Thanks to “America’s oldest living teenager,” Sweden’s the Soundtrack of Our Lives now have one of the longest band names. At the behest of Dick Clark, they will be known in the U.S. as “The Soundtrack of Our Lives (T.S.O.O.L.),” beginning with the release of their fourth album, Origins, in March.
According to a spokesman at the band’s Universal Records, the label received a letter from Dick Clark Productions last year asking that the rockers change their name. Clark, the seventy-four-year-old music mogul and longtime American Bandstand, owned the trademark to the phrase “Dick Clark presents the soundtrack of your life.” He also trademarked phrases like “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” and “I like the beat,” as well as his “America’s oldest living teenager” nickname.
“We were really upset at first, but we have gotten used to it and now we are OK with the situation,” says guitarist Mattias Barjed, who had never heard of Clark until the letter. “I’ve seen footage [of American Bandstand] now. They might have shown it on Swedish television, but I wasn’t born back then, so I don’t really know.”
According to Barjed, the band’s moniker came from nowhere in particular. “It was just a good name,” he says. “You have something really big to live up to with a name like that. It’s like building an enormous roof — you can make whatever sort of music under that roof.”
The band has been releasing music as the Soundtrack of Our Lives in Europe since 1996, and in the U.S. since 2001. Clark registered his trademark in 2000. However, according to the United States Patent and Trademark office, Clark’s patent expired in 2002, and thus the band may have acted unnecessarily. Informed of this, a Universal spokesman said that the change will happen anyway, as Origins and its accompanying promotional materials are already being printed with the elongated name.
The newly christened the Soundtrack of Our Lives (T.S.O.O.L.) will return to the U.S. for a tour beginning in January.
Emails to Dick Clark Productions were not returned by press time.