This is all about music

February 25, 2009

So, here’s some answers to some questions sent to me by someone who’s been tuning into this blog..

1. Will we be hearing collaborations or will the new songs be yours only?

I’ve written this whole album alone.  It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a while. I really like collaborating with other people, but I’ve often wondered what would happen if there was no input from anyone until it came time to record. I had some confidence issues with writing alone I suppose, but I think doing the music for Bell Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’ last year gave me some encouragement.  I was really happy with the music I did for that, and it made me realise that you don’t have to know everything and that simple is often good. I started playing a bit of piano during this time too, so much of this new album was written on piano.  I’ve often said it, but piano is my favourite instrument and I’ve discovered that there’s so much you can do with it. We’ve used this tiny upright piano for most of the stuff on the new album.  It sounds great, very versatile.. it can sound really mean, but it can also sound cute and fragile.  I’m gonna miss that piano more than anything else about Stockholm!

2. Has the different location had an impact on the music (the vibe)?

I think it has.  Something happens when you leave home. I suppose you leave behind your identity.. at least the identity you have amongst people you know. None of these musicians know me, they hardly know my other records, they just hear the songs and interpret them with not much of a context other than the things I tell them as we go along about how I want it to sound, or the feelings that I want the record to evoke. Bjorn and I spoke a lot about those overall things before we got started, we referenced a lot of songs, and then he went and spoke in Swedish to the other guys and tried to get that across. It’s all kind of refreshing because it doesn’t hold you to the way you’ve done things before or the way that you “should” do it because you’re “you”. It brings into the mix broader musical tastes and it’s interesting to me how different cultures, or I guess just human beings have different connotations to do with different sounds. In a nut shell it makes you less small-minded or makes you less aware of the local “scene” and more about universality in music.  To me this is a more diverse album than the others.  I put much of that down to Bjorn’s input. I just never would’ve heard some of these songs like he did, and that can be an exciting and surprising thing. Sometimes it means you argue, but often it brings something really different. Being away from home has often been really lonely, but it has forced me to step outside of myself a bit and try things I mightn’t otherwise. I’ve also had to try and articulate things clearer than I would with people who know me or who understand where I’m coming from.  Who knows if you’ll hear all this in the record.. I think it’s quite a bold record.  Nothing much is really held back.  It’s got a lot of energy. Anyway, it’ll be mixed by the end of next week so you’ll get to hear it soon..

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