth?

Pop-rock band Carolina Liar may not be lying, but are they telling the truth?

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Carolina Liar.
Photo: Erik Kabik/Retna/www.erikkabikphoto.com

Carolina Liar’s name suggests the South, and their obvious blues influence backs that assumption up. But you know what they say about assumptions. Most of the musicians in the band behind popular songs “I’m Not Over” and “Show Me What I’m Looking For” actually hail from Sweden. Only lead singer Chad Wolf is American. Raised in a small South Carolina town called Monk’s Corner and later making a name for himself in the Los Angeles music scene, Wolf impressed Max Martin so much the prolific pop producer flew him to Stockholm to help him create a hit record and band.

Hmmm. Carolina half-truth?

The formation of the band might be a bit unusual, but Wolf says going on a nationwide tour with a group of Swedes is quite the adventure. The Weekly caught up with Wolf as he hung out in Temecula, Calif. the day before his October 24 Las Vegas gig at Ovation inside Green Valley Ranch.

Carolina Liar’s songs have been used in multiple soundtracks and commercials, as well as background music in television shows. Is it weird seeing your music in 90210, The Hills and Gossip Girl?

In our minds, when we wrote these songs, they were a little bit darker than those kinds of television shows, [but] once they put them into those scenes, the songs kind of work into what is going on in the scene. It’s been pretty interesting to see how a song can really change from what you have interpreted. It’s so different, yet it works. It’s really educational in learning how to really let go of a song and let it do what it needs to do and not really think that you own it. It’s a really neat exercise in freedom.

Calendar

Carolina Liar
Oct. 24, 10:30 p.m., $19-$37
Ovation at Green Valley Ranch

What is “Show Me What I’m Looking For” really about, then?

It was really just based on this idea that all of us had failed so many times – in attempts to try and put bands together, in relationships and just so many things we thought we had the answers to. We tried, thinking how it was going to be the answer or fix our problems, and it still never was. [The song] was more for a cry of more of a help, like, “I need an answer. What am I actually here doing?”

Then it became kind of a love song. The way they used it on The Hills was kind of a love song between Lauren and this gentleman she met in Paris. That was a pretty cool surprise to see how that broke down: Seeing this very rich young lady on the back of a moped traveling in Paris, living a pretty well-to-do life … The song didn’t really come from that. It’s cool to see that change, like, wow, this song can really be taken as a romance song.

I’ve read that some people have speculated that the song is about God.

A lot of people have come up to us and asked us if we are a straight up Christian band. We’re not really a Christian band in that sense, but if you take the song on a spiritual level, then that’s a massive compliment. I’m really happy about that.

Where does the name Carolina Liar come from?

There was one particular producer I was working for as an assistant. I’d told him some story that my mom had told me about something that had happened in the town where I grew up and he’s like, “You are still the biggest liar I think I have possibly ever met.” He’s like, “There’s no way this could be true.” That’s where the whole thing came about. He just constantly called me the biggest liar. Then, a couple days later, he says, where are you from again? And he goes there’s your band name. You should call yourself South Carolina Liars. We kind of just looked at each other and said, “Yeah, let’s go with that.”

Is he right. Do you lie a lot?

That’s the thing, I’m probably the worst liar. I like to pull jokes. I’m a bit of a trickster, but I can’t stay straight for very long when it comes to the full on lying.

Can you give us an example of one of these stories?

There was one about my grandfather. We were out getting wood one morning. My grandfather was a bit crazy to begin with. For some reason he dismantled this safety gear on this tractor we used to use to pull trees down from out of the swamp area that we lived in. So, when he cranked up the tractor, he ran himself over. The whole tractor just crushed the whole right side of his body. So we pulled him out from under the tractor. He’s yelling at us, telling us to chill out. We get him up and stand him upright, and all of a sudden he’s like, “Awww, man, just put me back in my house. I’ll sleep this thing off.” He broke every single bone in his body on one side and he was acting like nothing had happened at all. He always did things like that.

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