18 februari 2008

Interview met Thomas Denver Jonsson

Eén van mijn favoriete Zweden in de rubriek "Zweedse Surprises" op Chenque Around The Globe is singer/songwriter Thomas Denver Jonsson. Toen ik recent over hem schreef viel mijn oog op zijn nieuwe plaat die op 10 maart uitkomt in de Benelux. De titel van zijn vijfde soloplaat The Lake Acts Like An Ocean klinkt poetisch maar ook onheilspellend. Een goede beschrijving van de muziek van deze sympathieke Zweed.

Voorafgaand aan de release van deze nieuwe plaat stelde ik Thomas enkele vragen over zijn album en zijn visie op het muzikale landschap waarbinnen hij opereert:

What is the main difference between your new album The Lake Acts Like An Ocean and your last album Barely Touching It?

I've tried to leave the classic alt.country a bit to do more indie-influenced folk music. In general, to do something more contemporary. Something a little bit narrower, but hopefully making me find my place in the scene better. I don't really plan how I will evolve, I just tend to get tired of what I do at the moment and then I aim for something slightly different. I usually like my newest material the best. I think that's a quite natural feeling.

The title of your new album sounds very poetic to me. Is there a specific message in it, like with the whole global warming thing or is there purely a romantic/poetic meaning?

My meaning with the title was not the global warning unfortunately. I wish it was, that would've been much better.

Which things inspire you to write new songs?

A lot of things really, but more often movies and novels than music. If I would mention a few musical heroes though I must say John Fahey, M. Ward, Fennesz and Keith Kennif.

Do you ever consider using different instruments to your sound like the banjo, mandolin or f.e. "world music" instruments like sitar, kora or duduk?

I was very amused to have my cousin playing the tuba on two songs on the new album. I like to add new sounds to the music and I like acoustic instruments. We'll see about that duduk!

I've already enjoyed the opening song of your new album, The Border, which can be downloaded as an mp3 on your MySpace-page. It sounds fantastic, what is it about?

Thanks! I don't really think that my own meaning with the songs are important for the one who listens. One thing though that I wanted to influence the songs on the album were those moments when your mind gets you such strong feelings that it almost makes you vertiginous. How that can fright you, calm you or make you feel more vivid.

You have your own record label, Going Places, which releases 7" on vinyl. What are your criteria for selecting an artist?

It's a very small project I co-run with my girlfriend. (www.goingplacesrecords.com - www.myspace.com/goingplaces7quot).
We released the first 7" in 2006, a split between the Swedish pop/folk/electronica-girl Bobby Baby and Daniel Smith, Washington state's best indie/folk-guy. We have plans to put out the next one this year. It's our way to support things we like, but also a way to try to catch future big artists when they still are small. Our criteria? We must both like it very much and find it OK to lose more of our money on it.

Sweden has a rock tradition (at least of here in The Netherlands, with The Hives, Mando Diao, Ceasar's Palace, Hellacopters), but not a lot of singer/songwriters are known. How do you see your future in Sweden, is there a lively musical scene for your kind of music?

Of course we have José Gonzalez, who is fantastic and huge. We have some strong underground artists - Bally, Björn Kleinhenz, Dear Euphoria (even if she would hate me for labelling her as a singer/songwriter) for an example - but the media here can be quite uninterested in our own artists. Which in way forced me to seek myself abroad for shows.

Will there then be another Thomas Denver Jonsson tour in the Benelux following your album? And if so, when?

Yes definitely. I'm currently in touch with a booker and I'd love to come back later this year for my fifth tour in your country.

Op de MySpace-pagina van Thomas Denver Jonsson kun je gratis twee mp3's downloaden van zijn nieuwe plaat en ook meerdere songs beluisteren in de speler.

Website GoingPlaces Records

Foto Thomas: Jerry Boman

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